Mistletoes are highly specialized perennial flowering plants adapted to parasitic life on aerial parts of their hosts. In our discussion on the physiological interactions between parasite and host, we focus on water relations, mineral nutrition, and the effect of host vigour. When host photosynthesis is greatest, the xylem water potential of the host is most negative. To maintain a flux
G. Glatzel; B. W. Geils
This review assesses and examines the work conducted to date concerning host and parasite interactions between marine bivalve molluscs and protozoan parasites, belonging to Perkinsus species. The review focuses on two well-studied host-parasite interaction models: the two clam species, Ruditapes philippinarum and R. decussatus, and the parasite Perkinsus olseni, and the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, and the parasite Perkinsus marinus. Cellular and humoral defense responses of the host in combating parasitic infection, the mechanisms (e.g., antioxidant enzymes, extracellular products) employed by the parasite in evading host defenses as well as the role of environmental factors in modulating the host-parasite interactions are described. PMID:23871855
Soudant, Philippe; E Chu, Fu-Lin; Volety, Aswani
It is suspected that host-parasite interactions are influenced by climatic oscillations such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). However, the effects of climatic oscillations on host-parasite interactions have never been investigated. A long-term (1982-1999) dataset of the host snail Lymnaea stagnalis and trematode metacercariae infection has been collected for Lake Chany in Western Siberia. Using this dataset, we estimated the impact of the NAO on the population dynamics of hosts and parasites as well as their interactions. The results of general linear models showed that the abundance of dominant parasite species and the total parasite abundance significantly increased with NAO, with the exception of Moliniella anceps. Other climatic and biological factors were relatively weak to explain the abundance. There was no significant relationship between NAO and the population density of host snails. The prevalence of infection was related to the total abundance of parasites, but not to the NAO. Thus, the responses to the NAO differed between the host and parasites, indicating mismatching in host-parasite interactions. Therefore, climatic oscillations, such as the NAO, influence common parasitism. PMID:21733260
Doi, Hideyuki; Yurlova, Natalia I
Trichomonas vaginalis is a common sexually transmitted parasite that colonizes the human urogential tract where it remains extracellular and adheres to epithelial cells. Infections range from asymptomatic to highly inflammatory, depending on the host and the parasite strain. Here, we use a combination of methodologies including cell fractionation, immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, RNA, proteomic and cytokine analyses and cell adherence assays to examine pathogenic properties of T. vaginalis. We have found that T.vaginalis produces and secretes microvesicles with physical and biochemical properties similar to mammalian exosomes. The parasite-derived exosomes are characterized by the presence of RNA and core, conserved exosomal proteins as well as parasite-specific proteins. We demonstrate that T. vaginalis exosomes fuse with and deliver their contents to host cells and modulate host cell immune responses. Moreover, exosomes from highly adherent parasite strains increase the adherence of poorly adherent parasites to vaginal and prostate epithelial cells. In contrast, exosomes from poorly adherent strains had no measurable effect on parasite adherence. Exosomes from parasite strains that preferentially bind prostate cells increased binding of parasites to these cells relative to vaginal cells. In addition to establishing that parasite exosomes act to modulate host?parasite interactions, these studies are the first to reveal a potential role for exosomes in promoting parasite?parasite communication and host cell colonization.
Twu, Olivia; Lustig, Gila; Stevens, Grant C.; Vashisht, Ajay A.; Wohlschlegel, James A.
SUMMARY Different parasite taxa exploit different host resources and are often unlikely to interact directly. It is unclear, however, whether the diversity of any given parasite taxon is indirectly influenced by that of other parasite taxa on the same host. Some components of host immune defences may operate simultaneously against all kinds of parasites, whereas investment by the host in
B. R. KRASNOV; D. MOUILLOT; I. S. KHOKHLOVA; G. I. SHENBROT; R. POULIN
Parasitic protozoa are among the most important pathogens worldwide. Diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis, amoebiasis, giardiasis, trichomoniasis, and trypanosomiasis affect millions of people. Humans are constantly threatened by infections caused by these pathogens. Parasites engage a plethora of surface and secreted molecules to attach to and enter mammalian cells. The secretion of lytic enzymes by parasites into host organs mediates critical interactions because of the invasion and destruction of interstitial tissues, enabling parasite migration to other sites within the hosts. Extracellular matrix is a complex, cross-linked structure that holds cells together in an organized assembly and that forms the basement membrane lining (basal lamina). The extracellular matrix represents a major barrier to parasites. Therefore, the evolution of mechanisms for connective-tissue degradation may be of great importance for parasite survival. Recent advances have been achieved in our understanding of the biochemistry and molecular biology of proteases from parasitic protozoa. The focus of this paper is to discuss the role of protozoan parasitic proteases in the degradation of host ECM proteins and the participation of these molecules as virulence factors. We divide the paper into two sections, extracellular and intracellular protozoa.
Pina-Vazquez, Carolina; Reyes-Lopez, Magda; Ortiz-Estrada, Guillermo; de la Garza, Mireya; Serrano-Luna, Jesus
SUMMARY Ease of experimental gene transfer into viral and prokaryotic pathogens has made transgenesis a powerful tool for investigating the interactions of these pathogens with the host immune system. Recent advances have made this approach feasible for more complex protozoan parasites. By contrast, the lack of a system for heritable transgenesis in parasitic nematodes has hampered progress toward understanding the development of nematode-specific cellular responses. Recently, however, significant strides towards such a system have been made in several parasitic nematodes, and the possible applications of these in immunological research should now be contemplated. In addition, methods for targeted cell ablation have been successfully adapted from Caenorhabditis elegans methodology and applied to studies of neurobiology and behaviour in Strongyloides stercoralis. Together, these new technical developments offer exciting new tools to interrogate multiple aspects of the host–parasite interaction following nematode infection.
Lok, J. B.; Artis, D.
Antagonistic coevolution between hosts and parasites can have a major impact on host population structures, and hence on the evolution of social traits. Using stochastic modelling techniques in the context of bacteria–virus interactions, we investigate the impact of coevolution across a continuum of host–parasite genetic specificity (specifically, where genotypes have the same infectivity/resistance ranges (matching alleles, MA) to highly variable ranges (gene-for-gene, GFG)) on population genetic structure, and on the social behaviour of the host. We find that host cooperation is more likely to be maintained towards the MA end of the continuum, as the more frequent bottlenecks associated with an MA-like interaction can prevent defector invasion, and can even allow migrant cooperators to invade populations of defectors.
Quigley, Benjamin J. Z.; Garcia Lopez, Diana; Buckling, Angus; McKane, Alan J.; Brown, Sam P.
Experimenta naturae, like the glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, indicate that malaria parasites are highly susceptible to alterations in the redox equilibrium. This offers a great potential for the development of urgently required novel chemotherapeutic strategies. However, the relationship between the redox status of malarial parasites and that of their host is complex. In this review article we summarise the presently available knowledge on sources and detoxification pathways of reactive oxygen species in malaria parasite-infected red cells, on clinical aspects of redox metabolism and redox-related mechanisms of drug action as well as future prospects for drug development. As delineated below, alterations in redox status contribute to disease manifestation including sequestration, cerebral pathology, anaemia, respiratory distress, and placental malaria. Studying haemoglobinopathies, like thalassemias and sickle cell disease, and other red cell defects that provide protection against malaria allows insights into this fine balance of redox interactions. The host immune response to malaria involves phagocytosis as well as the production of nitric oxide and oxygen radicals that form part of the host defence system and also contribute to the pathology of the disease. Haemoglobin degradation by the malarial parasite produces the redox active by-products, free haem and H(2)O(2), conferring oxidative insult on the host cell. However, the parasite also supplies antioxidant moieties to the host and possesses an efficient enzymatic antioxidant defence system including glutathione- and thioredoxin-dependent proteins. Mechanistic and structural work on these enzymes might provide a basis for targeting the parasite. Indeed, a number of currently used drugs, especially the endoperoxide antimalarials, appear to act by increasing oxidant stress, and novel drugs such as peroxidic compounds and anthroquinones are being developed. PMID:15037104
Becker, Katja; Tilley, Leann; Vennerstrom, Jonathan L; Roberts, David; Rogerson, Stephen; Ginsburg, Hagai
Background: Infection incidence increases with the average number of contacts between susceptible and infected individuals. Contact rates are normally assumed to increase linearly with host density. However, social species seek out each other at low density and saturate their contact rates at high densities. Although predicting epidemic behaviour requires knowing how contact rates scale with host density, few empirical studies have investigated the effect of host density. Also, most theory assumes each host has an equal probability of transmitting parasites, even though individual parasite load and infection duration can vary. To our knowledge, the relative importance of characteristics of the primary infected host vs. the susceptible population has never been tested experimentally. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here, we examine epidemics using a common ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus turnbulli infecting its guppy host (Poecilia reticulata). Hosts were maintained at different densities (3, 6, 12 and 24 fish in 40 L aquaria), and we monitored gyrodactylids both at a population and individual host level. Although parasite population size increased with host density, the probability of an epidemic did not. Epidemics were more likely when the primary infected fish had a high mean intensity and duration of infection. Epidemics only occurred if the primary infected host experienced more than 23 worm days. Female guppies contracted infections sooner than males, probably because females have a higher propensity for shoaling. Conclusions/Significance: These findings suggest that in social hosts like guppies, the frequency of social contact largely governs disease epidemics independent of host density. ?? 2011 Johnson et al.
Johnson, M. B.; Lafferty, K. D.; van, Oosterhout, C.; Cable, J.
Background Infection incidence increases with the average number of contacts between susceptible and infected individuals. Contact rates are normally assumed to increase linearly with host density. However, social species seek out each other at low density and saturate their contact rates at high densities. Although predicting epidemic behaviour requires knowing how contact rates scale with host density, few empirical studies have investigated the effect of host density. Also, most theory assumes each host has an equal probability of transmitting parasites, even though individual parasite load and infection duration can vary. To our knowledge, the relative importance of characteristics of the primary infected host vs. the susceptible population has never been tested experimentally. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we examine epidemics using a common ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus turnbulli infecting its guppy host (Poecilia reticulata). Hosts were maintained at different densities (3, 6, 12 and 24 fish in 40 L aquaria), and we monitored gyrodactylids both at a population and individual host level. Although parasite population size increased with host density, the probability of an epidemic did not. Epidemics were more likely when the primary infected fish had a high mean intensity and duration of infection. Epidemics only occurred if the primary infected host experienced more than 23 worm days. Female guppies contracted infections sooner than males, probably because females have a higher propensity for shoaling. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that in social hosts like guppies, the frequency of social contact largely governs disease epidemics independent of host density.
Johnson, Mirelle B.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; van Oosterhout, Cock; Cable, Joanne
Microsporidia are intracellular parasites of all major animal lineages and have a described diversity of over 1200 species and an actual diversity that is estimated to be much higher. They are important pathogens of mammals, and are now one of the most common infections among immunocompromised humans. Although related to fungi, microsporidia are atypical in genomic biology, cell structure and infection mechanism. Host cell infection involves the rapid expulsion of a polar tube from a dormant spore to pierce the host cell membrane and allow the direct transfer of the spore contents into the host cell cytoplasm. This intimate relationship between parasite and host is unique. It allows the microsporidia to be highly exploitative of the host cell environment and cause such diverse effects as the induction of hypertrophied cells to harbour prolific spore development, host sex ratio distortion and host cell organelle and microtubule reorganization. Genome sequencing has revealed that microsporidia have achieved this high level of parasite sophistication with radically reduced proteomes and with many typical eukaryotic pathways pared-down to what appear to be minimal functional units. These traits make microsporidia intriguing model systems for understanding the extremes of reductive parasite evolution and host cell manipulation. PMID:19673893
Williams, Bryony A P
Within-species genetic variation is a potent factor influencing between-species interactions and community-level structure. Species of the hemi-parasitic plant genus Rhinanthus act as ecosystem engineers, significantly altering above- and below-ground community structure in grasslands. Here, we show the importance of genotypic variation within a single host species (barley—Hordeum vulgare), and population-level variation among two species of parasite (Rhinanthus minor and Rhinanthus angustifolius) on the outcome of parasite infection for both partners. We measured host fitness (number of seeds) and calculated parasite virulence as the difference in seed set between infected and uninfected hosts (the inverse of host tolerance). Virulence was determined by genetic variation within the host species and among the parasite species, but R. angustifolius was consistently more virulent than R. minor. The most tolerant host had the lowest inherent fitness and did not gain a fitness advantage over other infected hosts. We measured parasite size as a proxy for transmission ability (ability to infect further hosts) and host resistance. Parasite size depended on the specific combination of host genotype, parasite species and parasite population, and no species was consistently larger. We demonstrate that the outcome of infection by Rhinanthus depends not only on the host species, but also on the underlying genetics of both host and parasite. Thus, genetic variations within host and parasite are probably essential components of the ecosystem-altering effects of Rhinanthus.
Rowntree, Jennifer K.; Cameron, Duncan D.; Preziosi, Richard F.
We investigated whether sexual segregation might affect parasite transmission and host dynamics, hypothesising that if males are the more heavily infected sex and more responsible for the transmission of parasite infections, female avoidance of males and the space they occupy could reduce infection rates. A mathematical model, simulating the interaction between abomasal parasites and a hypothetical alpine ibex (Capraibex) host population composed of its two sexes, was developed to predict the effect of different degrees of sexual segregation on parasite intensity and on host abundance. The results showed that when females tended to be segregated from males, and males were distributed randomly across space, the impact of parasites was the lowest, resulting in the highest host abundance, with each sex having the lowest parasite intensity. The predicted condition that minimises the impact of parasites in our model was the one closest to that observed in nature where females actively seek out the more segregated sites while males are less selective in their ranging behaviour. The overlapping of field observation with the predicted optimal strategy lends support to our idea that there might be a connection between parasite transmission and sexual segregation. Our simulations provide the biological boundaries of host-parasite interaction needed to determine a parasite-mediated effect on sexual segregation and a formalised null hypothesis against which to test future field experiments. PMID:20430029
Ferrari, Nicola; Rosŕ, Roberto; Lanfranchi, Paolo; Ruckstuhl, Kathreen E
Little is known of the life-history of many parasitic species. This hinders a full understanding of host-parasitic interactions. The common swift louse fly, Crataerina pallida Latreille (Diptera: Hippoboscidae), an obligate haematophagous parasite of the Common Swift, Apus apus Linnaeus 1758, is one such species. No detrimental effect of its parasitism upon the host has been found. This may be because too little is known about C. pallida ecology, and therefore detrimental effects are also unknown. This is a review of what is known about the life-history of this parasite, with the aim of promoting understanding of its ecology. New, previously unreported observations about C. pallida made from personal observations at a nesting swift colony are described. Unanswered questions are highlighted, which may aid understanding of this host-parasite system. C. pallida may prove a suitable model species for the study of other host-parasite relationships.
Walker, Mark D.; Rotherham, Ian D.
Several parasite species are known to manipulate the phenotype of their hosts in ways that enhance their own transmission. Co-occurrence of manipulative parasites, belonging to the same species or to more than one species, in a single host has been regularly observed. Little is known, however, on interactions between co-occurring manipulative parasites with same or different transmission routes. Several models addressing this problem have provided predictions on how cooperation and conflict between parasites could emerge from multiple infections. Here, we review the empirical evidence in favor of the existence of synergistic or antagonistic interactions between co-occurring parasites, and highlight the neglected role of micro-organisms. We particularly discuss the actual importance of selective forces shaping the evolution of interactions between manipulative parasites in relation to parasite prevalence in natural populations, efficiency in manipulation, and type of transmission (i.e., horizontal versus vertical), and we emphasize the potential for future research.
Cezilly, Frank; Perrot-Minnot, Marie-Jeanne; Rigaud, Thierry
Host–parasite interactions represent one of the strongest selection pressures in nature. They are often governed by genotype-specific (GxG) interactions resulting in host genotypes that differ in resistance and parasite genotypes that differ in virulence depending on the antagonist’s genotype. Another type of GxG interactions, which is often neglected but which certainly influences host–parasite interactions, are those between coinfecting parasite genotypes. Mechanistically, within-host parasite interactions may range from competition for limited host resources to cooperation for more efficient host exploitation. The exact type of interaction, i.e., whether competitive or cooperative, is known to affect life-history traits such as virulence. However, the latter has been shown for chosen genotype combinations only, not considering whether the specific genotype combination per se may influence the interaction (i.e., GxG interactions). Here, we want to test for the presence of GxG interactions between coinfections of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis infecting the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by combining two non-pathogenic and five pathogenic strains in all possible ways. Furthermore, we evaluate whether the type of interaction, reflected by the direction of virulence change of multiple compared to single infections, is genotype-specific. Generally, we found no indication for GxG interactions between non-pathogenic and pathogenic bacterial strains, indicating that virulence of pathogenic strains is equally affected by both non-pathogenic strains. Specific genotype combinations, however, differ in the strength of virulence change, indicating that the interaction type between coinfecting parasite strains and thus the virulence mechanism is specific for different genotype combinations. Such interactions are expected to influence host–parasite interactions and to have strong implications for coevolution.
Bose, Joy; Schulte, Rebecca D.
Parasites are thought to be a major driving force shaping genetic variation in their host, and are suggested to be a significant reason for the maintenance of sexual reproduction. A leading hypothesis for the occurrence of multiple mating (polyandry) in social insects is that the genetic diversity generated within-colonies through this behavior promotes disease resistance. This benefit is likely to be particularly significant when colonies are exposed to multiple species and strains of parasites, but host-parasite genotypic interactions in social insects are little known. We investigated this using honey bees, which are naturally polyandrous and consequently produce genetically diverse colonies containing multiple genotypes (patrilines), and which are also known to host multiple strains of various parasite species. We found that host genotypes differed significantly in their resistance to different strains of the obligate fungal parasite that causes chalkbrood disease, while genotypic variation in resistance to the facultative fungal parasite that causes stonebrood disease was less pronounced. Our results show that genetic variation in disease resistance depends in part on the parasite genotype, as well as species, with the latter most likely relating to differences in parasite life history and host-parasite coevolution. Our results suggest that the selection pressure from genetically diverse parasites might be an important driving force in the evolution of polyandry, a mechanism that generates significant genetic diversity in social insects. PMID:23919163
Evison, Sophie E F; Fazio, Geraldine; Chappell, Paula; Foley, Kirsten; Jensen, Annette B; Hughes, William O H
Brood parasitic birds, their foster species and their ectoparasites form a complex coevolving system composed of three hierarchical levels. However, effects of hosts' brood parasitic life-style on the evolution of their louse (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, Ischnocera) lineages have never been tested. We present two phylogenetic analyses of ectoparasite richness of brood parasitic clades. Our hypothesis was that brood parasitic life-style affects louse richness negatively across all avian clades due to the lack of vertical transmission routes. Then, narrowing our scope to brood parasitic cuckoos, we explored macroevolutionary factors responsible for the variability of their louse richness. Our results show that taxonomic richness of lice is lower on brood parasitic clades than on their nonparasitic sister clades. However, we found a positive covariation between the richness of cuckoos' Ischnoceran lice and the number of their foster species, possibly due to the complex and dynamic subpopulation structure of cuckoo species that utilize several host species. We documented diversity interactions across a three-level host parasite system and we found evidence that brood parasitism has opposing effects on louse richness at two slightly differing macroevolutionary scales, namely the species richness and the genera richness. PMID:23550748
Vas, Zoltán; Fuisz, Tibor I; Fehérvári, Péter; Reiczigel, Jen?; Rózsa, Lajos
Some chytrids are host-specific parasiticfungithat may have a considerable impact on phytoplankton dynamics. The phylum Chytridiomycota contains one class, the Chytridiomycetes, and is composed of five different orders. Molecular studies now firmly place the Chytridiomycota within the fungal kingdom. Chytrids are characterized by having zoospores, a motile stage in their life cycle. Zoospores are attracted to the host cell by
Bas W. Ibelings; Arnout De Bruin; Maiko Kagami; Machteld Rijkeboer; Michaela Brehm; Ellen Van Donk
Background Parasite biology, by its very nature, cannot be understood without integrating it with that of the host, nor can the host response be adequately explained without considering the activity of the parasite. However, due to experimental limitations, molecular studies of parasite-host systems have been predominantly one-sided investigations focusing on either of the partners involved. Here, we conducted a dual RNA-seq time course analysis of filarial worm parasite and host mosquito to better understand the parasite processes underlying development in and interaction with the host tissue, from the establishment of infection to the development of infective-stage larva. Methodology/Principal Findings Using the Brugia malayi–Aedes aegypti system, we report parasite gene transcription dynamics, which exhibited a highly ordered developmental program consisting of a series of cyclical and state-transitioning temporal patterns. In addition, we contextualized these parasite data in relation to the concurrent dynamics of the host transcriptome. Comparative analyses using uninfected tissues and different host strains revealed the influence of parasite development on host gene transcription as well as the influence of the host environment on parasite gene transcription. We also critically evaluated the life-cycle transcriptome of B. malayi by comparing developmental stages in the mosquito relative to those in the mammalian host, providing insight into gene expression changes underpinning the mosquito-borne parasitic lifestyle of this heteroxenous parasite. Conclusions/Significance The data presented herein provide the research community with information to design wet lab experiments and select candidates for future study to more fully dissect the whole set of molecular interactions of both organisms in this mosquito-filarial worm symbiotic relationship. Furthermore, characterization of the transcriptional program over the complete life cycle of the parasite, including stages within the mosquito, could help devise novel targets for control strategies.
Mayhew, George F.; Erickson, Sara M.; Christensen, Bruce M.
The question of whether cell death by apoptosis plays a biological function during infection is key to understanding host-parasite interactions. We investigated the involvement of apoptosis in several host-parasite systems, using zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha as test organisms and their micro- and macroparasites. As a stress response associated with parasitism, heat shock proteins (Hsp) can be induced. In this protein family, Hsp70 are known to be apoptosis inhibitors. Mussels were diagnosed for their respective infections by standard histological methods; apoptosis was detected using the TUNEL methods on paraffin sections and Hsp70 by immunohistochemistry on cryosections. Circulating hemocytes were the main cells observed in apoptosis whereas infected tissues displayed no or few apoptotic cells. Parasitism by intracellular bacteria Rickettsiales-like and the trematode Bucephalus polymorphus were associated with the inhibition of apoptosis whereas ciliates Ophryoglena spp. or the trematode Phyllodistomum folium did not involve significant differences in apoptosis. Even if some parasites were able to modulate apoptosis in zebra mussels, we did not see evidence of any involvement of Hsp70 on this mechanism.
Minguez, Laetitia; Brule, Nelly; Sohm, Benedicte; Devin, Simon; Giamberini, Laure
Background Genomic and pathology analysis has revealed enormous diversity in genes involved in disease, including those encoding host resistance and parasite effectors (also known in plant pathology as avirulence genes). It has been proposed that such variation may persist when an organism exists in a spatially structured metapopulation, following the geographic mosaic of coevolution. Here, we study gene-for-gene relationships governing the outcome of plant-parasite interactions in a spatially structured system and, in particular, investigate the population genetic processes which maintain balanced polymorphism in both species. Results Following previous theory on the effect of heterogeneous environments on maintenance of polymorphism, we analysed a model with two demes in which the demes have different environments and are coupled by gene flow. Environmental variation is manifested by different coefficients of natural selection, the costs to the host of resistance and to the parasite of virulence, the cost to the host of being diseased and the cost to an avirulent parasite of unsuccessfully attacking a resistant host. We show that migration generates negative direct frequency-dependent selection, a condition for maintenance of stable polymorphism in each deme. Balanced polymorphism occurs preferentially if there is heterogeneity for costs of resistance and virulence alleles among populations and to a lesser extent if there is variation in the cost to the host of being diseased. We show that the four fitness costs control the natural frequency of oscillation of host resistance and parasite avirulence alleles. If demes have different costs, their frequencies of oscillation differ and when coupled by gene flow, there is amplitude death of the oscillations in each deme. Numerical simulations show that for a multiple deme island model, costs of resistance and virulence need not to be present in each deme for stable polymorphism to occur. Conclusions Our theoretical results confirm the importance of empirical studies for measuring the environmental heterogeneity for genetic costs of resistance and virulence alleles. We suggest that such studies should be developed to investigate the generality of this mechanism for the long-term maintenance of genetic diversity at host and parasite genes.
Summary 1. Parasitic plants affect the growth, reproduction and metabolism of their hosts and may also influence the outcome of competitive interactions between host species and, consequently, the struc- ture of entire host communities. 2. We investigate the effect of the root hemiparasitic plant Rhinanthus minor on plant community dynamics using a spatial theoretical model. The model is parameterized with
Duncan D. Cameron; Andy White; Janis Antonovics
Background Climate change potentially has important effects on distribution, abundance, transmission and virulence of parasites in wild populations of animals. Methodology/Principal Finding Here we analyzed paired information on 89 parasite populations for 24 species of bird hosts some years ago and again in 2010 with an average interval of 10 years. The parasite taxa included protozoa, feather parasites, diptera, ticks, mites and fleas. We investigated whether change in abundance and prevalence of parasites was related to change in body condition, reproduction and population size of hosts. We conducted analyses based on the entire dataset, but also on a restricted dataset with intervals between study years being 5–15 years. Parasite abundance increased over time when restricting the analyses to datasets with an interval of 5–15 years, with no significant effect of changes in temperature at the time of breeding among study sites. Changes in host body condition and clutch size were related to change in temperature between first and second study year. In addition, changes in clutch size, brood size and body condition of hosts were correlated with change in abundance of parasites. Finally, changes in population size of hosts were not significantly related to changes in abundance of parasites or their prevalence. Conclusions/Significance Climate change is associated with a general increase in parasite abundance. Variation in laying date depended on locality and was associated with latitude while body condition of hosts was associated with a change in temperature. Because clutch size, brood size and body condition were associated with change in parasitism, these results suggest that parasites, perhaps mediated through the indirect effects of temperature, may affect fecundity and condition of their hosts. The conclusions were particularly in accordance with predictions when the restricted dataset with intervals of 5–15 years was used, suggesting that short intervals may bias findings.
M?ller, Anders Pape; Merino, Santiago; Soler, Juan Jose; Antonov, Anton; Badas, Elisa P.; Calero-Torralbo, Miguel A.; de Lope, Florentino; Eeva, Tapio; Figuerola, Jordi; Flensted-Jensen, Einar; Garamszegi, Laszlo Z.; Gonzalez-Braojos, Sonia; Gwinner, Helga; Hanssen, Sveinn Are; Heylen, Dieter; Ilmonen, Petteri; Klarborg, Kurt; Korpimaki, Erkki; Martinez, Javier; Martinez-de la Puente, Josue; Marzal, Alfonso; Matthysen, Erik; Matyjasiak, Piotr; Molina-Morales, Mercedes; Moreno, Juan; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Nielsen, Jan T?ttrup; Pap, Peter Laszlo; Rivero-de Aguilar, Juan; Shurulinkov, Peter; Slagsvold, Tore; Szep, Tibor; Szollosi, Eszter; Torok, Janos; Vaclav, Radovan; Valera, Francisco; Ziane, Nadia
We examine a nonlinear stochastic model for the parasite load of a single host over a predetermined time interval. We use nonhomogeneous Poisson processes to model the acquisition of parasites, the parasite-induced host mortality, the natural (no parasite-induced) host mortality, and the reproduction and death of parasites within the host. Algebraic results are first obtained on the age-dependent distribution of the number of parasites infesting the host at an arbitrary time t. The interest is in control strategies based on isolation of the host and the use of an anthelmintic at a certain intervention instant t0. This means that the host is free living in a seasonal environment, and it is transferred to a uninfected area at age t0. In the uninfected area, the host does not acquire new parasites, undergoes a treatment to decrease the parasite load, and its natural and parasite-induced mortality are altered. For a suitable selection of t0, we present two control criteria that appropriately balance effectiveness and cost of intervention. Our approach is based on simple probabilistic principles, and it allows us to examine seasonal fluctuations of gastrointestinal nematode burden in growing lambs. PMID:24657746
Gómez-Corral, A; López García, M
In humans, infections contribute highly to mortality and morbidity rates worldwide. Malaria tropica is one of the major infectious diseases globally and is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Plasmodia have accompanied human beings since the emergence of humankind. Due to its pathogenicity, malaria is a powerful selective force on the human genome. Genetic epidemiology approaches such as family and twin studies, candidate gene studies, and disease-association studies have identified a number of genes that mediate relative protection against the severest forms of the disease. New molecular approaches, including genome-wide association studies, have recently been performed to expand our knowledge on the functional effect of human variation in malaria. For the future, a systematic determination of gene-dosage effects and expression profiles of protective genes might unveil the functional impact of structural alterations in these genes on either side of the host-parasite interaction.
