Akhilesh K Singh
Articles written in Journal of Biosciences
Volume 28 Issue 3 April 2003 pp 249-264 Articles
The complement system is a potent innate immune mechanism consisting of cascades of proteins which are designed to fight against and annul intrusion of all the foreign pathogens. Although viruses are smaller in size and have relatively simple structure, they are not immune to complement attack. Thus, activation of the complement system can lead to neutralization of cell-free viruses, phagocytosis of C3b-coated viral particles, lysis of virus-infected cells, and generation of inflammatory and specific immune responses. However, to combat host responses and succeed as pathogens, viruses not only have developed/adopted mechanisms to control complement, but also have turned these interactions to their own advantage. Important examples include poxviruses, herpesviruses, retroviruses, paramyxoviruses and picornaviruses. In this review, we provide information on the various complement evasion strategies that viruses have developed to thwart the complement attack of the host. A special emphasis is given on the interactions between the viral proteins that are involved in molecular mimicry and the complement system.
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