Modulation of Host Immunity by the Human Metapneumovirus
Céspedes PF., Palavecino CE., Kalergis AM., Bueno SM.
SUMMARY Globally, as a leading agent of acute respiratory tract infections in children <5 years of age and the elderly, the human metapneumovirus (HMPV) has gained considerable attention. As inferred from studies comparing vaccinated and experimentally infected mice, the acquired immune response elicited by this pathogen fails to efficiently clear the virus from the airways, which leads to an exaggerated inflammatory response and lung damage. Furthermore, after disease resolution, there is a poor development of T and B cell immunological memory, which is believed to promote reinfections and viral spread in the community. In this article, we discuss the molecular mechanisms that shape the interactions of HMPV with host tissues that lead to pulmonary pathology and to the development of adaptive immunity that fails to protect against natural infections by this virus.