Social behavior and parasites

Sabra L. Klein, Randy J. Nelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The primary goal of this article is to evaluate the bidirectional interactions between parasites and vertebrate hosts, emphasizing the role that social behavior plays in this relationship. We review data illustrating that parasites alter social behavior through effects on the neurobiology that underlies the expression of vertebrate social behaviors. We then examine how the social behavior of animals can influence exposure to and transmission of parasites. To better understand the bidirectional relationship between parasites and host social behavior, both the proximate mechanisms and adaptive functions of these relationships are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Animal Behavior
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780128132517
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Aggression
  • Dominant
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Hantavirus
  • Population density
  • Sickness behavior
  • Social disruption
  • Social rank
  • Social structure
  • Stress
  • Subordinate
  • Testosterone
  • Wounding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

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