Unconditional care from close maternal kin in the face of parasites

2020 | journal article

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​Unconditional care from close maternal kin in the face of parasites​
Poirotte, C. & Charpentier, M. J. E.​ (2020) 
Biology Letters16(2) pp. 20190869​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0869 

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Authors
Poirotte, Clémence; Charpentier, Marie J. E.
Abstract
Several species mitigate relationships according to their conspecifics' parasite status. Yet, this defence strategy comes with the costs of depriving individuals from valuable social bonds. Animals therefore face a trade-off between the costs of pathogen exposure and the benefits of social relationships. According to the models of social evolution, social bonds are highly kin-biased. However, whether kinship mitigates social avoidance of contagious individuals has never been tested so far. Here, we build on previous research to demonstrate that mandrills ( Mandrillus sphinx ) modulate social avoidance of contagious individuals according to kinship: individuals do not avoid grooming their close maternal kin when contagious (parasitized with oro-faecally transmitted protozoa), although they do for more distant or non-kin. While individuals' parasite status has seldom been considered as a trait impacting social relationships in animals, this study goes a step beyond by showing that kinship balances the effect of health status on social behaviour in a non-human primate.
Issue Date
2020
Journal
Biology Letters 
Organization
Deutsches Primatenzentrum 
ISSN
1744-9561
eISSN
1744-957X
Language
English
Sponsor
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001659

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