When looking at a population, during almost all epidemics, some individuals will survive while most of the population will die. This is due to the large amount of variation between individuals which is reflected in differences in behaviour during stress, also referred to as differences in coping with stress.
When populations are observed (even wild populations of social animals) these different coping styles are recognized and it was found that these subpopulations fulfil different roles in the population. These differences increase the diversity of the population, increasing the possibility of the population as a whole to survive e.g. an epidemic.
To date two subgroups in coping styles are defined: proactive animals and reactive animals, differing in metabolic system, neuroendocrine system and in immune system. These differences are reflected in different disease susceptibility in individuals from either coping style. Next to coping styles, stress in general is an important factor that contributes to the susceptibility of an organism for disease. These concepts can be incorporated in almost any research question to achieve more insight into underlying mechanisms that contribute to or are different between individuals and their disease susceptibility.
- Individual differences in neuroendocrine system and immune system in wild type rats in relation to disease susceptibility.
- Immunomodulation by diet. Individual differences is sensitivity in layer hens.
- Modiphy: Modulation with Immune-stimulating Phytochemicals as alternative for antimicrobial treatment.
Ruth AdriaansenPost Doc
E-mail: Ruth Adriaansen