A Hemolysis-hemagglutination assay for characterizing constitutive innate humoral immunity in wild and domestic birds

Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States
Developmental & Comparative Immunology (Impact Factor: 2.82). 02/2005; 29(3):275-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.dci.2004.07.006
Source: PubMed


Methods to assess immunocompetence requiring only a single sample are useful in comparative studies where practical considerations prevent holding or recapturing individuals. The assay for natural antibody-mediated complement activation and red blood cell agglutination described here, requiring approximately 100 microl of blood, is highly repeatable. The effects of complement deactivation, 2-mercaptoethanol (2-ME), age, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced sickness response were examined to validate comparisons among diverse avian species. Complement deactivation by heating significantly reduces lysis and treatment with 2-ME reduces both lysis and agglutination. Lysis and agglutination both increase with age in chickens; LPS treatment does not influence these variables in 11-week-old chickens. In a comparison of 11 species, both lysis (0.0-5.3 titers) and agglutination (1.8-8.0 titers) vary significantly among species. Accordingly, this assay can be used to compare constitutive innate humoral immunity among species and with respect to age, sex, and experimental treatments within populations.

Download full-text


Available from: Kevin D Matson
  • Source
    • "Although high baseline values of lysis titers are thought to be beneficial in terms of general immune defense, lysis titers increase following an immune challenge (Hegemann et al. 2013b). Agglutination titers vary between annual-cycle stages and between years in skylarks (Hegemann et al. 2012a), but they are more genetically controlled than other immune parameters (Versteegh et al. 2014) and are usually unaffected by acute sickness responses (Matson et al. 2005; Hegemann et al. 2013b). Scans of individual samples were randomized among all plates and scored blindly to year and migratory strategy (by A. Hegemann). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many animal species have populations in which some individuals migrate and others remain on the breeding grounds. This phenomenon is called partial migration. Despite substantial theoretical work, empirical data on causes and consequences of partial migration remain scarce, mainly because of difficulties associated with tracking individuals over large spatial scales. We used stable hydrogen isotopes in claw material to determine whether skylarks Alauda arvensis from a single breeding population in the Netherlands had migrated or remained resident in the previous winter and investigated whether there were causes or consequences of either strategy. Age and sex had no influence on the propensity to migrate, but larger individuals were more likely to be residents. The wintering strategy was not fixed within individuals. Up to 45% of individuals measured in multiple years switched strategies. Reproductive parameters were not related to the wintering strategy, but individuals that wintered locally experienced lower future return rates, and this was directly correlated with two independent measures ofimmune function. Our results suggest that partial migration in skylarks is based neither on genetic dimorphism nor on an age- and sex-dependent condition. Instead, the wintering strategy is related to structural size and immune function. These new insights on causes and consequences of partial migration advance our understanding of the ecology, evolution, and coexistence of different life-history strategies.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · The American Naturalist
  • Source
    • "SRBCs were washed four times as previously described and re-suspended in 0.1 % PBS (Matson et al. 2005). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Growing evidence suggests that telomeres, non-coding DNA sequences that shorten with age and stress, are related in an undefined way to individual breeding performances and survival rates in several species. Short telomeres and elevated shortening rates are typically associated with life stress and low health. As such, telomeres could serve as an integrative proxy of individual quality, describing the overall biological state of an individual at a given age. Telomere length could be associated with the decline of an array of physiological traits in age-controlled individuals. Here, we investigated the links between individuals’ relative telomere length, breeding performance and various physiological (body condition, natural antibody levels) and life history (age, past breeding success) parameters in a long-lived seabird species, the king penguin Aptenodytes patagonicus. While we observed no link between relative telomere length and age, we found that birds with longer telomeres arrived earlier for breeding at the colony, and had higher breeding performances (i.e. the amount of time adults managed to maintain their chicks alive, and ultimately breeding success) than individuals with shorter telomeres. Further, we observed a positive correlation between telomere length and natural antibody levels. Taken together, our results add to the growing evidence that telomere length is likely to reflect individual quality difference in wild animal.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Polar Biology
    • "To estimate innate humoral immunity, we measured the bacterial killing capacity (BKC) of plasma using a bacterial strain (Escherichia coli ATCC#8739) for which killing is primarily complement mediated (Demas et al. 2011). In addition, we used a HA assay to quantify levels of NAbs (Matson, Ricklefs & Klasing 2005). To estimate acquired humoral immunity, we used the same HA assay to measure antibody (Ab) production after an in vivo challenge with CRBCs, by comparing the difference in HA score pre-and post-challenge (anti- CRBC Abs). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Anthropogenic disturbances involving land use change, climate disruption, pollution, and invasive species have been shown to impact immune function of wild animals. These immune changes have direct impacts on the fitness of impacted animals and, also, potentially indirect effects on other species and on ecological processes, notably involving the spread of infectious disease. Here, we investigate whether the selective loss of large wildlife can also drive changes in immune function of other consumer species.Using a long-standing large-scale exclosure experiment in East Africa, we investigated the effects of selective removal of large wildlife on multiple measures of immune function in the dominant small rodent in the system, the East African pouched mouse, Saccostomus mearnsi.We find support for a general increase in immune function in landscapes where large wildlife has been removed, but with some variation across immune parameters. These changes may be mediated in part by increased pathogen pressure in plots where large wildlife has been removed due to major increases in rodent density in such plots, but other factors such as changes in food resources are also likely involved.Overall, our research reveals that the elimination of large-bodied wildlife –now recognized as another major form of global anthropogenic change– may have cascading effects on immune health, with the potential for these effects to also impact disease dynamics in ecological communities.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Functional Ecology
Show more