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The circadian clock controls several aspects of mammalian physiology and orchestrates the daily oscillations of biological processes and behavior. Our circadian rhythms are driven by an endogenous central clock in the brain that synchronizes with clocks in peripheral tissues, thereby regulating our immune system and the severity of infections. These rhythms affect the pharmacokinetics and efficacy of therapeutic agents and vaccines. The core circadian regulatory circuits and clock-regulated host pathways provide fertile ground to identify novel antiviral therapies. An increased understanding of the role circadian systems play in regulating virus infection and the host response to the virus will inform our clinical management of these diseases. This review provides an overview of the experimental and clinical evidence reporting on the interplay between the circadian clock and viral infections, highlighting the importance of virus-clock research.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of biological rhythms

Publication Date





9 - 22


Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.


Animals, Humans, Viruses, Virus Diseases, Virus Replication, Gene Expression, Circadian Rhythm, Host-Pathogen Interactions, CLOCK Proteins, Circadian Clocks