Passerine birds, especially during the breeding season and nestling development, are exposed to an array of hematophagous ectoparasites. Although the direct consequences of mite infestation on host fitness and immunological function have been investigated in the Domestic Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus), parasite-specific immune responses to ectoparasites in passerine species have not been examined in great detail. We investigated the humoral immune response of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) to hematophagous mite antigens and tested for the presence of mite-specific antibodies in adults, egg yolks, and nestlings in a wild population that was naturally exposed to ectoparasitic mites. Our results showed that adult House Sparrows can mount a specific adaptive immune response against hematophagous mite antigens. Further, we demonstrate that mite-specific antibodies are present in wild House Sparrow populations naturally infested with ectoparasites. The results of this study provide ecological immunologists with a tool for examining host-parasite interactions via a parasite-specific immune assay.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 128 • No. 2