In prokaryotes, CRISPR/Cas adaptive immunity systems target and destroy nucleic acids derived from invading bacteriophages and other foreign genetic elements. In eukaryotes, the native function of these systems has been exploited to combat viruses in mammals and plants. Rewired CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cas13 systems have been used to confer resistance against DNA and RNA viruses, respectively. Here, we discuss recent approaches employing CRISPR/Cas systems to combat viruses in eukaryotes, highlight key challenges, and provide future perspectives. Moreover, we discuss the application of CRISPR/Cas systems in genome-wide screens to identify key host factors for virus infection to enhance our understanding of basic virus biology and to identify and study virus–host interactions.
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