Differential immune responses to hemorrhagic Fever-Causing arenaviruses

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4 Scopus citations


The family Arenaviridae contains several pathogens of major clinical importance. The Old World (OW) arenavirus Lassa virus is endemic in West Africa and is estimated to cause up to 300,000 infections each year. The New World (NW) arenaviruses Junín and Machupo periodically cause hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in South America. While these arenaviruses are highly pathogenic in humans, recent evidence indicates that pathogenic OW and NW arenaviruses interact with the host immune system differently, which may have differential impacts on viral pathogenesis. Severe Lassa fever cases are characterized by profound immunosuppression. In contrast, pathogenic NW arenavirus infections are accompanied by elevated levels of Type I interferon and pro-inflammatory cytokines. This review aims to summarize recent findings about interactions of these pathogenic arenaviruses with the innate immune machinery and the subsequent effects on adaptive immunity, which may inform the development of vaccines and therapeutics against arenavirus infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number138
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Arenavirus
  • Hemorrhagic fever
  • Immunity
  • Innate sensing
  • Interferon
  • Junín virus
  • Lassa virus
  • Machupo virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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