Effects of sewage-water contamination on the immune response of a desert bat

Shai Pilosof, Carmi Korine, Marianne Moore, Boris R. Krasnov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Environmental pollutants may negatively affect the immune system of animals. Yet, this phenomenon has not been studied thoroughly in terrestrial animals that use polluted water for drinking and/or foraging. We experimentally tested the hypothesis that exposure to sewage water would affect the activation of the immune response in the bat Pipistrellus kuhlii that drinks from bodies of open water. We selected two water sources where bats forage in the Negev desert, Israel: natural springs and a sewage-polluted man-made reservoir. We captured 13 non-reproductive female bats in the vicinity of the natural springs and offered seven of them water from the sewage-polluted source for 30 days (treatment) and the remaining six bats were offered water from the natural spring (control). Consumption of contaminated water did not alter the bactericidal ability of blood plasma or the proportions of monocytes circulating in the blood. However, our data provided evidence that the 30-day treatment can cause a decrease in the relative levels of neutrophils and an increase in the levels of lymphocytes. Our study provides a first account for the effect of sewage pollution on bat immune response which may be important in desert environments, where water sources are scarce. We suggest hypotheses for future, more focused studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalMammalian Biology
Volume79
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

water pollution
immune response
bat
Chiroptera
deserts
sewage
desert
water
Pipistrellus
blood
blood plasma
animal
monocytes
Israel
immune system
drinking water
drinking
municipal wastewater
effect
contamination

Keywords

  • Chiroptera
  • Desert
  • Immune function
  • Leukocyte profiles
  • Sewage pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Effects of sewage-water contamination on the immune response of a desert bat. / Pilosof, Shai; Korine, Carmi; Moore, Marianne; Krasnov, Boris R.

In: Mammalian Biology, Vol. 79, No. 3, 2014, p. 183-188.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pilosof, Shai ; Korine, Carmi ; Moore, Marianne ; Krasnov, Boris R. / Effects of sewage-water contamination on the immune response of a desert bat. In: Mammalian Biology. 2014 ; Vol. 79, No. 3. pp. 183-188.
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