Specificity of oral immune priming in the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum Journal Article

Author(s): Futo, Momir; Sell, Marie P; Kutzer, Megan A.; Kurtz, Joachim
Article Title: Specificity of oral immune priming in the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: Immune specificity is the degree to which a host’s immune system discriminates among various pathogens or antigenic variants. Vertebrate immune memory is highly specific due to antibody responses. On the other hand, some invertebrates show immune priming, i.e. improved survival after secondary exposure to a previously encountered pathogen. Until now, specificity of priming has only been demonstrated via the septic infection route or when live pathogens were used for priming. Therefore, we tested for specificity in the oral priming route in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. For priming, we used pathogen-free supernatants derived from three different strains of the entomopathogen, Bacillus thuringiensis, which express different Cry toxin variants known for their toxicity against this beetle. Subsequent exposure to the infective spores showed that oral priming was specific for two naturally occurring strains, while a third engineered strain did not induce any priming effect. Our data demonstrate that oral immune priming with a non-infectious bacterial agent can be specific, but the priming effect is not universal across all bacterial strains.
Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis; innate immunity; Tribolium castaneum; invertebrate immune priming; specific immune memory
Journal Title: Biology Letters
Volume: 13
Issue 12
ISSN: 1744-957X
Publisher: Royal Society, The  
Date Published: 2017-12-01
Start Page: Article number: 20170632
DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0632
Open access: no