RESEARCH ARTICLE


Immunity and Virulence in Bird-Parasite Interactions



Gabriele Sorci*, Stephane Cornet*
BioGéoSciences, CNRS UMR 5561, Université de Bourgogne, 6 Boulevard Gabriel, 21000 Dijon, France


© 2010 Sorci and Cornet

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the BioGéoSciences, CNRS UMR 5561, Université de Bourgogne, 6 Boulevard Gabriel, 21000 Dijon, France; E-mails: gabriele.sorci@u-bourgogne.fr and stephane.cornet@u-bourgogne.fr


Abstract

The interaction between hosts and parasites is characterized by the evolution of reciproca adaptations aiming at reducing the cost of infection (from the host point of view) and to optimize host exploitation (from the parasite point of view). Within this co-evolutionary scenario, the immune system takes a central role. The immune system has evolved to fight off parasitic attacks. However, immune defences cannot be deployed without costs which set a limit to the protective effect of immunity. Moreover, immune defences impose strong selection pressures on the parasite and can favour the evolution of more virulent pathogen strains. In this article, we will discuss these different issues focusing on host-pathogen interactions involving birds and their parasites.

Keywords: Coevolution, immune response, immunopathology, infection, virulence.