Viral Control

Science Signaling  15 Nov 2011:
Vol. 4, Issue 199, pp. ec321
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.4199ec321

Chronic viral infections, like the human immunodeficiency virus and the hepatitis C virus, result in altered immune responses that help to keep the infection under control and limit virus-related pathology. Harker et al. now show that the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) is required for resolving a chronic viral infection in mice. Surprisingly, IL-6 was not required during the acute stages of viral infection, but it was required once a chronic infection was established.

J. A. Harker, G. M. Lewis, L. Mack, E. I. Zuniga, Late interleukin-6 escalates T follicular helper cell responses and controls a chronic viral infection. Science 334, 825–829 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]