The effects of contaminants on multispecies interactions can be difficult to predict. The herbicide atrazine is commonly used in North America for corn crops, runs off into wetlands, and has been implicated in the increasing susceptibility of larval frogs to trematode parasites. Using experimental challenges with free-living stages of trematodes (cercariae), it was found that Rana sylvatica tadpoles exposed to 30 microg/L of atrazine had significantly higher intensity of parasitism than did larval frogs either not exposed or exposed to 3 microg/L of atrazine. This result could not be explained by high concentrations of atrazine diminishing antiparasite behavior of tadpoles. Furthermore, when tadpoles and cercariae both were exposed to the same concentration of atrazine, either 3 or 30 microg/L, the abundance of formed cysts was not different from the condition in which both were housed at 0 microg/L of atrazine. Atrazine appears to be debilitating to both free-living cercariae and tadpoles. Studies examining relations between parasitism and contaminant levels must account for such combined effects as well as influences on other interacting species (e.g., first intermediate snail hosts). PMID:17867892
Koprivnikar, Janet; Forbes, Mark R; Baker, Robert L
In species with separate sexes, parasite prevalence and disease expression is often different between males and females. This effect has mainly been attributed to sex differences in host traits, such as immune response. Here, we make the case for how properties of the parasites themselves can also matter. Specifically, we suggest that differences between host sexes in many different traits, such as morphology and hormone levels, can impose selection on parasites. This selection can eventually lead to parasite adaptations specific to the host sex more commonly encountered, or to differential expression of parasite traits depending on which host sex they find themselves in. Parasites adapted to the sex of the host in this way can contribute to differences between males and females in disease prevalence and expression. Considering those possibilities can help shed light on host–parasite interactions, and impact epidemiological and medical science.
Duneau, David; Ebert, Dieter
Eosinophils are one of the major mammalian effector cells encountered by helminths during infection. In the present study, we investigated the effects of eosinophil granule exposure on the sheep parasitic nematode Haemonchus contortus as a model. H. contortus eggs exposed to eosinophil granule products showed increased rhodamine 123 efflux and this effect was not due to loss of egg integrity. Rh123 is known to be a specific P-glycoprotein (Pgp) substrate and led to the hypothesis that in addition to their critical role in xenobiotic resistance, helminth ABC transporters such as Pgp may also be involved in the detoxification of host cytotoxic products. We showed by quantitative RT-PCR that, among nine different H. contortus Pgp genes, Hco-pgp-3, Hco-pgp-9.2, Hco-pgp-11 and, Hco-pgp-16 were specifically up-regulated in parasitic life stages suggesting a potential involvement of these Pgps in the detoxification of eosinophil granule products. Using exsheathed L3 larvae that mimic the first life stage in contact with the host, we demonstrated that eosinophil granules induced a dose dependent overexpression of Hco-pgp-3 and the closely related Hco-pgp-16. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence that a subset of helminth Pgps interact with, and could be involved in the detoxification of, host products. This opens the way for further studies aiming to explore the role of helminth Pgps in the host-parasite interaction, including evasion of the host immune response.
Issouf, Mohamed; Guegnard, Fabrice; Koch, Christine; Le Vern, Yves; Blanchard-Letort, Alexandra; Che, Hua; Beech, Robin N.; Kerboeuf, Dominique; Neveu, Cedric
The agents of sleeping sickness disease, Trypanosoma brucei complex parasites, are transmitted to mammalian hosts through the bite of an infected tsetse. Information on tsetse-trypanosome interactions in the salivary gland (SG) tissue, and on mammalian infective metacyclic (MC) parasites present in the SG, is sparse. We performed RNA-seq analyses from uninfected and T. b. brucei infected SGs of Glossina morsitans morsitans. Comparison of the SG transcriptomes to a whole body fly transcriptome revealed that only 2.7% of the contigs are differentially expressed during SG infection, and that only 263 contigs (0.6%) are preferentially expressed in the SGs (SG-enriched). The expression of only 37 contigs (0.08%) and 27 SG-enriched contigs (10%) were suppressed in infected SG. These suppressed contigs accounted for over 55% of the SG transcriptome, and included the most abundant putative secreted proteins with anti-hemostatic functions present in saliva. In contrast, expression of putative host proteins associated with immunity, stress, cell division and tissue remodeling were enriched in infected SG suggesting that parasite infections induce host immune and stress response(s) that likely results in tissue renewal. We also performed RNA-seq analysis from mouse blood infected with the same parasite strain, and compared the transcriptome of bloodstream form (BSF) cells with that of parasites obtained from the infected SG. Over 30% of parasite transcripts are differentially regulated between the two stages, and reflect parasite adaptations to varying host nutritional and immune ecology. These differences are associated with the switch from an amino acid based metabolism in the SG to one based on glucose utilization in the blood, and with surface coat modifications that enable parasite survival in the different hosts. This study provides a foundation on the molecular aspects of the trypanosome dialogue with its tsetse and mammalian hosts, necessary for future functional investigations.
Zhao, Xin; Savage, Amy F.; Regmi, Sandesh; e Silva, Thiago Luiz Alves; O'Neill, Michelle; Aksoy, Serap
The agents of sleeping sickness disease, Trypanosoma brucei complex parasites, are transmitted to mammalian hosts through the bite of an infected tsetse. Information on tsetse-trypanosome interactions in the salivary gland (SG) tissue, and on mammalian infective metacyclic (MC) parasites present in the SG, is sparse. We performed RNA-seq analyses from uninfected and T. b. brucei infected SGs of Glossina morsitans morsitans. Comparison of the SG transcriptomes to a whole body fly transcriptome revealed that only 2.7% of the contigs are differentially expressed during SG infection, and that only 263 contigs (0.6%) are preferentially expressed in the SGs (SG-enriched). The expression of only 37 contigs (0.08%) and 27 SG-enriched contigs (10%) were suppressed in infected SG. These suppressed contigs accounted for over 55% of the SG transcriptome, and included the most abundant putative secreted proteins with anti-hemostatic functions present in saliva. In contrast, expression of putative host proteins associated with immunity, stress, cell division and tissue remodeling were enriched in infected SG suggesting that parasite infections induce host immune and stress response(s) that likely results in tissue renewal. We also performed RNA-seq analysis from mouse blood infected with the same parasite strain, and compared the transcriptome of bloodstream form (BSF) cells with that of parasites obtained from the infected SG. Over 30% of parasite transcripts are differentially regulated between the two stages, and reflect parasite adaptations to varying host nutritional and immune ecology. These differences are associated with the switch from an amino acid based metabolism in the SG to one based on glucose utilization in the blood, and with surface coat modifications that enable parasite survival in the different hosts. This study provides a foundation on the molecular aspects of the trypanosome dialogue with its tsetse and mammalian hosts, necessary for future functional investigations. PMID:24763140
Telleria, Erich Loza; Benoit, Joshua B; Zhao, Xin; Savage, Amy F; Regmi, Sandesh; e Silva, Thiago Luiz Alves; O'Neill, Michelle; Aksoy, Serap
Eosinophils are one of the major mammalian effector cells encountered by helminths during infection. In the present study, we investigated the effects of eosinophil granule exposure on the sheep parasitic nematode Haemonchus contortus as a model. H. contortus eggs exposed to eosinophil granule products showed increased rhodamine 123 efflux and this effect was not due to loss of egg integrity. Rh123 is known to be a specific P-glycoprotein (Pgp) substrate and led to the hypothesis that in addition to their critical role in xenobiotic resistance, helminth ABC transporters such as Pgp may also be involved in the detoxification of host cytotoxic products. We showed by quantitative RT-PCR that, among nine different H. contortus Pgp genes, Hco-pgp-3, Hco-pgp-9.2, Hco-pgp-11 and, Hco-pgp-16 were specifically up-regulated in parasitic life stages suggesting a potential involvement of these Pgps in the detoxification of eosinophil granule products. Using exsheathed L3 larvae that mimic the first life stage in contact with the host, we demonstrated that eosinophil granules induced a dose dependent overexpression of Hco-pgp-3 and the closely related Hco-pgp-16. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence that a subset of helminth Pgps interact with, and could be involved in the detoxification of, host products. This opens the way for further studies aiming to explore the role of helminth Pgps in the host-parasite interaction, including evasion of the host immune response. PMID:24498376
Issouf, Mohamed; Guégnard, Fabrice; Koch, Christine; Le Vern, Yves; Blanchard-Letort, Alexandra; Che, Hua; Beech, Robin N; Kerboeuf, Dominique; Neveu, Cedric
Invertebrates were long thought to possess only a simple, effective and hence non-adaptive defence system against microbial and parasitic attacks. However, recent studies have shown that invertebrate immunity also relies on immune receptors that diversify (e.g. in echinoderms, insects and mollusks (Biomphalaria glabrata)). Apparently, individual or population-based polymorphism-generating mechanisms exists that permit the survival of invertebrate species exposed to parasites. Consequently, the generally accepted arms race hypothesis predicts that molecular diversity and polymorphism also exist in parasites of invertebrates. We investigated the diversity and polymorphism of parasite molecules (Schistosoma mansoni Polymorphic Mucins, SmPoMucs) that are key factors for the compatibility of schistosomes interacting with their host, the mollusc Biomphalaria glabrata. We have elucidated the complex cascade of mechanisms acting both at the genomic level and during expression that confer polymorphism to SmPoMuc. We show that SmPoMuc is coded by a multi-gene family whose members frequently recombine. We show that these genes are transcribed in an individual-specific manner, and that for each gene, multiple splice variants exist. Finally, we reveal the impact of this polymorphism on the SmPoMuc glycosylation status. Our data support the view that S. mansoni has evolved a complex hierarchical system that efficiently generates a high degree of polymorphism—a “controlled chaos”—based on a relatively low number of genes. This contrasts with protozoan parasites that generate antigenic variation from large sets of genes such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei and Plasmodium falciparum. Our data support the view that the interaction between parasites and their invertebrate hosts are far more complex than previously thought. While most studies in this matter have focused on invertebrate host diversification, we clearly show that diversifying mechanisms also exist on the parasite side of the interaction. Our findings shed new light on how and why invertebrate immunity develops.
Roger, Emmanuel; Grunau, Christoph; Pierce, Raymond J.; Hirai, Hirohisa; Gourbal, Benjamin; Galinier, Richard; Emans, Remi; Cesari, Italo M.; Cosseau, Celine; Mitta, Guillaume
Visceral leishmaniases are vector-borne parasitic diseases caused by protozoa belonging to the genus Leishmania. The heterogeneity of clinical manifestations and epidemiological characteristics of the disease reflect the complex interplay between the infecting Leishmania species and the genetic and immunologic characteristics of the infected host. The clinical presentation of visceral leishmaniasis depends strictly on the immunocompetency of the host and ranges from asymptomatic to severe forms. Conditions of depression of the immune system, such as HIV infection or immunosuppressive treatments, impair the capability of the immune response to resolve the infection and allow reactivation and relapses of the disease. PMID:23380419
Saporito, Laura; Giammanco, Giovanni M; De Grazia, Simona; Colomba, Claudia
Many biotic interactions can affect the prevalence and intensity of parasite infections in aquatic snails. Historically, these studies have centered on interactions between trematode parasites or between trematodes and other organisms. The present investigation focuses on the nematode parasite Daubaylia potomaca and its interactions with a commensal, Chaetogaster limnaei limnaei , and a variety of trematode species. It was found that the presence of C. l. limnaei indirectly increased the mean intensity of D. potomaca infections, apparently by acting as a restraint for various trematode parasites, particularly the rediae of Echinostoma sp. In turn, Echinostoma sp. rediae adversely affected the mean intensity of D. potomaca by their consumption of both juvenile and adult nematodes present in tissues of the snail. These organisms not only belong to 3 different phyla but occupy distinct trophic levels as well. The complex interactions among these 3 organisms in the snail host provide an excellent example of biotic interactions influencing the infection dynamics of parasites in aquatic snails. PMID:21506797
Zimmermann, Michael R; Luth, Kyle E; Esch, Gerald W
Hosts either tolerate avian brood parasitism or reject it by ejecting parasitic eggs, as seen in most rejecter hosts of common cuckoos, Cuculus canorus, or by abandoning parasitized clutches, as seen in most rejecter hosts of brown-headed cowbirds, Molothrus ater. What explains consistent variation between alternative rejection behaviours of hosts within the same species and across species when exposed to different types of parasites? Life history theory predicts that when parasites decrease the fitness of host offspring, but not the future reproductive success of host adults, optimal clutch size should decrease. Consistent with this prediction, evolutionarily old cowbird hosts, but not cuckoo hosts, have lower clutch sizes than related rarely- or newly parasitized species. We constructed a mathematical model to calculate the fitness payoffs of egg ejector vs. nest abandoner hosts to determine if various aspects of host life history traits and brood parasites' virulence on adult and young host fitness differentially influence the payoffs of alternative host defences. These calculations showed that in general egg ejection was a superior anti-parasite strategy to nest abandonment. Yet, increasing parasitism rates and increasing fitness values of hosts' eggs in both currently parasitized and future replacement nests led to switch points in fitness payoffs in favour of nest abandonment. Nonetheless, nest abandonment became selectively more favourable only at lower clutch sizes and only when hosts faced parasitism by a cowbird- rather than a cuckoo-type brood parasite. We suggest that, in addition to evolutionary lag and gape-size limitation, our estimated fitness differences based on life history trait variation provide new insights for the consistent differences observed in the anti-parasite rejection strategies between many cuckoo- and cowbird-hosts. PMID:16910987
Servedio, M R; Hauber, M E
Background Antagonistic species often interact via matching of phenotypes, and interactions between brood parasitic common cuckoos (Cuculus canorus) and their hosts constitute classic examples. The outcome of a parasitic event is often determined by the match between host and cuckoo eggs, giving rise to potentially strong associations between fitness and egg phenotype. Yet, empirical efforts aiming to document and understand the resulting evolutionary outcomes are in short supply. Methods/Principal Findings We used avian color space models to analyze patterns of egg color variation within and between the cuckoo and two closely related hosts, the nomadic brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) and the site fidelic chaffinch (F. coelebs). We found that there is pronounced opportunity for disruptive selection on brambling egg coloration. The corresponding cuckoo host race has evolved egg colors that maximize fitness in both sympatric and allopatric brambling populations. By contrast, the chaffinch has a more bimodal egg color distribution consistent with the evolutionary direction predicted for the brambling. Whereas the brambling and its cuckoo host race show little geographical variation in their egg color distributions, the chaffinch's distribution becomes increasingly dissimilar to the brambling's distribution towards the core area of the brambling cuckoo host race. Conclusion High rates of brambling gene flow is likely to cool down coevolutionary hot spots by cancelling out the selection imposed by a patchily distributed cuckoo host race, thereby promoting a matching equilibrium. By contrast, the site fidelic chaffinch is more likely to respond to selection from adapting cuckoos, resulting in a markedly more bimodal egg color distribution. The geographic variation in the chaffinch's egg color distribution could reflect a historical gradient in parasitism pressure. Finally, marked cuckoo egg polymorphisms are unlikely to evolve in these systems unless the hosts evolve even more exquisite egg recognition capabilities than currently possessed.
Vikan, Johan Reinert; Foss?y, Frode; Huhta, Esa; Moksnes, Arne; R?skaft, Eivin; Stokke, Bard Gunnar
Horizontal transfer (HT), or the passage of genetic material between non-mating species, is increasingly recognized as an important force in the evolution of eukaryotic genomes1,2. Transposons, with their inherent ability to mobilize and amplify within genomes, may be especially prone to HT3–7. However, the means by which transposons can spread across widely diverged species remain elusive. Here we present evidence that host-parasite interactions have promoted the HT of four transposon families between invertebrates and vertebrates. We found that Rhodnius prolixus, a triatomine bug feeding on the blood of diverse tetrapods and vector of the Chagas disease in humans, carries in its genome four distinct transposon families that also invaded the genomes of a diverse, but overlapping, set of tetrapods. The bug transposons are ~98% identical and cluster phylogenetically with those of the opossum and squirrel monkey, two of its preferred mammalian hosts in South America. We also identified one of these transposon families in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis, a nearly cosmopolitan vector of trematodes infecting diverse vertebrates, whose ancestral sequence is nearly identical and clusters with those found in Old World mammals. Together these data provide evidence for a previously hypothesized role of host-parasite interactions in facilitating HT among animals3,7. Furthermore, the large amount of DNA generated by the amplification of the horizontally-transferred transposons supports the idea that the exchange of genetic material between hosts and parasites influence their genomic evolution.
Gilbert, Clement; Schaack, Sarah; Pace, John K.; Brindley, Paul J.; Feschotte, Cedric
The health of the honeybee and, indirectly, global crop production are threatened by several biotic and abiotic factors, which play a poorly defined role in the induction of widespread colony losses. Recent descriptive studies suggest that colony losses are often related to the interaction between pathogens and other stress factors, including parasites. Through an integrated analysis of the population and
Francesco Nazzi; Sam P. Brown; Desiderato Annoscia; Fabio Del Piccolo; Gennaro Di Prisco; Paola Varricchio; Giorgio Della Vedova; Federica Cattonaro; Emilio Caprio; Francesco Pennacchio
SUMMARY Taxonomy: Eukaryota; Metazoa; Nematoda; Chromadorea; order Tylenchida; Tylenchoidea; Heteroderidae; genus Meloidogyne. Physical properties: Microscopic-non-segmented worms. Meloidogyne species can reproduce by apomixis, facultative meiotic parthenogenesis or obligate mitotic parthenogenesis. Obligate biotrophic parasites inducing the re-differentiation of plant cells into specialized feeding cells. Hosts: Meloidogyne spp. can infest more than 3000 plant species including vegetables, fruit trees, cereals and ornamental flowers. Symptoms: Root swellings called galls. Alteration of the root vascular system. Disease control: Cultural control, chemical control, resistant cultivars. Agronomic importance: Major threat to agriculture in temperate and tropical regions. PMID:20569382
Abad, Pierre; Favery, Bruno; Rosso, Marie-Noëlle; Castagnone-Sereno, Philippe
Parasite communities of introduced fish Neogobius kessleri Günther (Gobiidae) were studied at five localities in the Slovak section of the Danube River during 2002-2005. Thirty-three metazoan parasite species were identified. All fish were infected with at least two parasite species; most of the parasite species were generalists. At all sampling sites, high susceptibility to local parasites was observed. The parasite community was dominated by three parasite species: glochidia of Anodonta anatina, larval or subadult acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus laevis, and larval nematode Raphidascaris acus. The infection of both A. anatina and P. laevis was affected by season and habitat type, with higher abundance in spring and more frequent occurrence of A. anatina in side channels and P. laevis in main river channels. At both the component and infracommunity levels, a more diverse parasite community was found in side channels. This habitat was dominated by actively transmitted parasites, whilst endoparasites were more abundant in fish from the main river channel. Larval stages of parasites dominated the endoparasite community at all sampling sites. The introduced N. kessleri was used as intermediate host for most of the recorded parasites, in some cases also as a paratenic host. Finally, the importance of gobies as suitable hosts for local non-native parasite species (Anguillicoloides crassus, Anodonta woodina, Hydrozetes lacustris) is discussed. PMID:19288135
Ondracková, Markéta; Dávidová, Martina; Blazek, Radim; Gelnar, Milan; Jurajda, Pavel
Horizontal transfer (HT) of transposable elements has been recognized to be a major force driving genomic variation and biological innovation of eukaryotic organisms. However, the mechanisms of HT in eukaryotes remain poorly appreciated. The non-autonomous Helitron family, Lep1, has been found to be widespread in lepidopteran species, and showed little interspecific sequence similarity of acquired sequences at 3' end, which makes Lep1 a good candidate for the study of HT. In this study, we describe the Lep1-like elements in multiple non-lepidopteran species, including two aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum and Aphis gossypii, two parasitoid wasps, Cotesia vestalis, and Copidosoma floridanum, one beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, as well as two bracoviruses in parasitoid wasps, and one intracellular microsporidia parasite, Nosema bombycis. The patchy distribution and high sequence similarity of Lep1-like elements among distantly related lineages as well as incongruence of Lep1-like elements and host phylogeny suggest the occurrence of HT. Remarkably, the acquired sequences of both NbLep1 from N. bombycis and CfLep1 from C. floridanum showed over 90% identity with their lepidopteran host Lep1. Thus, our study provides evidence of HT facilitated by host-parasite interactions. Furthermore, in the context of these data, we discuss the putative directions and vectors of HT of Lep1 Helitrons. PMID:24874102
Guo, Xuezhu; Gao, Jingkun; Li, Fei; Wang, Jianjun
Horizontal transfer (HT) of transposable elements has been recognized to be a major force driving genomic variation and biological innovation of eukaryotic organisms. However, the mechanisms of HT in eukaryotes remain poorly appreciated. The non-autonomous Helitron family, Lep1, has been found to be widespread in lepidopteran species, and showed little interspecific sequence similarity of acquired sequences at 3? end, which makes Lep1 a good candidate for the study of HT. In this study, we describe the Lep1-like elements in multiple non-lepidopteran species, including two aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum and Aphis gossypii, two parasitoid wasps, Cotesia vestalis, and Copidosoma floridanum, one beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, as well as two bracoviruses in parasitoid wasps, and one intracellular microsporidia parasite, Nosema bombycis. The patchy distribution and high sequence similarity of Lep1-like elements among distantly related lineages as well as incongruence of Lep1-like elements and host phylogeny suggest the occurrence of HT. Remarkably, the acquired sequences of both NbLep1 from N. bombycis and CfLep1 from C. floridanum showed over 90% identity with their lepidopteran host Lep1. Thus, our study provides evidence of HT facilitated by host-parasite interactions. Furthermore, in the context of these data, we discuss the putative directions and vectors of HT of Lep1 Helitrons.
Guo, Xuezhu; Gao, Jingkun; Li, Fei; Wang, Jianjun
Parasitic infection can modify host mobility and consequently their dispersal capacity. We experimentally investigated this idea using the ciliate Paramecium caudatum and its bacterial parasite Holospora undulata. We compared the short-distance dispersal of infected and uninfected populations in interconnected microcosms. Infection reduced the proportion of hosts dispersing, with levels differing among host clones. Host populations with higher densities showed lower dispersal, possibly owing to social aggregation behaviour. Parasite isolates that depleted host populations most had the lowest impact on host dispersal. Parasite-induced modification of dispersal may have consequences for the spatial distribution of disease, host and parasite genetic population structure, and coevolution.
Fellous, Simon; Quillery, Elsa; Duncan, Alison B.; Kaltz, Oliver
Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites recovered from the host-parasite interface during abscess development obtain different stimuli compared with long-term cultured cells. In order to have a better understanding about the mechanisms in which the 140 kDa fibronectin (FN)-binding molecule (EhFNR) is involved during the invasive process, we decided to compare the regulation process of this molecule among long-term cultured trophozoites, FN-stimulated trophozoites, and trophozoites recently recovered from a liver abscess. A cDNA clone (5A) containing a fragment of the EhFNR that shows identity to the C-terminal region of the intermediate galactose lectin subunit Igl, was selected with a mAb (3C10). Identity of EhFNR with Igl was confirmed by immunoprecipitation with 3C10 and EH3015 (against the Gal/GalNAc intermediate subunit) mAbs. The 3C10 mAb was used as a tool to explore the modulation of the amoebic receptor (EhFNR). Our results showed specific regulation of the EhFNR in FN-interacted amoebas, as well as in trophozoites recovered at different stages of abscess development. This regulation involved mobilization of the receptor molecule from internal vesicles to the plasma membrane. Therefore, we suggest that in the host-parasite interface, the EhFNR (Igl) plays an important role in the adhesion process during abscess development. PMID:17076927
Hernández-Ramírez, V I; Rios, A; Angel, A; Magos, M A; Pérez-Castillo, L; Rosales-Encina, J L; Castillo-Henkel, E; Talamás-Rohana, P
Although it has been known for many years that Trichinella spiralis initiates infection by penetrating the columnar epithelium of the small intestine, the mechanisms by which T. spiralis infective larvae recognize and invade the intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) are unknown. It is speculated that the molecular interactions between the parasite and host enterocytes may mediate the recognition and invasion of IECs by T. spiralis. However, no Trichinella proteins that interact with the enterocytes have been identified previously. The aim of this study was to identify Trichinella proteins that bind to IECs by screening a T7 phage display cDNA library constructed using messenger RNA from T. spiralis intestinal infective larvae. Following five rounds of biopanning, sequencing, and bioinformatics analysis, ten T. spiralis proteins (Tsp1-Tsp10) with significant binding to normal mouse IECs were identified. The results of the protein classification showed that six proteins (Tsp1, calcium-transporting ATPase 2 protein; Tsp4, ovochymase-1; Tsp6, T-complex protein 1 subunit eta; Tsp7, glycosyl hydrolase family 47; Tsp8, DNA replication licensing factor MCM3; and Tsp10, nudix hydrolase) of these T. spiralis proteins were annotated with putative molecular functions. Out of the six proteins, five have catalytic activity, four have binding activity, and one has transporter activity. Anti-Tsp10 antibodies prevented the in vitro partial invasion of IECs by infective larvae and the mice immunized with the recombinant phage T7-Tsp10 showed a 62.8 % reduction in adult worms following challenge with T. spiralis muscle larvae. Although their biological functions are not yet fully known, these proteins might be related to the larval invasion of host enterocytes. Future experiments will be necessary to ascertain whether these proteins play important roles in the recognition and invasion of host enterocytes. The construction and biopanning of Trichinella phage display libraries provide a novel approach for searching for candidate genes that are related to invasion and for identifying protein interactions between parasite and host. PMID:23420409
Ren, Hui Jun; Liu, Ruo Dan; Wang, Zhong Quan; Cui, Jing
Interactions involving several parasite species (multi-parasitized hosts) or several host species (multi-host parasites) are the rule in nature. Only a few studies have investigated these realistic, but complex, situations from an evolutionary perspective. Consequently, their impact on the evolution of parasite virulence and transmission remains poorly understood. The mechanisms by which multiple infections may influence virulence and transmission include the dynamics of intrahost competition, mediation by the host immune system and an increase in parasite genetic recombination. Theoretical investigations have yet to be conducted to determine which of these mechanisms are likely to be key factors in the evolution of virulence and transmission. In contrast, the relationship between multi-host parasites and parasite virulence and transmission has seen some theoretical investigation. The key factors in these models are the trade-off between virulence across different host species, variation in host species quality and patterns of transmission. The empirical studies on multi-host parasites suggest that interspecies transmission plays a central role in the evolution of virulence, but as yet no complete picture of the phenomena involved is available. Ultimately, determining how complex host–parasite interactions impact the evolution of host–parasite relationships will require the development of cross-disciplinary studies linking the ecology of quantitative networks with the evolution of virulence.
Rigaud, Thierry; Perrot-Minnot, Marie-Jeanne; Brown, Mark J. F.
Background The patterns and processes linked to the host specificity of parasites represent one of the central themes in the study of host-parasite interactions. We investigated the evolution and determinants of host specificity in gill monogeneans of Cichlidogyrus and Scutogyrus species parasitizing African freshwater fish of Cichlidae. Methods We analyzed (1) the link between host specificity and parasite phylogeny, (2) potential morphometric correlates of host specificity (i.e. parasite body size and the morphometrics of the attachment apparatus), and (3) potential determinants of host specificity following the hypothesis of ecological specialization and the hypothesis of specialization on predictable resources (i.e. host body size and longevity were considered as measures of host predictability), and (4) the role of brooding behavior of cichlids in Cichlidogyrus and Scutogyrus diversification. Results No significant relationships were found between host specificity and phylogeny of Cichlidogyrus and Scutogyrus species. The mapping of host specificity onto the parasite phylogenetic tree revealed that an intermediate specialist parasitizing congeneric cichlid hosts represents the ancestral state for the Cichlidogyrus/Scutogyrus group. Only a weak relationship was found between the morphometry of the parasites’ attachment apparatus and host specificity. Our study did not support the specialization on predictable resources or ecological specialization hypotheses. Nevertheless, host specificity was significantly related to fish phylogeny and form of parental care. Conclusions Our results confirm that host specificity is not a derived condition for Cichlidogyrus/Scutogyrus parasites and may reflect other than historical constraints. Attachment apparatus morphometry reflects only partially (if at all) parasite adaptation to the host species, probably because of the morphological similarity of rapidly evolved cichlids (analyzed in our study). However, we showed that parental care behavior of cichlids may play an important role linked to host specificity of Cichlidogyrus/Scutogyrus parasites.
