Publication
Title
Is there sex-biased resistance and tolerance in Mediterranean wood mouse (**Apodemus sylvaticus**) populations facing multiple helminth infections?
Author
Abstract
Sex-biased parasitism is rarely investigated in relation to host tolerance and resistance, which are two defense strategies hosts can adopt when challenged by parasites. Health or fitness deteriorations in less tolerant individuals with increasing parasite burden would be faster than those in more tolerant ones. Hence, the body condition and reproductive potential of an infected individual host can be considered proxies for tolerance to parasitism. We studied Mediterranean populations of the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) and its helminth parasites. We assessed their resistance using the phytohemagglutinin test and spleen size, and their tolerance using body condition in males and females and testes mass in males. In order to avoid spurious correlations, we took into account the phylogeographic structure of the Mediterranean wood mouse populations. We used a mixed model adapted from the animal model used in quantitative genetics. While helminth infection did not differ between the two sexes, females and males differed in their measured defenses. Females seem to invest more in immune defense with increasing risk of parasite diversity, but also appear to be potentially more tolerant of parasitic diversity. These results suggest the existence of sexual differences in resistance and tolerance, and that measurements of parasitic loads alone could be insufficient to detect any underlying sexual differences in the two strategies that have evolved in response to multiple parasitic attacks.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Oecologia. - Berlin
Publication
Berlin : 2012
ISSN
0029-8549
Volume/pages
170:1(2012), p. 123-135
ISI
000307757600012
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 05.09.2012
Last edited 17.06.2017
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