Innate immune response to viral infection

Cytokine. 2008 Sep;43(3):336-41. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2008.07.009. Epub 2008 Aug 9.


In viral infections the host innate immune system is meant to act as a first line defense to prevent viral invasion or replication before more specific protection by the adaptive immune system is generated. In the innate immune response, pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) are engaged to detect specific viral components such as viral RNA or DNA or viral intermediate products and to induce type I interferons (IFNs) and other pro-inflammatory cytokines in the infected cells and other immune cells. Recently these innate immune receptors and their unique downstream pathways have been identified. Here, we summarize their roles in the innate immune response to virus infection, discrimination between self and viral nucleic acids and inhibition by virulent factors and provide some recent advances in the coordination between innate and adaptive immune activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA, Viral / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Endosomes / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Interferon Type I / immunology*
  • RNA Viruses / immunology
  • RNA, Viral / immunology
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptors / physiology
  • Virus Diseases / immunology*


  • DNA, Viral
  • Interferon Type I
  • RNA, Viral
  • Toll-Like Receptors