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Co-founding ant queens prevent disease by performing prophylactic undertaking behaviour

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, October 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (97th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
11 news outlets
blogs
1 blog
twitter
17 tweeters
wikipedia
1 Wikipedia page
googleplus
2 Google+ users
reddit
1 Redditor

Citations

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7 Dimensions

Readers on

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50 Mendeley
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Title
Co-founding ant queens prevent disease by performing prophylactic undertaking behaviour
Published in
BMC Evolutionary Biology, October 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12862-017-1062-4
Pubmed ID
Authors

Christopher D. Pull, Sylvia Cremer

Abstract

Social insects form densely crowded societies in environments with high pathogen loads, but have evolved collective defences that mitigate the impact of disease. However, colony-founding queens lack this protection and suffer high rates of mortality. The impact of pathogens may be exacerbated in species where queens found colonies together, as healthy individuals may contract pathogens from infectious co-founders. Therefore, we tested whether ant queens avoid founding colonies with pathogen-exposed conspecifics and how they might limit disease transmission from infectious individuals. Using Lasius niger queens and a naturally infecting fungal pathogen Metarhizium brunneum, we observed that queens were equally likely to found colonies with another pathogen-exposed or sham-treated queen. However, when one queen died, the surviving individual performed biting, burial and removal of the corpse. These undertaking behaviours were performed prophylactically, i.e. targeted equally towards non-infected and infected corpses, as well as carried out before infected corpses became infectious. Biting and burial reduced the risk of the queens contracting and dying from disease from an infectious corpse of a dead co-foundress. We show that co-founding ant queens express undertaking behaviours that, in mature colonies, are performed exclusively by workers. Such infection avoidance behaviours act before the queens can contract the disease and will therefore improve the overall chance of colony founding success in ant queens.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 17 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 50 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 50 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 11 22%
Student > Master 10 20%
Student > Ph. D. Student 8 16%
Researcher 6 12%
Professor > Associate Professor 2 4%
Other 4 8%
Unknown 9 18%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 29 58%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 8 16%
Psychology 1 2%
Social Sciences 1 2%
Neuroscience 1 2%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 10 20%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 100. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 20 September 2021.
All research outputs
#275,916
of 19,180,943 outputs
Outputs from BMC Evolutionary Biology
#53
of 2,844 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#7,569
of 292,817 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Evolutionary Biology
#1
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 19,180,943 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,844 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 10.9. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 292,817 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them