One reason why domestic sheep are such disease ridden menaces?

Sheep laden with germs and parasites are more likely to produce lambs than less diseased sheep-

I don’t know if this is a strange result of evolution or due to deliberate breeding, but it is shocking.

Sheep Study Finds an Upside to a Weak Immune System. New York Times.

One Response to “One reason why domestic sheep are such disease ridden menaces?”

  1. jdubya Says:

    “strong immune system helps female sheep live longer, it is also associated with reduced reproductive success. ”

    ““It could just be an energy budget issue,” Dr. Graham said. “Energy put into producing antibodies could be reducing energy put into producing a fetus.” ”

    I read this article when it came out and think it is just stupid. The immune system is incredibly wasteful when it comes to “energy” and it doesn’t matter: they key thing is to get it right.

    We have known for a long time that sperm is capable of being rendered ineffective for fertilization if the female has antibodies specific for proteins present on the sperm. A ewe with antibody proteins that would recognize such sperm as foreign would thus be more infertile than a ewe lacking such an antibody response. I think that when this is really studied they will find that the reason for the infertility has nothing to do with “energy” (what a cop-out phrase) and everything to do with rejection of histo-incomptability, similar to anyone rejecting a kidney from an un-related donor.


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