Title
Coevolutionary arms races : increased host immune defense promotes specialization by avian fleas Coevolutionary arms races : increased host immune defense promotes specialization by avian fleas
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Basel ,
Subject
Chemistry
Biology
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Journal of evolutionary biology. - Basel
Volume/pages
18(2005) :1 , p. 46-59
ISSN
1010-061X
ISI
000226400000005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
We investigated the relationship between host defense and specialization by parasites in comparative analyses of bird fleas and T-cell mediated immune response of their avian hosts, showing that fleas with few main host species exploited hosts with weak or strong immune defenses, whereas flea species that parasitized a large number of host species only exploited hosts with weak immune responses. Hosts with strong immune responses were exploited by a larger number of flea species than hosts with weak responses. A path analysis model with an effect of T-cell response on the number of host species, or a model with host coloniality directly affecting host T-cell response, which in turn affected the number of host species used by fleas, best explained the data. Therefore, parasite specialization may have evolved in response to strong host defenses.
E-info
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/iruaauth/cfbaa6/01f1911.pdf
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