Oct 31, 2018

Antagonistic pathogen-mediated selection favours the maintenance of innate immune gene polymorphism in a widespread wild ungulate

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Erwan QuéméréNathalie Charbonnel


Toll-like Receptors (TLR) play a central role in recognition and host frontline defence against a wide range of pathogens. A number of recent studies have shown that TLR genes (Tlrs) often exhibit a large polymorphism in natural populations. Yet, there is little knowledge on how this polymorphism is maintained and how it influences disease susceptibility in the wild. In a previous work, we showed that some Tlrs exhibit similarly high levels of genetic diversity than Mhc and contemporary signatures of balancing selection in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), an abundant and widespread ungulate in Europe. Here, we tested whether Mhc-Drb or Tlr (Tlr2, Tlr4 and Tlr5) diversity is driven by pathogen-mediated selection. We examined the relationships between their genotype (heterozygosity status and presence of specific alleles) and infections with Toxoplasma and Chlamydia, two intracellular pathogens known to cause reproductive failure in ungulates. We showed that Toxoplasma and Chlamydia exposures vary significantly across year and landscape structure with few co-infection events detected, and that the two pathogens act antagonistically on Tlr2 polymorphism. By contrast, we found no evidence of association with Mhc-Drb and a limited su...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Gene Polymorphism
Chlamydia Infections
Ungulates - hoofed mammals
Pathogenic Organism

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