TitleContext-dependent costs and benefits of tuberculosis resistance traits in a wild mammalian host.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsTavalire, HF, Beechler, BR, Buss, PE, Gorsich, EE, Hoal, EG, le Roex, N, Spaan, JM, Spaan, RS, van Helden, PD, Ezenwa, VO, Jolles, AE
JournalEcol Evol
Date Published2018 Dec

Disease acts as a powerful driver of evolution in natural host populations, yet individuals in a population often vary in their susceptibility to infection. Energetic trade-offs between immune and reproductive investment lead to the evolution of distinct life history strategies, driven by the relative fitness costs and benefits of resisting infection. However, examples quantifying the cost of resistance outside of the laboratory are rare. Here, we observe two distinct forms of resistance to bovine tuberculosis (bTB), an important zoonotic pathogen, in a free-ranging African buffalo () population. We characterize these phenotypes as "infection resistance," in which hosts delay or prevent infection, and "proliferation resistance," in which the host limits the spread of lesions caused by the pathogen after infection has occurred. We found weak evidence that infection resistance to bTB may be heritable in this buffalo population ( = 0.10) and comes at the cost of reduced body condition and marginally reduced survival once infected, but also associates with an overall higher reproductive rate. Infection-resistant animals thus appear to follow a "fast" pace-of-life syndrome, in that they reproduce more quickly but die upon infection. In contrast, proliferation resistance had no apparent costs and was associated with measures of positive host health-such as having a higher body condition and reproductive rate. This study quantifies striking phenotypic variation in pathogen resistance and provides evidence for a link between life history variation and a disease resistance trait in a wild mammalian host population.

Alternate JournalEcol Evol
PubMed ID30619576
PubMed Central IDPMC6308860
Grant ListUG3 OD023389 / OD / NIH HHS / United States
UH3 OD023389 / OD / NIH HHS / United States