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Viruses 2012, 4(8), 1182-1201; doi:10.3390/v4081182

Herpesvirus Exploitation of Host Immune Inhibitory Pathways

Institute of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF14 4XN, UK
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 June 2012 / Revised: 21 July 2012 / Accepted: 23 July 2012 / Published: 3 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Evasion)
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Herpesviruses employ a plethora of mechanisms to circumvent clearance by host immune responses. A key feature of mammalian immune systems is the employment of regulatory pathways that limit immune responsiveness. The primary functions of these mechanisms are to control autoimmunity and limit exuberant responses to harmless antigen in mucosal surfaces. However, such pathways can be exploited by viral pathogens to enable acute infection, persistence and dissemination. Herein, we outline the current understanding of inhibitory pathways in modulating antiviral immunity during herpesvirus infections in vivo and discuss strategies employed by herpesviruses to exploit these pathways to limit host antiviral immunity.
Keywords: herpesvirus; immune suppression; IL-10; CD200; PD-1; BTLA; cytomegalovirus herpesvirus; immune suppression; IL-10; CD200; PD-1; BTLA; cytomegalovirus
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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Stack, G.; Stacey, M.A.; Humphreys, I.R. Herpesvirus Exploitation of Host Immune Inhibitory Pathways. Viruses 2012, 4, 1182-1201.

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