Abstract # 7950 Event # 130:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 04:45 PM-05:00 PM: (Grand Ballroom) Oral Presentation


R. Habig1, D. A. Jansen1, L. R. Gesquiere2, S. C. Alberts2 and E. A. Archie1
1University of Notre Dame Department of Biological Sciences, 100 Galvin Life Science Center, South Bend, Indiana 46556, USA, 2Duke University
     Among male primates, social status is an important predictor of disease risk and parasitism. To date, general frameworks to explain patterns of status-related variation in parasitism have remained elusive. Because heterogeneities in parasite infection are driven not only by differences in host physical condition, but also by patterns of parasite exposure, whether high or low status predicts infectious disease risk, remains an open question. We tested rank-related, and other social and ecological predictors of parasitism in male baboons (Papio cynocephalus) living in the Amboseli baboon population in Kenya. We collected behavioral, demographic, ecological, and physiological data over a five year period, and analyzed 634 parasitological samples from 85 individual males. Linear mixed models [alpha<0.05] revealed that low-ranking males exhibited significantly higher parasite richness and whipworm (Trichuris trichuria) intensities than high-ranking males, and that patterns of exposure were modulated by rainfall, temperature, and sex ratio. Collectively, we found that male parasite risk is predicted by both inter-individual susceptibility to parasite risk and by patterns of exposure mediated by differences in social status. We discuss these results in the context of the evolution of host-parasite interactions, and we provide an explanation of why rank-related patterns of parasitism might differ from other measures of health.