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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

"Self" and "nonself" manipulation of interferon defense during persistent infection: bovine viral diarrhea virus resists alpha/beta interferon without blocking antiviral activity against unrelated viruses replicating in its host cells.

Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), together with Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) and Border disease virus (BDV) of sheep, belongs to the genus Pestivirus of the Flaviviridae. BVDV is either cytopathic (cp) or noncytopathic (ncp), as defined by its effect on cultured cells. Infection of pregnant animals with the ncp biotype may lead to the birth of persistently infected calves that are immunotolerant to the infecting viral strain. In addition to evading the adaptive immune system, BVDV evades key mechanisms of innate immunity. Previously, we showed that ncp BVDV inhibits the induction of apoptosis and alpha/beta interferon (IFN-alpha/beta) synthesis by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Here, we report that (i) both ncp and cp BVDV block the induction by dsRNA of the Mx protein (which can also be induced in the absence of IFN signaling); (ii) neither biotype blocks the activity of IFN; and (iii) once infection is established, BVDV is largely resistant to the activity of IFN-alpha/beta but (iv) does not interfere with the establishment of an antiviral state induced by IFN-alpha/beta against unrelated viruses. The results of our study suggest that, in persistent infection, BVDV is able to evade a central element of innate immunity directed against itself without generally compromising its activity against unrelated viruses ("nonself") that may replicate in cells infected with ncp BVDV. This highly selective "self" and "nonself" model of evasion of the interferon defense system may be a key element in the success of persistent infection in addition to immunotolerance initiated by the early time point of fetal infection.[1]


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