Antiviral immunity in marine molluscs

Timothy J. Green*, David Raftos, Peter Speck, Caroline Montagnani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 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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