Antiviral immunity in amphibians

Viruses. 2011 Nov;3(11):2065-86. doi: 10.3390/v3112065. Epub 2011 Oct 31.


Although a variety of virus species can infect amphibians, diseases caused by ranaviruses ([RVs]; Iridoviridae) have become prominent, and are a major concern for biodiversity, agriculture and international trade. The relatively recent and rapid increase in prevalence of RV infections, the wide range of host species infected by RVs, the variability in host resistance among population of the same species and among different developmental stages, all suggest an important involvement of the amphibian immune system. Nevertheless, the roles of the immune system in the etiology of viral diseases in amphibians are still poorly investigated. We review here the current knowledge of antiviral immunity in amphibians, focusing on model species such as the frog Xenopus and the salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), and on recent progress in generating tools to better understand how host immune defenses control RV infections, pathogenicity, and transmission.

Keywords: amphibian; iridovirus; viral infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amphibian Proteins / genetics
  • Amphibian Proteins / immunology
  • Amphibians / genetics
  • Amphibians / immunology*
  • Amphibians / virology*
  • Animals
  • DNA Virus Infections / veterinary*
  • DNA Virus Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Ranavirus / immunology*
  • Ranavirus / physiology
  • Urodela / genetics
  • Urodela / immunology
  • Urodela / virology
  • Xenopus laevis / genetics
  • Xenopus laevis / immunology
  • Xenopus laevis / virology


  • Amphibian Proteins