Title
Associations between immune parameters, parasitism, and stress in breeding pled flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) females Associations between immune parameters, parasitism, and stress in breeding pled flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) females
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Ottawa ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Canadian journal of zoology. - Ottawa, 1951, currens
Volume/pages
82(2004) :9 , p. 1484-1492
ISSN
0008-4301
ISI
000226051400012
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
There are two major interpretations of serum IgY concentration in wild birds. On the one hand, it has been considered an indication of susceptibility to stress and parasite infection. Therefore, immunoglobulin concentration is expected to change in response to variation in these factors owing to reproductive activities. On the other hand, it has been considered a measure of immune capacity. We measured the IgY level and the lymphocyte proportion at the beginning of incubation and at the end of the nestling period in female pied flycatchers, Ficedula hypoleuca (Pallas, 1764). We assessed the immune response to phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) at the latter stage. We found that the total IgY level remained constant throughout the season. Initially, it was positively associated with the PHA response, lymphocyte proportion, intensity of infection by Haemoproteus spp., and concentration of stress protein HSP70 in peripheral blood. These variables explained nearly 80% of the variation in IgY concentration. In the final phase, only the PHA response was correlated with the IgY level. We discuss the hypothetical mechanisms underlying these associations and the need to control for parasite infection and physiological stress in ecological studies including measurements of immunoglobulin concentration.
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