Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Drexel University College of Medicine, 3805 Old Easton Road, Doylestown, PA 18902, USA.
Pattern recognition receptor (PRR)-mediated innate immune responses play an essential role in defending the host from viral infections. Intriguingly, hepatitis B virus (HBV) has been shown to induce negligible innate immune responses during the early phase of infection. Whether this is due to the failure of the virus to activate PRRs or suppression of PRR signaling pathways by the virus remains controversial. However, a plethora of evidence suggests that HBV is sensitive to PRR ligand-induced antiviral responses. This review summarizes current understanding of the interaction between HBV and PRR-mediated host innate immunity, antiviral mechanisms of PRR responses against HBV and strategies to combat chronic HBV infection via induction of host innate antiviral responses.