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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 418382, 14 pages
Research Article

Are the Immunocompetence and the Presence of Metazoan Parasites in Cyprinid Fish Affected by Reproductive Efforts of Cyprinid Fish?

Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 611 37 Brno, Czech Republic

Received 31 July 2009; Accepted 23 October 2009

Academic Editor: Jorge Morales-Montor

Copyright © 2010 Karolína Rohlenová and Andrea Šimková. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Each organism has the limited resources of energy that is distributed among important life traits. A trade-off between immune response and other physiological demands of organism especially costly reproduction is expected. Leuciscus cephalus, the cyprinid fish, was investigated during three periods varying in reproductive investment, that is, before-breeding, breeding, and after-breeding periods. We tested whether a potentially limited investment in immunity during the breeding is associated with higher susceptibility to the metazoan parasites. Following the immunocompetence handicap and sperm protection hypotheses, males expressing more elaborated sexual ornamentation should produce better quality sperm and be more parasitized. We found that reproductive investments in fish play an important role for energy allocation into somatic condition, immunity, and reproduction. The immune parameters including respiratory burst and leukocyte count were higher in breeding; however, parasite species richness and abundance appeared low. Males investing more in spawning tubercles reached high spermatocrite and were more parasitized by digeneans.