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Structural characterisation of Toll-like receptor 1 (TLR1) and Toll-like receptor 6 (TLR6) in elephant and harbor seals

Sally Woodman, Amanda J. Gibson, Ana Rubio García, Guillermo Sanchez Contreras, John W. Rossen, Dirk Werling, Victoria Offord
Veterinary immunology and immunopathology 2016 v.169 pp. 10-14
Mirounga, endangered species, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, marine mammals, population dynamics, Brucella, risk, Toll-like receptor 6, methicillin, bacterial infections, pathogens, Phoca vitulina, disease outbreaks, mortality, antibiotic resistance, innate immunity, Influenza A virus, environmental health, Phocine morbillivirus, vaccine adjuvants, Toll-like receptor 1
Pinnipeds are a diverse clade of semi-aquatic mammals, which act as key indicators of ecosystem health. Their transition from land to marine environments provides a complex microbial milieu, making them vulnerable to both aquatic and terrestrial pathogens, thereby contributing to pinniped population decline. Indeed, viral pathogens such as influenza A virus and phocine distemper virus (PDV) have been identified as the cause of several of these mass mortality events. Furthermore, bacterial infection with mammalian Brucella sp. and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains have also been observed in marine mammals, posing further risk to both co-habiting endangered species and public health. During these disease outbreaks, mortality rates have varied amongst different pinniped species. Analyses of innate immune receptors at the host–pathogen interface have previously identified variants which may drive these species-specific responses. Through a combination of both sequence- and structure-based methods, this study characterises members of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 1 superfamily from both harbour and elephant seals, identifying variations which will help us to understand these species-specific innate immune responses, potentially aiding the development of specific vaccine-adjuvants for these species.