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Int Rev Immunol. 2003 Sep-Dec;22(5-6):401-24.

Insect defenses against virus infection: the role of apoptosis.

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Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Program, Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.


Insects, with their lack of an adaptive immune response, provide a unique animal model to examine the effects of apoptosis on viral infection. Several members of the baculovirus family of insect viruses have been shown to induce apoptosis during infection of cultured insect cells, and depending on the virus-host combination this apoptotic response can severely limit viral replication. In response to this evolutionary pressure, all baculoviruses studied to date carry antiapoptotic genes, including members of the p35 and IAP (inhibitor of apoptosis) gene families. Recent work has characterized the apoptotic response during infection of the host insect, and the results directly demonstrate the power of apoptosis as an antiviral response.

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