Research ArticleInfectious Disease

Human IFNAR2 deficiency: Lessons for antiviral immunity

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Science Translational Medicine  30 Sep 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 307, pp. 307ra154
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aac4227

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Type I interferons in antiviral defense

Type I interferons have been shown in animal models to provide a critical antiviral defense, but supporting data in humans have been lacking. Now, Duncan et al. report the case of a child and a newborn sibling with a homozygous mutation in the high-affinity interferon-α/β receptor (IFNAR2), which prevented cells from responding to IFN-α/β. The previously healthy proband developed fatal encephalitis after exposure to the live attenuated measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. Reconstituting the proband’s cells with IFNAR2 restored control of IFN-attenuated viruses. These data support an essential role for IFN-α/β in antiviral immunity.

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