Evasion mechanisms of the type I interferons responses by influenza A virus

The type I interferons (IFNs) represent the first line of host defense against influenza virus infection, and the precisely control of the type I IFNs responses is a central event of the immune defense against influenza viral infection. Influenza viruses are one of the leading causes of respiratory tract infections in human and are responsible for seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics, leading to a serious threat to global human health due to their antigenic variation and interspecies transmission. Although the host cells have evolved sophisticated antiviral mechanisms based on sensing influenza viral products and triggering of signalling cascades resulting in secretion of the type I IFNs (IFN-α/β), influenza viruses have developed many strategies to counteract this mechanism and circumvent the type I IFNs responses, for example, by inducing host shut-off, or by regulating the polyubiquitination of viral and host proteins. This review will summarise the current knowledge of how the host cells recognise influenza viruses to induce the type I IFNs responses and the strategies that influenza viruses exploited to evade the type I IFNs signalling pathways, which will be helpful for the development of antivirals and vaccines.