Navigation Links
Frog's immune system is key in fight against killer virus
Date:2/27/2009

Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have discovered how changes to a frog's immune system may be the key to beating a viral infection which is devastating frog populations across the UK.

Communities of common frogs (Rana temporaria) are being struck down by a foreign virus which is estimated to be killing tens of thousands of frogs in the UK each year. When it strikes garden ponds, the surrounding lawn becomes strewn with dead frogs, some with skin ulcers so severe they reduce limbs to stumps, others with internal bleeding. The virus, called Ranavirus, has invaded the home counties around London, and is now spreading north and west.

Writing in the journal PLoS One, Dr Amber Teacher describes how the frogs' immune system has responded to the virus. Working with her fellow scientists at Queen Mary, University of London and experts at the Institute of Zoology, she studied ponds where Ranavirus deaths are occurring year after year, and consistently found changes to a gene called the MHC, which codes for a major part of the frog's immune system.

Dr Teacher explains: "It seems, as Darwin would have predicted, that the plucky surviving frogs have passed on to their descendants an immune system which is better tuned to the new threat."

Teacher also found that the frogs' immune systems are simpler than many other animals, including humans, who have several MHC genes doing a similar job. She adds: "This discovery has helped identify the point in our evolutionary history when this multiplication of genes occurred. With luck, even the frog's simpler system will be sufficient to win their battle".

It is too early to determine if the adaptation in the frogs' immune response will be enough to save them from the virus. Her colleague Professor Richard Nichols, from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences added: "From a scientific point of view we could learn as much about the fight against viruses, whether the frogs succumb or they don't; but from a personal point of view I hope these changes are the first signs that the frogs getting the upper hand over the virus."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sian Halkyard
s.halkyard@qmul.ac.uk
07-970-096-175
Queen Mary, University of London
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Sunbathing tree frogs future under a cloud
2. Indigenous water frogs under threat
3. Female concave-eared frogs draw mates with ultrasonic calls
4. When threatened, a few African frogs can morph toes into claws
5. Ultrasonic frogs can tune their ears to different frequencies
6. Dying frogs sign of a biodiversity crisis
7. Stanford researchers: Global warming is killing frogs and salamanders in Yellowstone Park
8. Bursts of waves drive immune system soldiers toward invaders
9. Key to out-of-control immune response in lung injury found
10. Flies can turn off their immune response
11. How the plant immune system can drive the formation of new species
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/6/2017)... 5, 2017 RAM Group , ... new breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... properties to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are ... created by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor ... supply chains and security. Ram Group is a ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ... of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April ... ... in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website at ... at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... offering. ... market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period ... has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs ... growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2017)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 20, 2017 ... ... patented technology for discovery of antibody therapeutics from millions-diverse immune repertoires, announces launch ... Conference in San Diego, California. Dave Johnson, PhD, CEO of GigaGen, will present ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... , ... A colony of healthy honey bees is like a superorganism--individual bees ... nectar containing nutrients necessary for growth and survival. Better nutrition gives the colony a ... to a decline in honey bee health. Sick and weakened bees diminish the colony's ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... ... give farmers new options for managing Palmer amaranth and other broadleaf weeds resistant ... special precautions are necessary. Auxin herbicides are known to drift and to cause ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... DuPont Industrial Biosciences ... be speaking at Bloomberg’s 2017 Sustainable Business Summit: Seattle this Thursday, ... sustainability officials on a panel titled “Developing a Corporate Renewables Strategy.” , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: