Effects of Allergic Sensitization on Antiviral Immunity: Allergen, Virus, and Host Cell Mechanisms

Allergies and the Environment (M Hernandez, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Allergies and the Environment


Purpose of Review

Multiple clinical and epidemiological studies demonstrate links between allergic sensitization and virus-induced atopic disease exacerbations. This review summarizes the recent findings regarding allergen, viral, and host cellular mechanisms relevant to these observations.

Recent Findings

Recent studies have focused on the molecular pathways and genetic influences involved in allergen-mediated inhibition of innate antiviral immune responses. Multiple tissue and cell types from atopic individuals across the atopy spectrum exhibit deficient interferon responses to a variety of virus infections. Impairment in barrier function, viral RNA and DNA recognition by intracellular sensing molecules, and dysregulation of signaling components are broadly affected by allergic sensitization. Finally, genetic predisposition by numerous nucleotide polymorphisms also impacts immune pathways and potentially contributes to virus-associated atopic disease pathogenesis.


Allergen-virus interactions in the setting of atopy involve complex tissue and cellular mechanisms. Future studies defining the pathways underlying these interactions could uncover potential therapeutic targets. Available data suggest that therapies tailored to restore specific components of antiviral responses will likely lead to improved clinical outcomes in allergic disease.


Atopy Viral infection Allergic sensitization Allergic asthma Atopic dermatitis Antiviral response 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA
  2. 2.Department of ImmunologyUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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