Heterologous immunity: Immunopathology, autoimmunity and protection during viral infections

Liisa K. Selin, Myriam F. Wlodarczyk, Anke R. Kraft, Siwei Nie, Laurie L. Kenney, Roberto Puzone, Franco Celada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heterologous immunity is a common phenomenon present in all infections. Most of the time it is beneficial, mediating protective immunity, but in some individuals that have the wrong crossreactive response it leads to a cascade of events that result in severe immunopathology. Infections have been associated with autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and lupus erythematosis, but also with unusual autoimmune like pathologies where the immune system appears dysregulated, such as, sarcoidosis, colitis, panniculitis, bronchiolitis obliterans, infectious mononucleosis and even chronic fatigue syndrome. Here we review the evidence that to better understand these autoreactive pathologies it requires an evaluation of how T cells are regulated and evolve during sequential infections with different pathogens under the influence of heterologous immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-347
Number of pages20
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • autoimmunity
  • Heterologous immunity
  • immune modeling
  • T-cell cross-reactivity
  • viruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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