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Dual Nature of Type I Interferons in SARS-CoV-2-Induced Inflammation


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The ability of our cells to secrete type I interferons (IFN-Is) is essential for the control of virus replication and for effective antiviral immune responses; for this reason, viruses have evolved the means to antagonize IFN-I. Inhibition of IFN-I production is pronounced in SARS-CoV-2 infection, which can impair the adaptive immune response and exacerbate inflammatory disease at late stages of infection. However, therapeutic boosting of IFN-I offers a narrow time window for efficacy and safety. Here, we discuss how limits placed on IFN-I by SARS-CoV-2 shape the immune response and whether this might be countered with therapeutic approaches and vaccine design.

Type Journal
Authors King, C., Sprent, J.
Responsible Garvan Author Prof Jonathan Sprent
Published Date 2021-04-30
Published Volume 42
Published Issue 4
Published Pages 312-322
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1016/
URL link to publisher's version