Poxviruses pp 273-296 | Cite as

Immunomodulation by poxviruses

  • Steven H. Nazarian
  • Grant McFadden
Part of the Birkhäuser Advances in Infectious Diseases book series (BAID)


Large DNA viruses, such as poxviruses, encode an array of gene products, both secreted and intracellular, that systematically debilitate the various host responses to virus infection. The primary targets of the secreted gene products are members of the inflammatory innate immune system, such as the interferons, tumor necrosis factors, diverse interleukins, complement and the chemokine pathways. Poxvirus-infected cells also maintain a low profile to escape the cell-mediated arm of the adaptive immune response. Virulence factors that mediate this ‘virostealth’ are generally expressed intracellularly and interfere with host signaling processes or antigen presentation. Poxviruses also interfere with the cellular apoptotic response by regulating several key checkpoints within the cell. While many poxvirus virulence factors exhibit some sequence relationship with host proteins, suggesting that these genes may have been acquired from an ancestral host, others show no obvious similarity to any known host genes. Due to the intimate nature of the coevolution with their hosts, poxviral immunomodulators have proved useful in examining diverse aspects of immunology, virology and cell biology.


Vaccinia Virus Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Myxoma Virus Lumpy Skin Disease Virus Cowpox Virus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven H. Nazarian
    • 1
  • Grant McFadden
    • 1
  1. 1.Robarts Research Institute and, Department of Microbiology and ImmunologySchulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, The University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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