It has been known for some time that retroviruses can disseminate between immune cells either by conventional cell-free transmission or by directed cell-to-cell spread. Over the past few years there has been increasing interest in how retroviruses may use cell-to-cell spread to promote more rapid infection kinetics and circumvent humoral immunity. Effective humoral immune responses are intimately linked with innate immunity and the interplay between retroviruses and innate immunity is a rapidly expanding area of research that has been advanced considerably by the identification of cellular restriction factors that provide barriers to retroviral infection. The effect of innate immunity and restriction factors on retroviral cell-to-cell spread has been comparatively little studied; however recent work suggests this maybe changing. Here I will review some recent advances in what is a budding area of retroviral research
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