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Experimentally activated immune defence in female pied flycatchers results in reduced breeding success

Ilmonen, P; Taarna, T and Hasselquist, Dennis LU (2000) In Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences 267(1444). p.665-670
Abstract
Traditional explanations for the negative fitness consequences of parasitism have focused on the direct pathogenic effects of infectious agents. However, because of the high selection pressure by the parasites, immune defences are likely to be costly and trade off with other fitness-related traits, such as reproductive effort. In a field experiment, we immunized breeding female flycatchers with non-pathogenic antigens (diphtheria-tetanus vaccine), which excluded the direct negative effects of parasites, in order to test the consequences of activated immune defence on hosts' investment in reproduction and self-maintenance. Immunized females decreased their feeding effort and investment in self-maintenance (rectrix regrowth) and had lower... (More)
Traditional explanations for the negative fitness consequences of parasitism have focused on the direct pathogenic effects of infectious agents. However, because of the high selection pressure by the parasites, immune defences are likely to be costly and trade off with other fitness-related traits, such as reproductive effort. In a field experiment, we immunized breeding female flycatchers with non-pathogenic antigens (diphtheria-tetanus vaccine), which excluded the direct negative effects of parasites, in order to test the consequences of activated immune defence on hosts' investment in reproduction and self-maintenance. Immunized females decreased their feeding effort and investment in self-maintenance (rectrix regrowth) and had lower reproductive output (fledgling quality and number) than control females injected with saline. Our results reveal the phenotypic cost of immune defence by showing that an activated immune system per se can lower the host's breeding success. This may be caused by an energetic or nutritional trade-off between immune function and physical workload when feeding young or be an adaptive response to 'infection' to avoid physiological disorders such as oxidative stress and immunopathology. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
volume
267
issue
1444
pages
665 - 670
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:0034616129
ISSN
1471-2954
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2000.1053
project
Costs of the immune system and maternal effects
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7bc0b13b-5212-443e-a7dd-9096ec7a6a6b (old id 146040)
date added to LUP
2007-06-26 08:47:38
date last changed
2017-11-05 03:46:58
@article{7bc0b13b-5212-443e-a7dd-9096ec7a6a6b,
  abstract     = {Traditional explanations for the negative fitness consequences of parasitism have focused on the direct pathogenic effects of infectious agents. However, because of the high selection pressure by the parasites, immune defences are likely to be costly and trade off with other fitness-related traits, such as reproductive effort. In a field experiment, we immunized breeding female flycatchers with non-pathogenic antigens (diphtheria-tetanus vaccine), which excluded the direct negative effects of parasites, in order to test the consequences of activated immune defence on hosts' investment in reproduction and self-maintenance. Immunized females decreased their feeding effort and investment in self-maintenance (rectrix regrowth) and had lower reproductive output (fledgling quality and number) than control females injected with saline. Our results reveal the phenotypic cost of immune defence by showing that an activated immune system per se can lower the host's breeding success. This may be caused by an energetic or nutritional trade-off between immune function and physical workload when feeding young or be an adaptive response to 'infection' to avoid physiological disorders such as oxidative stress and immunopathology.},
  author       = {Ilmonen, P and Taarna, T and Hasselquist, Dennis},
  issn         = {1471-2954},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1444},
  pages        = {665--670},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Experimentally activated immune defence in female pied flycatchers results in reduced breeding success},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2000.1053},
  volume       = {267},
  year         = {2000},
}