Whipworms are common soil-transmitted helminths that cause debilitating chronic infections in man. These nematodes are only distantly related to Caenorhabditis elegans and have evolved to occupy an unusual niche, tunneling through epithelial cells of the large intestine. We report here the whole-genome sequences of the human-infective Trichuris trichiura and the mouse laboratory model Trichuris muris. On the basis of whole-transcriptome analyses, we identify many genes that are expressed in a sex- or life stage-specific manner and characterize the transcriptional landscape of a morphological region with unique biological adaptations, namely, bacillary band and stichosome, found only in whipworms and related parasites. Using RNA sequencing data from whipworm-infected mice, we describe the regulated T helper 1 (TH1)-like immune response of the chronically infected cecum in unprecedented detail. In silico screening identified numerous new potential drug targets against trichuriasis. Together, these genomes and associated functional data elucidate key aspects of the molecular host-parasite interactions that define chronic whipworm infection. PMID:24929830
Foth, Bernardo J; Tsai, Isheng J; Reid, Adam J; Bancroft, Allison J; Nichol, Sarah; Tracey, Alan; Holroyd, Nancy; Cotton, James A; Stanley, Eleanor J; Zarowiecki, Magdalena; Liu, Jimmy Z; Huckvale, Thomas; Cooper, Philip J; Grencis, Richard K; Berriman, Matthew
We explore parasite-host interactions, a less investigated subset of the well-established predator-prey model. In particular, it is not well known how the numerous parameters of the system affect its characteristics. Parasite-host systems rely on their spatial interaction, as a parasite must make physical contact with the host to reproduce. Using C++ to program a Monte Carlo simulation, we study how the speed and type of movement of the host affect the spatial and temporal distribution of the parasites. By drawing on mean-field theoretics, we find the exact solution for the parasite distribution with a stationary host at the center and analyze the distributions for a moving host. The findings of the study provide rich behavior of a non-equilibrium system and bring insights to pest-control and, on a larger scale, epidemics spreading.
Breecher, Nyles; Dong, Jiajia
Wolbachia strains are endosymbiotic bacteria typically found in the reproductive tracts of arthropods. These bacteria manipulate host reproduction to ensure maternal transmission. They are usually transmitted vertically, so it has been predicted that they have evolved a mechanism to target the host's germ cells during development. Through cytological analysis we found that Wolbachia strains display various affinities for the germ line of Drosophila. Different Wolbachia strains show posterior, anterior, or cortical localization in Drosophila embryos, and this localization is congruent with the classification of the organisms based on the wsp (Wolbachia surface protein) gene sequence. This embryonic distribution pattern is established during early oogenesis and does not change until late stages of embryogenesis. The posterior and anterior localization of Wolbachia resembles that of oskar and bicoid mRNAs, respectively, which define the anterior-posterior axis in the Drosophila oocyte. By comparing the properties of a single Wolbachia strain in different host backgrounds and the properties of different Wolbachia strains in the same host background, we concluded that bacterial factors determine distribution, while bacterial density seems to be limited by the host. Possible implications concerning cytoplasmic incompatibility and evolution of strains are discussed. PMID:15345422
Veneti, Zoe; Clark, Michael E; Karr, Timothy L; Savakis, Charalambos; Bourtzis, Kostas
Hosts are often infected by a variety of different parasites, leading to competition for hosts and coevolution between parasite species. There is increasing evidence that some vertically transmitted parasitic symbionts may protect their hosts from further infection and that this protection may be an important reason for their persistence in nature. Here, we examine theoretically when protection is likely to evolve and its selective effects on other parasites. Our key result is that protection is most likely to evolve in response to horizontally transmitted parasites that cause a significant reduction in host fecundity. The preponderance of sterilizing horizontally transmitted parasites found in arthropods may therefore explain the evolution of protection seen by their symbionts. We also find that protection is more likely to evolve in response to highly transmissible parasites that cause intermediate, rather than high, virulence (increased death rate when infected). Furthermore, intermediate levels of protection select for faster, more virulent horizontally transmitted parasites, suggesting that protective symbionts may lead to the evolution of more virulent parasites in nature. When we allow for coevolution between the symbiont and the parasite, more protection is likely to evolve in the vertically transmitted symbionts of longer lived hosts. Therefore, if protection is found to be common in nature, it has the potential to be a major selective force on host–parasite interactions.
Jones, Edward O.; White, Andrew; Boots, Michael
Summary A monospecific polyclonal antibody obtained against a cysteine proteinase isolated from epimastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi was used for the immunocyto- chemical localization of the protein by electron mi- croscopy and to analyse the role played by cysteine proteinase in the process of T. cruzi-host cell interac- tion. Cytoplasmic structures that correspond to el- ements of the endosomal-lysosomal (reservosome) system
THAIS SOUTO-PADRON; OSCAR E. CAMPETELLA; JUAN J. CAZZULO; WANDERLEY DE SOUZA
The causative agent of cutaneous leishmaniasis, Leishmania major , was studied in a Tunisian population of the fat sand rat, Psammomys obesus . Seasonal changes in the abundances of parasite and host were monitored in a longitudinal é eld survey lasting 21 months. Overall, 566 P. obesus, collected during 10 trapping sessions between May 1995 and January 1997, were examined.
E. Fichet-Calvet; I. Jomâa; R. Ben Ismail; R. W. Ashford
A study was initiated to determine whether simulated rain acidified with sulfuric acid influences disease development in plants, and, if so, to suggest possible mechanisms that might account for the interaction. Experimental materials and methods used are described.
D. S. Shriner
Parasites may be expected to become locally adapted to their hosts. However, while many empirical studies have demonstrated local parasite adaptation, others have failed to demonstrate it, or have shown local parasite maladaptation. Researchers have suggested that gene flow can swamp local parasite-host dynamics and produce local adaptation only at certain geographical scales; others have argued that evolutionary lags can account for both null and maladaptive results. In this paper, we use item response theory (IRT) to test whether host range influences the likelihood of parasites locally adapting to their hosts. We collated 32 independent experiments testing for local adaptation, where parasites could be assigned as having either broad or narrow host ranges (BHR and NHR, respectively). Twenty-five tests based on BHR parasites had a significantly lower average effect size than seven NHR tests, indicating that studies based on BHR parasites are less likely to demonstrate local parasite adaptation. We argue that this may relate to evolutionary lags during diffuse coevolution of BHR parasites with their hosts, rather than differences in experimental approaches or other confounds between BHR and NHR studies.
Lajeunesse, Marc J; Forbes, Mark R
1. Individuals of free-living organisms are commonly infected by multiple parasite species. Under such circumstances, positive or negative associations between the species are possible because of direct or indirect interactions, details in parasite transmission ecology and host-mediated factors. One possible mechanism underlying these processes is host immunity, but its role in shaping these associations has rarely been tackled experimentally. 2. In this study, we tested the effect of host immunization on associations between trematode parasites infecting eyes of fish. We first analysed the associations between three species (Diplostomum spathaceum, Diplostomum gasterostei and Tylodelphys clavata) in wild hosts, roach (Rutilus rutilus) and perch (Perca fluviatilis). Second, using rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) as a model fish species, we experimentally investigated how sequential immunization of the host (i.e. one parasite species infects and immunizes the host first) could affect the associations between two of the species. 3. The results indicated that most of the associations were positive in wild hosts, which supports between-individual variation in host susceptibility, rather than competitive exclusion between the parasite species. However, positive associations were more common in roach than in perch, possibly reflecting differences in ecological conditions of exposure between the host species. The experimental data showed that positive associations between two of the species were eroded by host immunization against one of the parasite species. 4. We conclude that sequential immunization of hosts has a marked effect on interspecific parasite associations and basically can determine if positive associations are detected or not. This implies that correlative results suggesting non-interactive community structure in general may be obscured by the sequence of previous parasite exposure and corresponding dynamics of host immunization. PMID:19457020
Karvonen, Anssi; Seppälä, Otto; Tellervo Valtonen, E
Background Orobanchaceae is the only plant family with members representing the full range of parasitic lifestyles plus a free-living lineage sister to all parasitic lineages, Lindenbergia. A generalist member of this family, and an important parasitic plant model, Triphysaria versicolor regularly feeds upon a wide range of host plants. Here, we compare de novo assembled transcriptomes generated from laser micro-dissected tissues at the host-parasite interface to uncover details of the largely uncharacterized interaction between parasitic plants and their hosts. Results The interaction of Triphysaria with the distantly related hosts Zea mays and Medicago truncatula reveals dramatic host-specific gene expression patterns. Relative to above ground tissues, gene families are disproportionally represented at the interface including enrichment for transcription factors and genes of unknown function. Quantitative Real-Time PCR of a T. versicolor ?-expansin shows strong differential (120x) upregulation in response to the monocot host Z. mays; a result that is concordant with our read count estimates. Pathogenesis-related proteins, other cell wall modifying enzymes, and orthologs of genes with unknown function (annotated as such in sequenced plant genomes) are among the parasite genes highly expressed by T. versicolor at the parasite-host interface. Conclusions Laser capture microdissection makes it possible to sample the small region of cells at the epicenter of parasite host interactions. The results of our analysis suggest that T. versicolor’s generalist strategy involves a reliance on overlapping but distinct gene sets, depending upon the host plant it is parasitizing. The massive upregulation of a T. versicolor ?-expansin is suggestive of a mechanism for parasite success on grass hosts. In this preliminary study of the interface transcriptomes, we have shown that T. versicolor, and the Orobanchaceae in general, provide excellent opportunities for the characterization of plant genes with unknown functions.
Background Parasites significantly alter topological metrics describing food web structure, yet few studies have explored the relationship between food web topology and parasite diversity. Methods/Principal Findings This study uses quantitative metrics describing network structure to investigate the relationship between the topology of the host food web and parasite diversity. Food webs were constructed for four restored brackish marshes that vary in species diversity, time post restoration and levels of parasitism. Our results show that the topology of the food web in each brackish marsh is highly nested, with clusters of generalists forming a distinct modular structure. The most consistent predictors of parasite diversity within a host were: trophic generality, and eigenvector centrality. These metrics indicate that parasites preferentially colonise host species that are highly connected, and within modules of tightly interacting species in the food web network. Conclusions/Significance These results suggest that highly connected free-living species within the food web may represent stable trophic relationships that allow for the persistence of complex parasite life cycles. Our data demonstrate that the structure of host food webs can have a significant effect on the establishment of parasites, and on the potential for evolution of complex parasite life cycles.
Anderson, Tavis K.; Sukhdeo, Michael V. K.
Background 9 million people are infected with Trypanosoma cruzi in Latin America, plus more than 300,000 in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Approximately 30% of infected individuals develop circulatory or digestive pathology. While in underdeveloped countries transmission is mainly through hematophagous arthropods, transplacental infection prevails in developed ones. Methodology/Principal Findings During infection, T. cruzi calreticulin (TcCRT) translocates from the endoplasmic reticulum to the area of flagellum emergence. There, TcCRT acts as virulence factor since it binds maternal classical complement component C1q that recognizes human calreticulin (HuCRT) in placenta, with increased parasite infectivity. As measured ex vivo by quantitative PCR in human placenta chorionic villi explants (HPCVE) (the closest available correlate of human congenital T. cruzi infection), C1q mediated up to a 3–5-fold increase in parasite load. Because anti-TcCRT and anti-HuCRT F(ab?)2 antibody fragments are devoid of their Fc-dependent capacity to recruit C1q, they reverted the C1q-mediated increase in parasite load by respectively preventing its interaction with cell-bound CRTs from both parasite and HPCVE origins. The use of competing fluid-phase recombinant HuCRT and F(ab?)2 antibody fragments anti-TcCRT corroborated this. These results are consistent with a high expression of fetal CRT on placental free chorionic villi. Increased C1q-mediated infection is paralleled by placental tissue damage, as evidenced by histopathology, a damage that is ameliorated by anti-TcCRT F(ab?)2 antibody fragments or fluid-phase HuCRT. Conclusions/Significance T. cruzi infection of HPCVE is importantly mediated by human and parasite CRTs and C1q. Most likely, C1q bridges CRT on the parasite surface with its receptor orthologue on human placental cells, thus facilitating the first encounter between the parasite and the fetal derived placental tissue. The results presented here have several potential translational medicine aspects, specifically related with the capacity of antibody fragments to inhibit the C1q/CRT interactions and thus T. cruzi infectivity.
Castillo, Christian; Ramirez, Galia; Valck, Carolina; Aguilar, Lorena; Maldonado, Ismael; Rosas, Carlos; Galanti, Norbel; Kemmerling, Ulrike; Ferreira, Arturo
Henneguya azevedoi n. sp. is described from the piava (Leporinus obtusidens). Between 2005 and 2007, 60 fish were collected from the Mogi-Guaçu River near Cachoeira de Emas Falls located in the municipality of Pirassununga, state of Săo Paulo, Brazil. A total of 70% had plasmodia of the parasite. The plasmodia were white, spherical, and measured 40-200 ?m in diameter. Histopathological analysis revealed that the development of the parasite was intralamellar and caused stretching of the epithelium, with accentuated deformation, as well as compression of the capillary and adjacent tissues. Ultrastructural analysis revealed that the wall of the plasmodium was a single membrane in direct contact with the host cells and contained pinocytic canals that extended into the plasmodium. The development of the parasite was asynchronous, with the earliest stages at the periphery and mature spores in the central region. Mature spores were elongated in the frontal view [mean?±?standard deviation (range)]: 45.2?±?0.6 (45.0-47.0)??m in total length, 10.0?±?0.07 (9.9-10.2)??m in body length, 35.6?±?0.9 (34.9-36.5)??m in caudal process length, and 4.4?±?0.4 (4.0-5.0)??m in body width. The polar capsules were elongated and equal in size: 3.8?±?0.3 (3.5-4.0)??m in length and 1.0 ?m in width. The polar filaments were coiled in six to seven turns and perpendicular to the axis of the capsule. Scanning electron microscopy revealed smooth valves and a conspicuous rim around the spore body. This is the first time that a myxosporean has been reported in L. obtusidens. PMID:21842391
Barassa, Bianca; Adriano, Edson A; Cordeiro, Nelson S; Arana, Sarah; Ceccarelli, Paulo S
1. Why are some common and apparently suitable resources avoided by potential users? This interesting ecological and evolutionary conundrum is vividly illustrated by obligate brood parasites. Parasitic birds lay their eggs into nests of a wide range of host species, including many rare ones, but do not parasitize some commonly co-occurring potential hosts. 2. Attempts to explain the absence of parasitism in common potential hosts are limited and typically focused on single-factor explanations while ignoring other potential factors. We tested why thrushes Turdus spp. are extremely rarely parasitized by common cuckoos Cuculus canorus despite breeding commonly in sympatry and building the most conspicuous nests among forest-breeding passerines. 3. No single examined factor explained cuckoo avoidance of thrushes. Life-history traits of all six European thrush species and the 10 most frequently used cuckoo hosts in Europe were similar except body/egg size, nest design and nestling diet. 4. Experiments (n = 1211) in several populations across Europe showed that host defences at egg-laying and incubation stages did not account for the lack of cuckoo parasitism in thrushes. However, cross-fostering experiments disclosed that various factors during the nestling period prevent cuckoos from successfully parasitizing thrushes. Specifically, in some thrush species, the nest cup design forced cuckoo chicks to compete with host chicks with fatal consequences for the parasite. Other species were reluctant to care even for lone cuckoo chicks. 5. Importantly, in an apparently phylogenetically homogenous group of hosts, there were interspecific differences in factors responsible for the absence of cuckoo parasitism. 6. This study highlights the importance of considering multiple potential factors and their interactions for understanding absence of parasitism in potential hosts of parasitic birds. In the present study, comparative and experimental procedures are integrated, which represent a novel approach that should prove useful for the understanding of interspecific ecological relationships in general. PMID:21244420
Grim, Tomáš; Samaš, Peter; Moskát, Csaba; Kleven, Oddmund; Honza, Marcel; Moksnes, Arne; Rřskaft, Eivin; Stokke, Bĺrd G
Parasites typically have low reproductive fitness on paratenic hosts. Such hosts offer other significant inclusive fitness benefits to parasites, however, such as increased mobility and migration potential. The parasite fauna of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) is dominated by the directly transmitted ectoparasites Gyrodactylus bullatarudis and Gyrodactylus turnbulli. In the wild, close predatory and competitive interactions occur between the guppy and the killifish Rivulus hartii. Previous observations suggest that these fish can share gyrodactylids, so we tested experimentally whether these parasites can use R. hartii as an alternative host. In aquaria, G. bullatarudis was the only species able to transmit from prey to predator. Both parasite species transferred equally well to prey when the predator was experimentally infected. However, in semi-natural conditions, G. bullatarudis transmitted more successfully to the prey fish. Importantly, G. bullatarudis also survived significantly longer on R. hartii out of water. As R. hartii can migrate overland between isolated guppy populations, G. bullatarudis may have an enhanced ability to disperse and colonize new host populations, consistent with its wider distribution in the wild. To our knowledge, this is the first empirical study demonstrating a predator acting as a paratenic host for the parasites of its prey. PMID:23714691
Cable, Joanne; Archard, Gabrielle A; Mohammed, Ryan S; McMullan, Mark; Stephenson, Jessica F; Hansen, Haakon; van Oosterhout, Cock
Cysticidal drug treatment of viable Taenia solium brain parenchymal cysts leads to an acute pericystic host inflammatory response and blood brain barrier breakdown (BBB), commonly resulting in seizures. Naturally infected pigs, untreated or treated one time with praziquantel were sacrificed at 48 hr and 120 hr following the injection of Evans blue (EB) to assess the effect of treatment on larval parasites and surrounding tissue. Examination of harvested non encapsulated muscle cysts unexpectedly revealed one or more small, focal round region(s) of Evans blue dye infiltration (REBI) on the surface of otherwise non dye-stained muscle cysts. Histopathological analysis of REBI revealed focal areas of eosinophil-rich inflammatory infiltrates that migrated from the capsule into the tegument and internal structures of the parasite. In addition some encapsulated brain cysts, in which the presence of REBI could not be directly assessed, showed histopathology identical to that of the REBI. Muscle cysts with REBI were more frequent in pigs that had received praziquantel (6.6% of 3736 cysts; n?=?6 pigs) than in those that were untreated (0.2% of 3172 cysts; n?=?2 pigs). Similar results were found in the brain, where 20.7% of 29 cysts showed histopathology identical to muscle REBI cysts in praziquantel-treated pigs compared to the 4.3% of 47 cysts in untreated pigs. Closer examination of REBI infiltrates showed that EB was taken up only by eosinophils, a major component of the cellular infiltrates, which likely explains persistence of EB in the REBI. REBI likely represent early damaging host responses to T. solium cysts and highlight the focal nature of this initial host response and the importance of eosinophils at sites of host-parasite interaction. These findings suggest new avenues for immunomodulation to reduce inflammatory side effects of anthelmintic therapy.
Paredes, Adriana; Cangalaya, Carla; Rivera, Andrea; Gonzalez, Armando E.; Mahanty, Siddhartha; Garcia, Hector H.; Nash, Theodore E.
Babesia spp. are tick-borne, intraerythrocytic hemoparasites that use antigenic variation to resist host immunity, through sequential modification of the parasite-derived variant erythrocyte surface antigen (VESA) expressed on the infected red blood cell surface. We identified the genomic processes driving antigenic diversity in genes encoding VESA (ves1) through comparative analysis within and between three Babesia species, (B. bigemina, B. divergens and B. bovis). Ves1 structure diverges rapidly after speciation, notably through the evolution of shortened forms (ves2) from 5' ends of canonical ves1 genes. Phylogenetic analyses show that ves1 genes are transposed between loci routinely, whereas ves2 genes are not. Similarly, analysis of sequence mosaicism shows that recombination drives variation in ves1 sequences, but less so for ves2, indicating the adoption of different mechanisms for variation of the two families. Proteomic analysis of the B. bigemina PR isolate shows that two dominant VESA1 proteins are expressed in the population, whereas numerous VESA2 proteins are co-expressed, consistent with differential transcriptional regulation of each family. Hence, VESA2 proteins are abundant and previously unrecognized elements of Babesia biology, with evolutionary dynamics consistently different to those of VESA1, suggesting that their functions are distinct. PMID:24799432
Jackson, Andrew P; Otto, Thomas D; Darby, Alistair; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Xia, Dong; Echaide, Ignacio Eduardo; Farber, Marisa; Gahlot, Sunayna; Gamble, John; Gupta, Dinesh; Gupta, Yask; Jackson, Louise; Malandrin, Laurence; Malas, Tareq B; Moussa, Ehab; Nair, Mridul; Reid, Adam J; Sanders, Mandy; Sharma, Jyotsna; Tracey, Alan; Quail, Mike A; Weir, William; Wastling, Jonathan M; Hall, Neil; Willadsen, Peter; Lingelbach, Klaus; Shiels, Brian; Tait, Andy; Berriman, Matt; Allred, David R; Pain, Arnab
Babesia spp. are tick-borne, intraerythrocytic hemoparasites that use antigenic variation to resist host immunity, through sequential modification of the parasite-derived variant erythrocyte surface antigen (VESA) expressed on the infected red blood cell surface. We identified the genomic processes driving antigenic diversity in genes encoding VESA (ves1) through comparative analysis within and between three Babesia species, (B. bigemina, B. divergens and B. bovis). Ves1 structure diverges rapidly after speciation, notably through the evolution of shortened forms (ves2) from 5? ends of canonical ves1 genes. Phylogenetic analyses show that ves1 genes are transposed between loci routinely, whereas ves2 genes are not. Similarly, analysis of sequence mosaicism shows that recombination drives variation in ves1 sequences, but less so for ves2, indicating the adoption of different mechanisms for variation of the two families. Proteomic analysis of the B. bigemina PR isolate shows that two dominant VESA1 proteins are expressed in the population, whereas numerous VESA2 proteins are co-expressed, consistent with differential transcriptional regulation of each family. Hence, VESA2 proteins are abundant and previously unrecognized elements of Babesia biology, with evolutionary dynamics consistently different to those of VESA1, suggesting that their functions are distinct.
Jackson, Andrew P.; Otto, Thomas D.; Darby, Alistair; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Xia, Dong; Echaide, Ignacio Eduardo; Farber, Marisa; Gahlot, Sunayna; Gamble, John; Gupta, Dinesh; Gupta, Yask; Jackson, Louise; Malandrin, Laurence; Malas, Tareq B.; Moussa, Ehab; Nair, Mridul; Reid, Adam J.; Sanders, Mandy; Sharma, Jyotsna; Tracey, Alan; Quail, Mike A.; Weir, William; Wastling, Jonathan M.; Hall, Neil; Willadsen, Peter; Lingelbach, Klaus; Shiels, Brian; Tait, Andy; Berriman, Matt; Allred, David R.; Pain, Arnab
Recently we presented how Camponotus ants in Thailand infected with the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis are behaviorally manipulated into dying where the conditions are optimal for fungal development. Death incurred in a very narrow zone of space and here we compare this highly specific manipulation with a related system in Brazil. We show that the behavioral manipulation is less fine-tuned and discuss the potential explanations for this by examining differences in ant host and environmental characteristics.
Arms races between brood parasites and their hosts provide model systems for studying the evolutionary repercussions of species interactions. However, how naive hosts identify brood parasites as enemies remains poorly understood, despite its ecological and evolutionary significance. Here, we investigate whether young, cuckoo-naive superb fairy-wrens, Malurus cyaneus, can learn to recognize cuckoos as a threat through social transmission of information. Naive individuals were initially unresponsive to a cuckoo specimen, but after observing conspecifics mob a cuckoo, they made more whining and mobbing alarm calls, and spent more time physically mobbing the cuckoo. This is the first direct evidence that naive hosts can learn to identify brood parasites as enemies via social learning. PMID:23760171
Feeney, William E; Langmore, Naomi E
In many systems, host-parasite evolutionary dynamics have led to the emergence and maintenance of diverse parasite and host genotypes within the same population. Genotypes vary in key attributes: Parasite genotypes vary in ability to infect, host genotypes vary in susceptibility, and infection outcome is frequently the result of both parties' genotypic identities. These host-parasite genotype-by-genotype (GH × GP) interactions influence evolutionary and ecological dynamics in important ways. Interactions can be produced through genetic variation; however, here, we assess the role of variable gene expression as an additional source of GH × GP interactions. The bumblebee Bombus terrestris and its trypanosome gut parasite Crithidia bombi are a model system for host-parasite matching. Full-transcriptome sequencing of the bumblebee host revealed that different parasite genotypes indeed induce fundamentally different host expression responses and host genotypes vary in their responses to the infecting parasite genotype. It appears that broadly and successfully infecting parasite genotypes lead to reduced host immune gene expression relative to unexposed bees but induce the expression of genes responsible for controlling gene expression. Contrastingly, a poorly infecting parasite genotype induced the expression of immunologically important genes, including antimicrobial peptides. A targeted expression assay confirmed the transcriptome results and also revealed strong host genotype effects. In all, the expression of a number of genes depends on the host genotype and the parasite genotype and the interaction between both host and parasite genotypes. These results suggest that alongside sequence variation in coding immunological genes, variation that controls immune gene expression can also produce patterns of host-parasite specificity. PMID:24550506
Barribeau, Seth M; Sadd, Ben M; du Plessis, Louis; Schmid-Hempel, Paul
Phytoparasitic nematodes secrete an array of effector proteins to modify selected recipient plant cells into elaborate and essential feeding sites. The biological function of the novel 30C02 effector protein of the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, was studied using Arabidopsis thaliana as host and the beet cyst nematode, Heterodera schachtii, which contains a homologue of the 30C02 gene. Expression of Hg30C02 in Arabidopsis did not affect plant growth and development but increased plant susceptibility to infection by H. schachtii. The 30C02 protein interacted with a specific (AT4G16260) host plant ?-1,3-endoglucanase in both yeast and plant cells, possibly to interfere with its role as a plant pathogenesis-related protein. Interestingly, the peak expression of 30C02 in the nematode and peak expression of At4g16260 in plant roots coincided at around 3–5 d after root infection by the nematode, after which the relative expression of At4g16260 declined significantly. An Arabidopsis At4g16260 T-DNA mutant showed increased susceptibility to cyst nematode infection, and plants that overexpressed At4g16260 were reduced in nematode susceptibility, suggesting a potential role of host ?-1,3-endoglucanase in the defence response against H. schachtii infection. Arabidopsis plants that expressed dsRNA and its processed small interfering RNA complementary to the Hg30C02 sequence were not phenotypically different from non-transformed plants, but they exhibited a strong RNA interference-mediated resistance to infection by H. schachtii. The collective results suggest that, as with other pathogens, active suppression of host defence is a critical component for successful parasitism by nematodes and a vulnerable target to disrupt the parasitic cycle.
Hamamouch, Noureddine; Hewezi, Tarek; Baum, Thomas J.; Mitchum, Melissa G.; Hussey, Richard S.; Vodkin, Lila O.; Davis, Eric L.
We investigated the genetic population structure in a metapopulation of the plant Silene latifolia (Caryophyllaceae) and its fungal pathogen Microbotryum violaceum (Ustilaginales), a pollinator-borne disease. Population structure of the host plant was estimated using allozyme markers and that of the fungus by microsatellites. Both host and parasite showed significant differentiation, but parasite populations were 12 times more strongly differentiated than those of the hosts. We found significant isolation by distance for host populations but not for parasite populations. Higher population differentiation for the parasite may result from small effective population size, high selfing rates, or low migration rate. In this system, hosts are obligate outcrossers and they migrate by seeds and pollen, whereas parasites can self-fertilize and migrate only on pollinating insects. We discuss the effect of limited gene flow in this parasite on its coevolutionary interaction with its host, and its potential for local adaptation on sympatric host populations. PMID:10336705
Delmotte; Bucheli; Shykoff
Parasite virulence, or the damage a parasite does to its host, is measured in terms of both host costs (reductions in host growth, reproduction and survival) and parasite benefits (increased transmission and parasite numbers) in the literature. Much work has shown that ecological and genetic factors can be strong selective forces in virulence evolution. This review uses kin selection theory to explore how variations in host ecological parameters impact the genetic relatedness of parasite populations and thus virulence. We provide a broad overview of virulence and population genetics studies and then draw connections to existing knowledge about natural parasite populations. The impact of host movement (transporting parasites) and host resistance (filtering parasites) on the genetic structure and virulence of parasite populations is explored, and empirical studies of these factors using Plasmodium and trematode systems are proposed. PMID:24776094
Gleichsner, Alyssa M; Minchella, Dennis J
Parasitic helminths present one of the most pervasive challenges to grazing herbivores. Many macro-parasite transmission models focus on host physiological defence strategies, omitting more complex interactions between hosts and their environments. This work represents the first model that integrates both the behavioural and physiological elements of gastro-intestinal nematode transmission dynamics in a managed grazing system. A spatially explicit, individual-based, stochastic model is developed, that incorporates both the hosts’ immunological responses to parasitism, and key grazing behaviours including faecal avoidance. The results demonstrate that grazing behaviour affects both the timing and intensity of parasite outbreaks, through generating spatial heterogeneity in parasite risk and nutritional resources, and changing the timing of exposure to the parasites’ free-living stages. The influence of grazing behaviour varies with the host-parasite combination, dependent on the development times of different parasite species and variations in host immune response. Our outputs include the counterintuitive finding that under certain conditions perceived parasite avoidance behaviours (faecal avoidance) can increase parasite risk, for certain host-parasite combinations. Through incorporating the two-way interaction between infection dynamics and grazing behaviour, the potential benefits of parasite-induced anorexia are also demonstrated. Hosts with phenotypic plasticity in grazing behaviour, that make grazing decisions dependent on current parasite burden, can reduce infection with minimal loss of intake over the grazing season. This paper explores how both host behaviours and immunity influence macro-parasite transmission in a spatially and temporally heterogeneous environment. The magnitude and timing of parasite outbreaks is influenced by host immunity and behaviour, and the interactions between them; the incorporation of both regulatory processes is required to fully understand transmission dynamics. Understanding of both physiological and behavioural defence strategies will aid the development of novel approaches for control.
