Fever and survival

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Science  11 Apr 1975:
Vol. 188, Issue 4184, pp. 166-168
DOI: 10.1126/science.188.4184.166


The significance of fever in response to a bacterial infection has been investigated using the lizard Dipsosaurus dorsalis as an animal model. These lizards develop a fever of about 2 degrees C after injection with the bacterium Aeromonas hydrophila. To determine whether this elevation in body temperature increases the resistance of the host to this infection, as measured by survival, lizards were infected with the live bacteria and placed in a neutral (38 degrees C), low (34 degrees or 36 degrees C), or high (40 degrees or 42 degrees C) ambient temperature. An elevation in temperature following experimental bacterial infection results in a significant increase in host survival.

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