Pan-viral protection against arboviruses by activating skin macrophages at the inoculation site

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Science Translational Medicine  22 Jan 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 527, eaax2421
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aax2421

Taking the bite out of vector-borne infections

Arthropods are the most abundant animals on Earth and can transmit a variety of diseases such as dengue or West Nile virus to humans. To broadly combat these infections, Bryden et al. investigated whether the immune reaction at the site of mosquito bites could be manipulated to restrict viral dissemination. They observed that local TLR7 activation shortly after infection dampened replication of a model alphavirus in mice. This held true for clinically relevant arboviruses and also in human skin explants. The viral restriction was due to activation of skin macrophages and heightened type I interferon production. Topical TLR7 activation after mosquito bites could be a broad-acting approach to abrogate arboviruses.

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