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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 19;8(4):e62269. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062269. Print 2013.

Discriminating fever behavior in house flies.

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  • 1Department of Entomology and Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics - Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA.

Abstract

Fever has generally been shown to benefit infected hosts. However, fever temperatures also carry costs. While endotherms are able to limit fever costs physiologically, the means by which behavioral thermoregulators constrain these costs are less understood. Here we investigated the behavioral fever response of house flies (Musca domestica L.) challenged with different doses of the fungal entomopathogen, Beauveria bassiana. Infected flies invoked a behavioral fever selecting the hottest temperature early in the day and then moving to cooler temperatures as the day progressed. In addition, flies infected with a higher dose of fungus exhibited more intense fever responses. These variable patterns of fever are consistent with the observation that higher fever temperatures had greater impact on fungal growth. The results demonstrate the capacity of insects to modulate the degree and duration of the fever response depending on the severity of the pathogen challenge and in so doing, balance the costs and benefits of fever.

PMID:
23620820
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3631181
Free PMC Article
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