The immune response of Drosophila melanogaster

Immunol Rev. 2004 Apr;198:59-71. doi: 10.1111/j.0105-2896.2004.0130.x.


The response of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to various microorganism infections relies on a multilayered defense. The epithelia constitute a first and efficient barrier. Innate immunity is activated when microorganisms succeed in entering the body cavity of the fly. Invading microorganisms are killed by the combined action of cellular and humoral processes. They are phagocytosed by specialized blood cells, surrounded by toxic melanin, or lysed by antibacterial peptides secreted into the hemolymph by fat body cells. During the last few years, research has focused on the mechanisms of microbial recognition by various pattern recognition receptors and of the subsequent induction of antimicrobial peptide expression. The cellular arm of the Drosophila innate immune system, which was somehow neglected, now constitutes the new frontier.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / immunology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / microbiology
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Models, Immunological
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Toll-Like Receptors


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Tl protein, Drosophila
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • imd protein, Drosophila