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

The diversity of insect antiviral immunity: insights from viruses.

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Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, CEP 31270-901, Brazil; CNRS UPR9022, IBMC, Strasbourg, France. Electronic address:
CNRS UPR9022, IBMC, Strasbourg, France; Faculté des Sciences de la Vie, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France. Electronic address:


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.

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