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Defense Mechanisms against Viral Infection in Drosophila: RNAi and Non-RNAi

Institute of Biosciences & Applications, NCSR “Demokritos”, 15341 Athens, Greece
School of Life Sciences, Guangzhou University, 510006 Guangzhou, China
Department of Plants and Crops, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2018, 10(5), 230;
Received: 11 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antiviral Defense in Invertebrates)
RNAi is considered a major antiviral defense mechanism in insects, but its relative importance as compared to other antiviral pathways has not been evaluated comprehensively. Here, it is attempted to give an overview of the antiviral defense mechanisms in Drosophila that involve both RNAi and non-RNAi. While RNAi is considered important in most viral infections, many other pathways can exist that confer antiviral resistance. It is noted that very few direct recognition mechanisms of virus infections have been identified in Drosophila and that the activation of immune pathways may be accomplished indirectly through cell damage incurred by viral replication. In several cases, protection against viral infection can be obtained in RNAi mutants by non-RNAi mechanisms, confirming the variability of the RNAi defense mechanism according to the type of infection and the physiological status of the host. This analysis is aimed at more systematically investigating the relative contribution of RNAi in the antiviral response and more specifically, to ask whether RNAi efficiency is affected when other defense mechanisms predominate. While Drosophila can function as a useful model, this issue may be more critical for economically important insects that are either controlled (agricultural pests and vectors of diseases) or protected from parasite infection (beneficial insects as bees) by RNAi products. View Full-Text
Keywords: insect; RNAi; non-RNAi; defense systems; antiviral; insect pest control insect; RNAi; non-RNAi; defense systems; antiviral; insect pest control
MDPI and ACS Style

Swevers, L.; Liu, J.; Smagghe, G. Defense Mechanisms against Viral Infection in Drosophila: RNAi and Non-RNAi. Viruses 2018, 10, 230.

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