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The study of N-linked glycosylation as it relates to virus biology has become an area of intense interest in recent years due to its ability to impart various advantages to virus survival and virulence. HIV and influenza, two clear threats to human health, have been shown to rely on expression of specific oligosaccharides to evade detection by the host immune system. Additionally, other viruses such as Hendra, SARS-CoV, influenza, hepatitis and West Nile rely on N-linked glycosylation for crucial functions such as entry into host cells, proteolytic processing and protein trafficking. This review focuses on recent findings on the importance of glycosylation to viral virulence and immune evasion for several prominent human pathogens.