Invertebrate immunity and the limits of mechanistic immunology

Nat Immunol. 2005 Jul;6(7):651-4. doi: 10.1038/ni1219.


Rapid progress is being made in elucidating the molecular mechanisms involved in invertebrate immunity. This search for molecules runs the risk of missing important phenomena. In vertebrates, acquired protection and pathogen-specific responses were demonstrated experimentally long before the mechanisms responsible were elucidated. Without analogous experiments, mechanism-driven work may not demonstrate the full richness of invertebrate immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genetic Variation / immunology
  • Host-Parasite Interactions / immunology
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Immunologic Memory / immunology*
  • Invertebrates / genetics
  • Invertebrates / immunology*