Immune system evolution among anthropoid primates: parasites, injuries and predators

Semple, S. and Cowlishaw, G. and Bennett, Peter M. (2002) Immune system evolution among anthropoid primates: parasites, injuries and predators. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, 269 (1495). pp. 1031-1038. ISSN 0962-8452. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

The full text of this publication is not available from this repository. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2001.1950

Abstract

In this study we investigate whether present-day variation in a key component of the immune system (baseline leucocyte concentrations) represents evolutionary adaptation to ecological factors. In particular, we test three hypotheses, namely that leucocyte concentrations will be positively related to one of the following: risk of disease transmission between hosts, which is related to host abundance (hypothesis 1), risk of disease infection from the environment due to parasite viability and abundance (hypothesis 2), and risk of injury and subsequent infection, for example following attacks by predators (hypothesis 3). No support was found for hypothesis 1: neither population density nor group size were associated with variation in leucocyte concentrations. Hypothesis 2 was supported: for both sexes, lymphocyte and phagocyte concentrations were positively correlated with annual rainfall, as predicted if interspecific variation in the immune system is related to parasite prevalence (primates suffer higher rates of parasitism in wetter habitats). Support was also provided for hypothesis 3: for both males and females, platelet concentrations were negatively related to body mass, as predicted if injury risk affects immune system evolution, because animals with larger body mass have a relatively lower surface area available to injury. Additional support was provided for hypothesis 3 by the finding that for males, the sex which plays the active role in troop defence and retaliation against predators, concentration of platelets was positively correlated with rate of predation. In conclusion, our analysis suggests that the risk of disease infection from the environment and the risk of injury have played a key role in immune system evolution among anthropoid primates.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: ISI Document Delivery No.: 556AW Times Cited: 10 Cited Reference Count: 43
Uncontrolled keywords: primates immune system leucocyte parasite predator rainfall GROUP-SIZE ECOLOGICAL IMMUNOLOGY COPROLOGICAL SURVEY HOWLING MONKEYS TRADE-OFFS BIRDS POPULATIONS INFECTION BEHAVIOR TANZANIA
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: C.G.W.G. van-de-Benderskum
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2008 22:39
Last Modified: 09 May 2014 09:19
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/7519 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):