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ABSTRACT: In male vertebrates, two conflicting paradigms-the energetic costs of high dominance rank and the chronic stress of low rank-have been proposed to explain patterns of immune function and parasitism. To date, neither paradigm has provided a complete explanation for status-related differences in male health. Here, we applied meta-analyses to test for correlations between male social status, immune responses and parasitism. We used an ecoimmunological framework, which proposes that males should re-allocate investment in different immune components depending on the costs of dominance or subordination. Spanning 297 analyses, from 77 studies on several vertebrate taxa, we found that most immune responses were similar between subordinate and dominant males, and neither dominant nor subordinate males consistently invested in predictable immune components. However, subordinate males displayed significantly lower delayed-type hypersensitivity and higher levels of some inflammatory cytokines than dominant males, while dominant males exhibited relatively lower immunoglobulin responses than subordinate males. Despite few differences in immunity, dominant males exhibited consistently higher parasitism than subordinate males, including protozoan blood parasites, ectoparasites and gastrointestinal helminths. We discuss our results in the context of the costs of dominance and subordination and advocate future work that measures both parasitism and immune responses in wild systems.Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 05/2015; 370(1669). DOI:10.1098/rstb.2014.0109
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ABSTRACT: Carrying out chemical analysis of antimalarials to detect low-quality medications before they reach a patient is a costly venture. Here, we show that a library of chemical color tests embedded on a paper card can presumptively identify formulations corresponding to very low quality antimalarial drugs. The presence or absence of chloroquine (CQ), doxycycline (DOX), quinine, sulfadoxine, pyrimethamine, and primaquine antimalarial medications, in addition to fillers used in low-quality pharmaceuticals, are indicated by patterns of colors that are generated on the test cards. Test card sensitivity for detection of these pure components ranges from 90% to 100% with no false positives in the absence of pharmaceutical. The color intensities from reactions characteristic of CQ or DOX allowed visual detection of formulations of these medications cut with 60% or 100% filler, although samples cut with 30% filler could not be reliably detected colorimetrically. However, the addition of unexpected fillers, even in 30% quantities, or substitute pharmaceuticals, could sometimes be detected by other color reactions on the test cards. Tests are simple and inexpensive enough to be carried out in clinics, pharmacies, and ports of entry and could provide a screening method to presumptively indicate very low quality medicines throughout the supply chain. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 04/2015; 92(Suppl 6). DOI:10.4269/ajtmh.14-0384
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ABSTRACT: For ex vivo measurements of fracture callus stiffness in small animals, different test methods, such as torsion or bending tests, are established. Each method provides advantages and disadvantages, and it is still debated which of those is most sensitive to experimental conditions (i.e. specimen alignment, directional dependency, asymmetric behavior). The aim of this study was to experimentally compare six different testing methods regarding their robustness against experimental errors. Therefore, standardized specimens were created by selective laser sintering (SLS), mimicking size, directional behavior, and embedding variations of respective rat long bone specimens. For the latter, five different geometries were created which show shifted or tilted specimen alignments. The mechanical tests included three-point bending, four-point bending, cantilever bending, axial compression, constrained torsion, and unconstrained torsion. All three different bending tests showed the same principal behavior. They were highly dependent on the rotational direction of the maximum fracture callus expansion relative to the loading direction (creating experimental errors of more than 60%), however small angular deviations (<15°) were negligible. Differences in the experimental results between the bending tests originate in their respective location of maximal bending moment induction. Compared to four-point bending, three-point bending is easier to apply on small rat and mouse bones under realistic testing conditions and yields robust measurements, provided low variation of the callus shape among the tested specimens. Axial compressive testing was highly sensitive to embedding variations, and therefore cannot be recommended. Although it is experimentally difficult to realize, unconstrained torsion testing was found to be the most robust method, since it was independent of both rotational alignment and embedding uncertainties. Constrained torsional testing showed small errors (up to 16.8%, compared to corresponding alignment under unconstrained torsion) due to a parallel offset between the specimens' axis of gravity and the torsional axis of rotation.PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0119603. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119603
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