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Title: Individual variation in feather corticosterone levels and its influence on haemosporidian infection in a Neotropical bird
Authors: Bosholn, Mariane
Anciães, Marina
Gil, Diego
Weckstein, Jason D.
Dispoto, Janice H.
Fecchio, Alan
Keywords: Bird
Immune System
Individual Variation
Infectious Disease
Neotropical Region
Species Occurrence
Lepidothrix Coronata
Issue Date: 2020
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Ibis
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 162, Número 1, Pags. 215-226
Abstract: Corticosterone (CORT) is the main glucocorticoid hormone of amphibians, reptiles, birds and some mammals. This hormone may have evolved as an adaptive metabolic mechanism, in part because increased concentrations of CORT are essential for individuals to manage energy resources and thus cope with negative perturbations such as predation and storms. The benefits of CORT are offset by costs, because elevated levels can suppress inflammatory responses of individuals, making them more susceptible to parasites and pathogens. In this study, we investigated the relationships between feather CORT levels, infection status and diversity of haemosporidian parasites in the Blue-crowned Manakin Lepidothrix coronata, considering possible effects related to the sex and age of individuals. We predicted higher levels of feather CORT in infected individuals. We observed that feather CORT levels were similar among individuals of different sexes and ages. Although haemosporidian infection status did not vary among sexes, occurrence probability was higher among younger individuals, which may indicate that the less developed immune system of these individuals makes them more susceptible to avian malaria. Contrary to expectations, we found that feather CORT levels were not associated with the infection status and diversity of haemosporidian parasites. That haemosporidian occurrence probability does not increase with elevated feather CORT levels suggests that individuals are not immunosuppressed by elevated levels of this hormone, at least to the extent that feather CORT truly reflects individual differences in the level of this hormone. © 2019 British Ornithologists’ Union
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1111/ibi.12709
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