2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and the viral infection

Environ Res. 2017 Feb;153:27-34. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.11.004. Epub 2016 Nov 22.


Exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), a widespread highly toxic environmental contaminant, suppresses immune response and leads to an increased susceptibility to infectious agents. In particular, several studies have provided evidence that TCDD decreases resistance to numerous viruses. Indeed, in vivo and in vitro investigations showed that the presence of TCDD is able to interfere with the replication of both human and animal viruses, such as influenza A viruses, coxsackie virus B3, immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1), cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex II, and bovine herpesvirus 1. Moreover, TCDD could induce an exacerbation of latent infection produced by HIV-1, CMV or Epstein-Barr virus. In this review, we first describe the general effects of TCDD exposure on mammalian cells, then we focus on its influence on the viral infections. Overall, the available data support the concept that TCDD exposure may act as an additional risk factor in promoting of viral diseases.

Keywords: AhR; TCDD; Viruses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coxsackievirus Infections / chemically induced
  • Coxsackievirus Infections / etiology
  • Enterovirus / pathogenicity
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Herpesviridae / pathogenicity
  • Herpesviridae Infections / chemically induced
  • Herpesviridae Infections / etiology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / pathogenicity
  • Influenza, Human / etiology
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / toxicity*
  • Virus Diseases / chemically induced
  • Virus Diseases / etiology*
  • Virus Diseases / veterinary


  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins