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Infect Genet Evol. 2014 Dec;28:317-27. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2014.10.015. Epub 2014 Oct 24.

Major Histocompatibility Complex, demographic, and environmental predictors of antibody presence in a free-ranging mammal.

Author information

1
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA. Electronic address: ruizlopezmj@gmail.com.
2
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.
3
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA; Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.
4
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, P O Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802, USA.
5
Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.

Abstract

Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) variability plays a key role in pathogen resistance, but its relative importance compared to environmental and demographic factors that also influence resistance is unknown. We analyzed the MHC II DRB exon 2 for 165 raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Missouri (USA). For each animal we also determined the presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies to two highly virulent pathogens, canine distemper virus (CDV) and parvovirus. We investigated the role of MHC polymorphism and other demographic and environmental factors previously associated with predicting seroconversion. In addition, using an experimental approach, we studied the relative importance of resource availability and contact rates. We found important associations between IgG antibody presence and several MHC alleles and supertypes but not between IgM antibody presence and MHC. No effect of individual MHC diversity was found. For CDV, supertype S8, one allele within S8 (Prlo-DRB(∗)222), and a second allele (Prlo-DRB(∗)204) were positively associated with being IgG+, while supertype S4 and one allele within the supertype (Prlo-DRB(∗)210) were negatively associated with being IgG+. Age, year, and increased food availability were also positively associated with being IgG+, but allele Prlo-DRB(∗)222 was a stronger predictor. For parvovirus, only one MHC allele was negatively associated with being IgG+ and age and site were stronger predictors of seroconversion. Our results show that negative-frequency dependent selection is likely acting on the raccoon MHC and that while the role of MHC in relation to other factors depends on the pathogen of interest, it may be one of the most important factors predicting successful immune response.

KEYWORDS:

454 pyrosequencing; Canine distemper virus; Major Histocompatibility Complex; Parvovirus; Procyon lotor; Raccoon

PMID:
25446941
DOI:
10.1016/j.meegid.2014.10.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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