Susceptibility of amphibians to chytridiomycosis is associated with MHC class II conformation

Bataille, Arnaud, Cashins, Scott D., Grogan, Laura, Skerratt, Lee F., Hunter, David, McFadden, Michael, Scheele, Benjamin, Brannelly, Laura A., Macris, Amy, Harlow, Peter S., Bell, Sara, Berger, Lee, and Waldman, Bruce (2015) Susceptibility of amphibians to chytridiomycosis is associated with MHC class II conformation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 282 (1805). 20143127. pp. 1-9.

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Abstract

The pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) can cause precipitous population declines in its amphibian hosts. Responses of individuals to infection vary greatly with the capacity of their immune system to respond to the pathogen. We used a combination of comparative and experimental approaches to identify major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) alleles encoding molecules that foster the survival of Bd-infected amphibians. We found that Bd-resistant amphibians across four continents share common amino acids in three binding pockets of the MHC-II antigen-binding groove. Moreover, strong signals of selection acting on these specific sites were evident among all species co-existing with the pathogen. In the laboratory, we experimentally inoculated Australian tree frogs with Bd to test how each binding pocket conformation influences disease resistance. Only the conformation of MHC-II pocket 9 of surviving subjects matched those of Bd-resistant species. This MHC-II conformation thus may determine amphibian resistance to Bd, although other MHC-II binding pockets also may contribute to resistance. Rescuing amphibian biodiversity will depend on our understanding of amphibian immune defence mechanisms against Bd. The identification of adaptive genetic markers for Bd resistance represents an important step forward towards that goal.

Item ID: 38906
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2954
Additional Information:

© 2015 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), overnment of the Republic of Korea (MSIP), Seoul National University, Australian Biosecurity CRC for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: MSIP grant no. 2010-0002767, MSIP grant no. 2012R1A1A2044449, MSIP grant no. 2012K1A2B1A03000496, ARC grant no. FT100100375, ARC grant no. LP110200240, ARC grant no. DP120100811
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2015 05:51
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070705 Veterinary Immunology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
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