Under continual attack from both microbial pathogens and multicellular parasites, insects must cope with immune challenges every day of their lives. However, this has not prevented them from becoming the most successful group of animals on the planet. Insects possess highly-developed innate immune systems which have been fine-tuned by an arms race with pathogens spanning hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary history. Recent discoveries are revealing both an unexpected degree of specificity and an indication of immunological memory - the functional hallmark of vertebrate immunity.
The study of insect immune systems has accelerated rapidly in recent years and is now becoming an important interdisciplinary field. Furthermore, insects are a phenomenally rich and diverse source of antimicrobial chemicals. Some of these are already being seriously considered as potential therapeutic agents to control microbes such as MRSA. Despite a burgeoning interest in the field, this is the first book to provide a coherent synthesis and is clearly structured around three broadly themed sections: mechanisms, interactions, and evolutionary ecology. This novel text adopts a truly interdisciplinary and concept-driven approach, integrating insights from immunology, molecular biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, parasitology, and epidemiology. It features contributions from an international team of leading experts who also describe the latest molecular immunological techniques.
For those of us in the field, the timing of this work is perfect...This text propels the field into the next phase of integrative and comparative research. Myrmecological News
1. Introducing Insect Infection and Immunity; A. IMMUNE MECHANISMS AND INTEGRATION; 2. Recognition and Response to Microbial Infection of Drosophila; 3. Roles of Hemolymph Proteins in Antimicrobial Defences of Manduca sexta; 4. Drosophila as a Model for Studying Antiviral Defenses; 5. Specificity of the Innate Immune System: A Closer Look at the Mosquito Pattern Recognition Receptor Repertoire; 6. Comparative Genomics of Insect Immunity; 7. Physiological Integration of Innate Immunity; B. IMMUNE INTERACTIONS AND EVOLUTION; 8. The Inherited Microbiota of Arthropods, and their Importance in Understanding Resistance and Immunity; 9. Insect Viruses, Parasitoids and their Interactions with the Insect Immune System: Polydnaviruses as Tools to Deliver Wasp Virulence Factors to Impair Lepidopteran Host Immunity; 10. Immune Responses and the Evolution of Resistance; 11. The Impact of Physiological State on Immune Function in Insects; 12. Costs and Genomic Aspects of Drosophila Immunity to Parasites and Pathogens; 13. Population Genetics of Insect Immune Responses; 14. Ecological and Evolutionary Implications of Specific Immune Responses; 15. Reproductive Immunity; Index
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