The innate immune system is important as the first line of defense to sense invading pathogens. Nucleic acids represent critical pathogen signatures that trigger a host proinflammatory immune response. Much progress has been made in understanding how DNA and RNA trigger host defense countermeasures, however, several aspects of how cytosolic nucleic acids are sensed remain unclear. This special issue reviews how the host innate immune system senses nucleic acids from Brucella abortus, Mycobacterium sp and Legionella pneumophila, viral DNA, the role of STING in DNA sensing and inflammatory diseases and the mechanism of viral RNA recognition by the small interfering RNA pathway in Drosophila melanogaster.
Keywords: Cytosolic sensors; DNA sensing; Innate immunity; RNA receptors; STING; TLRs.