Influenza viruses are globally important human respiratory pathogens. These viruses cause seasonal epidemics and occasional worldwide pandemics, both of which can vary significantly in disease severity. The virulence of a particular influenza virus strain is partly determined by its success in circumventing the host immune response. This article briefly reviews the innate mechanisms that host cells have evolved to resist virus infection, and outlines the plethora of strategies that influenza viruses have developed in order to counteract such powerful defences. The molecular details of this virus-host interplay are summarized, and the ways in which research in this area is being applied to the rational design of protective vaccines and novel antivirals are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-41
Number of pages19
JournalFuture Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Antivirals
  • Cell signaling
  • Influenza virus
  • Interferon NS1
  • Pandemic
  • Vaccines


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