Browsing by Subject "Opportunistic pathogen"

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  • Lilley, Thomas M.; Wilson, Ian W.; Field, Kenneth A.; Reeder, DeeAnn M.; Vodzak, Megan E.; Turner, Gregory G.; Kurta, Allen; Blomberg, Anna S.; Hoff, Samantha; Herzog, Carl; Sewall, Brent J.; Paterson, Steve (2020)
    Novel pathogens can cause massive declines in populations, and even extirpation of hosts. But disease can also act as a selective pressure on survivors, driving the evolution of resistance or tolerance. Bat white-nose syndrome (WNS) is a rapidly spreading wildlife disease in North America. The fungus causing the disease invades skin tissues of hibernating bats, resulting in disruption of hibernation behavior, premature energy depletion, and subsequent death. We used whole-genome sequencing to investigate changes in allele frequencies within a population of Myotis lucifugus in eastern North America to search for genetic resistance to WNS. Our results show low F-ST values within the population across time, i.e., prior to WNS (Pre-WNS) compared to the population that has survived WNS (Post-WNS). However, when dividing the population with a geographical cut-off between the states of Pennsylvania and New York, a sharp increase in values on scaffold GL429776 is evident in the Post-WNS samples. Genes present in the diverged area are associated with thermoregulation and promotion of brown fat production. Thus, although WNS may not have subjected the entire M. lucifugus population to selective pressure, it may have selected for specific alleles in Pennsylvania through decreased gene flow within the population. However, the persistence of remnant sub-populations in the aftermath of WNS is likely due to multiple factors in bat life history.
  • Lilley, Thomas M.; Prokkola, Jenni M.; Blomberg, Anna S.; Paterson, Steve; Johnson, Joseph S.; Turner, Gregory G.; Bartonička, Tomáš; Bachorec, Erik; Reeder, DeeAnn M.; Field, Kenneth A. (2019)
    Resistance and tolerance allow organisms to cope with potentially life-threatening pathogens. Recently introduced pathogens initially induce resistance responses, but natural selection favors the development of tolerance, allowing for a commensal relationship to evolve. Mycosis by Pseudogymnoascus destructans, causing white-nose syndrome (WNS) in Nearctic hibernating bats, has resulted in population declines since 2006. The pathogen, which spread from Europe, has infected species of Palearctic Myotis for a longer period. We compared ecologically relevant responses to the fungal infection in the susceptible Nearctic M. lucifugus and less susceptible Palearctic M. myotis, to uncover factors contributing to survival differences in the two species. Samples were collected from euthermic bats during arousal from hibernation, a naturally occurring phenomenon, during which transcriptional responses are activated. We compared the whole-transcriptome responses in wild bats infected with P. destructans hibernating in their natural habitat. Our results show dramatically different local transcriptional responses to the pathogen between uninfected and infected samples from the two species. Whereas we found 1526 significantly upregulated or downregulated transcripts in infected M. lucifugus, only one transcript was downregulated in M. myotis. The upregulated response pathways in M. lucifugus include immune cell activation and migration, and inflammatory pathways, indicative of an unsuccessful attempt to resist the infection. In contrast, M. myotis appears to tolerate P. destructans infection by not activating a transcriptional response. These host-microbe interactions determine pathology, contributing to WNS susceptibility, or commensalism, promoting tolerance to fungal colonization during hibernation that favors survival.