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Latent viral infections of the nervous system: Role of the host immune response.

Monique Lafon 1, *
* Corresponding author
Abstract : Viruses that infect the nervous system may cause acute, chronic or latent infections. Despite the so-called immunoprivileged status of the nervous system, immunosurveillance plays an important role in the fate of viral infection of the brain. Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) persists in the nervous system for the life of the host with periodic stress induced reactivation that produces progeny viruses. Prevention of reactivation requires a complex interplay between virus neurons, and immune response. New evidence supports the view that CD8+T cells employing both lytic granule- and IFN-gamma-dependent effectors are essential in setting up and maintaining HSV-1 latency. HSV-1 infection of the nervous system can be seen as a parasitic invasion which leaves the individual at risk for subsequent reactivation and disease. The recent observation that herpes virus latency may confer protection against experimental bacterial infection suggests that unexpected symbiosis may exist between latent viruses and the infected nervous system of its host.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 16, 2009 - 2:45:23 PM
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Monique Lafon. Latent viral infections of the nervous system: Role of the host immune response.. Revue Neurologique, Elsevier Masson, 2009, epub ahead of print. ⟨10.1016/j.neurol.2009.09.010⟩. ⟨pasteur-00432418⟩

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