It is well known that as a target for viruses, and other exploits Linux compares favorably to other operating systems. However there are a number of known Linux specific threats. There are also a number of mostly commercial anti-virus products for Linux aimed at the desktop (e.g NOD32, Comodo, Sophos).
My question is, do any of these products actually protect against Linux specific threats? This Wikipedia article claims that some of these products do, however I have yet to find any other claims or evidence that this is the case.
I understand that virus protection could be considered necessary on Linux servers which distribute content to other vulnerable clients (such as a mail server), however do these desktop specific applications really provide any utility? What function is it they are actually performing?