The diversity of insect antiviral immunity: insights from viruses

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2016 Aug;32:71-76. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2016.05.002. Epub 2016 May 24.


Insects represent over 70% of all animal species. Recent virome analyses reveal unprecedented genetic diversity of insect viruses, which appears to match that of their hosts. Thus, insect-virus interactions may provide information on a vast repertoire of antiviral immune mechanisms. Tapping into this diversity is challenging because of several constraints imposed by the uniqueness of each insect model. Nevertheless, it is clear that many conserved and divergent pathways participate in the control of viral infection in insects. Co-evolution between hosts and viruses favors the development of immune evasion mechanisms by the pathogen. Viral suppressors can offer unique perspective on host pathways and emphasize the importance of RNA interference, apoptosis, but also NF-κB pathways and translation control in insect antiviral immunity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dicistroviridae / immunology
  • Dicistroviridae / pathogenicity*
  • Drosophila / immunology*
  • Drosophila / virology*
  • Hemocytes / virology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology*
  • Immune Evasion
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*

Supplementary concepts

  • Cricket paralysis virus
  • Drosophila C virus