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Do "infectious" prey select for high levels of natural antibodies in tropical pythons?

Madsen, Thomas LU ; Ujvari, Beata LU ; Nandakumar, KS; Hasselquist, Dennis LU and Holmdahl, Rikard LU (2007) In Evolutionary Ecology 21(2). p.271-279
Abstract
Natural antibodies (NAbs) constitute an important component in vertebrate immune system, but, in spite of this, have often been dismissed as "non-specific background" signals. We observed a significant positive relationship between water python (Liasis fuscus) body length/age and levels of antibodies reactive with two administered antigens (tetanus and diphtheria). However, no humoral immune response to the antigens was observed. The lack of elevated immune response, and the age-associated increase in antibody titres, strongly suggest that the antibodies consisted of polyreactive NAbs, and that absence of an elevated immune response was caused by such high levels of NAbs that they were able to mask the epitopes of the antigens. In our... (More)
Natural antibodies (NAbs) constitute an important component in vertebrate immune system, but, in spite of this, have often been dismissed as "non-specific background" signals. We observed a significant positive relationship between water python (Liasis fuscus) body length/age and levels of antibodies reactive with two administered antigens (tetanus and diphtheria). However, no humoral immune response to the antigens was observed. The lack of elevated immune response, and the age-associated increase in antibody titres, strongly suggest that the antibodies consisted of polyreactive NAbs, and that absence of an elevated immune response was caused by such high levels of NAbs that they were able to mask the epitopes of the antigens. In our study area pythons feed mainly on rodents that frequently, before being killed, are able to inflict numerous bites to the snakes. The bites most likely transmit pathogens such as bacteria. As NAbs have been shown to act as a first line defence against bacterial infections, the high levels of NAbs in the pythons may be an adaptation to reduce pathogenic effects of bacteria transmitted by the prey when the snakes are feeding. Thus, the results from present study suggest that NAbs may have an important immunological function by reducing deleterious effects of pathogens in wild populations. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
snake, humoral immune response, natural antibodies, pathogen transmission
in
Evolutionary Ecology
volume
21
issue
2
pages
271 - 279
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000244453700010
  • scopus:33847322062
ISSN
1573-8477
DOI
10.1007/s10682-006-9004-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9a145db5-a14e-4cc2-8e13-15737cddc78e (old id 167134)
date added to LUP
2007-06-26 09:58:23
date last changed
2017-04-09 03:45:50
@article{9a145db5-a14e-4cc2-8e13-15737cddc78e,
  abstract     = {Natural antibodies (NAbs) constitute an important component in vertebrate immune system, but, in spite of this, have often been dismissed as "non-specific background" signals. We observed a significant positive relationship between water python (Liasis fuscus) body length/age and levels of antibodies reactive with two administered antigens (tetanus and diphtheria). However, no humoral immune response to the antigens was observed. The lack of elevated immune response, and the age-associated increase in antibody titres, strongly suggest that the antibodies consisted of polyreactive NAbs, and that absence of an elevated immune response was caused by such high levels of NAbs that they were able to mask the epitopes of the antigens. In our study area pythons feed mainly on rodents that frequently, before being killed, are able to inflict numerous bites to the snakes. The bites most likely transmit pathogens such as bacteria. As NAbs have been shown to act as a first line defence against bacterial infections, the high levels of NAbs in the pythons may be an adaptation to reduce pathogenic effects of bacteria transmitted by the prey when the snakes are feeding. Thus, the results from present study suggest that NAbs may have an important immunological function by reducing deleterious effects of pathogens in wild populations.},
  author       = {Madsen, Thomas and Ujvari, Beata and Nandakumar, KS and Hasselquist, Dennis and Holmdahl, Rikard},
  issn         = {1573-8477},
  keyword      = {snake,humoral immune response,natural antibodies,pathogen transmission},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {271--279},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Evolutionary Ecology},
  title        = {Do "infectious" prey select for high levels of natural antibodies in tropical pythons?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10682-006-9004-4},
  volume       = {21},
  year         = {2007},
}