Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a major infectious disease affecting millions of people worldwide and it is the main etiological agent for outbreaks of hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD). Infection is often associated with severe gastroenterological, pulmonary, and neurological diseases that are most prevalent in children. Currently, no effective vaccine or antiviral drugs exist against EV71 infection. A lack of knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of EV71 infection in the host and the virus-host interactions is a major constraint to developing specific antiviral strategies against this infection. Previous studies have identified and characterized the function of several viral proteins produced by EV71 that interact with the host innate immune proteins, including type I interferon signaling and microRNAs. These interactions eventually promote efficient viral replication and increased susceptibility to the disease. In this review we discuss the functions of EV71 viral proteins in the modulation of host innate immune responses to facilitate viral replication.
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