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:2/16/2017)... 2017  Genos, a community for personal genetic ... received Laboratory Accreditation from the College of American ... laboratories that meet stringent requirements around quality, accuracy ... "Genos is committed to maintaining the ... honored to be receiving CAP accreditation," said ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... Former 9/11 Commission border counsel and Special ... Kephart of Identity Strategy Partners, LLP, today releases ... "Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry ... "As President Trump,s ,Travel Ban, Executive Order gains more ... the travel ban, it is important that our national ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... YORK , Feb. 8, 2017 About ... individual,s voice to match it against a stored ... such as pitch, cadence, and tone are compared ... require minimal hardware installation, as most PCs already ... for different transactions. Voice recognition biometrics are most ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Today, researchers can fast-track sample ... acid, and/or other biomarkers or SNPs of interest) using one, easy-to-collect saliva sample. ... the relationship between insulin and other relevant biomarkers can be extensively studied through ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Seventy-one members of ... Fellows of the Society this year, the Fellows Committee has announced. The honor ... optics, photonics, and imaging as well as their service to the Society and ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... 22, 2017 Scientists propose in Nature ... damage in Gaucher and maybe other lysosomal storage diseases ... costs than current therapies. An international research ... , which also included investigators from the University of ... data Feb. 22. The study was conducted in mouse ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb 22, 2017 Dublin ... "Global Biological Crop Protection (Bio-Pesticide) Market-By Type, By Application, By ... report to their offering. ... Global Biological Crop Protection Market is forecasted to grow ... strong growth in biopesticide or biological crop protection market is driven ...
Breaking Biology Technology: