Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) subverts the antiviral interferon (IFN) response, but the mechanism for this evasion was unclear. Here we show that RSV preferentially inhibits IFN-α/β signaling by expression of viral NS1 and NS2. Thus, RSV infection or expression of recombinant NS1 and NS2 in epithelial host cells causes a marked decrease in Stat2 levels and the consequent downstream IFN-α/β response. Similarly, NS1/NS2-deficient RSV no longer decreases Stat2 levels or IFN responsiveness. RSV infection decreased human but not mouse Stat2 levels, so this mechanism of IFN antagonism may contribute to viral host range, as well as immune subversion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9315-9319
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2005


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