Fox, Naomi J.; Marion, Glenn; Davidson, Ross S.; White, Piran C. L.; Hutchings, Michael R.
Selection, as a major driver for evolution in host-parasite interactions, may act on two levels; the virulence of the pathogen, and the hosts' defence system. Effectors of the host defence system might evolve faster than other genes e.g. those involved in adaptation to changes in life history or environmental fluctuations. Host-parasite interactions at the level of hosts and their specific social parasites, present a special setting for evolutionarily driven selection, as both share the same environmental conditions and pathogen pressures. Here, we study the evolution of antimicrobial peptide (AMP) genes, in six host bumblebee and their socially parasitic cuckoo bumblebee species. The selected AMP genes evolved much faster than non-immune genes, but only defensin-1 showed significant differences between host and social parasite. Nucleotide diversity and codon-by-codon analyses confirmed that purifying selection is the main selective force acting on bumblebee defence genes. PMID:24530902
Erler, Silvio; Lhomme, Patrick; Rasmont, Pierre; Lattorff, H Michael G
Parasites have developed myriad strategies to reach and infect their specific hosts. One of the most common mechanisms for non-vector transmitted parasites to reach the internal host environment is by ingestion during feeding. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of oyster host colonization by the alveolate Perkinsus marinus and focused on how oysters process infective waterborne P. marinus cells during feeding in order to determine the portal(s) of entry of this parasite to its host. We also compared the infectivity of freely-suspended cells of P. marinus with that of cells incorporated into marine aggregates to link changes in particle processing by the feeding organs with infection success and route. Finally, we evaluated the effect of oyster secretions (mucus) covering the feeding organs on P. marinus physiology because these host factors are involved in the processing of waterborne particles. The ensemble of results shows a unique mechanism for infection by which the parasite is mostly acquired during the feeding process, but not via ingestion. Rather, infection commonly occurs during the rejection of material as pseudofeces before reaching the mouth. The pseudofeces discharge area, a specialized area of the mantle where unwanted particles are accumulated for rejection as pseudofeces, showed significantly higher parasite loads than other host tissues including other parts of the mantle. Aggregated P. marinus cells caused significantly higher disease prevalence and infection intensities when compared to freely-suspended parasite cells. Mucus covering the mantle caused a quick and significant increase in parasite replication rates suggesting rapid impact on P. marinus physiology. A new model for P. marinus acquisition in oysters is proposed. PMID:23274079
Allam, Bassem; Carden, Wade E; Ward, J Evan; Ralph, Gina; Winnicki, Sarah; Pales Espinosa, Emmanuelle
Malaria still remains one of the deadliest infectious diseases, and has a tremendous morbidity and mortality impact in the developing world. The propensity of the parasites to develop drug resistance, and the relative reluctance of the pharmaceutical industry to invest massively in the developments of drugs that would offer only limited marketing prospects, are major issues in antimalarial drug discovery. Protein kinases (PKs) have become a major family of targets for drug discovery research in a number of disease contexts, which has generated considerable resources such as kinase-directed libraries and high throughput kinase inhibition assays. The phylogenetic distance between malaria parasites and their human host translates into important divergences in their respective kinomes, and most Plasmodium kinases display atypical properties (as compared to mammalian PKs) that can be exploited towards selective inhibition. Here, we discuss the taxon-specific kinases possessed by malaria parasites, and give an overview of target PKs that have been validated by reverse genetics, either in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum or in the rodent model Plasmodium berghei. We also briefly allude to the possibility of attacking Plasmodium through the inhibition of human PKs that are required for survival of this obligatory intracellular parasite, and which are targets for other human diseases. PMID:19840874
Doerig, Christian; Abdi, Abdirahman; Bland, Nicholas; Eschenlauer, Sylvain; Dorin-Semblat, Dominique; Fennell, Clare; Halbert, Jean; Holland, Zoe; Nivez, Marie-Paule; Semblat, Jean-Philippe; Sicard, Audrey; Reininger, Luc
The switching of parasitic organisms to novel hosts, in which they may cause the emergence of new diseases, is of great concern to human health and the management of wild and domesticated populations of animals. We used a phylogenetic approach to develop a better statistical assessment of host switching in a large sample of vector-borne malaria parasites of birds (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) over their history of parasite-host relations. Even with sparse sampling, the number of parasite lineages was almost equal to the number of avian hosts. We found that strongly supported sister lineages of parasites, averaging 1.2% sequence divergence, exhibited highly significant host and geographical fidelity. Event-based matching of host and parasite phylogenetic trees revealed significant cospeciation. However, the accumulated effects of host switching and long distance dispersal cause these signals to disappear before 4% sequence divergence is achieved. Mitochondrial DNA nucleotide substitution appears to occur about three times faster in hosts than in parasites, contrary to findings on other parasite-host systems. Using this mutual calibration, the phylogenies of the parasites and their hosts appear to be similar in age, suggesting that avian malaria parasites diversified along with their modern avian hosts. Although host switching has been a prominent feature over the evolutionary history of avian malaria parasites, it is infrequent and unpredictable on time scales germane to public health and wildlife management.
Ricklefs, Robert E; Fallon, Sylvia M
Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on the Genetics of Host-Parasite Interactions in Forestry: Disease and Insect Resistance in Forest Trees, July 31 to August 5, 2011 - Eugene, Oregon, USA.
The Fourth International Workshop on the Genetics of Host-Parasite Interactions in Forestry: Disease and Insect Resistance in Forest Trees provided a forum for research and management options and successes which have occurred over the last 30 years (the p...
A. D. Yanchuk J. M. Alexander J. T. Kliejunas K. M. Palmieri R. A. Sniezko S. J. Frankel
Despite the fact that parasite dispersal is likely to be one of the most important processes influencing the dynamics and coevolution of host-parasite interactions, little information is available on the factors that affect it. In most cases, opportunities for parasite dispersal should be closely linked to host biology. Here we use microsatellite genetic markers to compare the population structure and dispersal of two host races of the seabird tick Ixodes uriae at the scale of the North Atlantic. Interestingly, tick populations showed high within-population genetic variation and relatively low population differentiation. However, gene flow at different spatial scales seemed to depend on the host species exploited. The black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) had structured tick populations showing patterns of isolation by distance, whereas tick populations of the Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) were only weakly structured at the largest scale considered. Host-dependent rates of tick dispersal between colonies will alter infestation probabilities and local dynamics and may thus modify the adaptation potential of ticks to local hosts. Moreover, as I. uriae is a vector of the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in both hemispheres, the large-scale movements of birds and the subsequent dispersal of ticks will have important consequences for the dynamics and coevolutionary interactions of this microparasite with its different vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. PMID:12683525
McCoy, Karen D; Boulinier, Thierry; Tirard, Claire; Michalakis, Yannis
BackgroundAlthough parasitism has been acknowledged as an important selective force in the evolution of host life histories, studies of fitness effects of parasites in wild populations have yielded mixed results. One reason for this may be that most studies only test for a linear relationship between infection intensity and host fitness. If resistance to parasites is costly, however, fitness may
Martin Stjernman; Lars Rĺberg; Jan-Ĺke Nilsson; Angus Buckling
Host-parasite interactions in the E. multilocularis-intermediate host model depend on a subtle balance between cellular immunity, which is responsible for host's resistance towards the metacestode, the larval stage of the parasite, and tolerance induction and maintenance. The pathological features of alveolar echinococcosis. the disease caused by E. multilocularis, are related both to parasitic growth and to host's immune response, leading to fibrosis and necrosis, The disease spectrum is clearly dependent on the genetic background of the host as well as on acquired disturbances of Th1-related immunity. The laminated layer of the metacestode, and especially its carbohydrate components, plays a major role in tolerance induction. Th2-type and anti-inflammatory cytokines, IL-10 and TGF-?, as well as nitric oxide, are involved in the maintenance of tolerance and partial inhibition of cytotoxic mechanisms. Results of studies in the experimental mouse model and in patients suggest that immune modulation with cytokines, such as interferon-?, or with specific antigens could be used in the future to treat patients with alveolar echinococcosis and/or to prevent this very severe parasitic disease.
Vuitton, Dominique Angele; Gottstein, Bruno
A mutualism-parasitism system of two species is considered, where mutualism is the dominant interaction when the predators (parasites) are at low density while parasitism is dominant when the predators are at high density. Our aim is to show that mutualism at low density promotes coexistence of the species and leads to high production of the prey (host). The mutualism-parasitism system presented here is a combination of the Lotka-Volterra cooperative model and Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model. By comparing dynamics of this system with those of the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model, we present the mechanisms by which the mutualism improves the coexistence of the species and production of the prey. Then the parameter space is divided into six regions, which correspond to the four outcomes of mutualism, commensalism, predation/parasitism and neutralism, respectively. When the parameters are varied continuously among the six regions, it is shown that the interaction outcomes of the system transition smoothly among the four outcomes. By comparing the dynamics of the specific system with those of the Lotka-Volterra cooperative model, we show that the parasitism at high density promotes stability of the system. A novel aspect of this paper is the simplicity of the model, which allows rigorous and thorough analysis and transparency of the results. PMID:22901072
Wang, Yuanshi; Deangelis, Donald L
A monoclonal antibody against Toxoplasma gondii of Tg556 clone (Tg556) blotted a 29 kDa protein, which was localized in the dense granules of tachyzoites and secreted into the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM) after infection to host cells. A cDNA fragment encoding the protein was obtained by screening a T. gondii cDNA expression library with Tg556, and the full-length was completed by 5'-RACE of 2,086 bp containing an open reading frame (ORF) of 669 bp. The ORF encoded a polypeptide of 222 amino acids homologous to the revised GRA3 but not to the first reported one. The polypeptide has 3 hydrophobic moieties of an N-terminal stop transfer sequence and 2 transmembrane domains (TMD) in posterior half of the sequence, a cytoplasmic localization motif after the second TMD and an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retrival motif in the C-terminal end, which suggests GRA3 as a type III transmembrane protein. With the ORF of GRA3, yeast two-hybrid assay was performed in HeLa cDNA expression library, which resulted in the interaction of GRA3 with calcium modulating ligand (CAMLG), a type II transmembrane protein of ER. The specific binding of GRA3 and CAMLG was confirmed by glutathione S-transferase (GST) pull-down and immunoprecipitation assays. The localities of fluorescence transfectionally expressed from GRA3 and CAMLG plasmids were overlapped completely in HeLa cell cytoplasm. In immunofluorescence assay, GRA3 and CAMLG were shown to be co-localized in the PVM of host cells. Structural binding of PVM-inserted GRA3 to CAMLG of ER suggested the receptor-ligand of ER recruitment to PVM during the parasitism of T. gondii.
Kim, Ji Yeon; Ahn, Hye-Jin; Ryu, Kyung Ju
Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease, which affects a large number of individuals in Central and South America, is transmitted to vertebrate hosts by blood-sucking insects. This protozoan is an obligate intracellular parasite. The infective forms of the parasite are metacyclic and bloodstream trypomastigote and amastigote. Metacyclic trypomastigotes are released with the feces of the insect while amastigotes and bloodstream trypomastigotes are released from the infected host cells of the vertebrate host after a complex intracellular life cycle. The recognition between parasite and mammalian host cell involves numerous molecules present in both cell types. Here, we present a brief review of the interaction between Trypanosoma cruzi and its host cells, mainly emphasizing the mechanisms and molecules that participate in the T. cruzi invasion process of the mammalian cells.
de Souza, Wanderley; de Carvalho, Tecia Maria Ulisses; Barrias, Emile Santos
Existing theory of host-parasite interactions has identified the genetic specificity of interaction as a key variable affecting the outcome of coevolution. The Matching Alleles (MA) and Gene For Gene (GFG) models have been extensively studied as the canonical examples of specific and non-specific interaction. The generality of these models has recently been challenged by uncovering real-world host-parasite systems exhibiting specificity patterns that fit neither MA nor GFG, and by the discovery of symbiotic bacteria protecting insect hosts against parasites. In the present paper we address both challenges, simulating a large number of non-canonical models of host-parasite interactions that explicitly incorporate symbiont-based host resistance. To assess the genetic specialisation in these hybrid models, we develop a quantitative index of specificity applicable to any coevolutionary model based on a fitness matrix. We find qualitative and quantitative effects of host-parasite and symbiont-parasite specificities on genotype frequency dynamics, allele survival, and mean host and parasite fitnesses.
Kwiatkowski, Marek; Engelstadter, Jan; Vorburger, Christoph
SUMMARY Research on the interactions between the field voles (Microtus agrestis) of Kielder Forest and their natural parasites dates back to the 1930s. These early studies were primarily concerned with understanding how parasites shape the characteristic cyclic population dynamics of their hosts. However, since the early 2000s, research on the Kielder field voles has expanded considerably and the system has now been utilized for the study of host-parasite biology across many levels, including genetics, evolutionary ecology, immunology and epidemiology. The Kielder field voles therefore represent one of the most intensely and broadly studied natural host-parasite systems, bridging theoretical and empirical approaches to better understand the biology of infectious disease in the real world. This article synthesizes the body of work published on this system and summarizes some important insights and general messages provided by the integrated and multidisciplinary study of host-parasite interactions in the natural environment. PMID:24612619
Turner, A K; Beldomenico, P M; Bown, K; Burthe, S J; Jackson, J A; Lambin, X; Begon, M
Infection-induced changes in a host’s thermal physiology can represent (1) a generalized host response to infection, (2) a\\u000a pathological side-effect of infection, or (3), provided the parasite’s development is temperature-dependent, a subtle case\\u000a of host manipulation. This study investigates parasite-induced changes in the thermal biology of a first intermediate host\\u000a infected by two castrating trematodes (genera Maritrema and Philophthalmus) using
A. E. Bates; F. Leiterer; M. L. Wiedeback; R. Poulin
The environmental conditions experienced by hosts are known to affect their mean parasite transmission potential. How different conditions may affect the variance of transmission potential has received less attention, but is an important question for disease management, especially if specific ecological contexts are more likely to foster a few extremely infectious hosts. Using the obligate-killing bacterium Pasteuria ramosa and its crustacean host Daphnia magna, we analysed how host nutrition affected the variance of individual parasite loads, and, therefore, transmission potential. Under low food, individual parasite loads showed similar mean and variance, following a Poisson distribution. By contrast, among well-nourished hosts, parasite loads were right-skewed and overdispersed, following a negative binomial distribution. Abundant food may, therefore, yield individuals causing potentially more transmission than the population average. Measuring both the mean and variance of individual parasite loads in controlled experimental infections may offer a useful way of revealing risk factors for potential highly infectious hosts. PMID:23407498
Vale, Pedro F; Choisy, Marc; Little, Tom J
The environmental conditions experienced by hosts are known to affect their mean parasite transmission potential. How different conditions may affect the variance of transmission potential has received less attention, but is an important question for disease management, especially if specific ecological contexts are more likely to foster a few extremely infectious hosts. Using the obligate-killing bacterium Pasteuria ramosa and its crustacean host Daphnia magna, we analysed how host nutrition affected the variance of individual parasite loads, and, therefore, transmission potential. Under low food, individual parasite loads showed similar mean and variance, following a Poisson distribution. By contrast, among well-nourished hosts, parasite loads were right-skewed and overdispersed, following a negative binomial distribution. Abundant food may, therefore, yield individuals causing potentially more transmission than the population average. Measuring both the mean and variance of individual parasite loads in controlled experimental infections may offer a useful way of revealing risk factors for potential highly infectious hosts.
Vale, Pedro F.; Choisy, Marc; Little, Tom J.
Background The Grooved Carpet shell clam Ruditapes decussatus is the autochthonous European clam and the most appreciated from a gastronomic and economic point of view. The production is in decline due to several factors such as Perkinsiosis and habitat invasion and competition by the introduced exotic species, the manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum. After we sequenced R. decussatus transcriptome we have designed an oligo microarray capable of contributing to provide some clues on molecular response of the clam to Perkinsiosis. Results A database consisting of 41,119 unique transcripts was constructed, of which 12,479 (30.3%) were annotated by similarity. An oligo-DNA microarray platform was then designed and applied to profile gene expression in R. decussatus heavily infected by Perkinsus olseni. Functional annotation of differentially expressed genes between those two conditionswas performed by gene set enrichment analysis. As expected, microarrays unveil genes related with stress/infectious agents such as hydrolases, proteases and others. The extensive role of innate immune system was also analyzed and effect of parasitosis upon expression of important molecules such as lectins reviewed. Conclusions This study represents a first attempt to characterize Ruditapes decussatus transcriptome, an important marine resource for the European aquaculture. The trancriptome sequencing and consequent annotation will increase the available tools and resources for this specie, introducing the possibility of high throughput experiments such as microarrays analysis. In this specific case microarray approach was used to unveil some important aspects of host-parasite interaction between the Carpet shell clam and Perkinsus, two non-model species, highlighting some genes associated with this interaction. Ample information was obtained to identify biological processes significantly enriched among differentially expressed genes in Perkinsus infected versus non-infected gills. An overview on the genes related with the immune system on R. decussatus transcriptome is also reported.
In the present paper we have analyzed the host-parasite relationship and the influence of parasite infections on the immune system. In all cases aberrations in either humoral or cellular immune response are observed. Moreover the constant feature of parasite infections is the stimulation of the reticular endothelial system that induce an increased aspecific resistance toward various antigens. PMID:549569
Landolfo, S; Martinetto, P; Cavallo, G
Individuals of free-living organisms are often infected simultaneously by a community of parasites. If the co-infecting parasites interact, then this can add significantly to the diversity of host genotype×parasite genotype interactions. However, interactions between parasite species are usually not examined considering potential variation in interactions between different strain combinations of co-infecting parasites. Here, we examined the importance of interactions between strains of fish eye flukes Diplostomum spathaceum and Diplostomum gasterostei on their infectivity in naive fish hosts. We assessed the infection success of strains of both species in single-strain exposures and in co-exposures with a random strain of the other species. Parasite infection success did not consistently increase or decrease in the co-exposure treatment, but depended on the combinations of co-infecting parasite strains. This disrupted the relative infectivity of D. spathaceum strains observed in single-strain exposures. The infection success of D. gasterostei strains was independent of exposure type. These results suggest that interactions among parasite species may be strain specific and potentially promote maintenance of genetic polymorphism in parasite populations.
Seppala, Otto; Karvonen, Anssi; Tellervo Valtonen, E.; Jokela, Jukka
Parasites are integral components of the biosphere. Host switching correlated with events of episodic climate change is ubiquitous in evolutionary and ecological time. Global climate change produces ecological pertur- bations, which cause geographical and phenological shifts, and alteration in the dynamics of parasite trans- mission, increasing the potential for host switching. The intersection of climate change with evolutionary con- servative
Daniel R. Brooks; Eric P. Hoberg
Why do many hosts accept costly avian brood parasitism even when parasitic eggs and nestlings differ dramatically in appearance from their own? Scientists argue that evolutionary lag or equilibrium can explain this evolutionary enigma. Few, however, consider the potential of parasitic birds to enforce acceptance by destroying eggs or nestlings of hosts that eject parasitic eggs and thereby reject parasitism. This retaliatory "mafia" behavior has been reported in one species of parasitic cuckoo but never in parasitic cowbirds. Here we present experimental evidence of mafia behavior in the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), a widely distributed North American brood parasite. We manipulated ejection of cowbird eggs and cowbird access to predator-proof nests in a common host to test experimentally for mafia behavior. When cowbird access was allowed, 56% of "ejector" nests were depredated compared with only 6% of "accepter" nests. No nests were destroyed when cowbird access was always denied or when access was denied after we removed cowbird eggs, indicating that cowbirds were responsible. Nonparasitized nests were depredated at an intermediate rate (20%) when cowbirds were allowed access, suggesting that cowbirds may occasionally "farm" hosts to create additional opportunities for parasitism. Cowbirds parasitized most (85%) renests of the hosts whose nests were depredated. Ejector nests produced 60% fewer host offspring than accepter nests because of the predatory behavior attributed to cowbirds. Widespread predatory behaviors in cowbirds could slow the evolution of rejection behaviors and further threaten populations of some of the >100 species of regular cowbird hosts. PMID:17360549
Hoover, Jeffrey P; Robinson, Scott K
Parasitic nematode species often display highly specialized host-seeking behaviors that reflect their specific host preferences. Many such behaviors are triggered by host odors, but little is known about either the specific olfactory cues that trigger these behaviors or the underlying neural circuits. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and Steinernema carpocapsae are phylogenetically distant insect-parasitic nematodes whose host-seeking and host-invasion behavior resembles that of some devastating human- and plant-parasitic nematodes. We compare the olfactory responses of Heterorhabditis and Steinernema infective juveniles (IJs) to those of Caenorhabditis elegans dauers, which are analogous life stages. The broad host range of these parasites results from their ability to respond to the universally produced signal carbon dioxide (CO(2)), as well as a wide array of odors, including host-specific odors that we identified using thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. We find that CO(2) is attractive for the parasitic IJs and C. elegans dauers despite being repulsive for C. elegans adults, and we identify a sensory neuron that mediates CO(2) response in both parasitic and free-living species, regardless of whether CO(2) is attractive or repulsive. The parasites' odor response profiles are more similar to each other than to that of C. elegans despite their greater phylogenetic distance, likely reflecting evolutionary convergence to insect parasitism. PMID:21353558
Hallem, Elissa A; Dillman, Adler R; Hong, Annie V; Zhang, Yuanjun; Yano, Jessica M; DeMarco, Stephanie F; Sternberg, Paul W
Blood-feeding arthropod vectors are responsible for transmitting many parasites between vertebrate hosts. While arthropod vectors often feed on limited subsets of potential host species, little is known about the extent to which this influences the distribution of vector-borne parasites in some systems. Here, we test the hypothesis that different vector species structure parasite–host relationships by restricting access of certain parasites to a subset of available hosts. Specifically, we investigate how the feeding patterns of Culex mosquito vectors relate to distributions of avian malaria parasites among hosts in suburban Chicago, IL, USA. We show that Plasmodium lineages, defined by cytochrome b haplotypes, are heterogeneously distributed across avian hosts. However, the feeding patterns of the dominant vectors (Culex restuans and Culex pipiens) are similar across these hosts, and do not explain the distributions of Plasmodium parasites. Phylogenetic similarity of avian hosts predicts similarity in their Plasmodium parasites. This effect was driven primarily by the general association of Plasmodium parasites with particular host superfamilies. Our results suggest that a mosquito-imposed encounter rate does not limit the distribution of avian Plasmodium parasites across hosts. This implies that compatibility between parasites and their avian hosts structure Plasmodium host range.
Medeiros, Matthew C. I.; Hamer, Gabriel L.; Ricklefs, Robert E.
The size, structure and distribution of host populations are key determinants of the genetic composition of parasite populations. Despite the evolutionary and epidemiological merits, there has been little consideration of how host heterogeneities affect the evolutionary trajectories of parasite populations. We assessed the genetic composition of natural populations of the parasite Schistosoma mansoni in northern Senegal. A total of 1346 parasites were collected from 14 snail and 57 human hosts within three villages and individually genotyped using nine microsatellite markers. Human host demographic parameters (age, gender and village of residence) and co-infection with Schistosoma haematobium were documented, and S. mansoni infection intensities were quantified. F-statistics and clustering analyses revealed a random distribution (panmixia) of parasite genetic variation among villages and hosts, confirming the concept of human hosts as 'genetic mixing bowls' for schistosomes. Host gender and village of residence did not show any association with parasite genetics. Host age, however, was significantly correlated with parasite inbreeding and heterozygosity, with children being more infected by related parasites than adults. The patterns may be explained by (1) genotype-dependent 'concomitant immunity' that leads to selective recruitment of genetically unrelated worms with host age, and/or (2) the 'genetic mixing bowl' hypothesis, where older hosts have been exposed to a wider variety of parasite strains than children. The present study suggests that host-specific factors may shape the genetic composition of schistosome populations, revealing important insights into host-parasite interactions within a natural system. PMID:24619176
Van den Broeck, F; Meurs, L; Raeymaekers, J A M; Boon, N; Dieye, T N; Volckaert, F A M; Polman, K; Huyse, T
Recent research indicates that low genetic variation in individuals can increase susceptibility to parasite infection, yet evidence from natural invertebrate populations remains scarce. Here, we studied the relationship between genetic heterozygosity, measured as AFLP-based inbreeding coefficient fAFLP , and gregarine parasite burden from eleven damselfly, Calopteryx splendens, populations. We found that in the studied populations, 5-92% of males were parasitized by endoparasitic gregarines (Apicomplexa: Actinocephalidae). Number of parasites ranged from none to 47 parasites per male, and parasites were highly aggregated in a few hosts. Mean individual fAFLP did not differ between populations. Moreover, we found a positive association between individual's inbreeding coefficient and parasite burden. In other words, the more homozygous the individual, the more parasites it harbours. Thus, parasites are likely to pose strong selection pressure against inbreeding and homozygosity. Our results support the heterozygosity-fitness correlation hypothesis, which suggests the importance of heterozygosity for an individual's pathogen resistance. PMID:23865399
Kaunisto, K M; Viitaniemi, H M; Leder, E H; Suhonen, J
While often studied in isolation, host-parasite interactions are typically embedded within complex communities. Other community members, including predators and alternative hosts, can therefore alter parasite transmission (e.g., the dilution effect), yet few studies have experimentally evaluated more than one such mechanism. Here, we used data from natural wetlands to design experiments investigating how alternative hosts and predators of parasites mediate trematode (Ribeiroia ondatrae) infection in a focal amphibian host (Pseudacris regilla). In short-term predation bioassays involving mollusks, zooplankton, fish, larval insects, or newts, four of seven tested species removed 62-93% of infectious stages. In transmission experiments, damselfly nymphs (predators) and newt larvae (alternative hosts) reduced infection in P. regilla tadpoles by -50%, whereas mosquitofish (potential predators and alternative hosts) did not significantly influence transmission. Additional bioassays indicated that predators consumed parasites even in the presence of alternative prey. In natural wetlands, newts had similar infection intensities as P. regilla, suggesting that they commonly function as alternative hosts despite their unpalatability to downstream hosts, whereas mosquitofish had substantially lower infection intensities and are unlikely to function as hosts. These results underscore the importance of studying host-parasite interactions in complex communities and of broadly linking research on predation, biodiversity loss, and infectious diseases. PMID:22834364
Orlofske, Sarah A; Jadin, Robert C; Preston, Daniel L; Johnson, Pieter T J
Coevolutionary theory predicts that the most common long-term outcome of the relationships between brood parasites and their hosts should be coevolutionary cycles based on a dynamic change selecting the currently least-defended host species, given that when well-defended hosts are abandoned, hosts will be selected to decrease their defences as these are usually assumed to be costly. This is assumed to be the case also in brood parasite-host systems. Here I examine the frequency of the three potential long-term outcomes of brood parasite-host coevolution (coevolutionary cycles, lack of rejection, and successful resistance) in 182 host species. The results of simple exploratory comparisons show that coevolutionary cycles are very scarce while the lack of rejection and successful resistance, which are considered evolutionary enigmas, are much more frequent. I discuss these results considering (i) the importance of different host defences at all stages of the breeding cycle, (ii) the role of phenotypic plasticity in long-term coevolution, and (iii) the evolutionary history of host selection. I suggest that in purely antagonistic coevolutionary interactions, such as those involving brood parasites and their hosts, that although cycles will exist during an intermediate phase of the interactions, the arms race will end with the extinction of the host or with the host acquiring successful resistance. As evolutionary time passes, this resistance will force brood parasites to use previously less suitable host species. Furthermore, I present a model that represents the long-term trajectories and outcomes of coevolutionary interactions between brood parasites and their hosts with respect to the evolution of egg-rejection defence. This model suggests that as an increasing number of species acquire successful resistance, other unparasitized host species become more profitable and their parasitism rate and the costs imposed by brood parasitism at the population level will increase, selecting for the evolution of host defences. This means that although acceptance is adaptive when the parasitism rate and the costs of parasitism are very low, this cannot be considered to represent an evolutionary equilibrium, as conventional theory has done to date, because it is not stable. PMID:24330159
Despite the costs to avian parents of rearing brood parasitic offspring, many species do not reject foreign eggs from their nests. We show that where multiple parasitism occurs, rejection itself can be costly, by increasing the risk of host egg loss during subsequent parasite attacks. Chalk-browed mockingbirds (Mimus saturninus) are heavily parasitized by shiny cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis), which also puncture eggs in host nests. Mockingbirds struggle to prevent cowbirds puncturing and laying, but seldom remove cowbird eggs once laid. We filmed cowbird visits to nests with manipulated clutch compositions and found that mockingbird eggs were more likely to escape puncture the more cowbird eggs accompanied them in the clutch. A Monte Carlo simulation of this ‘dilution effect’, comparing virtual hosts that systematically either reject or accept parasite eggs, shows that acceptors enjoy higher egg survivorship than rejecters in host populations where multiple parasitism occurs. For mockingbirds or other hosts in which host nestlings fare well in parasitized broods, this benefit might be sufficient to offset the fitness cost of rearing parasite chicks, making egg acceptance evolutionarily stable. Thus, counterintuitively, high intensities of parasitism might decrease or even reverse selection pressure for host defence via egg rejection.
