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Noise pollution: acute noise exposure increases susceptibility to disease and chronic exposure reduces host survival

Masud, Numair, Hayes, Laura, Crivelli, Davide ORCID:, Grigg, Stephen and Cable, Jo ORCID: 2020. Noise pollution: acute noise exposure increases susceptibility to disease and chronic exposure reduces host survival. Royal Society Open Science 7 (9) , 200172. 10.1098/rsos.200172

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Anthropogenic noise is a pervasive global pollutant that has been detected in every major habitat on the planet. Detrimental impacts of noise pollution on physiology, immunology and behaviour have been shown in terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates. Equivalent research on aquatic organisms has until recently been stunted by the misnomer of a silent underwater world. In fish, however, noise pollution can lead to stress, hearing loss, behavioural changes and impacted immunity. But, the functional effects of this impacted immunity on disease resistance due to noise exposure have remained neglected. Parasites that cause transmissible disease are key drivers of ecosystem biodiversity and a significant factor limiting the sustainable expansion of the animal trade. Therefore, understanding how a pervasive stressor is impacting host–parasite interactions will have far-reaching implications for global animal health. Here, we investigated the impact of acute and chronic noise on vertebrate susceptibility to parasitic infections, using a model host–parasite system (guppy–Gyrodactylus turnbulli). Hosts experiencing acute noise suffered significantly increased parasite burden compared with those in no noise treatments. By contrast, fish experiencing chronic noise had the lowest parasite burden. However, these hosts died significantly earlier compared with those exposed to acute and no noise treatments. By revealing the detrimental impacts of acute and chronic noise on host–parasite interactions, we add to the growing body of evidence demonstrating a link between noise pollution and reduced animal health.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Royal Society, The
ISSN: 2054-5703
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 August 2020
Date of Acceptance: 21 August 2020
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 10:51

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