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Journal Article

Helminth Infection Reactivates Latent γ-herpesvirus Via Cytokine Competition at a Viral Promoter


Pearce,  Edward J.
Department Immunometabolism, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Reese, T., Wakeman, B., Choi, H., Hufford, M., Huang, S., Zhang, X., et al. (2014). Helminth Infection Reactivates Latent γ-herpesvirus Via Cytokine Competition at a Viral Promoter. Science, 345, 573-577. doi:10.1126/science.1254517.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-B884-5
Mammals are co-infected by multiple pathogens that interact through unknown mechanisms. We found that helminth infection, characterized by the induction of the cytokine interleukin-4 (IL-4) and the activation of the transcription factor Stat6, reactivated murine gammaherpesvirus infection in vivo. IL-4 promoted viral replication and blocked the antiviral effects of interferon-γ (IFNγ) by inducing Stat6 binding to the promoter for an important viral transcriptional transactivator. IL-4 also reactivated human Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus from latency in cultured cells. Exogenous IL-4 plus blockade of IFNγ reactivated latent murine gammaherpesvirus infection in vivo, suggesting a ‘two-signal’ model for viral reactivation. Thus chronic herpesvirus infection, a component of the mammalian virome, is regulated by the counterpoised actions of multiple cytokines on viral promoters that have evolved to sense host immune status.