Rotaviruses represent one of the most successful pathogens in the world, with high infectivity and efficient transmission between the young of many animal species, including humans. To overcome host defenses, rotaviruses have evolved a plethora of strategies to effectively evade the innate immune response, establish initial infection in the small intestine, produce progeny, and shed into the environment. Previously, studying the roles and relative contributions of specific rotaviral factors in innate immune evasion had been challenging without a plasmid-only reverse genetics system. Although still in its infancy, current reverse genetics technology will help address important research questions regarding rotavirus innate immune evasion, host range restriction, and viral pathogenesis. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about the antiviral host innate immune defense mechanisms, countermeasures of rotavirus-encoded factors, and strategies to better understand these interactions using the rotavirus reverse genetics system.
- innate immunity
- reverse genetic analysis