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Dev Comp Immunol. 2020 Feb;103:103458. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2019.103458. Epub 2019 Aug 1.

Developmental and comparative perspectives on mosquito immunity.

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Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University, 32 Creelman Street, Dorman 402, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA. Electronic address:


Diseases spread by mosquitoes have killed more people than those spread by any other group of arthropod vectors and remain an important factor in determining global health and economic stability. The mosquito innate immune system can act to either modulate infection with human pathogens or fight off entomopathogens and increase the fitness and longevity of infected mosquitoes. While work remains towards understanding the larval immune system and the development of the mosquito immune system, it has recently become clearer that environmental factors heavily shape the developing mosquito immune system and continue to influence the adult immune system as well. The adult immune system has been well-studied and is known to involve multiple tissues and diverse molecular mechanisms. This review summarizes and synthesizes what is currently understood about the development of the mosquito immune system and includes comparisons of immune components unique to mosquitoes among the blood-feeding arthropods as well as important distinguishing factors between the anopheline and culicine mosquitoes. An explanation is included for how mosquito immunity factors into vector competence and vectorial capacity is presented along with a model for the interrelationships between nutrition, microbiome, pathogen interactions and behavior as they relate to mosquito development, immune status, adult female fitness and ultimately, vectorial capacity. Novel discoveries in the fields of mosquito ecoimmunology, neuroimmunology, and intracellular antiviral responses are highlighted.


Ecoimmunology; Immunity; Mosquito; Vectorial capacity


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