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The two faces of heterologous immunity: protection or immunopathology

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  • The two faces of heterologous immunity: protection or immunopathology

    Sharma S, Thomas PG. The two faces of heterologous immunity: protection or immunopathology. Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 2014;95(3):405-416. doi:10.1189/jlb.0713386. Abstract

    Immunity to previously encountered viruses can alter responses to unrelated pathogens. This phenomenon, which is known as heterologous immunity, has been well established in animal model systems. Heterologous immunity appears to be relatively common and may be beneficial by boosting protective responses. However, heterologous reactivity can also result in severe immunopathology. The key features that define heterologous immune modulation include alterations in the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell compartments and changes in viral dynamics and disease progression. In this review, we discuss recent advances and the current understanding of antiviral immunity in heterologous infections. The difficulties of studying these complex heterologous infections in humans are discussed, with special reference to the variations in HLA haplotypes and uncertainties about individuals' infection history. Despite these limitations, epidemiological analyses in humans and the data from mouse models of coinfection can be applied toward advancing the design of therapeutics and vaccination strategies.

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