Interplay between circadian clock and viral infection

J Mol Med (Berl). 2017 Dec;95(12):1283-1289. doi: 10.1007/s00109-017-1592-7. Epub 2017 Sep 30.


The circadian clock underpins most physiological conditions and provides a temporal dimension to our understanding of body and tissue homeostasis. Disruptions of circadian rhythms have been associated with many diseases, including metabolic disorders and cancer. Recent literature highlights a role for the circadian clock to regulate innate and adaptive immune functions that may prime the host response to infectious organisms. Viruses are obligate parasites that rely on host cell synthesis machinery for their own replication, survival and dissemination. Here, we review key findings on how circadian rhythms impact viral infection and how viruses modulate molecular clocks to facilitate their own replication. This emerging area of viral-clock biology research provides a fertile ground for discovering novel anti-viral targets and optimizing immune-based therapies.

Keywords: Circadian rhythms; Infectious disease; Viruses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Clocks / physiology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Virus Diseases / immunology
  • Virus Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Virus Diseases / virology