Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Fitness consequences of immune responses: strengthening the empirical framework for ecoimmunology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Author(s)

Andrea L. Graham, David M. Shuker, Laura C. Pollitt, Stuart K. J. R. Auld, Alastair J. Wilson, Tom J. Little

School/Research organisations

Abstract

P>1. Ecoimmunologists aim to understand the costs, benefits, and net fitness consequences of different strategies for immune defense.

2. Measuring the fitness consequences of immune responses is difficult, partly because of complex relationships between host fitness and the within-host density of parasites and immunological cells or molecules. In particular, neither the strongest immune responses nor the lowest parasite densities necessarily maximize host fitness.

3. Here, we propose that ecoimmunologists should routinely endeavour to measure three intertwined parameters: host fitness, parasite density, and relevant immune responses. We further propose that analyses of relationships among these traits would benefit from the statistical machinery used for analyses of phenotypic plasticity and/or methods that are robust to the bi-directional causation inherent in host-parasite relationships. For example, analyses of how host fitness depends upon parasite density, which is an evolutionary ecological definition of tolerance, would benefit from these more robust methods.

4. Together, these steps promote rigorous quantification of the fitness consequences of immune responses. Such quantification is essential if ecoimmunologists are to decipher causes of immune polymorphism in nature and predict trajectories of natural selection on immune defense.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517
Number of pages13
JournalFunctional Ecology
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

    Research areas

  • bivariate statistics, Daphnia, evolutionary parasitology, immunocompetence, optimal immunity, random regression, resistance, tolerance, EXPERIMENTAL-INFECTION, ECOLOGICAL IMMUNOLOGY, GENETIC-VARIATION, EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY, DAPHNIA-MAGNA, PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY, RICKETTSIA RICKETTSII, NEMATODE INFECTIONS, NATURAL-POPULATIONS, PATH-ANALYSIS

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Environmental correlates of sexual signaling in the Heteroptera: a prospective study

    Gourevitch, E. H. Z. & Shuker, D. M., 30 Nov 2021, In: Insect. 12, 12, 28 p., 1079.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  2. The definition of sexual selection: a response to comments on Shuker and Kvarnemo

    Shuker, D. M. & Kvarnemo, C., 9 Aug 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Behavioral Ecology. Advance articles

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

  3. The definition of sexual selection

    Shuker, D. M. & Kvarnemo, C., 7 Aug 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Behavioral Ecology. Advance Article, 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Context-dependent use of visual cues in the shell selection behaviour of the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus

    Rimmer, J. E. V., Todd, C. D. & Shuker, D. M., Jul 2021, In: Behavioural Processes. 188, 104414.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. The rationality of decisions depends on behavioural context

    Glaser, G. L., Miller, M. C., Healy, S. D. & Shuker, D. M., 5 Dec 2020, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Behavioural Processes. In-press, 104293.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Foraging rates of ram-filtering North Atlantic right whales

    van der Hoop, J. M., Nousek-McGregor, A. E., Nowacek, D. P., Parks, S. E., Tyack, P. & Madsen, P. T., 10 Jun 2019, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Functional Ecology. Early View, 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Morphological traits can track coral reef responses to the Anthropocene

    Zawada, K. J. A., Madin, J. S., Baird, A. H., Bridge, T. C. L. & Dornelas, M., 7 Jun 2019, In: Functional Ecology. 33, 6, p. 962-975

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  3. High suckling rates and acoustic crypsis of humpback whale neonates maximise potential for mother–calf energy transfer

    Videsen, S. K. A., Bejder, L., Johnson, M. & Madsen, P. T., Aug 2017, In: Functional Ecology. 31, 8, p. 1561-1573

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Orientation to the sun by animals and its interaction with crypsis

    Penacchio, O., Cuthill, I., Lovell, P. G., Ruxton, G. D. & Harris, J., Sep 2015, In: Functional Ecology. 29, 9, p. 1165-1177

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 15958688

Top