Gender-biased parasitism in small mammals: Patterns, mechanisms, consequences

Boris R. Krasnov, Frederic Bordes, Irina S. Khokhlova, Serge Morand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


This article reviews patterns, causes and consequences of gender-biased infestation of small mammalian hosts by macroparasites. We start with a description of gender biases in parasite infestation and discuss variation in these patterns among host and parasite taxa. We also look at temporal and spatial variations in gender-biased parasitism and demonstrate that they can vary seasonally and be mediated by environmental conditions. Then, we present main hypotheses that examine mechanisms of gender-biased parasitism. One group of these hypotheses focuses on differences between male and female hosts in their probability to be attacked by parasites, while another group links gender-biased parasitism with differences in parasite performance in male vs. female hosts. Finally, we discuss possible consequences of male-biased parasitism for individual parasites, their populations and communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2012


  • Bats
  • Females
  • Males
  • Parasites
  • Rodents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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