In 2009, Hofmann and Medzhitov shared the Rosenstiel award for distinguished work in basic medical science. In 2009, Hofmann and Medzhitov shared the Rosenstiel award for distinguished work in basic medical science. In 2010, Hoffmann and Akira shared the Keio medical science prize for the discovery of the insect innate immune system and the Toll receptor, and for the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of innate immune response to microorganisms, respectively. In 2011, Medzhitov, Hoffmann and Beutler were awarded the Shaw Prize in life science and medicine for their discovery of the molecular mechanism of the initiation of innate immunity, which is the first line of defence against pathogens. In 2011, Hoffmann and Akira shared the Canada Gairdner international award, and In 2011, Hoffmann, Beutler and Steinman were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology.
Viruses are unable to reproduce in the absence of a host cell, so their evolution is inexorably linked to the fate of their host. Viruses are unable to reproduce in the absence of a host cell, so their evolution is inexorably linked to the fate of their host. Influenza viruses have been among the most common causes of mortality throughout history, which highlights their successful evolution. Intriguingly, studies of the pattern of CpG dinucleotides in the genomes of influenza A viruses since the flu pandemic in 1918 indicate that when an influenza virus crosses from birds to humans, the virus evolves to reduce its CpG content, thus mimicking the lower CpG content of human genes compared with avian genes141,142. Consistently, influenza B virus, which has been infecting humans for longer than influenza A virus, has evolved to contain extremely low levels of CpG141. Greenbaum and colleagues141 favoured the interesting hypothesis that host gene mimicry may reflect a mechanism through which viruses avoid detection by innate immune receptors. It has been speculated that still-unidentified intracellular receptors may be able to sense unmethylated CpGs of RNA viruses. This has proven to be the case for DNA viruses, wherein unmethylated CpG DNA of the virus can be detected by Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9)143. Interestingly, the 1918 H1N1 influenza strain had a much higher CpG content than other human-adapted influenza strains, and this might have triggered an exceptionally strong, aberrant immune response, known as a cytokine storm, in H1N1 infected patients144, killing up to 50 million people worldwide. Deaths from the SARS epidemic in 2003