Can gut parasites drive variation in avian inflammatory immune responses?
In mammals, worms that live in the digestive tract can bias their hosts' immune systems away from inflammatory responses. Our data suggest that such processes could help drive differences in immune responses like fever and sickness behaviors (lethargy) in song sparrows. For her MS work Grace Vaziri performed field experiments to determine if this is the case.
Adelman, J.S., S. Córdoba-Córdoba, K. Spoelstra, M. Wikelski, and M. Hau. 2010. Radiotelemetry reveals variation in fever and sickness behaviours with latitude in a free-living passerine. Functional Ecology 24: 813-823.
Adelman, J.S., G.E. Bentley, J.C. Wingfield, L.B. Martin, and M. Hau. 2010. Population differences in fever and sickness behaviors in a wild passerine: a role for cytokines. Journal of Experimental Biology 213: 4099-4109.