Meeting Abstract

P1.34  Jan. 4  Characterization of Non-Specific Immune Response in Anurans ABOKO-COLE, M.O.*; MENDONCA, M.T.; Auburn University, Auburn, AL

Amphibian species are found worldwide in a variety of habitats. Having to live in moist environments, they encounter a number a disease vectors not readily found among other species. As a result, they have complex and well-developed immune systems capable of suppressing and adapting to many pathogens. The fact that amphibian populations have been declining rapidly within the past 40 years all over the world is an indicator of unhealthy ecosystem changes. Although many studies have sought to determine the factors responsible for this observed decline, very few have characterized the immune response of amphibians in general. The overall objective of this study is to investigate the immune responses of a variety of Anurans. Our specific focus in this study is to characterize the non-specific immune responses of frogs and toads commonly found in the southeastern United States. To document innate immune response, we challenged anuran blood with several E. coli concentrations. Species of Ranidae had the highest innate immune response, followed by Bufonidae and Hylidae (1:20 and 1:10 blood dilutions, respectively). In addition to interspecies comparison, we also did an intraspecies comparison in Bufo woodhousei. Findings revealed significantly higher bacterial killing ability in females than males in this species. We also assessed the innate immune response using the Hemolytic-Complement Assay and found no correlation between bacterial killing ability and complement activity, as well as no response to the lysis inhibitor in Bufo woodhousei.