Senescence in immunity against helminth parasites predicts adult mortality in a wild mammal.

08:00 EDT 20th September 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Senescence in immunity against helminth parasites predicts adult mortality in a wild mammal."

Our understanding of the deterioration in immune function in old age-immunosenescence-derives principally from studies of modern human populations and laboratory animals. The generality and significance of this process for systems experiencing complex, natural infections and environmental challenges are unknown. Here, we show that late-life declines in an important immune marker of resistance to helminth parasites in wild Soay sheep predict overwinter mortality. We found senescence in circulating antibody levels against a highly prevalent nematode worm, which was associated with reduced adult survival probability, independent of changes in body weight. These findings establish a role for immunosenescence in the ecology and evolution of natural populations.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Science (New York, N.Y.)
ISSN: 1095-9203
Pages: 1296-1298


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Any part or derivative of a helminth that elicits an immune reaction. The most commonly seen helminth antigens are those of the schistosomes.

The theory that infectious agents, symbiotic microorganisms, and parasites are normal stimulants for the maturation of the immune system toward a balanced immune response. The theory predicts that lack of such stimulation leads to allergies and AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.

The genetic complement of a helminth (HELMINTHS) as represented in its DNA.

Process by which cells irreversibly stop dividing and enter a state of permanent growth arrest without undergoing CELL DEATH. Senescence can be induced by DNA DAMAGE or other cellular stresses, such as OXIDATIVE STRESS.

Proteins found in any species of helminth.

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