Activation and Inhibition of Virus and Interferon: The Herpesvirus Story
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Viral infection of a host leads to induction of an immune system attack against the virus along with a counterattack by the virus against the host. Interferons are highly upregulated upon viral infection and function as key regulators of the host innate defense system. Whereas many RNA viruses are sensitive to the effects of interferon, several of the large DNA viruses are relatively resistant, given their capacity to encode proteins that disarms the host response. The herpesvirus family is a large and diverse family of viruses that infects vertebrates and invertebrates and possesses the ability to remain latent in their host for life. This paper summarizes the relationship between herpesviruses and interferon, including the ability of herpesviruses to induce interferon production, mechanisms by which interferon decreases herpesvirus replication, and strategies of herpesviruses to counteract these mechanisms.
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