Biology (Aug 2021)

Type I Interferons in COVID-19 Pathogenesis

  • Enrico Palermo,
  • Daniele Di Carlo,
  • Marco Sgarbanti,
  • John Hiscott

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 9
p. 829


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Among the many activities attributed to the type I interferon (IFN) multigene family, their roles as mediators of the antiviral immune response have emerged as important components of the host response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Viruses likewise have evolved multiple immune evasion strategies to circumvent the host immune response and promote virus propagation and dissemination. Therefore, a thorough characterization of host–virus interactions is essential to understand SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. Here, we summarize the virus-mediated evasion of the IFN responses and the viral functions involved, the genetic basis of IFN production in SARS-CoV-2 infection and the progress of clinical trials designed to utilize type I IFN as a potential therapeutic tool.