Antiviral immunity in marine molluscs

Timothy Green, D Raftos, Peter Speck, C Montagnani

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    53 Citations (Scopus)


    Marine molluscs, like all living organisms, are constantly exposed to viruses and have evolved efficient antiviral defences. We review here recent developments in molluscan antiviral immunity against viruses belonging to the order Herpesvirales. Emerging results suggest an interferon-like response and autophagy are involved in the antiviral defence of bivalves to viral infection. Multifunctional plasma proteins from gastropods and bivalves have been identified to have broadspectrum antiviral activity against mammalian viruses. The antiviral defences present in molluscs can be enhanced by genetic selection, as shown by the presence of oyster strains specifically resistant to ostreid herpesvirus type 1. Whether varying amounts or different isoforms of these antiviral plasma proteins contributes to genetic resistance is worthy of further research. Other evolutionarily conserved antiviral mechanisms, such as RNA interference and apoptosis, still need further characterization.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2471-2482
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of General Virology
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


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