The immuno-competence hypothesis proposes that higher levels of testosterone increases the susceptibility to parasitism. Here we examined the testosterone levels in two species of flying squirrels (Glaucomys): one known to regularly host a nematode species (Strongyloides robustus) without ill effects (G. volans) and a closely related species that is considered negatively affected by the parasite. We quantified fecal testosterone levels in northern and southern flying squirrels (G. sabrinus, G. volans) with high-performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet spectroscopy (HPLC-UV), and compared levels to endoparasites detected in individual squirrels. Qualitatively, we found highest levels of testosterone in male northern flying squirrels infected with Strongyloides robustus. This analytical approach represents an alternative and equally reliable method to using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), for detecting and quantifying fecal testosterone levels.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife|
|State||Published - Aug 2017|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Infectious Diseases