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      Clone-specific immune reactions in a trematode-crustacean system.

      Parasitology

      physiology, immunology, genetics, Trematoda, Heterozygote, Hemocytes, parasitology, Brachyura, Body Size, Animals

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          Abstract

          Variability of immune responses is an essential aspect of ecological immunology, yet how much of this variability is due to differences among parasite genotypes remains unknown. Here, variation in immune response of the crab, Macrophthalmus hirtipes, is examined as a function of experimental exposure to 10 clonal cercarial lineages of the trematode Maritrema novaezealandensis. Our goals were (1) to assess the variability of the host immune reaction elicited by 10 parasite clones, (2) to test if the heterozygosity-fitness correlation, whereby organisms with higher heterozygosities achieve a higher fitness than those with lower heterozygosities, applies to heterozygous parasites eliciting weak immune responses, and (3) to see how concomitant infections by other macroparasites influence the crab's immune response to cercariae. Parasite clones were distinguished and heterozygosities calculated using 20 microsatellite markers. We found that exposure to cercariae resulted in increased haemocyte counts, and that although interclonal differences in immune response elicited were detected, parasite heterozygosity did not correlate with host immune response. Additionally, the presence of other pre-existing parasites in hosts did not influence their immune response following experimental exposure to cercariae. Overall, the existence of variability in immune response elicited by different parasite clones is promising for future ecological immunology studies using this system.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          21996534
          10.1017/S0031182011001739

          Chemistry

          physiology, immunology, genetics, Trematoda, Heterozygote, Hemocytes, parasitology, Brachyura, Body Size, Animals

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