The strepsipteran endoparasite Xenos vesparum alters the immunocompetence of its host, the paper wasp Polistes dominulus

Fabio Manfredini, Daniela Benati, Laura Beani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is unexplained how strepsipteran insects manipulate the physiology of their hosts in order to undergo endoparasitic development without being entrapped by the innate immune defences of the host. Here we present pioneering work that aimed to explore for the first time several components of the cellular and humoral immune response among immature stages of the paper wasp Polistes dominulus, in both unparasitized insects and after infection by the strepsipteran endoparasite Xenos vesparum. We carried out hemocyte counts, phagocytosis assays in vitro and antibacterial response in vivo. On the whole, hemocyte load does not seem to be drastically affected by parasitization: a non-significant increase in hemocyte numbers was observed in parasitized wasps as respect to control, while the two dominant hemocyte types were present with similar proportions in both groups. On the other hand, phagocytosis was significantly reduced in hemocytes from parasitized wasps while the antibacterial response seemed to be less effective in control. These somewhat unexpected results are discussed, along with the implications of a multiple approach in immune response studies. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-259
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Volume56
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

Keywords

  • Polistes dominulus
  • Endoparasite
  • Hemocyte counts
  • Phagocytosis
  • Antibacterial response
  • IMMUNE-RESPONSE
  • DROSOPHILA-MELANOGASTER
  • PARASITE STREPSIPTERA
  • LEPTOPILINA-BOULARDI
  • EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY
  • LARVAE
  • HEMOCYTES
  • HYMENOPTERA
  • PREVALENCE
  • STRATEGIES

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