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Journal Articles Current Opinion in Immunology Year : 2022

Type I interferons and SARS-CoV-2: from cells to organisms


Type I interferons (IFNs) have broad and potent antiviral activity. We review the interplay between type I IFNs and SARS-CoV-2. Human cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 in vitro produce low levels of type I IFNs, and SARS-CoV-2 proteins can inhibit various steps in type I IFN production and response. Exogenous type I IFNs inhibit viral growth in vitro. In various animal species infected in vivo, type I IFN deficiencies underlie higher viral loads and more severe disease than in control animals. The early administration of exogenous type I IFNs improves infection control. In humans, inborn errors of, and auto-antibodies against type I IFNs underlie life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia. Overall, type I IFNs are essential for host defense against SARS-CoV-2 in individual cells and whole organisms.



Dates and versions

hal-03685760 , version 1 (02-06-2022)





Paul Bastard, Qian Zhang, Shen-Ying Zhang, Emmanuelle Jouanguy, Jean-Laurent Casanova. Type I interferons and SARS-CoV-2: from cells to organisms. Current Opinion in Immunology, 2022, 74, pp.172-182. ⟨10.1016/j.coi.2022.01.003⟩. ⟨hal-03685760⟩
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