After a virus infects an animal, antiviral responses are generated that attempt to prevent dissemination. Interferons, antibody, complement, T and natural killer cells all contribute to the control and eradication of viral infections. Most flaviviruses, with the exception of some of the encephalitic viruses, cause acute disease and do not establish persistent infection. The outcome of flavivirus infection in an animal is determined by a balance between the speed of viral replication and spread, and the immune system response. Although many of the mechanistic details require further elucidation, flaviviruses have evolved specific tactics to evade the innate and adaptive immune response. A more thorough understanding of these principles could lead to improved models for viral pathogenesis and to strategies for the development of novel antiviral agents.
- Immune response
- RNA virus