Commentary on the Evolutionary Medicine and Non-human Primates session. Bruce Rothschild, Carnegie Museum, reporting.
Non-human primate environmental interactions characterized this session. Life adversity experiences clearly reduce future fitness and fertility, especially when multiple. These include drought, population density, reduced maternal status and loss and competition with a younger individual, any three of which combine to reduce life expectancy by 10 years in baboons! Social adversity (affiliative more than aggressive) was associated with NK cell and T-cell changes with reduced glucocorticoid effectiveness in low status individuals.
Individual variation of immune response, measured as leukocyte response to gram negative bacteria or viral challenge was species-dependent as a function of genomic effects.
Trichurus infectivity in the red colobus monkey Procolobus rufomitratus tephroceles was related to microbiome diversity. Normal gastrointestinal microbiota was observed to counter the effect of nutritional shortfalls on growth and reproduction in black howler monkeys Alouatta pigra. Reduced microbiome diversity was associated with increased effect of nutrition stress and health risks.