Infection with herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) is extremely frequent in the human population, as well as recurrent reactivations due to lifelong infection. Infection and persistence of HSVs within healthy individuals likely results as a consequence of numerous molecular determinants evolved by these pathogens to escape both immediate and long-term host antiviral mechanisms. Indeed, HSVs harbor an arsenal of proteins that confer them stealth by negatively modulating immune function. Consequently, these viruses perpetuate within the host, altogether silently shedding onto other individuals. In this chapter, we discuss HSV determinants that interfere with cellular antiviral factors, as well as viral determinants that hamper innate and adaptive immune components intended to control such microbes. The identification of HSV evasion molecules that modulate the immune system, as well as the understanding of their mechanisms of action, should facilitate the design of novel prophylactic and therapeutic strategies to overcome infection and disease elicited by these viruses. This chapter is intended to provide an overview of the evasion mechanisms evolved by herpes simplex viruses to escape numerous host antiviral mediators.
Part of the book: Herpesviridae