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Viruses, 31 January 2019
Christopher Maucourant, Caroline Petitdemange, Hans Yssel and Vincent Vieillard
The recent explosive pandemic of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) followed by Zika (ZIKV) virus infections occurring throughout many countries represents the most unexpected arrival of arthropod-borne viral diseases in the past 20 years. Transmitted through the bite of Aedes mosquitoes, the clinical picture associated with these acute arbovirus infections, including Dengue (DENV), CHIKV and ZIKV, ranges from classical febrile illness to life-threatening disease. Whereas ZIKV and CHIKV-mediated infections have previously been recognized as relatively benign diseases, in contrast to Dengue fever, recent epidemic events have brought waves of increased morbidity and mortality leading to a serious public health problem. Although the host immune response plays a crucial role in controlling infections, it may also promote viral spread and immunopathology. Here, we review recent developments in our understanding of the immune response, with an emphasis on the early antiviral immune response mediated by natural killer cells and emphasize their Janus-faced effects in the control of arbovirus infection and pathogenesis. Improving our understanding knowledge on of the mechanisms that control viral infection is crucial in the current race against the globalization of arbovirus epidemics.