Gloag, Ros; Fiorini, Vanina D.; Reboreda, Juan C.; Kacelnik, Alex
Background Phytomyxids (plasmodiophorids and phagomyxids) are cosmopolitan, obligate biotrophic protist parasites of plants, diatoms, oomycetes and brown algae. Plasmodiophorids are best known as pathogens or vectors for viruses of arable crops (e.g. clubroot in brassicas, powdery potato scab, and rhizomania in sugar beet). Some phytomyxid parasites are of considerable economic and ecologic importance globally, and their hosts include important species in marine and terrestrial environments. However most phytomyxid diversity remains uncharacterised and knowledge of their relationships with host taxa is very fragmentary. Results Our molecular and morphological analyses of phytomyxid isolates–including for the first time oomycete and sea-grass parasites–demonstrate two cross-kingdom host shifts between closely related parasite species: between angiosperms and oomycetes, and from diatoms/brown algae to angiosperms. Switching between such phylogenetically distant hosts is generally unknown in host-dependent eukaryote parasites. We reveal novel plasmodiophorid lineages in soils, suggesting a much higher diversity than previously known, and also present the most comprehensive phytomyxid phylogeny to date. Conclusion Such large-scale host shifts between closely related obligate biotrophic eukaryote parasites is to our knowledge unique to phytomyxids. Phytomyxids may readily adapt to a wide diversity of new hosts because they have retained the ability to covertly infect alternative hosts. A high cryptic diversity and ubiquitous distribution in agricultural and natural habitats implies that in a changing environment phytomyxids could threaten the productivity of key species in marine and terrestrial environments alike via host shift speciation.
Although competitive speciation is more and more regarded as a plausible mechanism for sympatric speciation of non-parasite species, virtually no empirical or theoretical study has considered this evolutionary process to explain intra-host diversification of parasites. We expanded the theory of competitive speciation to parasite species looking at the effect of macro-parasite life history on the conditions for sympatric speciation under the so-called pleiotropic scenario. We included within-host competition in the classical Anderson and May framework assuming that individuals exploit within-host resources according to a quantitative trait. We derived the invasion fitness function of mutants considering different distributions of individuals among hosts. Although the mutant fitness depends on parameters describing the key features of macro-parasite life history, and on the relative distributions of mutant and residents in hosts, the conditions for competitive speciation of macro-parasites are exactly the same as those previously established for free-living species. As an interesting by-product, within-host competitive speciation is expected not to depend on the aggregation level of the parasites. This theoretical pattern is confirmed by comparing the speciation rate of weakly and strongly aggregated monogenean parasites.
Guilhem, Rascalou; Simkova, Andrea; Morand, Serge; Gourbiere, Sebastien
Estimates of the total number of species that inhabit the Earth have increased significantly since Linnaeus's initial catalog of 20,000 species. The best recent estimates suggest that there are ?6 million species. More emphasis has been placed on counts of free-living species than on parasitic species. We rectify this by quantifying the numbers and proportion of parasitic species. We estimate that there are between 75,000 and 300,000 helminth species parasitizing the vertebrates. We have no credible way of estimating how many parasitic protozoa, fungi, bacteria, and viruses exist. We estimate that between 3% and 5% of parasitic helminths are threatened with extinction in the next 50 to 100 years. Because patterns of parasite diversity do not clearly map onto patterns of host diversity, we can make very little prediction about geographical patterns of threat to parasites. If the threats reflect those experienced by avian hosts, then we expect climate change to be a major threat to the relatively small proportion of parasite diversity that lives in the polar and temperate regions, whereas habitat destruction will be the major threat to tropical parasite diversity. Recent studies of food webs suggest that ?75% of the links in food webs involve a parasitic species; these links are vital for regulation of host abundance and potentially for reducing the impact of toxic pollutants. This implies that parasite extinctions may have unforeseen costs that impact the health and abundance of a large number of free-living species.
Dobson, Andy; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Jetz, Walter
Background and Aims Parasitism is well understood to have wide-ranging deleterious effects on host performance in species thus far characterized. Photosynthetic performance reductions have been noted in the Striga–Zea mays association; however, no such information exists for facultative hemiparasitic plants and their hosts, nor are the effects of host species understood. Methods Chlorophyll fluorimetry was used to study the effects of parasitism by the hemiparasite Rhinanthus minor on the grass Phleum bertolinii and the forb Plantago lanceolata, and the effects of host species on the photosynthetic apparatus of R. minor. Key Results Parasitism by Rhinanthus led to a significant decrease in the host, and total (host + parasite) biomass in Phleum; however, in Plantago, no significant repression of growth was noted. Maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) was reduced in parasitized Plantago, relative to control plants, but not in Phleum. Fv/Fm was significantly lower in R. minor parasitizing Phleum than Plantago, suggesting Phleum to be a superior host to Plantago for R. minor. Steady-state quantum yield (?PSII) was significantly depressed in parasitized Phleum, but only at low irradiances in Plantago. ?PSII was very low for R. minor grown on Plantago, but not Phleum. Conclusions Shown here is the first evidence of the suppression of host photosynthesis by a facultative hemiparasitic plant, which has significant effects on total biomass production. Host identity is a significant factor in parasite success, with the forb Plantago lanceolata exhibiting apparent chemical as well as previously identified physical defences to parasitism. It is proposed that the electron transport rate (as denoted by ?PSII) represents the limiting factor for biomass accumulation in this system, and that Plantago is able to suppress the growth of Rhinanthus by suppressing the electron transport rate.
Cameron, Duncan D.; Geniez, Jean-Michelle; Seel, Wendy E.; Irving, Louis J.
Coevolutionary arms races between brood parasites and hosts involve genetic adaptations and counter-adaptations. However, hosts sometimes acquire defenses too rapidly to reflect genetic change. Our field experiments show that observation of cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) mobbing by neighbors on adjacent territories induced reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) to increase the mobbing of cuckoos but not of parrots (a harmless control) on their own territory. In contrast, observation of neighbors mobbing parrots had no effect on reed warblers' responses to either cuckoos or parrots. These results indicate that social learning provides a mechanism by which hosts rapidly increase their nest defense against brood parasites. Such enemy-specific social transmission enables hosts to track fine-scale spatiotemporal variation in parasitism and may influence the coevolutionary trajectories and population dynamics of brood parasites and hosts. PMID:19498167
Davies, Nicholas B; Welbergen, Justin A
Background and Aims Orobanche minor is a root-holoparasitic angiosperm that attacks a wide range of host species, including a number of commonly cultivated crops. The extent to which genetic divergence among natural populations of O. minor is influenced by host specificity has not been determined previously. Here, the host specificity of natural populations of O. minor is quantified for the first time, and evidence that this species may comprise distinct physiological races is provided. Methods A tripartite approach was used to examine the physiological basis for the divergence of populations occurring on different hosts: (1) host–parasite interactions were cultivated in rhizotron bioassays in order to quantify the early stages of the infection and establishment processes; (2) using reciprocal-infection experiments, parasite races were cultivated on their natural and alien hosts, and their fitness determined in terms of biomass; and (3) the anatomy of the host–parasite interface was investigated using histochemical techniques, with a view to comparing the infection process on different hosts. Key Results Races occurring naturally on red clover (Trifolium pratense) and sea carrot (Daucus carota ssp. gummifer) showed distinct patterns of host specificity: parasites cultivated in cross-infection studies showed a higher fitness on their natural hosts, suggesting that races show local adaptation to specific hosts. In addition, histological evidence suggests that clover and carrot roots vary in their responses to infection. Different root anatomy and responses to infection may underpin a physiological basis for host specificity. Conclusions It is speculated that host specificity may isolate races of Orobanche on different hosts, accelerating divergence and ultimately speciation in this genus. The rapid life cycle and broad host range of O. minor make this species an ideal model with which to study the interactions of parasitic plants with their host associates.
Thorogood, C. J.; Rumsey, F. J.; Hiscock, S. J.
Hemiparasitic plants display a unique strategy of resource acquisition combining parasitism of other species and own photosynthetic activity. Despite the active photoassimilation and green habit, they acquire substantial amount of carbon from their hosts. The organic carbon transfer has a crucial influence on the nature of the interaction between hemiparasites and their hosts which can oscillate between parasitism and competition for light. In this minireview, we summarize methodical approaches and results of various studies dealing with carbon budget of hemiparasites and the ecological implications of carbon heterotrophy in hemiparasites.
Plavcova, Lenka; Cameron, Duncan D
Recent research indicates that RNA translocation occurs between certain parasitic plant species and their hosts. The movement of at least 27 mRNAs has been demonstrated between hosts and Cuscuta pentagona Engelm., with the largest proportion of these being regulatory genes. Movement of RNAi signals has been documented from hosts to the parasites Triphysaria versicolor (Frisch & CA Mey) and Orobanche aegyptiaca (Pers.), demonstrating that the regulation of genes in one species can be influenced by transfer of RNA signals through a parasitic association. This review considers the implications of these findings in light of present understanding of host-parasite connections and the growing body of evidence that RNAs are able to act as signal molecules that convey regulatory information in a cell- and tissue-specific manner. Together, this suggests that parasitic plants can exchange RNAs with their hosts, and that this may be part of the coordinated growth and development that occurs during the process of parasitism. This phenomenon offers promise for new insights into parasitic plants, and new opportunities for the control of parasitic weeds. PMID:19253417
Westwood, James H; Roney, Jeannine K; Khatibi, Piyum A; Stromberg, Verlyn K
Organisms that can resist parasitic infection often have lower fitness in the absence of parasites. These costs of resistance can mediate host evolution during parasite epidemics. For example, large epidemics will select for increased host resistance. In contrast, small epidemics (or no disease) can select for increased host susceptibility when costly resistance allows more susceptible hosts to outcompete their resistant counterparts. Despite their importance for evolution in host populations, costs of resistance (which are also known as resistance trade-offs) have mainly been examined in laboratory-based host-parasite systems. Very few examples come from field-collected hosts. Furthermore, little is known about how resistance trade-offs vary across natural populations. We addressed these gaps using the freshwater crustacean Daphnia dentifera and its natural yeast parasite, Metschnikowia bicuspidata. We found a cost of resistance in two of the five populations we studied - those with the most genetic variation in resistance and the smallest epidemics in the previous year. However, yeast epidemics in the current year did not alter slopes of these trade-offs before and after epidemics. In contrast, the no-cost populations showed little variation in resistance, possibly because large yeast epidemics eroded that variation in the previous year. Consequently, our results demonstrate variation in costs of resistance in wild host populations. This variation has important implications for host evolution during epidemics in nature. PMID:24118613
Auld, S K J R; Penczykowski, R M; Housley Ochs, J; Grippi, D C; Hall, S R; Duffy, M A
The obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasites, e.g. Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium species, induce an IFN?-driven induction of host indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), the first and rate-limiting enzyme of tryptophan catabolism in the kynurenine pathway. Induction of IDO1 supposedly depletes cellular levels of tryptophan in host cells, which is proposed to inhibit the in vitro growth of auxotrophic pathogens. In vivo function of IDO during infections, however, is not clear, let alone controversial. We show that Eimeria falciformis, an apicomplexan parasite infecting the mouse caecum, induces IDO1 in the epithelial cells of the organ, and the enzyme expression coincides with the parasite development. The absence or inhibition of IDO1/2 and of two downstream enzymes in infected animals is detrimental to the Eimeria growth. The reduced parasite yield is not due to a lack of an immunosuppressive effect of IDO1 in the parasitized IDO1?/? or inhibitor-treated mice because they did not show an accentuated Th1 and IFN? response. Noticeably, the parasite development is entirely rescued by xanthurenic acid, a by-product of tryptophan catabolism inducing exflagellation in male gametes of Plasmodium in the mosquito mid-gut. Our data demonstrate a conceptual subversion of the host defense (IFN?, IDO) by an intracellular pathogen for progression of its natural life cycle. Besides, we show utility of E. falciformis, a monoxenous parasite of a well appreciated host, i.e. mouse, to identify in vivo factors underlying the parasite-host interactions.
Schmid, Manuela; Lehmann, Maik J.; Lucius, Richard; Gupta, Nishith
Background Success of trophically transmitted parasites depends to a great extent on their ability to manipulate their intermediate hosts in a way that makes them easier prey for target hosts. Parasite-induced behavioural changes are the most spectacular and diverse examples of manipulation. Most of the studies have been focused on individual behaviour of hosts including fish. We suggest that agonistic interactions and territoriality in fish hosts may affect their vulnerability to predators and thus the transmission efficiency of trophically transmitted parasites. The parasite Diplostomum spathaceum (Trematoda) and juvenile rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, were used to study whether infection can alter aggression rates and territorial behaviour of intermediate fish hosts. Results The changes in behaviour of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, infected with an eye fluke Diplostomum spathaceum (Trematoda), was monitored over the course of an experimental infection for 1.5 months. At the beginning of their development, not yet infective D. spathaceum metacercariae decreased the aggressiveness of rainbow trout. By the time that metacercariae were fully infective to their definitive hosts, the aggressiveness increased and exceeded that of control fish. Despite the increased aggressiveness, the experimentally infected fish lost contests for a territory (dark parts of the bottom) against the control fish. Conclusions The results obtained indicate that the parasitized fish pay the cost of aggressiveness without the benefit of acquiring a territory that would provide them with better protection against predators. This behaviour should increase transmission of the parasite as expected by the parasite manipulation hypothesis.
Schistosoma japonicum is a parasitic flatworm that causes human schistosomiasis, which is a significant cause of morbidity in China and the Philippines. Here we present a draft genomic sequence for the worm. The genome provides a global insight into the molecular architecture and host interaction of this complex metazoan pathogen, revealing that it can exploit host nutrients, neuroendocrine hormones and
Yan Zhou; Huajun Zheng; Yangyi Chen; Lei Zhang; Kai Wang; Jing Guo; Zhen Huang; Bo Zhang; Wei Huang; Ke Jin; Tonghai Dou; Masami Hasegawa; Li Wang; Yuan Zhang; Jie Zhou; Lin Tao; Zhiwei Cao; Yixue Li; Tomas Vinar; Brona Brejova; Dan Brown; Ming Li; David J. Miller; David Blair; Yang Zhong; Zhu Chen; Feng Liu; Wei Hu; Zhi-Qin Wang; Qin-Hua Zhang; Huai-Dong Song; Saijuan Chen; Xuenian Xu; Bin Xu; Chuan Ju; Yucheng Huang; Paul J. Brindley; Donald P. McManus; Zheng Feng; Ze-Guang Han; Gang Lu; Shuangxi Ren; Yuezhu Wang; Wenyi Gu; Hui Kang; Jie Chen; Xiaoyun Chen; Shuting Chen; Lijun Wang; Jie Yan; Biyun Wang; Xinyan Lv; Lei Jin; Bofei Wang; Shiyin Pu; Xianglin Zhang; Wei Zhang; Qiuping Hu; Genfeng Zhu; Jun Wang; Jun Yu; Jian Wang; Huanming Yang; Zemin Ning; Matthew Beriman; Chia-Lin Wei; Yijun Ruan; Guoping Zhao; Shengyue Wang
SUMMARY Host castration represents a mechanism used by parasites to exploit energy resources from their hosts by interfering with their reproductive development or to extend host lifespan by removing risks associated with reproductive activity. One of the most intriguing groups of parasitic castrators is represented by the insects belonging to the order Strepsiptera. The macroparasite Xenos vesparum can produce dramatic phenotypic alterations in its host, the paper wasp Polistes dominula. Parasitized female wasps have undeveloped ovaries and desert the colony without performing any social task. However, very little attention has been given to the parasitic impact of X. vesparum on the male phenotype. Here, we investigated the effects of this parasite on the sexual behaviour and the morpho-physiology of P. dominula males. We found that, differently from female wasps, parasitized males are not heavily affected by Xenos: they maintain their sexual behaviour and ability to discriminate between female castes. Furthermore, the structure of their reproductive apparatus is not compromised by the parasite. We think that our results, demonstrating that the definition of X. vesparum as a parasitoid does not apply to infected males of P. dominula, provide a new perspective to discuss and maybe reconsider the traditional view of strepsipteran parasites. PMID:24776461
Cappa, Federico; Manfredini, Fabio; Dallai, Romano; Gottardo, Marco; Beani, Laura
Circumstantial evidence in human malaria suggests that elimination of parasites by drug treatment meets higher success rates in individuals having some background immunity. In this study, using the rodent malaria model Plasmodium chabaudi, we show that drug-resistant parasites can be cleared by drugs when the host is partially immune. PMID:11557487
Cravo, P; Culleton, R; Hunt, P; Walliker, D; Mackinnon, M J
Circumstantial evidence in human malaria suggests that elimination of parasites by drug treatment meets higher success rates in individuals having some background immunity. In this study, using the rodent malaria model Plasmodium chabaudi, we show that drug-resistant parasites can be cleared by drugs when the host is partially immune. Malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum is still a major cause of
PEDRO CRAVO; RICHARD CULLETON; PAUL HUNT; DAVID WALLIKER; MARGARET J. MACKINNON
Ectoparasitic batflies were studied on 12 species of phyllostomid bats, by making 35 nightly collections of bats using mist nets at the "Panga" Ecological Reservation near Uberlândia, State of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil, from August 1989 to July 1990. Eleven species of Streblidae and one of Nycteribiidae were collected on 12 species of bats. Prevalence of ectoparasitic flies was lower than those reported by other authors for the New World and may be the result of the lack of caves in the study area, causing bats to roost in less favorable locations, forming smaller colonies. The fly, Trichobius joblingi Wenzel, was found on Carollia perspicillata (Linnaeus), showing preference for adult male bats. This could be explained by the predominance of males in the bat colonies, and by the fact that females rest in isolation during the reproductive period making them less exposed to the parasites. The streblid flies, Aspidoptera falcata Wenzel and Megistopoda proxima (Séguy), were found on Sturnira lilium (Geoffroy). A. falcata occurred mainly on young and adult females, whereas M. proxima did not show any preferences relative to the reproductive condition of the host. Ecological factors are important in determining differential numbers of parasites occurring on the different sexes, ages and reproductive state of the hosts. PMID:10224519
Komeno, C A; Linhares, A X
• Background and Aims Rhinanthus minor is a root hemiparasitic plant that attacks a wide range of host species which are severely damaged by the parasite. Rhinanthus minor also attempts unsuccessfully to form connections to a range of non-hosts which in contrast are not damaged by the parasite; however, the underlying physiological basis of these differences is not fully understood. • Methods Biomass of host–parasite combinations was studied, and histology, electron microscopy and FT-IR microspectroscopy were used to determine the cellular-level interactions between Rhinanthus haustoria (the parasite's connective structure) and the roots of a range of potential host species. • Results Two distinct defence responses were observed in the non-host forbs Plantago lanceolata and Leucanthemum vulgare. Firstly, L. vulgare was able to encapsulate the parasite's invading structures preventing it from gaining access to the stele. This was supported by FT-IR microspectroscopy, used to monitor lignification in response to Rhinanthus haustoria. Secondly, host cell fragmentation was observed at the interface between the parasite and P. lanceolata. Growth data confirmed the non-host status of the two forbs whilst, in contrast, grasses and a legume which were good hosts showed no evidence of defence at the host/parasite interface. • Conclusions Variable resistance to Rhinanthus is shown for the first time to be controlled by cellular-level resistance to haustoria by either cell fragmentation or lignification at the host/parasite interface.
CAMERON, DUNCAN D.; COATS, ALISON M.; SEEL, WENDY E.
Parasites and hosts interact across both micro- and macroevolutionary scales where congruence among their phylogeographic and phylogenetic structures may be observed. Within southern Africa, the four-striped mouse genus, Rhabdomys, is parasitized by the ectoparasitic sucking louse, Polyplax arvicanthis. Molecular data recently suggested the presence of two cryptic species within P. arvicanthis that are sympatrically distributed across the distributions of four putative Rhabdomys species. We tested the hypotheses of phylogeographic congruence and cophylogeny among the two parasite lineages and the four host taxa, utilizing mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data. Despite the documented host-specificity of P. arvicanthis, limited phylogeographic correspondence and nonsignificant cophylogeny was observed. Instead, the parasite-host evolutionary history is characterized by limited codivergence and several duplication, sorting and host-switching events. Despite the elevated mutational rates found for P. arvicanthis, the spatial genetic structure was not more pronounced in the parasite lineages compared with the hosts. These findings may be partly attributed to larger effective population sizes of the parasite lineages, the vagility and social behaviour of Rhabdomys, and the lack of host-specificity observed in areas of host sympatry. Further, the patterns of genetic divergence within parasite and host lineages may also be largely attributed to historical biogeographic changes (expansion-contraction cycles). It is thus evident that the association between P. arvicanthis and Rhabdomys has been shaped by the synergistic effects of parasite traits, host-related factors and biogeography over evolutionary time. PMID:24010927
du Toit, Nina; van Vuuren, Bettine J; Matthee, Sonja; Matthee, Conrad A
As it grows and replicates within the erythrocytes of its host the malaria parasite takes up nutrients from the extracellular medium, exports metabolites and maintains a tight control over its internal ionic composition. These functions are achieved via membrane transport proteins, integral membrane proteins that mediate the passage of solutes across the various membranes that separate the biochemical machinery of the parasite from the extracellular environment. Proteins of this type play a key role in antimalarial drug resistance, as well as being candidate drug targets in their own right. This review provides an overview of recent work on the membrane transport biology of the malaria parasite-infected erythrocyte, encompassing both the parasite-induced changes in the membrane transport properties of the host erythrocyte and the cell physiology of the intracellular parasite itself. PMID:24325549
Kirk, Kiaran; Lehane, Adele M
Avian brood parasites lay their eggs in other birds' nests and impose considerable fitness costs on their hosts. Historically and scientifically, the best studied example of circumventing host defences is the mimicry of host eggshell colour by the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Yet the chemical basis of eggshell colour similarity, which impacts hosts' tolerance towards parasitic eggs, remains unknown. We tested the alternative scenarios that (i) cuckoos replicate host egg pigment chemistry, or (ii) cuckoos use alternative mechanisms to produce a similar perceptual effect to mimic host egg appearance. In parallel with patterns of similarity in avian-perceived colour mimicry, the concentrations of the two key eggshell pigments, biliverdin and protoporphyrin, were most similar between the cuckoo host-races and their respective hosts. Thus, the chemical basis of avian host-parasite egg colour mimicry is evolutionarily conserved, but also intraspecifically flexible. These analyses of pigment composition reveal a novel proximate dimension of coevolutionary interactions between avian brood parasites and hosts, and imply that alternative phenotypes may arise by the modifications of already existing biochemical and physiological mechanisms and pathways. PMID:21920975
Igic, Branislav; Cassey, Phillip; Grim, Tomás; Greenwood, David R; Moskát, Csaba; Rutila, Jarkko; Hauber, Mark E
Climate change is a major threat to global environmental stability and is predicted to cause more frequent extreme weather events with higher levels of heat and cold stress. The physiological effects of such events on parasitic infections within endotherms are poorly studied and rarely considered in the context of climate change where an emphasis on ectothermic components of parasite life cycles (free-living stages and invertebrate hosts or vectors) predominates. However, thermal stress can affect parasite establishment, growth, fecundity, and development within endothermic hosts and may thus potentially influence transmission potential. Such changes can be caused by temperature effects on host physiological homeostasis, predominantly endocrine and immune systems, and may have wide implications for parasite epidemiology under extreme climatic events. PMID:24613288
Morley, Neil J; Lewis, John W
To understand possible factors controlling transmission of trematode larvae between first and second intermediate hosts we examined the impact of ambient fauna on parasite transmission in a marine intertidal parasite-host association. Cockle hosts (Cerastoderma edule) kept together with selected co-occurring macrozoobenthic species in mesocosms acquired a lower parasite load compared to cockles kept alone, when targeted by cercariae of the trematode Himasthla elongata. The reduction of parasite load in the cockles differed between the 7 macrozoobenthic species tested and was between 35 and 91%. Three different types of reduction could be distinguished: (1) predators (Carcinus maenas, Crangon crangon) actively preying upon cercariae, (2) non-host filter feeders (Crepidula fornicata, Mya arenaria, Crassostrea gigas) filtering cercariae but not becoming infected and (3) alternative hosts (Mytilus edulis, Macoma balthica) becoming infected by the cercariae and thus distracting cercariae from the target hosts. In addition, interference competition may occur in the form of disturbance of cockles by ambient organisms resulting in lower filtration rates and subsequently lower parasite loads. Our results suggest that the species composition and relative abundance of the ambient fauna of parasite-host systems play an important role in controlling trematode transmission rates in benthic marine systems. PMID:18561867
Thieltges, D W; Bordalo, M D; Hernández, A Caballero; Prinz, K; Jensen, K T
The fitness consequences of deleterious mutations are sometimes greater when individuals are parasitized, hence parasites may result in the more rapid purging of deleterious mutations from host populations. The significance of host deleterious mutations when hosts and parasites antagonistically coevolve (reciprocal evolution of host resistance and parasite infectivity) has not previously been experimentally investigated. We addressed this by coevolving the
Angus Buckling; Yan Wei; Ruth C. Massey; Michael A. Brockhurst; Michael E. Hochberg
In coevolutionary arms races, like between cuckoos and their hosts, it is easy to understand why the host is under selection favouring anti-parasitism behaviour, such as egg rejection, which can lead to parasites evolving remarkable adaptations to ‘trick’ their host, such as mimetic eggs. But what about cases where the cuckoo egg is not mimetic and where the host does not act against it? Classically, such apparently non-adaptive behaviour is put down to evolutionary lag: given enough time, egg mimicry and parasite avoidance strategies will evolve. An alternative is that absence of egg mimicry and of anti-parasite behaviour is stable. Such stability is at first sight highly paradoxical. I show, using both field and experimental data to parametrize a simulation model, that the absence of defence behaviour by Cape bulbuls (Pycnonotus capensis) against parasitic eggs of the Jacobin cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) is optimal behaviour. The cuckoo has evolved massive eggs (double the size of bulbul eggs) with thick shells, making it very hard or impossible for the host to eject the cuckoo egg. The host could still avoid brood parasitism by nest desertion. However, higher predation and parasitism risks later in the season makes desertion more costly than accepting the cuckoo egg, a strategy aided by the fact that many cuckoo eggs are incorrectly timed, so do not hatch in time and hence do not reduce host fitness to zero. Selection will therefore prevent the continuation of any coevolutionary arms race. Non-mimetic eggs and absence of defence strategies against cuckoo eggs will be the stable, if at first sight paradoxical, result.
