Caister Academic Press

CIMB Abstract

Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. (2020) 34: 31-60.
https://doi.org/10.21775/cimb.034.031

Sensing Viral Infections in Insects: A Dearth of Pathway Receptors

Loïc Talide and Jean-Luc Imler and Carine Meignin

Insects, the most diverse group of animals, can be infected by an extraordinary diversity of viruses. Among them, arthropod-borne viruses can be transmitted to humans, while bee and silkworm viruses cause important economic losses. Like all invertebrates, insects rely solely on innate immunity to counter viral infections. Protein-based mechanisms, involving restriction factors and evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways regulating transcription factors of the NF-kB and STAT families, participate in the control of viral infections in insects. In addition, RNA-based responses play a major role in the silencing of viral RNAs. We review here our current state of knowledge on insect antiviral defense mechanisms, which include conserved as well as adaptive, insect-specific strategies. Identification of the innate immunity receptors that sense viral infection in insects remains a major challenge for the field.

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