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:11/15/2016)... , Nov 15, 2016 Research and ... Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... ... USD 16.18 Billion by 2021 from USD 6.21 Billion in 2016, ... Growth of the bioinformatics market is driven by the ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016   Acuant , the leading ... has partnered with RightCrowd ® to ... Management, Self-Service Kiosks and Continuous Workforce Assurance. ... functional enhancements to existing physical access control ... with an automated ID verification and authentication ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... York , June 15, 2016 ... new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application ... Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the report, the  ... 11.60 billion in 2015 and is estimated to ... USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  Increasing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... ProMIS ... of precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced the validated monoclonal antibody ... direct neurotoxic effect of prion-like forms of Amyloid beta (Aß) in vitro. ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , Dec. 5, 2016 Axovant Sciences Ltd. ... company focused on the treatment of dementia, today announced ... the treatment of Alzheimer,s disease will be presented at ... on Friday, December 9, 2016 in San ... results of both simple and complex measures of activities ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Markets and Companies" to their offering. ... , , ... various -omics technologies such as proteomics and metabolomics. Molecular diagnostics technologies ... also based on biomarker. Currently the most important applications ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... , ... In anticipation of AxioMed’s exclusive cleanroom manufacturing facility ... Jake Lubinski will be traveling to Germany on December 6th. Mr. Lubinski will ... to discuss the benefits of a viscoelastic total disc replacement. , AxioMed received ...
Breaking Biology Technology: