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Male pipefish's pregnancy good for young's immunity

London, Sun, 25 Nov 2012 ANI

London, Nov. 25 (ANI): Researchers have found that male pipefish's pregnancy is beneficial for the development of their young's immunity system.

In humans, males aren't thought to contribute in developing a foetuses immune system, as sperm is too small to carry antibodies.

In fact the foetuses immune system is developed mainly from the antibodies from the mother's egg and others that pass across the placenta, New Scientist reported.

To see if the young fish's immunity came from both its mother's egg and via the father's placenta-like structure, Olivia Roth from Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel in Germany and her colleagues exposed lab-grown male and female broad-nosed pipefish to dead bacteria.

The pipe fish were then left to mate and their offspring was later also exposed.

The researchers found that the young had the strongest immune system when both his parents were exposed to the bacteria suggesting that both the parents provided antibodies.

The study has been published in The American Naturalist. (ANI)

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