The coordinated activities of innate and adaptive immunity are critical for effective protection against viruses. To counter this, some viruses have evolved sophisticated strategies to circumvent immune cell recognition. In particular, cytomegaloviruses encode large arsenals of molecules that seek to subvert T cell and natural killer cell function via a remarkable array of mechanisms. Consequently, these ‘immunoevasins’ play a fundamental role in shaping the nature of the immune system by driving the evolution of new immune receptors and recognition mechanisms. Here, we review the diverse strategies adopted by cytomegaloviruses to target immune pathways and outline the host’s response.
- immune evasion
- viral infection