||Network centrality and seasonality interact to predict lice load in a social primate
Duboscq, Julie ,
Romano, Valeria ,
Sueur, CédricMacintosh, Andrew J J
62016-02-26 , Nature Publishing Group
ニホンザルの社会的ネットワークを用いたシラミの寄生数予測 －毛づくろいはシラミ駆除にどの程度有効か?－. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2016-03-15.
Lice are socially-transmitted ectoparasites. Transmission depends upon their host's degree of contact with conspecifics. While grooming facilitates ectoparasite transmission via body contact, it also constrains their spread through parasite removal. We investigated relations between parasite burden and sociality in female Japanese macaques following two opposing predictions: i) central females in contact/grooming networks harbour more lice, related to their numerous contacts; ii) central females harbour fewer lice, related to receiving more grooming. We estimated lice load non-invasively using the conspicuous louse egg-picking behaviour performed by macaques during grooming. We tested for covariation in several centrality measures and lice load, controlling for season, female reproductive state and dominance rank. Results show that the interaction between degree centrality (number of partners) and seasonality predicted lice load: females interacting with more partners had fewer lice than those interacting with fewer partners in winter and summer, whereas there was no relationship between lice load and centrality in spring and fall. This is counter to the prediction that increased contact leads to greater louse burden but fits the prediction that social grooming limits louse burden. Interactions between environmental seasonality and both parasite and host biology appeared to mediate the role of social processes in louse burden.