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Increased virulence due to multiple infection in Daphnia leads to limited growth in 1 of 2 co-infecting microsporidian parasites.

Authors
  • O'Keeffe, Floriane E1
  • Pendleton, Rebecca C1
  • Holland, Celia V1
  • Luijckx, Pepijn1
  • 1 Department of Zoology, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. , (Ireland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Parasitology
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
Volume
151
Issue
1
Pages
58–67
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1017/S0031182023001130
PMID: 37981808
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Recent outbreaks of various infectious diseases have highlighted the ever-present need to understand the drivers of the outbreak and spread of disease. Although much of the research investigating diseases focuses on single infections, natural systems are dominated by multiple infections. These infections may occur simultaneously, but are often acquired sequentially, which may alter the outcome of infection. Using waterfleas (Daphnia magna) as a model organism, we examined the outcome of sequential and simultaneous multiple infections with 2 microsporidian parasites (Ordospora colligata and Hamiltosporidium tvaerminnensis) in a fully factorial design with 9 treatments and 30 replicates. We found no differences between simultaneous and sequential infections. However, H. tvaerminnensis fitness was impeded by multiple infection due to increased host mortality, which gave H. tvaerminnensis less time to grow. Host fecundity was also reduced across all treatments, but animals infected with O. colligata at a younger age produced the fewest offspring. As H. tvaerminnensis is both horizontally and vertically transmitted, this reduction in offspring may have further reduced H. tvaerminnensis fitness in co-infected treatments. Our findings suggest that in natural populations where both species co-occur, H. tvaerminnensis may evolve to higher levels of virulence following frequent co-infection by O. colligata.

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