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The disruption of antioxidant defense has been demonstrated in severe acute respiratory syndrome due to SARS-CoV infection. Selenium plays a major role in decreasing the ROS produced in response to various viral infections. Selenoprotein enzymes are essential in combating oxidative stress caused due to excessive generation of ROS. Selenium also has a role in inhibiting the activation of NF-κB, thus alleviating inflammation. In viral infections, selenoproteins have also been found to inhibit type I interferon responses, modulate T cell proliferation and oxidative burst in macrophages, and inhibit viral transcriptional activators. Potential virally encoded selenoproteins have been identified by computational analysis in different viral genomes like HIV-1, Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), and hepatitis C virus. This review discusses the role and the possible mechanisms of selenium, selenoproteins, and virally encoded selenoproteins in the pathogenicity of viral infections. Identification of potential selenoproteins in the COVID 19 genome by computational tools will give insights further into their role in the pathogenesis of viral infections.
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