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EcoImmuneCosts SIGNED

Immunity in Ecology and Evolution: 'Hidden' costs of disease, immune function and their consequences for Darwinian fitness

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EcoImmuneCosts project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EcoImmuneCosts project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EcoImmuneCosts" about.

pushing    analyze    32    degenerative    incl    1b    1a    envision    mechanism    notion    parasite    techniques    uses    suggests    immunology    central    infection    reactions    precautions    seemingly    previously    evolution    quality    disease    gene    oxidative    diversity    molecular    unknown    captive    fitness    unfeasible    mediating    accumulate    resistance    entail    darwinian    pathogens    small    eco    biology    ageing    advancing    exceptional    patterns    ecology    protection    false    antagonistic    harmless    medicine    experimentally    hidden    translated    sexually    experiments    look    mild    immunopathology    theory    fig    degradation    causative    virulent    delayed    autoimmunity    warblers    stress    senescence    broad    length    infections    integrates    epidemiology    edge    significance    data    provides    reed    designed    minimize    immune    wild    exploits    frontiers    songbird    manipulate    primary    carefully    evolutionary    causes    causing    infectious    function    variation    optimize    accelerated    telomere    mechanisms    autoimmune    diseases    ups    conduct    cutting   

Project "EcoImmuneCosts" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Paradisgatan 5c
city: LUND
postcode: 22100
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Sweden [SE]
 Total cost 2˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-08-01   to  2022-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    LUNDS UNIVERSITET SE (LUND) coordinator 2˙500˙000.00


 Project objective

Eco-immunology targets one of the great challenges in biology and medicine - how the immune system has evolved to optimize protection and minimize immunopathology (incl. autoimmune) costs. A primary target of my proposal is to study low-virulent pathogens causing mild infections, which for long have been considered harmless. Recent research suggests that this notion is false and that seemingly harmless pathogens entail delayed (‘hidden’) fitness costs. However, the mechanisms mediating these costs are still unknown. I will experimentally test if accelerated telomere degradation is a causative mechanism through which small immune costs can accumulate and be translated into senescence and reduced Darwinian fitness. Another key target is immune costs, which may be ‘hidden’ because of sexually antagonistic effects, and I will study how this may affect immune gene variation, immune costs and Darwinian fitness. These aspects are central for advancing our understanding of the evolution of disease resistance and immune function, incl. immune over-reactions (autoimmunity).

My project exploits a comprehensive 32-year study of great reed warblers to analyze selection patterns in the wild (Fig. 1a), and uses established captive songbird set-ups to conduct carefully designed experiments. The exceptional quality of the long-term data set, together with cutting-edge techniques to measure and manipulate parasite infection, telomere length, oxidative stress and immune gene diversity, provides exciting opportunities to conduct research that previously was unfeasible, pushing the rapidly growing field of eco-immunology (Fig. 1b) to new frontiers. The work integrates theory and methods of evolutionary ecology, immunology and molecular biology, and has broad significance including for e.g. epidemiology and ageing research. I envision my research to change how we look upon causes, consequences (and precautions) of mild infectious, autoimmune and degenerative diseases.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Jacob Roved, Bengt Hansson, Martin Stervander, Dennis Hasselquist, Helena Westerdahl
Non-random association of MHC-I alleles in favor of high diversity haplotypes in wild songbirds revealed by computer-assisted MHC haplotype inference using the R package MHCtools
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.24.005207
2019 Jacob Roved
MHC polymorphism in a songbird: Fitness, mate choice, and sexual conflict
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2020 Emily A. O\'Connor, Dennis Hasselquist, Jan-Åke Nilsson, Helena Westerdahl, Charlie K. Cornwallis
Wetter climates select for higher immune gene diversity in resident, but not migratory, songbirds
published pages: 20192675, ISSN: 0962-8452, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2019.2675
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 287/1919 2020-03-05
2018 Jacob Roved, Bengt Hansson, Maja Tarka, Dennis Hasselquist, Helena Westerdahl
Evidence for sexual conflict over major histocompatibility complex diversity in a wild songbird
published pages: 20180841, ISSN: 0962-8452, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0841
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285/1884 2019-06-11

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