Immune evasion by adenoviruses

Immunol Rev. 1999 Apr;168:121-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-065x.1999.tb01287.x.


Adenovirus is a human pathogen that infects mainly respiratory and gastrointestinal epithelia. While the pathology caused by this virus is generally not life threatening in immunocompetent individuals, there is a large literature describing its ability to establish a persistent infection. These persistent infections typically occur in apparently healthy individuals with no outward signs of disease. Such a long term and benign interaction between virus and immune system requires adenoviruses to dampen host antiviral effector mechanisms that would otherwise eliminate the virus and cause immune-mediated pathology to the host. Adenovirus devotes a significant portion of its genome to gene products whose sole function seems to be the modulation of host immune responses. This review focuses on what is currently understood about how these immunomodulatory mechanisms work and how they might play a role in maintaining the virus in a persistent state.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenovirus E1A Proteins / immunology
  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / immunology
  • Adenoviruses, Human / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / immunology
  • Down-Regulation
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interferons / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology
  • fas Receptor / immunology


  • Adenovirus E1A Proteins
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • fas Receptor
  • Interferons