Virus infections of mammalian and animal cells consist of a series of events. As intracellular parasites, viruses rely on the use of host cellular machinery. Through the use of cell culture and molecular approaches over the past decade, our knowledge of the biology of aquatic viruses has grown exponentially. The increase in aquaculture operations worldwide has provided new approaches for the transmission of aquatic viruses that include RNA and DNA viruses. Therefore, the struggle between the virus and the host for control of the cell's death machinery is crucial for survival. Viruses are obligatory intracellular parasites and, as such, must modulate apoptotic pathways to control the lifespan of their host to complete their replication cycle. This paper updates the discussion on the detailed mechanisms of action that various aquatic viruses use to induce cell death pathways in the host, such as Bad-mediated, mitochondria-mediated, ROS-mediated and Fas-mediated cell death circuits. Understanding how viruses exploit the apoptotic pathways of their hosts may provide great opportunities for the development of future potential therapeutic strategies and pathogenic insights into different aquatic viral diseases.
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