Study helps explain island populations' susceptibility to exotic diseases

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Researchers have shown that Darwin's finches on smaller islands in the Galapagos archipelago have weaker immune responses to disease and foreign pathogens---findings that could help explain why island populations worldwide are particularly susceptible to disease.

A paper, written by University of Michigan researcher Johannes Foufopoulos, an assistant professor at the School of Natural Resources and Environment who specializes in disease ecology, and collaborators from Princeton University and the University of Upsalla, investigates the relationship between immunological investment (how developed is the body's immune system), native parasite abundance, and island size. The findings were published online June 8 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.

The paper helps scientists understand how island populations respond to invasive parasite species. The introduction of exotic parasites and diseases through travel, commerce and domestic animals and the resulting destruction in native wildlife populations is a worldwide problem, Foufopoulos said, but it's even more serious for species that have evolved on islands.

For example, in the Hawaiian islands, many native bird species have gone extinct after the introduction of avian malaria, he said. The Galapagos authorities are now realizing that the greatest danger to the islands' wildlife comes from exotic species, such as invasive pathogens, accidentally introduced by humans.

The study shows that people on islands have different immune systems "and this may be the explanation for their susceptibility to invasive diseases," Foufopoulos said.

The team found that larger islands with larger bird populations harbor more native parasites and diseases, because the number of parasites is directly dependent on the size of the population. Island size and parasite richness then influenced the strength of the immune response of the hosts.

The researchers

Contact: Laura Bailey
University of Michigan

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Study: Emission of smog ingredients from trees is increasing rapidly
2. Study explores gene transfer to modify underlying course of Alzheimers disease
3. Study reveals why eyes in some paintings seem to follow viewers
4. Study by Israeli scientists provides insight on DNA code
5. Study reveals first genetic step necessary for prostate cancer growth
6. Study of flu patients reveals virus outsmarting key drug
7. Study in Science reveals recreational fishing takes big bite of ocean catch
8. Study suggests cell-cycle triggers might be cancer drug targets
9. Study narrows search for genes placing men at increased risk for prostate cancer
10. Study links high carbohydrate diet to increased breast cancer risk
11. Study explains spatial orientation differences between sexes

Post Your Comments:

(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast in this ... technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, ... end use industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and ... and others), and by region ( North America ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest of the ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... The report "Video Surveillance Market ... Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued ... to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a ... year considered for the study is 2016 and the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... -- The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. ... have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller ... (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, has ... (CNE) network, which will launch this week. The VMS CNEs ... professionals to enhance the patient care experience by delivering peer-to-peer ... care professionals to help women who have been diagnosed and ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator ... osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of ... Club. The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was ... Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program Committee is ... honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy. ... world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be held February ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: