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Transfer of Immunity from Mother to Offspring Is Mediated via Egg-Yolk Protein Vitellogenin

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Transfer of Immunity from Mother to Offspring Is Mediated via Egg-Yolk Protein Vitellogenin

The ability to have protection from health-related challenges is one of the attributes that the parent passes to the young ones.   Some of these characteristics are passed from the parents to the young ones, but others in some categories of animals are acquired after birth when the young ones are exposed to the illness.  However, insects cannot develop protection against diseases that find them in the environment but rather have characteristics that are only transferred from the parents. This, therefore, implies that most of the insects as compared to other large animals can fight against the diseases using the characteristics which are transferred from their mothers and not what is acquired from contact with the illness.  An animal that can use contact with some diseases to develop a character that will enable them to fight subsequent attack makes it easy to overcome subsequent infections. Thus, animals that has acquired immunity out previous illness benefits as opposed to those whose immunity is solely dependent on the attributes inherited from the parents.

 Most people have analogized the immunity types to the computer and its operation. A computer manufacturer manufactures and installs some basic programs on the computer. When the user buys it, he or she will have to install some of the ten programs.  In this case, the immunity which is transferred to the young ones from the parents exemplify the computer programs which the manufacturer installs. Whereas the acquired immunity as a result of the infection in the environment which then triggers which then makes the body to have an easy of dealing with the illness is like the computer program which is installed by the user due to the day to day needs.

Early researchers on the insect immunity suggested that the insects just like large animals develop immunity after contact with some diseases, but it has been found that how the insects deal with disease-causing organisms is not specific to a particular disease-causing agent.  Scientists have found that the transfer of immunity from mother to
Young ones in insects made possible by egg-yolk protein vitellogenin. Research has found that the mother insect transfers the ability to combat and resist the diseases through the egg York protein. Vitellogenin has been confirmed to carry disease and thus help in disease resistance.  This is because the vitellogenin uses a similar approach to all types of bacteria and other disease-causing agents to fight and prevent them from harming the insect.

Insects such as honey bees have different habitats and are found in different parts of the world. This also means that they are faced with different environmental factors as well as different types of diseases. Thus, when they are faced with some diseases the mothers bind with the disease-causing agents and such information is taken to the egg yolk where the immunity programs are generated from this information with the intention of ensuring that the next generation is protected from the diseases which are in the environment.  For this reason, there is a need to have adequate vitellogenin since it will help in fighting diseases.  The discovery of the role played by vitellogenin is, therefore, a milestone in the world of biology since this can be used in developing immunity to various diseases and thus save useful insects from extinction.


Salmela, H., Amdam, G. V., & Freitak, D. (2015). Transfer of immunity from mother to offspring is mediated via egg-yolk protein vitellogenin. PLoS Pathogens11(7), e1005015.

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