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Summary

Host organisms have developed sophisticated antiviral responses in order to defeat emerging influenza A viruses (IAVs). At the same time IAVs have evolved immune evasion strategies. The immune system of mammals provides several lines of defence to neutralize invading pathogens or limit their replication. Here, we summarize the mammalian innate and adaptive immune mechanisms involved in host defence against viral infection and review strategies by which IAVs avoid, circumvent or subvert these mechanisms. We highlight well-characterized, as well as recently described features of this intriguing virus-host molecular battle.