Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Parasitic coinfection is a common phenomenon in humans and animals, influencing disease symptoms and overall host health. Many of the studies on parasitic infection focus on one host and one parasite in the lab. This does not account for how co-infecting parasites interact and the differences between animals in lab settings versus a natural environment. Coinfecting parasites like coccidia and nematodes can interact via their immune system or shared resources. Infection can also be impacted by host body condition, with individuals in poor condition unable to mount a robust immune response due to the energetic costs, leading to further infection. Current studies on body condition and infection have not quantified whether infection causes poor condition or whether poor condition causes infection. This project studied the relationship between nematodes and coccidia in agile kangaroo rats at the Bernard Field Station, California, using a perturbation method involving the removal of nematodes with a deworming treatment. Rodent BMI was used to study the relationship between body condition and coccidia infection. Our results did not find differences in coccidia status and intensity in rodents with or without nematode infection. Deworming was not found to affect coccidia intensity or status significantly. Body condition was not found to be different in rodents with or without prior coccidia infection, and coccidia infection was not found to be different in rodents with varying prior BMIs. Future directions for the study include sampling from larger populations to increase sample size and utilizing other body condition parameters like lean body content.
Pandya, Binita, "Coinfection and Body Condition in Agile Kangaroo Rats" (2022). Scripps Senior Theses. 1889.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.