Type I interferons (IFN-I) were first described over 50 years ago as factors produced by cells that interfere with virus replication and promote an antiviral state. Innate and adaptive immune responses to viruses are also greatly influenced by IFN-I. In this article we discuss the diversity of cellular sources of IFN-I and the pathways leading to IFN-I production during viral infections. Finally, we discuss the effects of IFN-I on cells of the immune system with emphasis on dendritic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-475
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Opinion in Virology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011


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