Host-parasite relatedness may facilitate the evolution of conspecific brood parasitism, but empirical support for this contention remains inconclusive. One reason for this disparity may relate to the diversity of parasitic tactics, a key distinguishing feature being whether the parasite has a nest of her own. Previous work suggests that parasites without nests of their own may be of inferior phenotypic quality, but because of difficulties in identifying these parasitic individuals, little is known about their host selection criteria. We used high-resolution molecular maternity tests to assign parasitic offspring to known parasites with and without their own nests in a population of Barrow's goldeneyes (Bucephala islandica). We determined whether parasite nesting status, host-parasite relatedness and distance between host and parasite nests affected the probability of parasitizing a host and the number of eggs laid per host. We also investigated whether nesting parasites, conventionally nesting females and non-nesting parasites differed regarding their age, structural size, body condition, nesting phenology or total brood size. The probability of engaging in parasitism increased with host-parasite relatedness and spatial proximity to host nests for nesting and non-nesting females alike. However, nesting parasites increased the number of eggs donated with relatedness to the host, while non-nesting parasites did not do so. Non-nesting parasites laid fewer eggs in total, but did not differ by any of the other quality measures from conventional nesters or nesting parasites. Our study provides the first demonstration that nesting and non-nesting parasites from the same population may use different host selection criteria. PMID:21923774
Jaatinen, Kim; Öst, Markus; Gienapp, Phillip; Merilä, Juha
The Red Queen hypothesis proposes that coevolving parasites select for outcrossing in the host. Outcrossing relies on males, which often show lower immune investment due to, for example, sexual selection. Here, we demonstrate that such sex differences in immunity interfere with parasite-mediated selection for outcrossing. Two independent coevolution experiments with Caenorhabditis elegans and its microparasite Bacillus thuringiensis produced decreased yet stable frequencies of outcrossing male hosts. A subsequent systematic analysis verified that male C. elegans suffered from a direct selective disadvantage under parasite pressure (i.e. lower resistance, decreased sexual activity, increased escape behaviour), which can reduce outcrossing and thus male frequencies. At the same time, males offered an indirect selective benefit, because male-mediated outcrossing increased offspring resistance, thus favouring male persistence in the evolving populations. As sex differences in immunity are widespread, such interference of opposing selective constraints is likely of central importance during host adaptation to a coevolving parasite.
Masri, Leila; Schulte, Rebecca D; Timmermeyer, Nadine; Thanisch, Stefanie; Crummenerl, Lena Luise; Jansen, Gunther; Michiels, Nico K; Schulenburg, Hinrich
Helminths are multicellular parasitic worms that comprise a major class of human pathogens and cause an immense amount of suffering worldwide. Helminths possess an abundance of complex and unique glycoconjugates that interact with both the innate and adaptive arms of immunity in definitive and intermediate hosts. These glycoconjugates represent a major untapped reservoir of immunomodulatory compounds, which have the potential to treat autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, and antigenic glycans, which could be exploited as vaccines and diagnostics. This review will survey current knowledge of the interactions between helminth glycans and host immunity and highlight the gaps in our understanding which are relevant to advancing therapeutics, vaccine development, and diagnostics.
Prasanphanich, Nina Salinger; Mickum, Megan L.; Heimburg-Molinaro, Jamie; Cummings, Richard D.
In invertebrate-parasite systems, the likelihood of infection following parasite exposure is often dependent on the specific combination of host and parasite genotypes (termed genetic specificity). Genetic specificity can maintain diversity in host and parasite populations and is a major component of the Red Queen hypothesis. However, invertebrate immune systems are thought to only distinguish between broad classes of parasite. Using a natural host-parasite system with a well-established pattern of genetic specificity, the crustacean Daphnia magna and its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa, we found that only hosts from susceptible host-parasite genetic combinations mounted a cellular response following exposure to the parasite. These data are compatible with the hypothesis that genetic specificity is attributable to barrier defenses at the site of infection (the gut), and that the systemic immune response is general, reporting the number of parasite spores entering the hemocoel. Further supporting this, we found that larger cellular responses occurred at higher initial parasite doses. By studying the natural infection route, where parasites must pass barrier defenses before interacting with systemic immune responses, these data shed light on which components of invertebrate defense underlie genetic specificity.
Auld, Stuart K. J. R; Edel, Kai H.; Little, Tom J.
Background Using phylogenetic approaches, the expectation that parallel cladogenesis should occur between parasites and hosts has been validated in some studies, but most others provided evidence for frequent host shifts. Here we examine the evolutionary history of the association between Microbotryum fungi that cause anther smut disease and their Caryophyllaceous hosts. We investigated the congruence between host and parasite phylogenies, inferred cospeciation events and host shifts, and assessed whether geography or plant ecology could have facilitated the putative host shifts identified. For cophylogeny analyses on microorganisms, parasite strains isolated from different host species are generally considered to represent independent evolutionary lineages, often without checking whether some strains actually belong to the same generalist species. Such an approach may mistake intraspecific nodes for speciation events and thus bias the results of cophylogeny analyses if generalist species are found on closely related hosts. A second aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the impact of species delimitation on the inferences of cospeciation. Results We inferred a multiple gene phylogeny of anther smut strains from 21 host plants from several geographic origins, complementing a previous study on the delimitation of fungal species and their host specificities. We also inferred a multi-gene phylogeny of their host plants, and the two phylogenies were compared. A significant level of cospeciation was found when each host species was considered to harbour a specific parasite strain, i.e. when generalist parasite species were not recognized as such. This approach overestimated the frequency of cocladogenesis because individual parasite species capable of infecting multiple host species (i.e. generalists) were found on closely related hosts. When generalist parasite species were appropriately delimited and only a single representative of each species was retained, cospeciation events were not more frequent than expected under a random distribution, and many host shifts were inferred. Current geographic distributions of host species seemed to be of little relevance for understanding the putative historical host shifts, because most fungal species had overlapping geographic ranges. We did detect some ecological similarities, including shared pollinators and habitat types, between host species that were diseased by closely related anther smut species. Overall, genetic similarity underlying the host-parasite interactions appeared to have the most important influence on specialization and host-shifts: generalist multi-host parasite species were found on closely related plant species, and related species in the Microbotryum phylogeny were associated with members of the same host clade. Conclusion We showed here that Microbotryum species have evolved through frequent host shifts to moderately distant hosts, and we show further that accurate delimitation of parasite species is essential for interpreting cophylogeny studies.
Malaria parasites increase erythrocyte permeability to diverse solutes including anions, some cations, and organic solutes, as characterized with several independent methods. Over the past decade, patch-clamp studies have determined that the permeability results from one or more ion channels on the infected erythrocyte host membrane. However, the biological role(s) served by these channels, if any, remain controversial. Recent studies implicate the plasmodial surface anion channel (PSAC) and a role in parasite nutrient acquisition. A debated alternative role in remodeling host ion composition for the benefit of the parasite appears to be nonessential. Because both channel activity and the associated clag3 genes are strictly conserved in malaria parasites, channel-mediated permeability is an attractive target for development of new therapies. PMID:24507014
Desai, Sanjay A
Intracellular pathogens have complex metabolic interactions with their host cells to ensure a steady supply of energy and anabolic building blocks for rapid growth. Here we use the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii to probe this interaction for isoprenoids, abundant lipidic compounds essential to many cellular processes including signaling, trafficking, energy metabolism, and protein translation. Synthesis of precursors for isoprenoids in Apicomplexa occurs in the apicoplast and is essential. To synthesize longer isoprenoids from these precursors, T. gondii expresses a bifunctional farnesyl diphosphate/geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (TgFPPS). In this work we construct and characterize T. gondii null mutants for this enzyme. Surprisingly, these mutants have only a mild growth phenotype and an isoprenoid composition similar to wild type parasites. However, when extracellular, the loss of the enzyme becomes phenotypically apparent. This strongly suggests that intracellular parasite salvage FPP and/or geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP) from the host. We test this hypothesis using inhibitors of host cell isoprenoid synthesis. Mammals use the mevalonate pathway, which is susceptible to statins. We document strong synergy between statin treatment and pharmacological or genetic interference with the parasite isoprenoid pathway. Mice can be cured with atorvastatin (Lipitor) from a lethal infection with the TgFPPs mutant. We propose a double-hit strategy combining inhibitors of host and parasite pathways as a novel therapeutic approach against Apicomplexan parasites.
Li, Zhu-Hong; Ramakrishnan, Srinivasan; Striepen, Boris; Moreno, Silvia N. J.
Intracellular pathogens have complex metabolic interactions with their host cells to ensure a steady supply of energy and anabolic building blocks for rapid growth. Here we use the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii to probe this interaction for isoprenoids, abundant lipidic compounds essential to many cellular processes including signaling, trafficking, energy metabolism, and protein translation. Synthesis of precursors for isoprenoids in Apicomplexa occurs in the apicoplast and is essential. To synthesize longer isoprenoids from these precursors, T. gondii expresses a bifunctional farnesyl diphosphate/geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (TgFPPS). In this work we construct and characterize T. gondii null mutants for this enzyme. Surprisingly, these mutants have only a mild growth phenotype and an isoprenoid composition similar to wild type parasites. However, when extracellular, the loss of the enzyme becomes phenotypically apparent. This strongly suggests that intracellular parasite salvage FPP and/or geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP) from the host. We test this hypothesis using inhibitors of host cell isoprenoid synthesis. Mammals use the mevalonate pathway, which is susceptible to statins. We document strong synergy between statin treatment and pharmacological or genetic interference with the parasite isoprenoid pathway. Mice can be cured with atorvastatin (Lipitor) from a lethal infection with the TgFPPs mutant. We propose a double-hit strategy combining inhibitors of host and parasite pathways as a novel therapeutic approach against Apicomplexan parasites. PMID:24146616
Li, Zhu-Hong; Ramakrishnan, Srinivasan; Striepen, Boris; Moreno, Silvia N J
Root-knot nematodes are highly efficient plant parasites that establish permanent feeding sites within host roots. The initiation of this feeding site is critical for parasitic success and requires an interaction with multiple signaling pathways involved in plant development and environmental response. Resistance against root-knot nematodes is relatively rare amongst their broad host range and they remain a major threat to agriculture. The development of effective and sustainable control strategies depends on understanding how host signaling pathways are manipulated during invasion of susceptible hosts. It is generally understood that root-knot nematodes either suppress host defense signaling during infestation or are able to avoid detection altogether, explaining their profound success as parasites. However, when compared to the depth of knowledge from other well-studied pathogen interactions, the published data on host responses to root-knot nematode infestation do not yet provide convincing support for this hypothesis and alternative explanations also exist. It is equally possible that defense-like signaling responses are actually induced and required during the early stages of root-knot nematode infestation. We describe how defense-signaling is highly context-dependent and that caution is necessary when interpreting transcriptional responses in the absence of appropriate control data or stringent validation of gene annotation. Further hypothesis-driven studies on host defense-like responses are required to account for these limitations and advance our understanding of root-knot nematode parasitism of plants. PMID:24157203
Goto, Derek B; Miyazawa, Hikota; Mar, Jessica C; Sato, Masanao
Access to the article is free, however registration and sign-in are required. The wily malaria parasite has become resistant to many affordable frontline antimalarial drugs, and new drug targets are desperately needed. Reporting in a Perspective on new work (Zhang et al.), Goldberg suggests that we look for drug targets among proteins that are shared by the host and parasite but whose synthesis is regulated in a different way.
Daniel E. Goldberg (Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Washington University; Department of Medicine and Department of Molecular Microbiology)
The process of disease transmission is determined by the interaction of host susceptibility and exposure to parasite infectious stages. Host behavior is an important determinant of the likelihood of exposure to infectious stages but is difficult to measure and often assumed to be homogenous in models of disease spread. We evaluated the importance of precisely defining host contact when using networks that estimate exposure and predict infection prevalence in a replicated, empirical system. In particular, we hypothesized that infection patterns would be predicted only by a contact network that is defined according to host behavior and parasite life cycle. Two competing host contact criteria were used to construct networks defined by parasite life cycle and social contacts. First, parasite-defined contacts were based on shared space with a time delay corresponding to the environmental development time of nematode parasites with a direct fecal-oral life cycle. Second, social contacts were defined by shared space in the same time period. To quantify the competing networks of exposure and infection, we sampled natural populations of the eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) and infection of their gastrointestinal helminth community using replicated longitudinal capture-mark-recapture techniques. We predicted that (1) infection with parasites with direct fecal-oral life cycles would be explained by the time delay contact network, but not the social contact network; (2) infection with parasites with trophic life cycles (via a mobile intermediate host; thus, spatially decoupling transmission from host contact) would not be explained by either contact network. The prevalence of fecal-oral life cycle nematode parasites was strongly correlated to the number and strength of network connections from the parasite-defined network (including the time delay), while the prevalence of trophic life cycle parasites was not correlated with any network metrics. We concluded that incorporating the parasite life cycle, relative to the way that exposure is measured, is key to inferring transmission and can be empirically quantified using network techniques. In addition, appropriately defining and measuring contacts according the life history of the parasite and relevant behaviors of the host is a crucial step in applying network analyses to empirical systems. PMID:24555316
Grear, Daniel A; Luong, Lien T; Hudson, Peter J
Malaria and toxoplasmosis are infectious diseases caused by the apicomplexan parasites Plasmodium and Toxoplasma gondii, respectively. These parasites have developed an invasion mechanism involving the formation of a moving junction (MJ) that anchors the parasite to the host cell and forms a ring through which the parasite penetrates. The composition and the assembly of the MJ, and in particular the presence of protein AMA1 and its interaction with protein RON2 at the MJ, have been the subject of intense controversy. Here, using reverse genetics, we show that AMA1, a vaccine candidate, interacts with RON2 to maintain the MJ structural integrity in T. gondii and is subsequently required for parasite internalization. Moreover, we show that disruption of the AMA1 gene results in upregulation of AMA1 and RON2 homologues that cooperate to support residual invasion. Our study highlights a considerable complexity and molecular plasticity in the architecture of the MJ. PMID:24934579
Lamarque, Mauld H; Roques, Magali; Kong-Hap, Marie; Tonkin, Michelle L; Rugarabamu, George; Marq, Jean-Baptiste; Penarete-Vargas, Diana M; Boulanger, Martin J; Soldati-Favre, Dominique; Lebrun, Maryse
The nocardiae are bacteria belonging to the aerobic actinomycetes. They are an important part of the normal soil microflora worldwide. The type species, Nocardia asteroides, and N. brasiliensis, N. farcinica, N. otitidiscaviarum, N. nova, and N. transvalensis cause a variety of diseases in both normal and immunocompromised humans and animals. The mechanisms of pathogenesis are complex, not fully understood, and include the capacity to evade or neutralize the myriad microbicidal activities of the host. The relative virulence of N. asteroides correlates with the ability to inhibit phagosome-lysosome fusion in phagocytes; to neutralize phagosomal acidification; to detoxify the microbicidal products of oxidative metabolism; to modify phagocyte function; to grow within phagocytic cells; and to attach to, penetrate, and grow within host cells. Both activated macrophages and immunologically specific T lymphocytes constitute the major mechanisms for host resistance to nocardial infection, whereas B lymphocytes and humoral immunity do not appear to be as important in protecting the host. Thus, the nocardiae are facultative intracellular pathogens that can persist within the host, probably in a cryptic form (L-form), for life. Silent invasion of brain cells by some Nocardia strains can induce neurodegeneration in experimental animals; however, the role of nocardiae in neurodegenerative diseases in humans needs to be investigated. Images
Beaman, B L; Beaman, L
The Baltic Sea is one of the greatest brackish waters, and for 7000years it has been affected by the influx of haline waters from the North Sea. Many marine and some fresh water organisms have adapted to its lower salinity. Some organisms, referred to as genuine brackish water species, predominate over their near relatives in this environment. All these elements are also present among parasites, which differ in the degree of specialization to their hosts. Analyses of parasite communities, especially those of small fish hosts, reveal characteristics which differ from communities in the marine milieu: (a) suspension of specifity, (b) new hosts, (c) reduction in the number of hosts in life cycles, and (d) adaptation to genuine brackish water hosts. The view of the Baltic Sea as a species-poor but balanced ecosystem is also valid for parasites. The Baltic Sea is endangered by the high level of eutrophication, as the organisms are not adapted to its consequences. The study of parasite communities reveals such threatening conditions for the respective environments.
Zander, C. Dieter
Background There have been reported cases of host-switching in avian and lizard species of Plasmodium (Apicomplexa, Haemosporidia), as well as in those infecting different primate species. However, no evidence has previously been found for host-swapping between wild birds and mammals. Methods This paper presents the results of the sampling of blood parasites of wild-captured bats from Madagascar and Cambodia. The presence of Haemosporidia infection in these animals is confirmed and cytochrome b gene sequences were used to construct a phylogenetic analysis. Results Results reveal at least three different and independent Haemosporidia evolutionary histories in three different bat lineages from Madagascar and Cambodia. Conclusion Phylogenetic analysis strongly suggests multiple host-switching of Haemosporidia parasites in bats with those from avian and primate hosts.
Duval, Linda; Robert, Vincent; Csorba, Gabor; Hassanin, Alexandre; Randrianarivelojosia, Milijaona; Walston, Joe; Nhim, Thy; Goodman, Steve M; Ariey, Frederic
The dynamics of parasite–host systems can be complicated if the parasite life cycle contains an obligatory environmental stage and if the hosts' immunity increases upon re-infection. The dynamics then greatly depend on the relation between infection history and parasite uptake and excretion of individual hosts. In an effort to better understand such systems, we study Eimeria spp. in chickens as our model. In this paper we take a first step and study the within-host dynamics of Eimeria spp., transmitted through oocysts in the environment, with a mathematical model for the parasite life cycle in discrete time, interacting with a single variable describing the immune response. The model can explain various types of oocyst input–output behaviour as described in previous experiments, in particular the characteristic crowding effect, which causes a decreasing oocyst production with increasing single dose oocyst uptake. Oocyst excretion during constant oocyst uptake (trickle infection) and the immunizing effect of single and trickle infections also appears in accordance with published experiments. The model seems a good description of oocyst input–output behaviour in individual hosts; it provides a solid basis for the study of between-host dynamics, where individuals interact in a common environment, thereby affecting their own and each other's infection pattern.
Klinkenberg, D; Heesterbeek, J.A.P
The interactions between intestinal microbiota, immune system, and pathogens describe the human gut as a complex ecosystem, where all components play a relevant role in modulating each other and in the maintenance of homeostasis. The balance among the gut microbiota and the human body appear to be crucial for health maintenance. Intestinal parasites, both protozoans and helminths, interact with the microbial community modifying the balance between host and commensal microbiota. On the other hand, gut microbiota represents a relevant factor that may strongly interfere with the pathophysiology of the infections. In addition to the function that gut commensal microbiota may have in the processes that determine the survival and the outcome of many parasitic infections, including the production of nutritive macromolecules, also probiotics can play an important role in reducing the pathogenicity of many parasites. On these bases, there is a growing interest in explaining the rationale on the possible interactions between the microbiota, immune response, inflammatory processes, and intestinal parasites.
Berrilli, Federica; Di Cave, David; Cavallero, Serena; D'Amelio, Stefano
The review summarizes reports on molecular aspects of interactions of phytoparasitic nematodes with plant hosts. Data on the secrets of nematodes affecting plants (elicitors, toxins, products of parasitism genes, etc.) are analyzed and information flow pathways comprising all elements of the plant-parasite interaction (from elicitors to defense responses of plant cells), described. Emphasis is placed on the mechanisms whereby plants are protected from nematode invasion (hypesensitivity reactions, apoptosis, phytoalexins, proteinase inhibitors, PR-proteins, etc.). Consideration is given to genetic aspects of plant-parasite relationships. Promising practical approaches to defending plants from phytoparasitic nematodes, developed based on the results of studies of molecular mechanisms of plant-parasite interactions are provided in conclusion. PMID:15125189
Zinov'eva, S V; Vasiukova, N I; Ozeretskovskaia, O L
This is a website containing an excellent flash animation showing the life cycle of the Plasmodium (falciparum) as it enters the human host, multiplies, and then is picked back up by the mosquito. The animation goes into good detail about each life cycle stage of the plasmodium, making this a great source for understanding detailed facets of malaria. There are also links about Malaria including World Heath Organization tracking reports. It is about 2 minutes long.
Plant parasitic nematodes are microscopic worms, the most damaging species of which have adopted a sedentary lifestyle within their hosts. These obligate endoparasites have a biotrophic relationship with plants, in which they induce the differentiation of root cells into hypertrophied, multinucleate feeding cells (FCs). Effectors synthesized in the esophageal glands of the nematode are injected into the plant cells via the syringe-like stylet and play a key role in manipulating the host machinery. The establishment of specialized FCs requires these effectors to modulate many aspects of plant cell morphogenesis and physiology, including defense responses. This cell reprogramming requires changes to host nuclear processes. Some proteins encoded by parasitism genes target host nuclei. Several of these proteins were immunolocalized within FC nuclei or shown to interact with host nuclear proteins. Comparative genomics and functional analyses are gradually revealing the roles of nematode effectors. We describe here these effectors and their hypothesized roles in the unique feeding behavior of these pests.
Quentin, Michaeel; Abad, Pierre; Favery, Bruno
The obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasites, e.g. Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium species, induce an IFN?-driven induction of host indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), the first and rate-limiting enzyme of tryptophan catabolism in the kynurenine pathway. Induction of IDO1 supposedly depletes cellular levels of tryptophan in host cells, which is proposed to inhibit the in vitro growth of auxotrophic pathogens. In vivo function of IDO during infections, however, is not clear, let alone controversial. We show that Eimeria falciformis, an apicomplexan parasite infecting the mouse caecum, induces IDO1 in the epithelial cells of the organ, and the enzyme expression coincides with the parasite development. The absence or inhibition of IDO1/2 and of two downstream enzymes in infected animals is detrimental to the Eimeria growth. The reduced parasite yield is not due to a lack of an immunosuppressive effect of IDO1 in the parasitized IDO1(-/-) or inhibitor-treated mice because they did not show an accentuated Th1 and IFN? response. Noticeably, the parasite development is entirely rescued by xanthurenic acid, a by-product of tryptophan catabolism inducing exflagellation in male gametes of Plasmodium in the mosquito mid-gut. Our data demonstrate a conceptual subversion of the host defense (IFN?, IDO) by an intracellular pathogen for progression of its natural life cycle. Besides, we show utility of E. falciformis, a monoxenous parasite of a well appreciated host, i.e. mouse, to identify in vivo factors underlying the parasite-host interactions. PMID:22535959
Schmid, Manuela; Lehmann, Maik J; Lucius, Richard; Gupta, Nishith
Plasmodium sporozoites are the product of a complex developmental process in the mosquito vector and are destined to infect the mammalian liver. Attention has been drawn to the mosquito stages and preerythrocytic stages owing to recognition that these are bottlenecks in the parasite life cycle and that intervention at these stages can block transmission and prevent infection. Parasite progression in the Anopheles mosquito, sporozoite transmission to the mammalian host by mosquito bite, and subsequent infection of the liver are characterized by extensive migration of invasive stages, cell invasion, and developmental changes. Preparation for the liver phase in the mammalian host begins in the mosquito with an extensive reprogramming of the sporozoite to support efficient infection and survival. Here, we discuss what is known about the molecular and cellular basis of the developmental progression of parasites and their interactions with host tissues in the mosquito and during the early phase of mammalian infection.
Aly, Ahmed S.I.; Vaughan, Ashley M.; Kappe, Stefan H.I.
Background Why have birds evolved the ability to reject eggs? Typically, foreign egg discrimination is interpreted as evidence that interspecific brood parasitism (IP) has selected for the host’s ability to recognize and eliminate foreign eggs. Fewer studies explore the alternative hypothesis that rejection of interspecific eggs is a by-product of host defenses, evolved against conspecific parasitism (CP). We performed a large scale study with replication across taxa (two congeneric Turdus thrushes), space (populations), time (breeding seasons), and treatments (three types of experimental eggs), using a consistent design of egg rejection experiments (n?=?1057 nests; including controls), in areas with potential IP either present (Europe; native populations) or absent (New Zealand; introduced populations). These comparisons benefited from the known length of allopatry (one and a half centuries), with no gene flow between native and introduced populations, which is rarely available in host-parasite systems. Results Hosts rejected CP at unusually high rates for passerines (up to 60%). CP rejection rates were higher in populations with higher conspecific breeding densities and no risks of IP, supporting the CP hypothesis. IP rejection rates did not covary geographically with IP risk, contradicting the IP hypothesis. High egg rejection rates were maintained in the relatively long-term isolation from IP despite non-trivial rejection costs and errors. Conclusions These egg rejection patterns, combined with recent findings that these thrushes are currently unsuitable hosts of the obligate parasitic common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), are in agreement with the hypothesis that the rejection of IP is a by-product of fine-tuned egg discrimination evolved due to CP. Our study highlights the importance of considering both IP and CP simultaneously as potential drivers in the evolution of egg discrimination, and illustrates how populations introduced to novel ecological contexts can provide critical insights into brood parasite-host coevolution.
Summary Malaria parasites grow within erythrocytes, but are also free in host plasma between cycles of asexual replication. As a result, the parasite is exposed to fluctuating levels of Na+ and K+, ions assumed to serve important roles for the human pathogen, Plasmodium falciparum. We examined these assumptions and the parasite's ionic requirements by establishing continuous culture in novel sucrose-based media. With sucrose as the primary osmoticant and K+ and Cl? as the main extracellular ions, we obtained parasite growth and propagation at rates indistinguishable from those in physiological media. These conditions abolish long-known increases in intracellular Na+ via parasite-induced channels, excluding a requirement for erythrocyte cation remodeling. We also dissected Na+, K+, and Cl? requirements and found that unexpectedly low concentrations of each ion meet the parasite's demands. Surprisingly, growth was not adversely affected by up to 148 mM K+, suggesting that low extracellular K+ is not an essential trigger for erythrocyte invasion. At the same time, merozoite egress and invasion required a threshold ionic strength, suggesting critical electrostatic interactions between macromolecules at these stages. These findings provide insights into transmembrane signaling in malaria and reveal fundamental differences between host and parasite ionic requirements.
Pillai, Ajay D.; Addo, Rachel; Sharma, Paresh; Nguitragool, Wang; Srinivasan, Prakash; Desai, Sanjay A.
Background Co-evolutionary struggles between dangerous enemies (e.g., brood parasites) and their victims (hosts) lead to the emergence of sophisticated adaptations and counter-adaptations. Salient host tricks to reduce parasitism costs include, as front line defence, adult enemy discrimination. In contrast to the well studied egg stage, investigations addressing the specific cues for adult enemy recognition are rare. Previous studies have suggested barred underparts and yellow eyes may provide cues for the recognition of cuckoos Cuculus canorus by their hosts; however, no study to date has examined the role of the two cues simultaneously under a consistent experimental paradigm. Methodology/Principal Findings We modify and extend previous work using a novel experimental approach – custom-made dummies with various combinations of hypothesized recognition cues. The salient recognition cue turned out to be the yellow eye. Barred underparts, the only trait examined previously, had a statistically significant but small effect on host aggression highlighting the importance of effect size vs. statistical significance. Conclusion Relative importance of eye vs. underpart phenotypes may reflect ecological context of host-parasite interaction: yellow eyes are conspicuous from the typical direction of host arrival (from above), whereas barred underparts are poorly visible (being visually blocked by the upper part of the cuckoo's body). This visual constraint may reduce usefulness of barred underparts as a reliable recognition cue under a typical situation near host nests. We propose a novel hypothesis that recognition cues for enemy detection can vary in a context-dependent manner (e.g., depending on whether the enemy is approached from below or from above). Further we suggest a particular cue can trigger fear reactions (escape) in some hosts/populations whereas the same cue can trigger aggression (attack) in other hosts/populations depending on presence/absence of dangerous enemies that are phenotypically similar to brood parasites and costs and benefits associated with particular host responses.
Trnka, Alfred; Prokop, Pavol; Grim, Tomas
Describes three experiments for undergraduates which illustrate associations of parasites with their host. Includes a table of parasite-induced alterations of selected host species. Instructional suggestions are also provided. (ML)
Brown, A. F.; Thompson, D. B. A.
Social parasites are able to exploit their host's communication code and achieve social integration. For colony foundation, a newly mated slave-making ant queen must usurp a host colony. The parasite's brood is cared for by the hosts and newly eclosed slave-making workers integrate to form a mixed ant colony. To elucidate the social integration strategy of the slave-making workers, Polyergus rufescens, behavioural and chemical analyses were carried out. Cocoons of P. rufescens were introduced into subcolonies of four potential host species: Formica subgenus Serviformica (Formica cunicularia and F. rufibarbis, usual host species; F. gagates, rare host; F. selysi, non-natural host). Slave-making broods were cared for and newly emerged workers showed several social interactions with adult Formica. We recorded the occurrence of abdominal trophallaxis, in which P. rufescens, the parasite, was the donor. Social integration of P. rufescens workers into host colonies appears to rely on the ability of the parasite to modify its cuticular hydrocarbon profile to match that of the rearing species. To study the specific P. rufescens chemical profile, newly emerged callows were reared in isolation from the mother colony (without any contact with adult ants). The isolated P. rufescens workers exhibited a chemical profile closely matching that of the primary host species, indicating the occurrence of local host adaptation in the slave-maker population. However, the high flexibility in the ontogeny of the parasite's chemical signature could allow for host switching.
