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Evolutionary ParasitologyThe Integrated Study of Infections, Immunology, Ecology, and Genetics$
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Paul Schmid-Hempel

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198832140

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198832140.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

The natural history of defences

The natural history of defences

Chapter:
(p.51) Chapter 4 The natural history of defences
Source:
Evolutionary Parasitology
Author(s):

Paul Schmid-Hempel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198832140.003.0004

Hosts can avoid infections by behavioural changes and by body walls. After infection, hosts can change their behaviours to reduce the effects of parasitism. Immune defences have different arms (humoral or cellular), and organization (innate, adaptive). Innate immunity consists of a collection of different systems that are evolutionarily very old. Adaptive immunity, based on expansion of specific lymphocytes, evolved in the higher vertebrates. Immune defences are regulated tightly and based on receptors that can recognize parasites (or their activity). This triggers a complex signalling cascade that results in the production of further signalling compounds and effectors. Important protein families, e.g. the immunoglobulins, form the molecular backbone. A key to efficient defences is the diversification of receptors, such as the highly evolved somatic diversification processes of advanced adaptive immunity. The microbiota adds to defences in many ways. Immune memory and priming occur throughout the tree of life.

Keywords:   Immune defence, Innate immunity, Adaptive immunity, Receptors, Signalling cascade, Immunoglobulin, Somatic diversification, Microbiota, Immune memory

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