Personal immunity versus social immunity?

Cotter, S. C. and Kilner, R. M. (2010) Personal immunity versus social immunity? Behavioral Ecology, 21 (4). pp. 663-668. ISSN 1045-2249

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It is well known that organisms defend their fitness against attack from parasites and pathogens by mounting a personal immune response. However, there is increasing evidence that organisms from diverse taxa also exhibit immune responses for the purpose of protecting other individuals as well as themselves. We argue that any type of immunity that has fitness consequences for both the challenged individual and one or more recipients should be referred to as ‘social immunity’. We show that social immune systems are a widespread yet relatively neglected component of immunity, ideal for the study of social evolution. Whereas personal immune systems protect lifespan, social immune systems effectively defend the fecundity component of fitness, commonly protecting offspring or reproductive kin. We suggest that there are likely to be close links between life history and the extent of investment in each form of immunity. Furthermore, trade-offs between social and personal immunity may explain individual variation in personal immune responses, including sex-specific immune defences.

Additional Information:Accepted April 18, 2010 First published online: June 4, 2010
Keywords:biparental care, phenotypic plasticity, social immunity
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C340 Entomology
C Biological Sciences > C150 Environmental Biology
C Biological Sciences > C120 Behavioural Biology
C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
C Biological Sciences > C100 Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:16019
Deposited On:16 Nov 2014 17:55

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