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MHC-I provides both quantitative resistance and susceptibility to blood parasites in blue tits in the wild

Aguilar, J. Rivero De; Westerdahl, H. LU ; Puente, J. Martínez De La; Tomás, G.; Martínez, J. and Merino, S. (2016) In Journal of Avian Biology
Abstract

Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are central for the adaptive immune response against parasites. Here, we investigated potential associations among MHC-I alleles and blood parasite infections in a natural breeding population of a passerine bird, the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus, in central Spain. We screened both infection status (presence/absence of infection) and infection intensity to the pathogenic blood parasites Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon. Three MHC-I alleles (UA104, UA108 and UA117) were associated with higher or lower infection intensities by Leucocytozoon. Interestingly, these associations were dependent on age and were found both among young and adult birds. No MHC alleles were associated with infection... (More)

Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are central for the adaptive immune response against parasites. Here, we investigated potential associations among MHC-I alleles and blood parasite infections in a natural breeding population of a passerine bird, the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus, in central Spain. We screened both infection status (presence/absence of infection) and infection intensity to the pathogenic blood parasites Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon. Three MHC-I alleles (UA104, UA108 and UA117) were associated with higher or lower infection intensities by Leucocytozoon. Interestingly, these associations were dependent on age and were found both among young and adult birds. No MHC alleles were associated with infection intensity by Haemoproteus parasites. In addition, no significant relationships were detected between infection status by Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon infections and MHC alleles. The very high prevalence of these two parasites in our study population (79-100%) poses challenges to identify associations with infection status and also suggests that clearance of infections may be rare. In conclusion, associations between specific MHC-I alleles and Leucocytozoon parasites were related to either high or low infection intensities, and hence increased susceptibility or resistance to infection.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
in
Journal of Avian Biology
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84963963796
ISSN
0908-8857
DOI
10.1111/jav.00830
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5431e554-ec56-4704-b836-9cbc859f55e0
date added to LUP
2016-09-22 07:40:47
date last changed
2016-10-17 13:29:24
@misc{5431e554-ec56-4704-b836-9cbc859f55e0,
  abstract     = {<p>Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are central for the adaptive immune response against parasites. Here, we investigated potential associations among MHC-I alleles and blood parasite infections in a natural breeding population of a passerine bird, the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus, in central Spain. We screened both infection status (presence/absence of infection) and infection intensity to the pathogenic blood parasites Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon. Three MHC-I alleles (UA104, UA108 and UA117) were associated with higher or lower infection intensities by Leucocytozoon. Interestingly, these associations were dependent on age and were found both among young and adult birds. No MHC alleles were associated with infection intensity by Haemoproteus parasites. In addition, no significant relationships were detected between infection status by Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon infections and MHC alleles. The very high prevalence of these two parasites in our study population (79-100%) poses challenges to identify associations with infection status and also suggests that clearance of infections may be rare. In conclusion, associations between specific MHC-I alleles and Leucocytozoon parasites were related to either high or low infection intensities, and hence increased susceptibility or resistance to infection.</p>},
  author       = {Aguilar, J. Rivero De and Westerdahl, H. and Puente, J. Martínez De La and Tomás, G. and Martínez, J. and Merino, S.},
  issn         = {0908-8857},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x9cc3528)},
  series       = {Journal of Avian Biology},
  title        = {MHC-I provides both quantitative resistance and susceptibility to blood parasites in blue tits in the wild},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jav.00830},
  year         = {2016},
}