Insect immunity: Evolutionary roots of the mammalian innate immune system

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The innate immune system of vertebrates was considered as a survival of ancient antimicrobial systems that have become obsolescent by the emergence of adaptive immunity. Despite the fact that innate immunity lacks the elegance of genetic recombination mechanism to produce trillions of specific clones of immune cells and shows no memory, that view is out of date. Today, the innate immune system is rather regarded to be essential to the function of adaptive immunity by dictating the conduct of the acquired immune response [1] with the help of cytokines, complement, lectin receptors, antigen- reactive T-lymphocytes and B7.1, B7.2 proteins on B cells [2]. This review focuses on recent studies of insect immunology and summarises the currently known similarities between the innate immune system in insects and in vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalImmunology letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998



  • Evolutionary roots
  • Insect immunity
  • Mammalian innate immune system
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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