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Survival for Immunity: The Price of Immune System Activation for Bumblebee Workers
Yannick Moret and Paul Schmid-Hempel
New Series, Vol. 290, No. 5494 (Nov. 10, 2000), pp. 1166-1168
Published by: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3078412
Page Count: 3
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Parasites do not always harm their hosts because the immune system keeps an infection at bay. Ironically, the cost of using immune defenses could itself reduce host fitness. This indirect cost of parasitism is often not visible because of compensatory resource intake. Here, workers of the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, were challenged with lipopolysaccharides and micro-latex beads to induce their immune system under starvation (i.e., not allowing compensatory intake). Compared with controls, survival of induced workers was significantly reduced (by 50 to 70%).
Science © 2000 American Association for the Advancement of Science