A resourceful giant: APMV is able to interfere with the human type I interferon system

Lorena C.F. Silva, Gabriel M.F. Almeida, Danilo B. Oliveira, Fábio P. Dornas, Rafael K. Campos, Bernard La Scola, Paulo C.P. Ferreira, Erna G. Kroon, Jônatas S. Abrahão

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV) is a giant, double-stranded virus of the Mimiviridae family that was discovered in 2003. Recent studies have shown that this virus is able to replicate in murine and human phagocytes and might be considered a putative human pathogen that causes pneumonia. However, there is little data regarding APMV and its host defense relationship. In the present study, we investigated how some components of the interferon (IFN) system are stimulated by APMV in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and how APMV replication is affected by IFN treatment. Our results demonstrated that APMV is able to replicate in human PBMCs, inducing type I Interferons (IFNs) but inhibiting interferon stimulated genes (ISG) induction by viroceptor and STAT-1 and STAT-2 dephosphorylation independent mechanisms. We also showed that APMV is resistant to the antiviral action of interferon-alpha2 (IFNA2) but is sensitive to the antiviral action of interferon-beta (IFNB1). Our results demonstrated the productive infection of professional phagocytes with APMV and showed that this virus is recognized by the immune system of vertebrates and inhibits it. It provides the first data regarding APMV and the IFN system interaction and raise new and relevant evolutional questions about the relationship between APMV and vertebrate hosts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Interferon
  • Mimiviridae
  • PBMCs
  • Phagocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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