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SARS-CoV-2 is a recently identified coronavirus accountable for the current pandemic disease known as COVID-19. Different patterns of disease progression infer a diverse host immune response, with interferon (IFN) being pivotal. IFN-I and III are produced and released by virus-infected cells during the interplay with SARS-CoV-2, thus establishing an antiviral state in target cells. However, the efficacy of IFN and its role in the possible outcomes of the disease are not yet defined, as it is influenced both by factors inherent to the virus and to the host. The virus exhibits multiple strategies to counteract the innate immune response, including those shared by SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV and other novel ones. Inborn errors in the host may affect IFN-related effector proteins or decrease its levels in plasma upon neutralization by preexistent autoantibodies. This battle between the IFN response triggered upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, its magnitude and timing, and the efficacy of its antiviral tools in dispute against the viral evasion strategies together with the genetic factors of the host, generate a scenario whose fate contributes to defining the severity of COVID-19. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Jorge Quarleri, M Victoria Delpino. Type I and III IFN-mediated antiviral actions counteracted by SARS-CoV-2 proteins and host inherited factors. Cytokine & growth factor reviews. 2021 Apr;58:55-65

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PMID: 33608189

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