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Secondary Immune Response & Immunological Memory in a Free-living Vertebrate

Description :  Current data on the secondary immune responses of wild animals to foreign antigens is extremely limited, and based on the response analyses of a short-lived species, which differ from long-lived species in terms of energy expenditures for reproduction in favor of self-maintenance and immunity. No long-term study has been conducted on long-lived species despite the availability of technology to perform such assays. This project will examine the short term and long term secondary immune responses of Nazca boobies, a long-lived species of seabirds native to the Galapagos Islands, in response to exposure to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) and dinitrophenol (DNP). These molecules promote a harmless immune response, and would be used to examine the primary and secondary responses of Nazca boobies and the extent of immunocompetence after a three month and nine month period of time from the initial exposure. From the data collected in this project, the investigators hope to expand the understanding of immunological memory in long-lived wild species and examine the relationship between self-maintenance, reproductive effort and immunity in regards to energy and resource expenditures.

Principal Investigator:  Maness, Teresa  --  Biological Sciences
Collaborators:  
Funding Agencies:  BoR/Pfund
Amount Awarded:  10,000

Start Period:  01/01/2014 End Period:  12/31/2014
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