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One day is enough: rapid and specific host–parasite interactions in a sticklebacktrematode system

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Rauch,  Gisep
Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Kalbe,  Martin
Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Parasitology, Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Reusch,  Thorsten B. H.
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;
Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Rauch, G., Kalbe, M., & Reusch, T. B. H. (2006). One day is enough: rapid and specific host–parasite interactions in a sticklebacktrematode system. Biology Letters, 2(3), 382-384. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2006.0462.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-D925-6
Abstract
Red Queen models of host–parasite coevolution are based on genotype by genotype host–parasite interactions. Such interactions require a genotype specific host defence and, simultaneously, a genotype specific parasite infectivity. Specificity is defined here as defence or infection ability successful against only a subset of genotypes of the same species. A specific defence depends on detectable genotypic variation on the parasite side and on a host defence mechanism that differentiates between parasite genotypes. In vertebrates, the MHC-based adaptive immune system can provide such a defence mechanism, but it needs at least several days to get fully mounted. In contrast, the innate immune system is immediately ready. The trematode parasite species used here reaches the immunologically protected eye lens of its three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) host within 24 h. Thus, it disappears too fast for the fully mounted MHC-based adaptive immune system. In a complete cross-infection experiment using five fish-families and five parasite-clones, we found for the first time fish-family by parasiteclone interactions in vertebrates, although the parasite was only exposed to the immune system for maximally one day. Such interactions require a fast genotype specific defence, suggesting the importance of other defence mechanisms than the too slow, fully mounted adaptive immune system in vertebrates.