D'Ettorre, P; Mondy, N; Lenoir, A; Errard, C
Tecidual reaction at the inoculation site of L. (L.)chagasi promastigotes in hamsters depleted and non-depleted of complement was studied within 2, 6, 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours of infection. The inflammatory reaction was characterized by early predominance of polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) at 2, 6 and 12 hours of infection, mixed infiltrate of PMN and mononuclear cells (MN) at 24 hours, followed by predominance of MN at 48 and 72 hours after infection. The group depleted of complement showed a higher number of PMN at 2 hours and lower numbers of MN at 72 hours after infection (P<0.0001). In the depleted group the phagocytosis by PMN was lower at 2 and 24 hours and by MN was lower at 24, 48 and 72 hours after infection. Electron microscopy showed extracellular intact and degenerated parasites, and lysed intracellular parasites, in PMN; and, rarely, preserved intracellular parasites in MN at 2, 6 and 12 hours after infection. The groups examined at 24, 48 and 72 hours of infection showed only cellular and parasite debris in mononuclear inflammatory cells. C3b deposits were detected by immunofluorescence in the interstitium and in the cytoplasm of inflammatory cells in non-depleted group at 2, 6 and 12 hours of infection. No immunoglobulin was detected in either group. Visceralization was detected 240 days after infection. The complement system has an important role in the inflammatory reaction and phagocytosis. The ultrastructural findings showed that the escape of the parasite probably occurs soon after inoculation.
LAURENTI, M.D.; CORBETT, C.E.P.; SOTTO, M.N.; SINHORINI, I.L.; GOTO, H.
Patterns of community and population diversity are likely to be dependent on interactions between ecological variables. Here we address how two important ecological variables - extrinsic periodic mortality events (disturbances) and the presence of obligate-killing parasites - interact to affect the diversity of niche-specialist genotypes in laboratory populations of the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens. Consistent with previous studies, diversity was maximized
Andrew D. Morgan; Angus Buckling
For many decades, invertebrate immunity was believed to be non-adaptive, poorly specific, relying exclusively on sometimes multiple but germ-line encoded innate receptors and effectors. But recent studies performed in different invertebrate species have shaken this paradigm by providing evidence for various types of somatic adaptations at the level of putative immune receptors leading to an enlarged repertoire of recognition molecules. Fibrinogen Related Proteins (FREPs) from the mollusc Biomphalaria glabrata are an example of these putative immune receptors. They are known to be involved in reactions against trematode parasites. Following not yet well understood somatic mechanisms, the FREP repertoire varies considerably from one snail to another, showing a trend towards an individualization of the putative immune repertoire almost comparable to that described from vertebrate adaptive immune system. Nevertheless, their antigenic targets remain unknown. In this study, we show that a specific set of these highly variable FREPs from B. glabrata forms complexes with similarly highly polymorphic and individually variable mucin molecules from its specific trematode parasite S. mansoni (Schistosoma mansoni Polymorphic Mucins: SmPoMucs). This is the first evidence of the interaction between diversified immune receptors and antigenic variant in an invertebrate host/pathogen model. The same order of magnitude in the diversity of the parasite epitopes and the one of the FREP suggests co-evolutionary dynamics between host and parasite regarding this set of determinants that could explain population features like the compatibility polymorphism observed in B. glabrata/S. mansoni interaction. In addition, we identified a third partner associated with the FREPs/SmPoMucs in the immune complex: a Thioester containing Protein (TEP) belonging to a molecular category that plays a role in phagocytosis or encapsulation following recognition. The presence of this last partner in this immune complex argues in favor of the involvement of the formed complex in parasite recognition and elimination from the host.
Mone, Yves; Gourbal, Benjamin; Duval, David; Du Pasquier, Louis; Kieffer-Jaquinod, Sylvie; Mitta, Guillaume
The results presented demonstrate that microbial pathogens of plants have the ability to secrete proteins which effectively inhibit an enzyme synthesized by the host; an enzyme whose substrate is a constituent of the cell wall of the pathogen. The system in which this was discovered is the anthracnose-causing fungal pathogen (Colletotrichum lindemuthianum) and its host, the French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). An endo-?-1, 3-glucanase present in the bean leaves is specifically inhibited by a protein secreted by C. lindemuthianum. The cell walls of C. lindemuthianum are shown to be composed largely of a 1, 3-glucan.
Albersheim, Peter; Valent, Barbara S.
Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The critical initial event is the interaction of the trypomastigote form of the parasite with host receptors. This review\\u000a highlights recent observations concerning these interactions. Some of the key receptors considered are those for thromboxane,\\u000a bradykinin, and for the nerve growth factor TrKA. Other important receptors such as galectin-3, thrombospondin, and
Fernando Villalta; Julio Scharfstein; Anthony W. Ashton; Kevin M. Tyler; Fangxia Guan; Shankar Mukherjee; Maria F. Lima; Sandra Alvarez; Louis M. Weiss; Huan Huang; Fabiana S. Machado; Herbert B. Tanowitz
The interaction of pathogenic bacteria with the host fibrinolytic system through the plasminogen molecule has been well documented. It has been shown, using animal models, to be important in invasion into the host and establishment of the infection. From a number of recent observations with parasitic protists and helminths, emerges evidence that also in these organisms the interaction with plasminogen may be important for infection and virulence. A group of molecules that act as plasminogen receptors have been identified in parasites. This group comprises the glycolytic enzymes enolase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and fructose-1,6-biphosphate aldolase, in common with the plasminogen receptors known in prokaryotic pathogens. The interaction with the fibrinolytic system may arm the parasites with the host protease plasmin, thus helping them to migrate and cross barriers, infect cells and avoid clot formation. In this context, plasminogen receptors on the parasite surface or as secreted molecules, may be considered virulence factors. A possible evolutionary scenario for the recruitment of glycolytic enzymes as plasminogen receptors by widely different pathogens is discussed. PMID:23850506
Figuera, Lourdes; Gómez-Arreaza, Amaranta; Avilán, Luisana
Ecological studies on food webs rarely include parasites, partly due to the complexity and dimensionality of host-parasite interaction networks. Multiple co-occurring parasites can show different feeding strategies and thus lead to complex and cryptic trophic relationships, which are often difficult to disentangle by traditional methods. We analyzed stable isotope ratios of C (13C/12C, ?13C) and N (15N/14N, ?15N) of host and ectoparasite tissues to investigate trophic structure in 4 co-occurring ectoparasites: three lice and one flea species, on two closely related and spatially segregated seabird hosts (Calonectris shearwaters). ?13C isotopic signatures confirmed feathers as the main food resource for the three lice species and blood for the flea species. All ectoparasite species showed a significant enrichment in ?15N relatively to the host tissue consumed (discrimination factors ranged from 2 to 5‰ depending on the species). Isotopic differences were consistent across multiple host-ectoparasite locations, despite of some geographic variability in baseline isotopic levels. Our findings illustrate the influence of both ectoparasite and host trophic ecology in the isotopic structuring of the Calonectris ectoparasite community. This study highlights the potential of stable isotope analyses in disentangling the nature and complexity of trophic relationships in symbiotic systems.
Gomez-Diaz, Elena; Gonzalez-Solis, Jacob
Abstract Parasite prevalence shows tremendous spatiotemporal variation. Theory indicates that this variation might stem from life-history characteristics of parasites and key ecological factors. Here, we illustrate how the interaction of an important predator and the schedule of transmission potential of two parasites can explain parasite abundance. A field survey showed that a noncastrating fungus (Metschnikowia bicuspidata) commonly infected a dominant zooplankton host (Daphnia dentifera), while a castrating bacterial parasite (Pasteuria ramosa) was rare. This result seemed surprising given that the bacterium produces many more infectious propagules (spores) than the fungus upon host death. The fungus's dominance can be explained by the schedule of within-host growth of parasites (i.e., how transmission potential changes over the course of infection) and the release of spores from "sloppy" predators (Chaoborus spp., who consume Daphnia prey whole and then later regurgitate the carapace and parasite spores). In essence, sloppy predators create a niche that the faster-schedule fungus currently occupies. However, a selection experiment showed that the slower-schedule bacterium can evolve into this faster-schedule, predator-mediated niche (but pays a cost in maximal spore yield to do so). Hence, our study shows how parasite life history can interact with predation to strongly influence the ecology, epidemiology, and evolution of infectious disease. PMID:25061679
Auld, Stuart K J R; Hall, Spencer R; Housley Ochs, Jessica; Sebastian, Mathew; Duffy, Meghan A
The sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax has several gill ectoparasites. Diplectanum aequans (Plathelminth, Monogenea) is one of these species. Under certain demographic conditions, this flat worm can trigger pathological problems, in particular in fish farms. The life cycle of the parasite is described and a model for the dynamics of its interaction with the fish is described and analyzed. The model
Fabio Augusto Milner; Curtis Allan Patton
The sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax has several gill ectoparasites. Diplectanum aequans (Plathelminth, Monogenea) is one of these species. Under certain demographic conditions, this flat worm can trigger pathological problems, in particular in fish farms. The life cycle of the parasite is described and a model for the dynamics of its interaction with the fish is described and analyzed. The model
Fabio Augusto Milner; Curtis Allan Patton
1. Parasites comprise a substantial proportion of global biodiversity and exert important ecological influences on hosts, communities and ecosystems, but our knowledge of how parasite populations respond to human impacts is in its infancy. 2. Here, we present the results of a natural experiment in which we used a system of highly successful marine protected areas and matched open-access areas in central Chile to assess the influence of fishing-driven biodiversity loss on parasites of exploited fish and invertebrate hosts. We measured the burden of gill parasites for two reef fishes (Cheilodactylus variegatus and Aplodactylus punctatus), trematode parasites for a keyhole limpet (Fissurella latimarginata), and pinnotherid pea crab parasites for a sea urchin (Loxechinus albus). We also measured host density for all four hosts. 3. We found that nearly all parasite species exhibited substantially greater density (# parasites m(-2)) in protected than in open-access areas, but only one parasite species (a gill monogenean of C. variegatus) was more abundant within hosts collected from protected relative to open-access areas. 4. These data indicate that fishing can drive declines in parasite abundance at the parasite population level by reducing the availability of habitat and resources for parasites, but less commonly affects the abundance of parasites at the infrapopulation level (within individual hosts). 5. Considering the substantial ecological role that many parasites play in marine communities, fishing and other human impacts could exert cryptic but important effects on marine community structure and ecosystem functioning via reductions in parasite abundance. PMID:23855822
Wood, Chelsea L; Micheli, Fiorenza; Fernández, Miriam; Gelcich, Stefan; Castilla, Juan Carlos; Carvajal, Juan
Drivers of large-scale variability in parasite prevalence are not well understood. For logistical reasons, explorations of spatial patterns in parasites are often performed as observational studies. However, to understand the mechanisms that underlie these spatial patterns, standardized and controlled comparisons are needed. Here, we examined spatial variability in infection of an important fishery species and ecosystem engineer, the oyster (Crassostrea virginica) by its pea crab parasite (Zaops ostreus) across 700 km of the southeastern USA coastline. To minimize the influence of host genetics on infection patterns, we obtained juvenile oysters from a homogeneous source stock and raised them in situ for 3 months at multiple sites with similar environmental characteristics. We found that prevalence of pea crab infection varied between 24 and 73% across sites, but not systematically across latitude. Of all measured environmental variables, oyster recruitment correlated most strongly (and positively) with pea crab infection, explaining 92% of the variability in infection across sites. Our data ostensibly suggest that regional processes driving variation in oyster recruitment similarly affect the recruitment of one of its common parasites. PMID:24193001
Byers, James E; Rogers, Tanya L; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Hughes, A Randall; Piehler, Michael F; Kimbro, David L
Parasites with complex life cycles have the ability to change the behavior of their intermediate host in a way that increases their transmission rate to the next host. However, the level of behavioral changes can vary considerably, depending on the stage of parasite development and parasite intensity. To investigate the influence of such parameters, we evaluated the locomotory activity of the fish Poecilia vivipara prior to experimental infections, 7 days post-infection (dpi) and 14dpi with cercariae of the digenean Ascocotyle (Phagicola) pindoramensis. The locomotory activity was monitored using an image system, Videomex(®), linked to with a video camera able to record the swimming behavior of the fishes. At the end of the experiments, fishes were dissected and all metacercariae from the gills and mesenteries, the specific sites utilized by A. (P.) pindoramensis, were recovered and counted. There was a significant decrease in the swimming behavior of fishes after 14dpi. Similarly, we found a significant correlation between the swimming behavior of the fishes and parasite intensity in both sites of infection. It is surmised that the decrease in locomotory activity of P. vivipara caused by A. (P.) pindoramensis can disturb its predator-prey relationship in natural environment. PMID:23545127
Santos, E G N; Santos, C Portes
Abstract Uncovering the ecological determinants of parasite host range is a central goal of comparative parasitology and infectious disease ecology. But while parasites are often distributed nonrandomly across the host phylogeny, such patterns are difficult to interpret without a genealogy for the parasite samples and without knowing what sorts of ecological dynamics might lead to what sorts of nonrandomness. We investigated inferences from comparative data, using presence/absence records from protozoan parasites of the New World monkeys. We first demonstrate several distinct types of phylogenetic signal in these data, showing, for example, that parasite species are clustered on the host tree and that closely related host species harbor similar numbers of parasite species. We then show that all of these patterns can be generated by a single, simple dynamical model, in which parasite host range changes more rapidly than host speciation/extinction and parasites preferentially colonize uninfected host species that are closely related to their existing hosts. Fitting this model to data, we then estimate its parameters. Finally, we caution that quite different ecological processes can lead to similar signatures but show how phylogenetic variation in host susceptibility can be distinguished from a tendency for parasites to colonize closely related hosts. Our new process-based analyses, which estimate meaningful parameters, should be useful for inferring the determinants of parasite host range and transmission success. PMID:24921601
Waxman, David; Weinert, Lucy A; Welch, John J
The similarity in species composition between two communities generally decays as a function of increasing distance between\\u000a them. Parasite communities in vertebrate definitive hosts follow this pattern but the respective relationship in intermediate\\u000a invertebrate hosts of parasites with complex life cycles is unknown. In intermediate hosts, parasite communities are affected\\u000a not only by the varying vagility of their definitive hosts
David W. Thieltges; MacNeill A. D. Ferguson; Cathy S. Jones; Manuela Krakau; Xavier de Montaudouin; Leslie R. Noble; Karsten Reise; Robert Poulin
The study of host-parasite interactions has increased considerably in the last decades, with many studies focusing on the identification of parasite molecules (i.e. surface or excretory/secretory proteins (ESP)) as potential targets for new specific treatments and/or diagnostic tools. In parallel, in the last few years there have been significant advances in the field of extracellular vesicles research. Among these vesicles, exosomes of endocytic origin, with a characteristic size ranging from 30–100 nm, carry several atypical secreted proteins in different organisms, including parasitic protozoa. Here, we present experimental evidence for the existence of exosome-like vesicles in parasitic helminths, specifically the trematodes Echinostoma caproni and Fasciola hepatica. These microvesicles are actively released by the parasites and are taken up by host cells. Trematode extracellular vesicles contain most of the proteins previously identified as components of ESP, as confirmed by proteomic, immunogold labeling and electron microscopy studies. In addition to parasitic proteins, we also identify host proteins in these structures. The existence of extracellular vesicles explains the secretion of atypical proteins in trematodes, and the demonstration of their uptake by host cells suggests an important role for these structures in host-parasite communication, as described for other infectious agents.
Marcilla, Antonio; Trelis, Maria; Cortes, Alba; Sotillo, Javier; Cantalapiedra, Fernando; Minguez, Maria Teresa; Valero, Maria Luz; Sanchez del Pino, Manuel Mateo; Munoz-Antoli, Carla; Toledo, Rafael; Bernal, Dolores
The study of host-parasite interactions has increased considerably in the last decades, with many studies focusing on the identification of parasite molecules (i.e. surface or excretory/secretory proteins (ESP)) as potential targets for new specific treatments and/or diagnostic tools. In parallel, in the last few years there have been significant advances in the field of extracellular vesicles research. Among these vesicles, exosomes of endocytic origin, with a characteristic size ranging from 30-100 nm, carry several atypical secreted proteins in different organisms, including parasitic protozoa. Here, we present experimental evidence for the existence of exosome-like vesicles in parasitic helminths, specifically the trematodes Echinostoma caproni and Fasciola hepatica. These microvesicles are actively released by the parasites and are taken up by host cells. Trematode extracellular vesicles contain most of the proteins previously identified as components of ESP, as confirmed by proteomic, immunogold labeling and electron microscopy studies. In addition to parasitic proteins, we also identify host proteins in these structures. The existence of extracellular vesicles explains the secretion of atypical proteins in trematodes, and the demonstration of their uptake by host cells suggests an important role for these structures in host-parasite communication, as described for other infectious agents. PMID:23029346
Marcilla, Antonio; Trelis, María; Cortés, Alba; Sotillo, Javier; Cantalapiedra, Fernando; Minguez, María Teresa; Valero, María Luz; Sánchez del Pino, Manuel Mateo; Muńoz-Antoli, Carla; Toledo, Rafael; Bernal, Dolores
Background Previous studies have shown that haemosporidian parasites (Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) and Plasmodium) infecting passerine birds have an evolutionary history of host switching with little cospeciation, in particular at low taxonomic levels (e.g., below the family level), which is suggested as the main speciation mechanism of this group of parasites. Recent studies have characterized diverse clades of haemosporidian parasites (H. (Haemoproteus) and H. (Parahaemoproteus)) infecting non-passerine birds (e.g., Columbiformes, Pelecaniiformes). Here, we explore the cospeciation history of H. (Haemoproteus) and H. (Parahaemoproteus) parasites with their non-passerine hosts. Methods We sequenced the mtDNA cyt b gene of both haemosporidian parasites and their avian non-passerine hosts. We built Bayesian phylogenetic hypotheses and created concensus phylograms that were subsequently used to conduct cospeciation analyses. We used both a global cospeciation test, PACo, and an event-cost algorithm implemented in CoRe-PA. Results The global test suggests that H. (Haemoproteus) and H. (Parahaemoproteus) parasites have a diversification history dominated by cospeciation events particularly at the family level. Host-parasite links from the PACo analysis show that host switching events are common within families (i.e., among genera and among species within genera), and occasionally across different orders (e.g., Columbiformes to Pelecaniiformes). Event-cost analyses show that haemosporidian coevolutionary history is dominated by host switching and some codivergence, but with duplication events also present. Genetic lineages unique to raptor species (e.g., FALC11) commonly switch between Falconiformes and Strigiformes. Conclusions Our results corroborate previous findings that have detected a global cospeciation signal at the family taxonomic level, and they also support a history of frequent switching closer to the tips of the host phylogeny, which seems to be the main diversification mechanism of haemosporidians. Such dynamic host-parasite associations are relevant to the epidemiology of emerging diseases because low parasite host specificity is a prerequisite for the emergence of novel diseases. The evidence on host distributions suggests that haemosporidian parasites have the potential to rapidly develop novel host-associations. This pattern has also been recorded in fish-monogenean interactions, suggesting a general diversification mechanism for parasites when host choice is not restricted by ecological barriers.
SUMMARY Gametocyte maturation in Plasmodium falciparum is a critical step in the transmission of malaria. While the majority of parasites proliferate asexually in red blood cells, a small fraction of parasites undergo sexual conversion and mature over two weeks to become competent for transmission to a mosquito vector. Immature gametocytes sequester in deep tissues while mature stages must be able to circulate, pass the spleen and present themselves to the mosquito vector in order to complete transmission. Sequestration of asexual red blood cell stage parasites has been investigated in great detail. These studies have demonstrated that induction of cytoadherence properties through specific receptor-ligand interactions coincides with a significant increase in host cell stiffness. In contrast, the adherence and biophysical properties of gametocyte-infected red blood cells have not been studied systematically. Utilizing a transgenic line for 3D live imaging, in vitro capillary assays and 3D finite element whole cell modeling, we studied the role of cellular deformability in determining the circulatory characteristics of gametocytes. Our analysis shows that the red blood cell deformability of immature gametocytes displays an overall decrease followed by rapid restoration in mature gametocytes. Intriguingly, simulations suggest that along with deformability variations, the morphological changes of the parasite may play an important role in tissue distribution in vivo. Taken together we present a model, which suggests that mature but not immature gametocytes circulate in the peripheral blood for uptake in the mosquito blood meal and transmission to another human host thus ensuring long term survival of the parasite.
Aingaran, Mythili; Zhang, Rou; Law, Sue KaYee; Peng, Zhangli; Undisz, Andreas; Meyer, Evan; Diez-Silva, Monica; Burke, Thomas A.; Spielmann, Tobias; Lim, Chwee Teck; Suresh, Subra; Dao, Ming; Marti, Matthias
DNA sequences for the gene encoding mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I in a group of rodents (pocket gophers) and their ectoparasites (chewing lice) provide evidence for cospeciation and reveal different rates of molecular evolution in the hosts and their parasites. The overall rate of nucleotide substitution (both silent and replacement changes) is approximately three times higher in lice, and the rate of synonymous substitution (based on analysis of fourfold degenerate sites) is approximately an order of magnitude greater in lice. The difference in synonymous substitution rate between lice and gophers correlates with a difference of similar magnitude in generation times. PMID:8066445
Hafner, M S; Sudman, P D; Villablanca, F X; Spradling, T A; Demastes, J W; Nadler, S A
Background The evolutionary history of many parasites is dependent on the evolution of their hosts, leading to an association between host and parasite phylogenies. However, frequent host switches across broad phylogenetic distances may weaken this close evolutionary link, especially when vectors are involved in parasites transmission, as is the case for malaria pathogens. Several studies suggested that the evolution of the primate-infective malaria lineages may be constrained by the phylogenetic relationships of their hosts, and that lateral switches between distantly related hosts may have been occurred. However, no systematic analysis has been quantified the degree of phylogenetic association between primates and their malaria parasites. Methods Here phylogenetic approaches have been used to discriminate statistically between events due to co-divergence, duplication, extinction and host switches that can potentially cause historical association between Plasmodium parasites and their primate hosts. A Bayesian reconstruction of parasite phylogeny based on genetic information for six genes served as basis for the analyses, which could account for uncertainties about the evolutionary hypotheses of malaria parasites. Results Related lineages of primate-infective Plasmodium tend to infect hosts within the same taxonomic family. Different analyses testing for congruence between host and parasite phylogenies unanimously revealed a significant association between the corresponding evolutionary trees. The most important factor that resulted in this association was host switching, but depending on the parasite phylogeny considered, co-speciation and duplication may have also played some additional role. Sorting seemed to be a relatively infrequent event, and can occur only under extreme co-evolutionary scenarios. The concordance between host and parasite phylogenies is heterogeneous: while the evolution of some malaria pathogens is strongly dependent on the phylogenetic history of their primate hosts, the congruent evolution is less emphasized for other parasite lineages (e.g. for human malaria parasites). Estimation of ancestral states of host use along the phylogenetic tree of parasites revealed that lateral transfers across distantly related hosts were likely to occur in several cases. Parasites cannot infect all available hosts, and they should preferentially infect hosts that provide a similar environment for reproduction. Marginally significant evidence suggested that there might be a consistent variation within host ranges in terms of physiology. Conclusion The evolution of primate malarias is constrained by the phylogenetic associations of their hosts. Some parasites can preserve a great flexibility to infect hosts across a large phylogenetic distance, thus host switching can be an important factor in mediating host ranges observed in nature. Due to this inherent flexibility and the potential exposure to various vectors, the emergence of new malaria disease in primates including humans cannot be predicted from the phylogeny of parasites.
Garamszegi, Laszlo Zsolt
The postgenomic era has revolutionized approaches to defining host-pathogen interactions and the investigation of the influence of genetic variation in either protagonist upon infection outcome. We analyzed pathology induced by infection with two genetically distinct Trypanosoma brucei strains and found that pathogenesis is partly strain specific, involving distinct host mechanisms. Infections of BALB/c mice with one strain (927) resulted in more severe anemia and greater erythropoietin production compared to infections with the second strain (247), which, contrastingly, produced greater splenomegaly and reticulocytosis. Plasma interleukin-10 (IL-10) and gamma interferon levels were significantly higher in strain 927-infected mice, whereas IL-12 was higher in strain 247-infected mice. To define mechanisms underlying these differences, expression microarray analysis of host genes in the spleen at day 10 postinfection was undertaken. Rank product analysis (RPA) showed that 40% of the significantly differentially expressed genes were specific to infection with one or the other trypanosome strain. RPA and pathway analysis identified LXR/RXR signaling, IL-10 signaling, and alternative macrophage activation as the most significantly differentially activated host processes. These data suggest that innate immune response modulation is a key determinant in trypanosome infections, the pattern of which can vary, dependent upon the trypanosome strain. This strongly suggests that a parasite genetic component is responsible for causing disease in the host. Our understanding of trypanosome infections is largely based on studies involving single parasite strains, and our results suggest that an integrated host-parasite approach is required for future studies on trypanosome pathogenesis. Furthermore, it is necessary to incorporate parasite variation into both experimental systems and models of pathogenesis.
Morrison, Liam J.; McLellan, Sarah; Sweeney, Lindsay; Chan, Chi N.; MacLeod, Annette; Tait, Andy; Turner, C. Michael R.
By modifying the behaviour and morphology of hosts, parasites may strongly impact host individuals, populations and communities. We examined the effects of a common trematode parasite on its snail host, Batillaria cumingi (Batillariidae). This widespread snail is usually the most abundant invertebrate in salt marshes and mudflats of the northeastern coast of Asia. More than half (52.6%, n=1360) of the snails in our study were infected. We found that snails living in the lower intertidal zone were markedly larger and exhibited different shell morphology than those in the upper intertidal zone. The large morphotypes in the lower tidal zone were all infected by the trematode, Cercaria batillariae (Heterophyidae). We used a transplant experiment, a mark-and-recapture experiment and stable carbon isotope ratios to reveal that snails infected by the trematode move to the lower intertidal zone, resume growth after maturation and consume different resources. By simultaneously changing the morphology and behaviour of individual hosts, this parasite alters the demographics and potentially modifies resource use of the snail population. Since trematodes are common and often abundant in marine and freshwater habitats throughout the world, their effects potentially alter food webs in many systems.
Miura, Osamu; Kuris, Armand M; Torchin, Mark E; Hechinger, Ryan F; Chiba, Satoshi
The sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax has several gill ectoparasites. Diplectanum aequans (Plathelminth, Monogenea) is one of these species. Under certain demographic conditions, this flat worm can trigger pathological problems, in particular in fish farms. The life cycle of the parasite is described and a model for the dynamics of its interaction with the fish is described and analyzed. The model consists of a coupled system of ordinary differential equations and one integro-differential equation.
Milner, Fabio Augusto; Patton, Curtis Allan
Understanding the dynamics of potential inter- and intraspecific competition in parasitoid communities is crucial in the screening of efficient parasitoid species and for utilization of the best parasitoid species combinations. In this respect, the host-parasitoid systems, Bemisia tabaci and two parasitoids, Eretmocerus hayati (exotic) and Encarsia sophia (existing) were studied under laboratory conditions to investigate whether interference competition between the exotic and existing species occurs as well as the influence of potential interference competition on the suppression of the host B. tabaci. Studies on interspecific-, intraspecific- and self-interference competition in two parasitoid species were conducted under both rich and limited host resource conditions. Results showed that (1) both parasitoid species negatively affect the progeny production of the other under both rich and limited host resource conditions; (2) both parasitoid species interfered intraspecifically on conspecific parasitized hosts when the available hosts are scarce and; 3) the mortality of B. tabaci induced by parasitoids via parasitism, host-feeding or both parasitism and host-feeding together varied among treatments under different host resource conditions, but showed promise for optimizing control strategies. As a result of our current findings, we suggest a need to investigate the interactions between the two parasitoids on continuous generations.
The outcome of coevolutionary interactions is predicted to vary across landscapes depending on local conditions and levels of gene flow, with some populations evolving more extreme specializations than others. Using a globally distributed parasite of colonial seabirds, the tick Ixodes uriae, we examined how host availability and geographic isolation influences this process. In particular, we sampled ticks from 30 populations of six different seabird host species, three in the Southern Hemisphere and three in the Northern Hemisphere. We show that parasite races have evolved independently on hosts of both hemispheres. Moreover, the degree of differentiation between tick races varied spatially within each region and suggests that the divergence of tick races is an ongoing process that has occurred multiple times across isolated areas. As I. uriae is vector to the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, these results may have important consequence for the epidemiology of this disease. With the increased occurrence of novel interspecific interactions due to global change, these results also stress the importance of the combined effects of gene flow and selection for parasite diversification.
