The immune response of Drosophila

Nature. 2003 Nov 6;426(6962):33-8. doi: 10.1038/nature02021.


Drosophila mounts a potent host defence when challenged by various microorganisms. Analysis of this defence by molecular genetics has now provided a global picture of the mechanisms by which this insect senses infection, discriminates between various classes of microorganisms and induces the production of effector molecules, among which antimicrobial peptides are prominent. An unexpected result of these studies was the discovery that most of the genes involved in the Drosophila host defence are homologous or very similar to genes implicated in mammalian innate immune defences. Recent progress in research on Drosophila immune defence provides evidence for similarities and differences between Drosophila immune responses and mammalian innate immunity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / immunology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / microbiology
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Toll-Like Receptor 5
  • Toll-Like Receptors


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Tl protein, Drosophila
  • Toll-Like Receptor 5
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • imd protein, Drosophila
  • tehao protein, Drosophila