Editors' ChoiceImmunology

Flagellin Gives Rotavirus a One-Two Punch

Sci. Signal.  18 Nov 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 352, pp. ec323
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaa2977

Rotavirus causes gastroenteritis, which can be especially severe in infants and young children. The bacterial protein flagellin activates the innate immune system and protects mice against a variety of infectious and inflammatory agents. Zhang et al. now report that flagellin both prevented rotavirus infection in mice and cured mice chronically infected with rotavirus. It did so by activating two distinct innate immune signaling pathways, which led to cells in the infected mice producing the cytokines interleukin 22 and interleukin 18. Similar to flagellin, treating mice with both of these cytokines prevented or cured rotavirus infection.

B. Zhang, B. Chassaing, Z. Shi, R. Uchiyama, Z. Zhang, T. L. Denning, S. E. Crawford, A. J. Pruijssers, J. A. Iskarpatyoti, M. K. Estes, T. S. Dermody, W. Ouyang, I. R. Williams, M. Vijay-Kumar, A. T. Gewirtz, Prevention and cure of rotavirus infection via TLR5/NLRC4–mediated production of IL-22 and IL-18. Science 346, 861–865 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]