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Interspecific antagonism and virulence in hosts exposed to two parasite species

Authors
Journal
Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
0022-2011
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
96
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jip.2007.02.005
Keywords
  • Biomphalaria
  • Co-Infection
  • Echinostoma
  • Schistosoma
  • Virulence

Abstract

Abstract Co-infection of host organisms by multiple parasite species has evolutionary consequences for all participants in the symbiosis. In this study, we co-exposed aquatic-snails ( Biomphalaria glabrata) to two of their trematode parasites, Schistosoma mansoni and Echinostoma caproni. In co-exposed snails, E. caproni prevalence was 63% compared to only 23% for S. mansoni. Co-exposed E. caproni-infected snails exhibited reduced fecundity, higher mortality, and higher parasite reproduction (higher virulence) compared to hosts exposed to echinostomes alone. Conversely, co-exposed S. mansoni-infected snails released fewer parasites and produced greater numbers of eggs compared to hosts exposed to S. mansoni alone. These results suggest that co-exposure not only influences the establishment (presence or absence) of particular parasite species, but also impacts host life history, parasite reproduction, and the virulence of the interaction.

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