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Recent insights into the role of Toll-like receptors in viral infection.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have a central role in innate immunity as they detect conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) on a range of microbes, including viruses, leading to innate immune activation and orchestration of the adaptive immune response. To date, a large number of viruses have been shown to trigger innate immunity via TLRs, suggesting that these receptors are likely to be important in the outcome to viral infection. This suggestion is supported by the observation that many viruses have evolved mechanisms not only to evade the innate immune system, but also to subvert it for the benefit of the virus. In this review we will discuss earlier evidence, mainly from knock-out mice studies, implicating TLRs in the innate immune response to viruses, in light of more recent clinical data demonstrating that TLRs are important for anti-viral immunity in humans.