Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: An immune response in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris leads to increased food consumption
Other Titles: An immune response in the bumble bee, Bombus terrestris leads to increased food consumption
Authors: Tyler, Elizabeth R.
Adams, Sally
Mallon, Eamonn B.
First Published: 17-Jul-2006
Publisher: Biomed Central
Citation: BMC Physiology, 2006, 6, 6
Abstract: Background: The concept of a costly immune system that must be traded off against other important physiological systems is fundamental to the burgeoning field of ecological immunity. Bumblebees have become one of the central models in this field. Although previous work has demonstrated costs of immunity in numerous life history traits, estimates of the more direct costs of bumblebee immunity have yet to be made. Results: Here we show a 7.5% increase in energy consumption in response to non-pathogenic immune stimulation. Conclusion: This increase in energy consumption along with other results suggests that immunity is one of the most important physiological systems, with other systems being sacrificed for its continuing efficiency. This increased consumption and maintained activity contrasts with the sickness-induced anorexia and reduced activity found in vertebrates.
DOI Link: 10.1186/1472-6793-6-6
ISSN: 1472-6793
Type: Article
Rights: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Also available from
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Biology

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
1472-6793-6-6.pdf243.39 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.