Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Current Opinion in Virology 16 (2016), pp. 8–14 (issue on viral immunology, edited by Allan J Zajac and Liisa K Selin); doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2015.10.004


Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Used by permission.


Enteroviruses are small, non-enveloped, positive-sense singlestrand RNA viruses, and are ubiquitously found throughout the world. These viruses usually cause asymptomatic or mild febrile illnesses, but have a propensity to induce severe diseases including type 1 diabetes and pancreatitis, paralysis and neuroinflammatory disease, myocarditis, or hepatitis. This pathogenicity may result from induction of autoimmunity to organ-specific antigens. While enterovirus-triggered autoimmunity can arise from multiple mechanisms including antigenic mimicry and release of sequestered antigens, the recent demonstration of T cells expressing dual T cell receptors arising as a natural consequence of Theiler’s virus infection is the first demonstration of this autoimmune mechanism.