The Drosophila systemic immune response: sensing and signalling during bacterial and fungal infections

Nat Rev Immunol. 2007 Nov;7(11):862-74. doi: 10.1038/nri2194.


A hallmark of the potent, multifaceted antimicrobial defence of Drosophila melanogaster is the challenge-induced synthesis of several families of antimicrobial peptides by cells in the fat body. The basic mechanisms of recognition of various types of microbial infections by the adult fly are now understood, often in great detail. We have further gained valuable insight into the infection-induced gene reprogramming by nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) family members under the dependence of complex intracellular signalling cascades. The striking parallels between the adult fly response and mammalian innate immune defences described below point to a common ancestry and validate the relevance of the fly defence as a paradigm for innate immunity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / immunology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / microbiology
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Mycoses / immunology*
  • Mycoses / microbiology
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*