Age, but not anthelmintic treatment, is associated with urinary neopterin levels in semi-free ranging Barbary macaques
Zitierfähiger Link (URL): http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/14334
Studying host parasite interactions and their implications for evolution and ecology recently received increasing attention, particularly with regard to host physiology and immunity. Here we assess variation of urinary neopterin (uNEO), a marker of cellular immune activation and iummunosenescence, in response to age and anthelmintic treatment in semi-free ranging Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). Urinary NEO levels were measured via enzyme-immunoassay from 179 urine samples of 43 individuals between 5–29 years of age. Efficiency of treatment was assessed by Mc Master flotation on repeated faecal samples, including 18 untreated individuals as control group. We used linear mixed models with age and parasite status as main effects, controlling for sex and physical condition, assessed through urinary C-Peptide-levels, with social group and ID as random factors. Urinary NEO levels significantly increased with age, suggesting that changes in aging Barbary macaque immune responses are consistent with immunosenescence described in human and nonhuman primates and can be detected via uNEO measurements. Anthelmintic treatment, however, had no influence on uNEO levels, potentially due to quick reinfections or attenuated immune responses in repeated infections. We conclude that uNEO is a potential non-invasive marker for immune function and particularly immunosenescence in wildlife.