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Costs of immunity: immune responsiveness reduces survival in a vertebrate

Hanssen, SA; Hasselquist, Dennis LU ; Folstad, I and Erikstad, KE (2004) In Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences 271(1542). p.925-930
Abstract
Immune defences are undoubtedly of great benefit to the host, reducing the impact of infectious organisms. However, mounting immune responses also entails costs, which may be measured by inducing immune responses against artificial infections. We injected common eider (Somateria mollissima) females with three different non-pathogenic antigens, sheep red blood cells (SRBC), diphtheria toxoid and tetanus toxoid, early in their incubation period. In the group of females that mounted a humoral immune response against SRBC, the return rate was only 27%, whereas the group of females that did not mount a response against SRBC had a return rate of 72%. Moreover, responding against diphtheria toxoid when also responding against SRBC led to a... (More)
Immune defences are undoubtedly of great benefit to the host, reducing the impact of infectious organisms. However, mounting immune responses also entails costs, which may be measured by inducing immune responses against artificial infections. We injected common eider (Somateria mollissima) females with three different non-pathogenic antigens, sheep red blood cells (SRBC), diphtheria toxoid and tetanus toxoid, early in their incubation period. In the group of females that mounted a humoral immune response against SRBC, the return rate was only 27%, whereas the group of females that did not mount a response against SRBC had a return rate of 72%. Moreover, responding against diphtheria toxoid when also responding against SRBC led to a further reduction in return rate. These results are repeatable, as the same effect occurred independently in two study years. The severely reduced return rate of females producing antibodies against SRBC and diphtheria toxoid implies that these birds experienced considerably impaired long-term survival. This study thus documents severe costs of mounting humoral immune responses in a vertebrate. Such costs may explain why many organisms suppress immunity when under stress or when malnourished, and why infections may sometimes be tolerated without eliciting immune responses. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
volume
271
issue
1542
pages
925 - 930
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • wos:000221199600006
  • pmid:15255047
  • scopus:2342618188
ISSN
1471-2954
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2004.2678
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4d18436a-37e3-4212-854a-1e8013aadfda (old id 137031)
date added to LUP
2007-06-25 13:19:01
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:57:09
@article{4d18436a-37e3-4212-854a-1e8013aadfda,
  abstract     = {Immune defences are undoubtedly of great benefit to the host, reducing the impact of infectious organisms. However, mounting immune responses also entails costs, which may be measured by inducing immune responses against artificial infections. We injected common eider (Somateria mollissima) females with three different non-pathogenic antigens, sheep red blood cells (SRBC), diphtheria toxoid and tetanus toxoid, early in their incubation period. In the group of females that mounted a humoral immune response against SRBC, the return rate was only 27%, whereas the group of females that did not mount a response against SRBC had a return rate of 72%. Moreover, responding against diphtheria toxoid when also responding against SRBC led to a further reduction in return rate. These results are repeatable, as the same effect occurred independently in two study years. The severely reduced return rate of females producing antibodies against SRBC and diphtheria toxoid implies that these birds experienced considerably impaired long-term survival. This study thus documents severe costs of mounting humoral immune responses in a vertebrate. Such costs may explain why many organisms suppress immunity when under stress or when malnourished, and why infections may sometimes be tolerated without eliciting immune responses.},
  author       = {Hanssen, SA and Hasselquist, Dennis and Folstad, I and Erikstad, KE},
  issn         = {1471-2954},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1542},
  pages        = {925--930},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Costs of immunity: immune responsiveness reduces survival in a vertebrate},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2004.2678},
  volume       = {271},
  year         = {2004},
}