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Insect Infection and ImmunityEvolution, Ecology, and Mechanisms$
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Jens Rolff and Stuart Reynolds

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199551354

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199551354.001.0001

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Ecological and evolutionary implications of specific immune responses

Ecological and evolutionary implications of specific immune responses

(p.225) CHAPTER 14 Ecological and evolutionary implications of specific immune responses
Insect Infection and Immunity

Ben M. Sadd

Paul Schmid-Hempel

Oxford University Press

This chapter approaches the question of immune specificity from an evolutionary ecology perspective. For the sake of clarity, immune specificity is addressed on two levels. First, immune specificity is considered in the light of evidence for specific interactions between hosts and parasites. The importance of these specific interactions for questions concerning genetic diversity is then discussed. The second level on which immune specificity is addressed in the context of immune priming. It must be stressed that these two phenomena are almost certainly not mutually exclusive. For instance, the level of primed defences may be constrained by the innate defence capacity of an individual. Consequently, immune priming may play a role in the formation of specific interactions between hosts and parasites when re-infections are persistent or infections are chronic. Prior to concluding, the chapter considers sociality, and in particular immune defence within social insects.

Keywords:   insect immunity, immune response, social insects, immune specificty, evolutionary ecology

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