TitleMultiple innate antibacterial immune defense elements are correlated in diverse ungulate species.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsDugovich, BS, Crane, LL, Alcantar, BB, Beechler, BR, Dolan, BP, Jolles, AE
JournalPLoS One
Date Published2019
KeywordsAnimals, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Bacteria, Bison, Deer, Immunity, Innate, Lymphocytes, Neutrophils, Toll-Like Receptors

In this study, we aimed to evaluate to what extent different assays of innate immunity reveal similar patterns of variation across ungulate species. We compared several measures of innate antibacterial immune function across seven different ungulate species using blood samples obtained from captive animals maintained in a zoological park. We measured mRNA expression of two receptors involved in innate pathogen detection, toll-like receptors 2 and 5 (TLR2 and 5), the bactericidal capacity of plasma, as well as the number of neutrophils and lymphocytes. Species examined included aoudad (Ammotragus lervia), American bison (Bison bison bison), yak (Bos grunniens), Roosevelt elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti), fallow deer (Dama dama), sika deer (Cervus nippon), and Damara zebra (Equus quagga burchellii). Innate immunity varied among ungulate species. However, we detected strong, positive correlations between the different measures of innate immunity-specifically, TLR2 and TLR5 were correlated, and the neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio was positively associated with TLR2, TLR5, and bacterial killing ability. Our results suggest that ecoimmunological study results may be quite robust to the choice of assays, at least for antibacterial innate immunity; and that, despite the complexity of the immune system, important sources of variation in immunity in natural populations may be discoverable with comparatively simple tools.

Alternate JournalPLoS One
PubMed ID31774834
PubMed Central IDPMC6881064