Antiviral defense and innate immune memory in the oyster

Timothy J. Green*, Peter Speck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, is becoming a valuable model for investigating antiviral defense in the Lophotrochozoa superphylum. In the past five years, improvements to laboratory-based experimental infection protocols using Ostreid herpesvirus I (OsHV-1) from naturally infected C. gigas combined with next-generation sequencing techniques has revealed that oysters have a complex antiviral response involving the activation of all major innate immune pathways. Experimental evidence indicates C. gigas utilizes an interferon-like response to limit OsHV-1 replication and spread. Oysters injected with a viral mimic (polyI:C) develop resistance to OsHV-1. Improved survival following polyI:C injection was found later in life (within-generational immune priming) and in the next generation (multi-generational immune priming). These studies indicate that the oyster’s antiviral defense system exhibits a form of innate immune-memory. An important priority is to identify the molecular mechanisms responsible for this phenomenon. This knowledge will motivate the development of practical and cost-effective treatments for improving oyster health in aquaculture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Crassostrea
  • OsHV-1
  • immune priming
  • interferon
  • RNAi


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