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Social and Ecological Correlates of Parasitic Infections in Adult Male Gray-Cheeked Mangabeys (Lophocebus albigena)

Abstract : Intestinal parasites may constitute an important evolutionary and ecological force. We aimed to identify social, physiological, and environmental factors that correlate with intestinal parasite infections in adult male gray-cheeked mangabeys (Lophocebus albigena). We analyzed 102 fecal samples collected from 18 adult males over 19 mo for the incidence (proportions of samples with parasites) and intensity (total number of parasites per gram of feces) of infection of nematodes relative to social status, fecal glucocorticoid and testosterone metabolites, group size, and rainfall, all of which are factors that earlier studies suggested can be important mediators of parasite load. Parasite incidence was greater in immigrant males compared to low- and high-ranking males whereas parasite intensity was greater in immigrant males and low-ranking males compared to high-ranking males. Fecal samples with more parasites had higher concentrations of fecal glucocorticoid and testosterone metabolites than those with fewer parasites. As immigrant males had a greater incidence of parasites and higher concentrations of both metabolites than resident males, this profile appears to fit immigrant males best. We also found higher nematode intensities in mid-sized groups and during periods with more rainfall. Our results suggest that it will be fruitful for future studies to explore the role of immigrant males as spreaders of intestinal parasites.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - 4:34:12 PM
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Malgorzata E. Arlet, Colin A. Chapman, Lynne A. Isbell, Freerk Molleman, Raivo Mänd, et al.. Social and Ecological Correlates of Parasitic Infections in Adult Male Gray-Cheeked Mangabeys (Lophocebus albigena). International Journal of Primatology, Springer Verlag, 2015, 36 (5), pp.967-986. ⟨10.1007/s10764-015-9866-9⟩. ⟨hal-01217980⟩

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