The innate immune system is an evolutionarily ancient form of host defense found in most multicellular organisms. Inducible responses of the innate immune system are triggered upon pathogen recognition by a set of pattern recognition receptors. These receptors recognize conserved molecular patterns shared by large groups of microorganisms. Recognition of these patterns allows the innate immune system not only to detect the presence of an infectious microbe, but also to determine the type of the infecting pathogen. Pattern recognition receptors activate conserved host defense signaling pathways that control the expression of a variety of immune response genes.