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Innate immunity correlates with host fitness in wild boar (Sus scrofa) exposed to classical swine fever.

Abstract : Constitutive humoral immunity (CHI) is thought to be a first-line of protection against pathogens invading vertebrate hosts. However, clear evidence that CHI correlates with host fitness in natural conditions is still lacking. This study explores the relationship between CHI, measured using a haemagglutination-haemolysis assay (HAHL), and resistance to classical swine fever virus (CSFV) among wild boar piglets. The individual dynamics of HAHL during piglet growth was analysed, using 423 serum samples from 92 piglets repeatedly captured in the absence of CSFV (in 2006) within two areas showing contrasting food availability. Natural antibody levels increased with age, but, in the youngest piglets antibody levels were higher in individuals from areas with the highest food availability. Complement activity depended on natural antibody levels and piglets' body condition. In the presence of CSFV (i.e., in 2005 within one area), serum samples from piglets that were repeatedly captured were used to assess whether piglet HAHL levels affected CSFV status at a later capture. The correlation between CHI and resistance to CSFV was tested using 79 HAHL measures from 23 piglets captured during a CSFV outbreak. Both natural antibodies and complement activity levels measured at a given time correlated negatively to the subsequent probability of becoming viremic. Finally, capture-mark-recapture models showed that piglets with medium/high average complement activity, independently of their age, were significantly less at risk of becoming viremic and more likely to develop a specific immune response than piglets with low complement activity. Additionally, piglets with high average complement activity showed the highest survival prospects. This study provides evidence linking CHI to individual fitness within a natural mammal population. The results also highlight the potential of HAHL assays to explore the dynamics and co-evolution between wildlife mammal hosts and blood-borne parasites interacting with the CHI.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 4:41:50 PM
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Sophie Rossi, Anaïs Doucelin, Marie-Frédérique Le Potier, Cyril Eraud, Emmanuelle Gilot-Fromont. Innate immunity correlates with host fitness in wild boar (Sus scrofa) exposed to classical swine fever.. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2013, 8 (11), pp.e79706. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0079706⟩. ⟨hal-00972564⟩



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