SangJoon Lee1, Rudragouda Channappanavar2,3, Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti1,*
1Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, 38105, USA
2Department of Microbiology, Immunology, & Biochemistry, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, TN, 38163, USA
3Department of Acute and Tertiary Care, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, TN, 38163, USA
The innate immune system acts as the first line of defense against pathogens, including coronaviruses. SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV are epidemic zoonotic coronaviruses that emerged at the beginning of the 21st century. The recently emerged virus SARS-CoV-2 is a novel strain of coronavirus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientific advancements made by studying the SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV outbreaks have provided a foundation for understanding pathogenesis and innate immunity against SARS-CoV-2. In this review, we focus on our present understanding of innate immune responses, inflammasome activation, inflammatory cell death pathways, and cytokine secretion during SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 infection. We also discuss how the pathogenesis of these viruses influences these biological processes.