Measles virus (MV) causes acute respiratory disease, infects lymphocytes and multiple organs, and produces immune suppression leading to secondary infections. In rare instances it can also cause persistent infections in the brain and central nervous system. Vaccine and laboratory-adapted strains of MV use CD46 as a receptor, whereas wild-type strains of MV (wtMV) cannot. Both vaccine and wtMV strains infect lymphocytes, monocytes, and dendritic cells (DCs) using the signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (CD150/SLAM). In addition, MV can infect the airway epithelial cells of the host. Nectin 4 (PVRL4) was recently identified as the epithelial cell receptor for MV. Coupled with recent observations made in MV-infected macaques, this discovery has led to a new paradigm for how the virus accesses the respiratory tract and exits the host. Nectin 4 is also a tumor cell marker which is highly expressed on the apical surface of many adenocarcinoma cell lines, making it a potential target for MV oncolytic therapy.
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