Paramyxovirus evasion of innate immunity: Diverse strategies for common targets

Michelle Dianne Audsley, Gregory William Moseley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther


The paramyxoviruses are a family of > 30 viruses that variously infect humans, other mammals and fish to cause diverse outcomes, ranging from asymptomatic to lethal disease, with the zoonotic paramyxoviruses Nipah and Hendra showing up to 70 case-fatality rate in humans. The capacity to evade host immunity is central to viral infection, and paramyxoviruses have evolved multiple strategies to overcome the host interferon (IFN)-mediated innate immune response through the activity of their IFN-antagonist proteins. Although paramyxovirus IFN antagonists generally target common factors of the IFN system, including melanoma differentiation associated factor 5, retinoic acid-inducible gene-I, signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT)1 and STAT2, and IFN regulatory factor 3, the mechanisms of antagonism show remarkable diversity between different genera and even individual members of the same genus; the reasons for this diversity, however, are not currently understood. Here, we review the IFN antagonism strategies of paramyxoviruses, highlighting mechanistic differences observed between individual species and genera. We also discuss potential sources of this diversity, including biological differences in the host and/or tissue specificity of different paramyxoviruses, and potential effects of experimental approaches that have largely relied on in vitro systems. Importantly, recent studies using recombinant virus systems and animal infection models are beginning to clarify the importance of certain mechanisms of IFN antagonism to in vivo infections, providing important indications not only of their critical importance to virulence, but also of their potential targeting for new therapeutic/vaccine approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57 - 70
Number of pages14
JournalWorld Journal of Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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