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Demonstration of immune responses against devil facial tumour disease in wild Tasmanian devils

Demonstration of immune responses against devil facial tumour disease in wild Tasmanian devils
Demonstration of immune responses against devil facial tumour disease in wild Tasmanian devils
Devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) is a recently emerged fatal transmissible cancer decimating the wild population of Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii). Biting transmits the cancer cells and the tumour develops in the new host as an allograft. The literature reports that immune escape mechanisms employed by DFTD inevitably result in host death. Here we present the first evidence that DFTD regression can occur and that wild devils can mount an immune response against the disease. Of the 52 devils tested, six had serum antibodies against DFTD cells and, in one case, prominent T lymphocyte infiltration in its tumour. Notably, four of the six devils with serum antibody had histories of DFTD regression. The novel demonstration of an immune response against DFTD in wild Tasmanian devils suggests that a proportion of wild devils can produce a protective immune response against naturally acquired DFTD. This has implications for tumour–host coevolution and vaccine development.
1744-9561
Pye, Ruth
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Hamede, Rodrigo
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Siddle, Hannah V.
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Caldwell, Alison
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Knowles, Graeme W.
296dd0a2-4500-481b-9336-8eaf1ab3d584
Swift, Kate
d9affc71-ae62-4ea0-b024-a52975a14587
Kreiss, Alexandre
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Jones, Menna E.
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Lyons, A. Bruce
fe7b8829-9c3f-496d-926f-d9687aefbb3a
Woods, Gregory M.
d6e3b9de-ffb5-4b96-98dd-7e066a4f1853
Pye, Ruth
98983da7-26ae-4f00-a9f5-6111343de52f
Hamede, Rodrigo
b32b33c4-7cdd-40af-aa80-774ef48f822b
Siddle, Hannah V.
2f0c1307-55d3-4965-a8b0-495c4a799f27
Caldwell, Alison
f431416a-765e-42a0-8516-c19c96035a2a
Knowles, Graeme W.
296dd0a2-4500-481b-9336-8eaf1ab3d584
Swift, Kate
d9affc71-ae62-4ea0-b024-a52975a14587
Kreiss, Alexandre
860c2193-1683-44ce-8809-0ac0c8cee2c5
Jones, Menna E.
413c9a7a-2633-4018-b5af-1acf59930782
Lyons, A. Bruce
fe7b8829-9c3f-496d-926f-d9687aefbb3a
Woods, Gregory M.
d6e3b9de-ffb5-4b96-98dd-7e066a4f1853

Pye, Ruth, Hamede, Rodrigo, Siddle, Hannah V., Caldwell, Alison, Knowles, Graeme W., Swift, Kate, Kreiss, Alexandre, Jones, Menna E., Lyons, A. Bruce and Woods, Gregory M. (2016) Demonstration of immune responses against devil facial tumour disease in wild Tasmanian devils. Biology Letters, 12 (10). (doi:10.1098/rsbl.2016.0553).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) is a recently emerged fatal transmissible cancer decimating the wild population of Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii). Biting transmits the cancer cells and the tumour develops in the new host as an allograft. The literature reports that immune escape mechanisms employed by DFTD inevitably result in host death. Here we present the first evidence that DFTD regression can occur and that wild devils can mount an immune response against the disease. Of the 52 devils tested, six had serum antibodies against DFTD cells and, in one case, prominent T lymphocyte infiltration in its tumour. Notably, four of the six devils with serum antibody had histories of DFTD regression. The novel demonstration of an immune response against DFTD in wild Tasmanian devils suggests that a proportion of wild devils can produce a protective immune response against naturally acquired DFTD. This has implications for tumour–host coevolution and vaccine development.

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Accepted/In Press date: 22 September 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 October 2016
Published date: October 2016
Organisations: Academic, Centre for Biological Sciences

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Local EPrints ID: 408443
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/408443
ISSN: 1744-9561
PURE UUID: 9c3c1c1c-3bad-47c6-8f33-f87c4288fcb2

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Date deposited: 20 May 2017 04:04
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 06:13

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Contributors

Author: Ruth Pye
Author: Rodrigo Hamede
Author: Alison Caldwell
Author: Graeme W. Knowles
Author: Kate Swift
Author: Alexandre Kreiss
Author: Menna E. Jones
Author: A. Bruce Lyons
Author: Gregory M. Woods

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