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Lambda interferon (IFN-lambda) in serum is decreased in hantavirus-infected patients, and in vitro-established infection is insensitive to treatment with all IFNs and inhibits IFN-gamma-induced nitric oxide production.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Infectious Diseases. (Clas Ahlm)
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Infectious Diseases.
2007 (English)In: Journal of Virology, ISSN 0022-538X, E-ISSN 1098-5514, Vol. 81, no 16, 8685-91 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hantaviruses, causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS), are known to be sensitive to nitric oxide (NO) and to pretreatment with type I and II interferons (alpha interferon [IFN-alpha]/IFN-beta and IFN-gamma, respectively). Elevated serum levels of NO and IFN-gamma have been observed in HFRS patients, but little is known regarding the systemic levels of other IFNs and the possible effects of hantaviruses on innate antiviral immune responses. In Puumala virus-infected HFRS patients (n = 18), we report that the levels of IFN-alpha and IFN-beta are similar, whereas the level of IFN-lambda (type III IFN) is significantly decreased, during acute (day of hospitalization) compared to the convalescent phase. The possible antiviral effects of IFN-lambda on the prototypic hantavirus Hantaan virus (HTNV) replication was then investigated. Pretreatment of A549 cells with IFN-lambda alone inhibited HTNV replication, and IFN-lambda combined with IFN-gamma induced additive antiviral effects. We then studied the effect of postinfection treatment with IFNs. Interestingly, an already-established HTNV infection was insensitive to subsequent IFN-alpha, -beta, -gamma, and -lambda stimulation, and HTNV-infected cells produced less NO compared to noninfected cells when stimulated with IFN-gamma and IL-1beta. Furthermore, less phosphorylated STAT1 after IFN treatment was observed in the nuclei of infected cells than in those of noninfected cells. The results suggest that hantavirus can interfere with the activation of antiviral innate immune responses in patients and inhibit the antiviral effects of all IFNs. We believe that future studies addressing the mechanisms by which hantaviruses interfere with the activation and shaping of immune responses may bring more knowledge regarding HFRS and HCPS pathogenesis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 81, no 16, 8685-91 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-23391DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00415-07PubMedID: 17522204OAI: diva2:223647
Available from: 2009-06-13 Created: 2009-06-13 Last updated: 2011-04-11

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