Bug Versus Bug: Humoral Immune Responses in Drosophila melanogaster

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter


Drosophila melanogaster; Immunity, Innate; Toll-Like Receptors; Drosophila Proteins


Immunology and Infectious Disease


Insects mount a robust innate immune response against a wide array of microbial pathogens. For example, the fruit fly Drosphila melanogaster uses both cellular and humoral innate immune responses to combat pathogens. The hallmark of the Drosophila humoral immune response is the rapid induction of antimicrobial peptide genes in the fat body, the homolog of the mammalian liver. Expression of these antimicrobial peptide genes is rapidly induced by two immune signaling pathways, which respond to distinct microorganisms. The Toll pathway is activated by fungal and Gram-positive bacterial infections, whereas the IMD pathway responds to Gram-negative bacteria. In this chapter, we discuss recent advances in understanding the mechanisms involved in microbial recogni-tion, signal transduction, and immune protection mediated by these pathways, highlighting similarities and differences between Drosophila immune responses and mammalian innate immunity.

DOI of Published Version



In Holger Heine, Ed. Innate Immunity of Plants, Animals, and Humans. In series: Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology, Vol. 21, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, December 2007. ISBN 978-3-540-73929-6 (Print) 978-3-540-73930-2 (Online). Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Infectious Diseases and Immunology Publications