Coxsackievirus infections are associated with severe diseases such as myocarditis, meningitis and pancreatitis. To study the contribution of the intracellular viral sensor melanoma differentiation-associated protein-5 (MDA-5) in the host immune response to Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) we infected C57BL/6 and 129/SvJ mice lacking mda-5. Mice deficient in MDA-5 showed a dramatically increased susceptibility to CVB3 infection. The loss of MDA-5 allowed the virus to replicate faster, resulting in increased liver and pancreas damage and heightened mortality. MDA-5 was not absolutely required for the induction of type 1 interferons (IFNs), but essential for the production of maximal levels of systemic IFN-α early after infection. Taken together, our findings indicate that MDA-5 plays an important role in the host immune response to CVB3 by preventing early virus replication and limiting tissue pathology.
- Innate immunity
- Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-5