Linking social behavior to immune responses in African buffalo

Rado Seminar by Will Rogers

  • Date: Jun 3, 2022
  • Time: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
  • Speaker: Will Rogers
  • Location: online
  • Room: Online
  • Host: Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
Linking social behavior to immune responses in African buffalo
How an organism behaves socially can affect its lifespan, what pathogens it encounters, and even its physiological make-up. We wanted to understand how immune responses – a suite of important homeostatic mechanisms - handle stressors like social behavior, pathogens, and the environment among natural populations of African buffalo (Syncerus Caffer). We found that more socially central individuals tended to have weaker immune responses; however, group stability had weak or positive associations with the same factors. These relationships differed across dimensions of immunity, and some were moderated by host physiology, environmental variation, or concurrent infections. Looking forward, we propose a framework to integrate social and spatial behavior, immune responses, and pathogen relationships of African buffalo in controlled and natural experiments.
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