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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00320

Host immune response to influenza A virus infection

  • 1Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, China
  • 2Institute of Microbiology (CAS), China
  • 3Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport, United States

Influenza A viruses (IAVs) are contagious pathogens responsible for severe respiratory infection in humans and animals worldwide. Upon detection of IAV infection, host immune system aims to defend against and clear the viral infection. Innate immune system is comprised of physical barriers (mucus and collectins), various phagocytic cells, group of cytokines, interferons (IFNs) and IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), which provide first line of defense against IAV infection. The adaptive immunity is mediated by B cells and T cells, characterized with antigen-specific memory cells, capturing and neutralizing the pathogen. The humoral immune response functions through hemagglutinin (HA) specific circulating antibodies to neutralize IAV. In addition, antibodies can bind to the surface of infected cells and induce antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) or complement activation. Although there are neutralizing antibodies against the virus, cellular immunity also plays a crucial role in the fight against IAVs. On the other hand, IAVs have developed multiple strategies to escape from host immune surveillance for successful replication. In this review, we discuss how immune system, especially innate immune system and critical molecules are involved in the antiviral defense against IAVs. In addition, we highlight how IAVs antagonize different immune responses to achieve a successful infection.

Keywords: Influenza A virus, immune response, innate immunity, Immune Evasion, Adaptive Immunity

Received: 28 Jul 2017; Accepted: 05 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Gayane Manukyan, Institute of Molecular Biology (NAS RA), Armenia

Reviewed by:

Jason Kindrachuk, University of Manitoba, Canada
Hovakim Zakaryan, Institute of Molecular Biology (NAS RA), Armenia  

Copyright: © 2018 Chen, Liu, Maarouf, Huang and Chen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Ji-Long Chen, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, China, chenjl@im.ac.cn