Modeling the contribution of antibodies to the within-host dynamics of single and dual helminth infections in a natural system
Within-host models of infection can provide important insights into the processes that affect parasite spread and persistence in host populations. However, modeling is often limited by the availability of empirical data, a problem commonly encountered in natural systems. Here, we used six years of immune-infection observations of two gastrointestinal helminths (Trichostrongylus retortaeformis and Graphidium strigosum) from a population of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) to develop an age-dependent, within-host mathematical model that explicitly included species-specific and cross-reacting antibody (IgA and IgG) responses to each helminth in hosts with single or dual infections. Different models of single infection were formally compared to test alternative mechanisms of parasite regulation. The two models that best described single infections of each helminth species were then coupled through antibody cross-immunity to examine how the presence of one species could alter the host immune response to, and the within-host dynamics of, the other species. For both single infections, model selection suggested that either IgA or IgG responses could equally explain the observed parasite intensities at different host age. However, the strength of this response drastically changed between the two helminths, being stronger against T. retortaeformis than against G. strigosum and causing contrasting age-intensity profiles. When the two helminths coinfect the same host, we found a decrease of the species-specific immune response to both species together with an asymmetric cross-immune response driven by IgG. Changes in the level and affinity of antibodies from single to dual infections contributed to the significant increase of both helminth abundances. By combining mathematical modeling with immuno-infection data, our work provided a model framework for disentangling some of the complexities generated by host-parasite and parasite-parasite interactions from natural systems. Our approach thus offers a tractable general tool to examine immune-infection relationships within hosts.
|Work Title||Modeling the contribution of antibodies to the within-host dynamics of single and dual helminth infections in a natural system|
|License||In Copyright (Rights Reserved)|
|Publication Date||October 10, 2022|
|Deposited||October 10, 2022|
This resource is currently not in any collection.