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Journal Articles International Journal for Parasitology Year : 2016

Reaction norms of host immunity, host fitness and parasite performance in a mouse - intestinal nematode interaction.

Abstract

The outcome of the encounter between a host and a parasite depends on the synergistic effects of the genetics of the two partners and the environment (sensulato) where the interaction takes place. Reaction norms can depict how host and parasite traits vary across environmental ranges for different genotypes. Here, we performed a large scale experiment where three strains of laboratory mice (SJL, BALB/c and CBA) were infected with four doses of the intestinal nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus. An increasing infective dose can be considered as a proxy for the environment-dependent risk incontracting the infection. We looked at the fitness traits of hosts and parasites, and assessed the underlying immunological functions likely to affect the observed pattern of resistance/susceptibility/tolerance. We found that the infective dose had a strong effect on both host fitness and parasite performance. Interestingly, for most traits, host genotypes did not rank consistently across the increasing infective doses and according to the expected pattern of strain-specific resistance/susceptibility/tolerance. Analyses of cytokine production allowed better understanding of the mechanistic basis underlying variations in fitness-linked traits. The infective dose affected the shape of the reaction norms of the cytokines IL-4, IL-10 and IL-6. Dose-dependent variation in cytokine production explained, moreover, the strain-specific pattern of infection cost, host resistance and parasite performance. As long as the infective dose increased, there was a marked shift towards a pro-inflammatory status in the SJL strain of mice that was positively correlated with cost of the infection and parasite performance. Overall, our study strongly suggests that the notion of host resistance is labile and depends on the environmental conditions where the interaction takes place. Moreover, integrating information on fitness-linked traits and the underlying mechanisms seems essential for a better understanding of host and parasite adaptations across variable environments.
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hal-01291173 , version 1 (21-03-2016)

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Cédric Lippens, Emmanuel Guivier, Bruno Faivre, Gabriele Sorci. Reaction norms of host immunity, host fitness and parasite performance in a mouse - intestinal nematode interaction.. International Journal for Parasitology, 2016, 46 (2), pp.133-140. ⟨10.1016/j.ijpara.2015.10.003⟩. ⟨hal-01291173⟩
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