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Adv Immunol. 2001;79:225-59.

Regulation of antibacterial and antifungal innate immunity in fruitflies and humans.

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Umeå Centre for Molecular Pathogenesis, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden.


Insects have been very successful in adapting to their environment, and the ability of the insect immune system to detect and elicit the appropriate response against various invading pathogens has helped in this success. Unlike the vertebrate immune system, which consists of both innate and adaptive components, insect immunity probably consists entirely of an innate immune response, as no evidence of an adaptive response has been found. The innate immune response is described as either a reaction against "lack of self," or the interaction between host germline-encoded receptors and molecules unique to a particular class of invading organisms. Once the invading organism is recognized, the host immune response can be activated via signaling pathways that lead to the appropriate reaction. This review endeavors to put forth how through genetic, molecular, and biochemical studies of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, as well as other insects, it is now understood that aspects of the insect and vertebrate innate immune system are very similar.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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