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Mechanisms of Life History EvolutionThe Genetics and Physiology of Life History Traits and Trade-Offs$
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Thomas Flatt and Andreas Heyland

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568765

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568765.001.0001

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The costs of immunity and the evolution of immunological defense mechanisms

The costs of immunity and the evolution of immunological defense mechanisms

Chapter 23 The costs of immunity and the evolution of immunological defense mechanisms
Mechanisms of Life History Evolution

Kurt A. McKean

Brian Lazzaro

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses the current understanding of the underlying mechanisms mediating the various costs of immunity. First, it evaluates evidence of trade-offs between reproduction and immunity, and the potential mechanisms mediating the allocation of energy and resources between these competing needs. Next, the chapter examines costs associated with the induction of an immune response and how mechanisms of immune regulation have likely evolved to limit the costs of immunological deployment. Last, it examines evidence of trade-offs between different components of defence, including trade-offs between resistance and tolerance as well as potential trade-offs in defence against different pathogens. The chapter concludes by offering a view on the future of efforts to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the costs of immunity.

Keywords:   immunity, induced defense, trade-offs, immune regulation, disease

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