McCoy, Karen D; Chapuis, Elodie; Tirard, Claire; Boulinier, Thierry; Michalakis, Yannis; Bohec, Celine Le; Maho, Yvon Le; Gauthier-Clerc, Michel
As a first approximation of immune-mediated within-host parasite dynamics we can consider the immune response as a predator, with the parasite as its prey. In the ecological literature of predator-prey interactions there are a number of different functional responses used to describe how a predator reproduces in response to consuming prey. Until recently most of the models of the immune system that have taken a predator-prey approach have used simple mass action dynamics to capture the interaction between the immune response and the parasite. More recently Fenton and Perkins (2010) employed three of the most commonly used prey-dependent functional response terms from the ecological literature. In this paper we make use of a technique from computing science, process algebra, to develop mathematical models. The novelty of the process algebra approach is to allow stochastic models of the population (parasite and immune cells) to be developed from rules of individual cell behaviour. By using this approach in which individual cellular behaviour is captured we have derived a ratio-dependent response similar to that seen in the previous models of immune-mediated parasite dynamics, confirming that, whilst this type of term is controversial in ecological predator-prey models, it is appropriate for models of the immune system. PMID:23499712
McCaig, Chris; Fenton, Andy; Graham, Andrea; Shankland, Carron; Norman, Rachel
Parasitic angiosperms are an ecologically and economically important group of plants. However our understanding of the basis for host specificity in these plants is embryonic. Recently we investigated host specificity in the parasitic angiosperm Orobanche minor, and demonstrated that this host generalist parasite comprises genetically defined races that are physiologically adapted to specific hosts. Populations occurring naturally on red clover (Trifolium pratense) and sea carrot (Daucus carota subsp. gummifer) respectively, showed distinct patterns of host specificity at various developmental stages, and a higher fitness on their natural hosts, suggesting these races are locally adapted. Here we discuss the implications of our findings from a broader perspective. We suggest that differences in signal responsiveness and perception by the parasite, as well as qualitative differences in signal production by the host, may elicit host specificity in this parasitic plant. Together with our earlier demonstration that these O. minor races are genetically distinct based on molecular markers, our recent data provide a snapshot of speciation in action, driven by host specificity. Indeed, host specificity may be an underestimated catalyst for speciation in parasitic plants generally. We propose that identifying host specific races using physiological techniques will complement conventional molecular marker-based approaches to provide a framework for delineating evolutionary relationships among cryptic host-specific parasitic plants. PMID:20081361
Thorogood, Chris; Hiscock, Simon
Innate, inflammation-based immunity is the first line of vertebrate defence against micro-organisms. Inflammation relies on a number of cellular and molecular effectors that can strike invading pathogens very shortly after the encounter between inflammatory cells and the intruder, but in a non-specific way. Owing to this non-specific response, inflammation can generate substantial costs for the host if the inflammatory response, and the associated oxygen-based damage, get out of control. This imposes strong selection pressure that acts to optimize two key features of the inflammatory response: the timing of activation and resolution (the process of downregulation of the response). In this paper, we review the benefits and costs of inflammation-driven immunity. Our aim is to emphasize the importance of resolution of inflammation as a way of maintaining homeostasis against oxidative stress and to prevent the ‘horror autotoxicus’ of chronic inflammation. Nevertheless, host immune regulation also opens the way to pathogens to subvert host defences. Therefore, quantifying inflammatory costs requires assessing (i) short-term negative effects, (ii) delayed inflammation-driven diseases, and (iii) parasitic strategies to subvert inflammation.
Sorci, Gabriele; Faivre, Bruno
Recent theory on the role of parasites in the evolution of social behaviour has emphasized the costs of social behaviour to hosts. However, parasites whose primary effect on host fitness is to reduce fecundity can favour the evolutionary origin or maintenance of social behaviour, including eusociality, under certain conditions. If the parasites are not readily transmitted among members of social groups, then other group members will not be selected to reject infected individuals as social partners, nor will adaptive suicide or avoidance of grouping be selectively favoured for infected individuals. Rather, total or partial parasitic castration may promote the expression of helping behaviour by infected individuals. Some parasites may therefore act to increase variance in direct reproductive value within populations or societies, and to promote reproductive division of labour. The necessary conditions of reduced host fecundity and low within-group transmission are met in some insect-parasite systems, and could occur in other host-parasite systems as well.
Although host manipulation is likely to be costly for parasites, we still have a poor understanding of the energetic aspects underlying this strategy. It is traditionally assumed that physiological costs are inevitably associated with mechanisms evolved by parasites to induce the required changes in host behaviours. While most energetic expenditures of parasites relate primarily to bringing about the altered behaviours, manipulative parasites also have to consider the condition of their host during the manipulation. Here, we suggest that because of this trade-off, the energy required to accomplish parasite-induced behaviours may represent a key energetic constraint for parasites. Depending on the energetic expenditures specific to each type of manipulation, parasites should undergo selection to secure resources for their host to allow them to perform manipulated behaviours. PMID:23225866
Maure, Fanny; Brodeur, Jacques; Hughes, David; Thomas, Frédéric
Social parasites exploit the colony resources of social insects. Some of them exploit the host colony as a food resource or as a shelter whereas other species also exploit the brood care behavior of their social host. Some of these species have even lost the worker caste and rely completely on the host's worker force to rear their offspring. To avoid host defenses and bypass their recognition code, these social parasites have developed several sophisticated chemical infiltration strategies. These infiltration strategies have been highly studied in several hymenopterans. Once a social parasite has successfully entered a host nest and integrated its social system, its emerging offspring still face the same challenge of avoiding host recognition. However, the strategy used by the offspring to survive within the host nest without being killed is still poorly documented. In cuckoo bumblebees, the parasite males completely lack the morphological and chemical adaptations to social parasitism that the females possess. Moreover, young parasite males exhibit an early production of species-specific cephalic secretions, used as sexual pheromones. Host workers might thus be able to recognize them. Here we used a bumblebee host-social parasite system to test the hypothesis that social parasite male offspring exhibit a chemical defense strategy to escape from host aggression during their intranidal life. Using behavioral assays, we showed that extracts from the heads of young cuckoo bumblebee males contain a repellent odor that prevents parasite males from being attacked by host workers. We also show that social parasitism reduces host worker aggressiveness and helps parasite offspring acceptance.
Lhomme, Patrick; Ayasse, Manfred; Valterova, Irena; Lecocq, Thomas; Rasmont, Pierre
Background In order to promote infection, the blood-borne parasite Trypanosoma brucei releases factors that upregulate arginase expression and activity in myeloid cells. Methodology/Principal findings By screening a cDNA library of T. brucei with an antibody neutralizing the arginase-inducing activity of parasite released factors, we identified a Kinesin Heavy Chain isoform, termed TbKHC1, as responsible for this effect. Following interaction with mouse myeloid cells, natural or recombinant TbKHC1 triggered SIGN-R1 receptor-dependent induction of IL-10 production, resulting in arginase-1 activation concomitant with reduction of nitric oxide (NO) synthase activity. This TbKHC1 activity was IL-4R?-independent and did not mirror M2 activation of myeloid cells. As compared to wild-type T. brucei, infection by TbKHC1 KO parasites was characterized by strongly reduced parasitaemia and prolonged host survival time. By treating infected mice with ornithine or with NO synthase inhibitor, we observed that during the first wave of parasitaemia the parasite growth-promoting effect of TbKHC1-mediated arginase activation resulted more from increased polyamine production than from reduction of NO synthesis. In late stage infection, TbKHC1-mediated reduction of NO synthesis appeared to contribute to liver damage linked to shortening of host survival time. Conclusion A kinesin heavy chain released by T. brucei induces IL-10 and arginase-1 through SIGN-R1 signaling in myeloid cells, which promotes early trypanosome growth and favors parasite settlement in the host. Moreover, in the late stage of infection, the inhibition of NO synthesis by TbKHC1 contributes to liver pathogenicity.
De Muylder, Geraldine; Daulouede, Sylvie; Lecordier, Laurence; Uzureau, Pierrick; Morias, Yannick; Van Den Abbeele, Jan; Caljon, Guy; Herin, Michel; Holzmuller, Philippe; Semballa, Silla; Courtois, Pierrette; Vanhamme, Luc; Stijlemans, Benoit; De Baetselier, Patrick; Barrett, Michael P.; Barlow, Jillian L.; McKenzie, Andrew N. J.; Barron, Luke; Wynn, Thomas A.; Beschin, Alain; Vincendeau, Philippe; Pays, Etienne
Abstract Mathematical models of the coevolutionary process have uncovered consequences of host-parasite interactions that go well beyond the traditional realm of the Red Queen, potentially explaining several important evolutionary transitions. However, these models also demonstrate that the specific consequences of coevolution are sensitive to the structure of the infection matrix, which is embedded in models to describe the likelihood of infection in encounters between specific host and parasite genotypes. Traditional cross-infection approaches to estimating infection matrices might be unreliable because evolutionary dynamics and experimental sampling lead to missing genotypes. Consequently, our goal is to identify the likely structure of infection matrices by synthesizing molecular mechanisms of host immune defense and parasite counterdefense with coevolutionary models. This synthesis reveals that the molecular mechanisms of immune reactions, although complex and diverse, conform to two basic models commonly used within coevolutionary theory: matching infection and targeted recognition. Our synthesis also overturns conventional wisdom, revealing that the general models are not taxonomically restricted but are applicable to plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. Finally, our synthesis identifies several important areas for future research that should improve the explanatory power of coevolutionary models. The most important among these include empirical studies to identify the molecular hotspots of genotypic specificity and theoretical studies examining the consequences of matrices that more accurately represent multistep infection processes and quantitative defenses. PMID:24921596
Dybdahl, Mark F; Jenkins, Christina E; Nuismer, Scott L
Host plant species can affect the behavior and attributes of parasitoids, such as host searching, oviposition, and offspring fitness. In this study, parasitism, host feeding, and sex ratios of Diglyphus isaea (Walker) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) on Liriomyza huidobrensis (Blanchard), Liriomyza sativae Blanchard, and Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) (Diptera: Agromyzidae) larvae reared on Phaseolus vulgaris L., Pisum sativum L., Solanum lycopersicum L., and Vicia faba L. were determined. In no-choice tests, L. huidobrensis had the highest rate of parasitism when reared on P. vulgaris (46%), L. sativae when reared on V. faba (59%) and P. vulgaris (59%), and L. trifolii when reared on S. lycopersicum (68%). Host feeding in no-choice tests ranged between 2% and 36% and was highest on L. trifolii reared on V. faba. Results of choice tests showed a significant interaction effect for host plant and Liriomyza species on parasitism and host feeding. Within plant mixtures, L. sativae reared on P. vulgaris had the highest rate of parasitism (31%), followed by L. trifolii on S. lycopersicum (29%) and L. huidobrensis on V. faba (28%). Host feeding was highest on L. trifolii reared on S. lycopersicum (14%) and lowest on L. huidobrensis reared on P. sativum and S. lycopersicum (1%). In some instances, plant mixtures resulted in a higher proportion of females of D. isaea than single plant species. The highest proportion of females was obtained in plant mixtures on L. huidobrensis and L. trifolii on V. faba (71 and 72%, respectively). This study suggests that planting crop mixtures can potentially lead to higher proportions of females, thus improving parasitism and host feeding, depending on Liriomyza and host plant species. PMID:22420268
Musundire, Robert; Chabi-Olaye, Adenirin; Salifu, Daisy; Krüger, Kerstin
SUMMARY Many parasites survive harsh periods together with their hosts. Without the possibility of horizontal transmission during host diapause, parasite persistence depends entirely on host survival. We therefore hypothesize that a parasite should be avirulent during its host's diapausing stage. In contrast, the parasite may express higher virulence, i.e. parasite-induced fitness reduction of the host, during host life stages with good opportunities for horizontal transmission. Here we study the effects of a vertically and horizontally transmitted microsporidium parasite, Hamiltosporidium tvaerminnensis, on the quantity and survival of resting eggs of its host Daphnia magna. We find that the parasite did not affect egg volume, hatching success and time to hatching of the Daphnia's resting eggs, although it did strongly reduce the number of resting eggs produced by infected females, revealing high virulence during the non-diapause phase of the host's life cycle. These results also explain another aspect of this system - namely the strong decline in natural population prevalence across diapause. This decline is not caused by mortality in infected resting stages, as was previously hypothesized, but because infected female hosts produce lower rates of resting eggs. Together, these results help explain the epidemiological dynamics of a microsporidian disease and highlight the adaptive nature of life stage-dependent parasite virulence. PMID:24786012
Sheikh-Jabbari, Elham; Hall, Matthew D; Ben-Ami, Frida; Ebert, Dieter
It has recently been suggested that the expression of parasite virulence depends on host population density, such that infected\\u000a hosts have a higher sensitivity to density, and thus reach their carrying capacity earlier than uninfected hosts. In this\\u000a scenario, parasite-induced reduction in fitness (i.e., virulence) increases with host density. We tested this hypothesis experimentally,\\u000a using outdoor mesocosm populations of Daphnia
Annette Bieger; Dieter Ebert
The impact of multiple invading species can be magnified owing to mutual facilitation—termed ‘invasional meltdown’—but invasive species can also be adversely affected by their interactions with other invaders. Using a unique reciprocal host–parasite relationship between a bitterling fish (Rhodeus amarus) and unionid mussels, we show that an invasive mussel reverses the roles in the relationship. Bitterling lay their eggs into mussel gills, and mussel larvae parasitize fish. Bitterling recently colonized Europe and parasitize all sympatric European mussels, but are unable to use a recently invasive mussel, Anodonta woodiana. The parasitic larvae of A. woodiana successfully develop on R. amarus, whereas larvae of European mussels are rejected by bitterling. This demonstrates that invading species may temporarily benefit from a coevolutionary lag by exploiting evolutionarily naive hosts, but the resulting relaxed selection may facilitate its exploitation by subsequent invading species, leading to unexpected consequences for established interspecific relationships.
Reichard, Martin; Vrtilek, Milan; Douda, Karel; Smith, Carl
Schistosoma japonicum is a parasitic flatworm that causes human schistosomiasis, a significant cause of morbidity in China and the Philippines. Here we present a draft genomic sequence for the worm, which is the first reported for any flatworm, indeed for the superphylum Lophotrochozoa. The genome provides a global insight into the molecular architecture and host interaction of this complex metazoan pathogen, revealing that it can exploit host nutrients, neuroendocrine hormones and signaling pathways for growth, development and maturation. Having a complex nervous system and a well developed sensory system, S. japonicum can accept stimulation of the corresponding ligands as a physiological response to different environments, such as fresh water or the tissues of its intermediate and mammalian hosts. Numerous proteinases, including cercarial elastase, are implicated in mammalian skin penetration and haemoglobin degradation. The genomic information will serve as a valuable platform to facilitate development of new interventions for schistosomiasis control.
Zhou, Yan; Zheng, Huajun; Chen, Xiangyi; Zhang, Lei; Wang, Kai; Guo, Jing; Huang, Zhen; Zhang, Bo; Huang, Wei; Jin, Ke; Tonghai, Dou; Hasegawa, Masami; Wang, Li; Zhang, Yuan; Zhou, Jie; Tao, Lin; Cao, Zhiwei; Li, Yixue; Vinar, Tomas; Brejova, Brona; Brown, Dan; Li, Ming; Miller, David J.; Blair, David; Zhong, Yang; Chen, Zhu; Liu, Feng; Hu, Wei; Wang, Zhi-Qin; Zhang, Qin-Hua; Song, Huai-Dong; Chen, Saijuan; Xu, Xuenian; Xu, Bing; Ju, Zhuan; Cheng, Yu; Brindley, Paul J.; McManus, Donald P.; Feng, Zheng; Han, Ze-Guang; Lu, Gang; Ren, Shuangxi; Wang, Yuezhu; Gu, Wenyi; Kang, Hui; Chen, Jie; Chen, Xiaoyun; Chen, Shuting; Wang, Lijun; Yan, Jie; Wang, Biyun; Lv, Xinyan; Jin, Lei; Wang, Bofei; Pu, Shiyin; Zhang, Xianglin; Zhang, Wei; Hu, Qiuping; Zhu, Genfeng; Wang, Jun; Yu, Jun; Wang, Jian; Yang, Huanmin; Ning, Zemin; Beriman, Matthew; Wei, Chia-Lin; Ruan, Yijun; Zhao, Guoping; Wang, Shengyue
Avian brood parasites reduce the reproductive output of their hosts and thereby select for defence mechanisms such as ejection of parasitic eggs. Such defence mechanisms simultaneously select for counter-defences in brood parasites, causing a coevolutionary arms race. Although coevolutionary models assume that defences and counter-defences are genetically influenced, this has never been demonstrated for brood parasites. Here, we give strong evidence for genetic differences between ejector and nonejectors, which could allow the study of such host defence at the genetic level, as well as studies of maintenance of genetic variation in defences. Briefly, we found that magpies, that are the main host of the great spotted cuckoo in Europe, have alleles of one microsatellite locus (Ase64) that segregate between accepters and rejecters of experimental parasitic eggs. Furthermore, differences in ejection rate among host populations exploited by the brood parasite covaried significantly with the genetic distance for this locus. PMID:16599930
Martín-Gálvez, D; Soler, J J; Martínez, J G; Krupa, A P; Richard, M; Soler, M; Mřller, A P; Burke, T
Disease dynamics hinge on parasite transmission among hosts. However, canonical models for transmission often fit data poorly, limiting predictive ability. One solution involves building mechanistic yet general links between host behaviour and disease spread. To illustrate, we focus on the exposure component of transmission for hosts that consume their parasites, combining experiments, models and field data. Models of transmission that incorporate parasite consumption and foraging interference among hosts vastly outperformed alternatives when fit to experimental data using a zooplankton host (Daphnia dentifera) that consumes spores of a fungus (Metschnikowia bicuspidata). Once plugged into a fully dynamic model, both mechanisms inhibited epidemics overall. Foraging interference further depressed parasite invasion and prevalence at high host density, creating unimodal (hump-shaped) relationships between host density and these indices. These novel results qualitatively matched a unimodal density-prevalence relationship in natural epidemics. Ultimately, a mechanistic approach to transmission can reveal new insights into disease outbreaks. PMID:23452184
Civitello, David J; Pearsall, Susan; Duffy, Meghan A; Hall, Spencer R
Root parasites of the genus Orobanche are serious weeds in agriculture. An aseptic infection system of host roots using calli of three Orobanche species was developed for the study of host-parasite inter- action. The response of calli to various hormonal combinations was studied, because a requirement for infection is the differentiation of root-like protrusions, which are capable of producing haustorial
W. J. Zhou; K. Yoneyama; Y. Takeuchi; S. Iso; S. Rungmekarat; S. H. Chae; D. Sato; D. M. Joel
1)The transmission dynamics of the protozoan parasite Sarcocystis carnae (Cerná and Loucková 1976) (Apicomplexa, Eimeroidea, Sarcocystidae) in natural populations were studied in the Lauwersmeerpolder in the northern Netherlands. This parasite needs two hosts to complete its life cycle; the common vole (Microtus arvalis) as its intermediate host and the kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) which preys on the vole, as its final
I. Hoogenboom; C. Dijkstra
Coevolution between hosts and parasites may promote the maintenance of genetic variation in both antagonists by negative frequency-dependence if the host-parasite interaction is genotype-specific. Here we tested for specificity in the interaction between parasitoids (Lysiphlebus fabarum) and aphid hosts (Aphis fabae) that are protected by a heritable defensive endosymbiont, the ?-proteobacterium Hamiltonella defensa. Previous studies reported a lack of genotype specificity between unprotected aphids and parasitoids, but suggested that symbiont-conferred resistance might exhibit a higher degree of specificity. Indeed, in addition to ample variation in host resistance as well as parasitoid infectivity, we found a strong aphid clone-by-parasitoid line interaction on the rates of successful parasitism. This genotype specificity appears to be mediated by H. defensa, highlighting the important role that endosymbionts can play in host-parasite coevolution. PMID:22998667
Rouchet, Romain; Vorburger, C
13-Methylhentriacontane has been identified in the feces and larvae of the corn earworm, Heliothis zea (Boddie), as the major constituent that triggers the short-range host-seeking response of the parasite Microplitis croceipes (Cresson). This chemical, the first found that mediates the complex host-parasite relation, could upgrade present efforts to use parasites for insect control. Bioassay of closely related compounds indicated that
Richard L. Jones; W. J. Lewis; Malcolm C. Bowman; Morton Beroza; Barbara A. Bierl
Parasites frequently reduce the fecundity, growth, and survival of individual hosts. How often do these virulent effects reduce the density of host populations? Spectacular examples show that recently invaded parasites can severely impact host populations--but what about parasites persisting long-term in host populations? We have addressed this issue using a zooplankton host (Daphnia dentifera) that becomes infected with a fungal microparasite (Metschnikowia bicuspidata). We combined observations of epidemics in nine lakes over 6 years, fine-scale sampling of three epidemics, and a mesocosm experiment. Most epidemics remained small (<10% maximum prevalence) and exerted little influence on host densities. However, larger epidemics more severely depressed the populations of their hosts. These large/severe epidemics started and peaked earlier than smaller/benign ones. The larger epidemics also exerted particularly negative effects on host densities at certain lags, reflecting the delayed consequences of infection on fecundity reduction and host mortality. Notably, negative effects on the juvenile stage class manifested later than those on the adult stage class. The results of the experiment further emphasized depression of host density by the fungus, especially on the density of the juvenile stage class. Consequently, this common parasite reduces the density of host populations when conditions foster larger outbreaks characterized by an earlier start and earlier peak. Given these considerable effects on host density seen in a number of large epidemics, parasitism may sometimes rank highly among other factors (predation, resource availability) driving the population dynamics of these hosts. PMID:21305322
Hall, Spencer R; Becker, Claes R; Duffy, Meghan A; Cáceres, Carla E
Selection and adaptation are important processes in the coevolution between parasites and their hosts. The slave-making ant Protomognathus americanus, an obligate ant social parasite, has previously been shown to evolve morphological, behavioral, and chemical adaptations in the coevolutionary arms race with its Temnothorax hosts. Yet empirical studies have given variable results on the strength of the selection pressure this parasite exerts on its host populations. In this study, we directly investigated the pressure exerted by P. americanus and the reactions of the main host species, T. longispinosus, in two ant communities by manipulating parasite density in the field over several years. In addition, a cross-fostering design with the exchange of parasites between host populations allowed us to investigate local adaptation of parasite or host. We demonstrate a severe impact of the social parasite on the two host populations in West Virginia and New York, but also variation in host reactions between sites, as expected by the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution. Host density decreased at the West Virginia site with the presence of local slave-makers, whereas at the ecologically favorable New York site, density was unaffected. Nevertheless, social organization, colony size, and investment patterns of these host colonies at this site changed in response to our parasite manipulation. The release of P. americanus colonies led to a reduction in the number of resident queens and workers, an increase in intranest relatedness, and lower productivity, but also a higher investment in reproductives. In West Virginia, colony demography did not change, but raiding activity by New York slave-makers caused different investment patterns of host colonies. In addition, the cross-fostering element revealed local adaptation of the parasite P. americanus: slave-making colonies fared better in their sympatric host population, as they contained more slave-making ant workers and slaves at the end of our 27-month experiment. PMID:19537541
Foitzik, Susanne; Achenbach, Alexandra; Brandt, Miriam
We present a dynamic model of the evolution of host resistance to avian brood parasites, when the latter can retaliate against hosts that reject parasitic eggs. In a verbal model, Zahavi (1979, American Naturalist, 113, 157-159) suggested that retaliatory cuckoos might prevent the evolution of host resistance by reducing the reproductive success of rejecter hosts (i.e. by destroying their eggs or nestlings). Here we develop a model based on the association between the great spotted cuckoo, Clamator glandarius, and its main host, the European magpie, Pica pica, because this is the only system that has provided supportive evidence, to date, for the existence of retaliatory behaviour. Our aims were (1) to derive the conditions for invasion of the retaliation strategy in a nonretaliatory parasite population and (2) to investigate the consequences of retaliation for the evolution of host defence. If we assume a cost of discrimination for rejecter hosts in the absence of parasitism, and a cost paid by a retaliator for monitoring nests, our model shows cyclical dynamics. There is no evolutionarily stable strategy, and populations of both hosts and parasites will cycle indefinitely, the period of the cycles depending on mutation and/or migration rate. A stable polymorphism of acceptors and rejecters occurs only when parasites are nonretaliators. The spread of retaliator parasites drives rejecter hosts to extinction. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10512655
Robert; Sorci; Mřller; Hochberg; Pomiankowski; Pagel
To assess the genetic diversity and evolution of Cryptosporidium parasites, the partial ssrRNA, actin, and 70kDa heat shock protein (HSP70) genes of 15 new Cryptosporidium parasites were sequenced. Sequence data were analysed together with those previously obtained from other Cryptosporidium parasites (10 Cryptosporidium spp. and eight Cryptosporidium genotypes). Results of this multi-locus genetic characterisation indicate that host adaptation is a
Lihua Xiao; Irshad M Sulaiman; Una M Ryan; Ling Zhou; Edward R Atwill; Monica L Tischler; Xichen Zhang; Ronald Fayer; Altaf A Lal
Recognition is considered a critical basis for discriminatory behaviours in animals. Theoretically, recognition and discrimination of parasitic chicks are not predicted to evolve in hosts of brood parasitic birds that evict nest-mates. Yet, an earlier study showed that host reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) of an evicting parasite, the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), can avoid the costs of prolonged care for unrelated young by deserting the cuckoo chick before it fledges. Desertion was not based on specific recognition of the parasite because hosts accept any chick cross-fostered into their nests. Thus, the mechanism of this adaptive host response remains enigmatic. Here, I show experimentally that the cue triggering this ‘discrimination without recognition’ behaviour is the duration of parental care. Neither the intensity of brood care nor the presence of a single-chick in the nest could explain desertions. Hosts responded similarly to foreign chicks, whether heterospecific or experimental conspecifics. The proposed mechanism of discrimination strikingly differs from those found in other parasite–host systems because hosts do not need an internal recognition template of the parasite's appearance to effectively discriminate. Thus, host defences against parasitic chicks may be based upon mechanisms qualitatively different from those operating against parasitic eggs. I also demonstrate that this discriminatory mechanism is non-costly in terms of recognition errors. Comparative data strongly suggest that parasites cannot counter-evolve any adaptation to mitigate effects of this host defence. These findings have crucial implications for the process and end-result of host–parasite arms races and our understanding of the cognitive basis of discriminatory mechanisms in general.
Egg rejection belongs to a widely used host tactic to prevent the costs incurred by avian brood parasitism. However, the genetic basis of this behaviour and the effect of host age on the probability of rejecting the parasitic egg remain largely unknown. Here, we used a set of 15 polymorphic microsatellite loci, including a previously detected candidate locus (Ase64), to link genotypes of female great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), a known rejecter, with their egg rejection responses in two host populations. We also tested whether host female age, as a measure of the experience with own eggs, plays a role in rejection of common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) eggs. We failed to find any consistent association of egg rejection responses with host female genotypes or age. It seems that host decisions on egg rejection show high levels of phenotypic plasticity and are likely to depend on the spatiotemporal variation in the parasitism pressure. Future studies exploring the repeatability of host responses towards parasitic eggs and the role of host individual experience with parasitic eggs would greatly improve our understanding of the variations in host behaviours considering the persistence of brood parasitism in host populations with rejecter phenotypes.
Procházka, Petr; Konvi?ková-Patzenhauerová, Hana; Požgayová, Milica; Trnka, Alfréd; Jelínek, Václav; Honza, Marcel
Egg rejection belongs to a widely used host tactic to prevent the costs incurred by avian brood parasitism. However, the genetic basis of this behaviour and the effect of host age on the probability of rejecting the parasitic egg remain largely unknown. Here, we used a set of 15 polymorphic microsatellite loci, including a previously detected candidate locus (Ase64), to link genotypes of female great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), a known rejecter, with their egg rejection responses in two host populations. We also tested whether host female age, as a measure of the experience with own eggs, plays a role in rejection of common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) eggs. We failed to find any consistent association of egg rejection responses with host female genotypes or age. It seems that host decisions on egg rejection show high levels of phenotypic plasticity and are likely to depend on the spatiotemporal variation in the parasitism pressure. Future studies exploring the repeatability of host responses towards parasitic eggs and the role of host individual experience with parasitic eggs would greatly improve our understanding of the variations in host behaviours considering the persistence of brood parasitism in host populations with rejecter phenotypes. PMID:24718778
Procházka, Petr; Konvi?ková-Patzenhauerová, Hana; Požgayová, Milica; Trnka, Alfréd; Jelínek, Václav; Honza, Marcel
Egg rejection belongs to a widely used host tactic to prevent the costs incurred by avian brood parasitism. However, the genetic basis of this behaviour and the effect of host age on the probability of rejecting the parasitic egg remain largely unknown. Here, we used a set of 15 polymorphic microsatellite loci, including a previously detected candidate locus (Ase64), to link genotypes of female great reed warblers ( Acrocephalus arundinaceus), a known rejecter, with their egg rejection responses in two host populations. We also tested whether host female age, as a measure of the experience with own eggs, plays a role in rejection of common cuckoo ( Cuculus canorus) eggs. We failed to find any consistent association of egg rejection responses with host female genotypes or age. It seems that host decisions on egg rejection show high levels of phenotypic plasticity and are likely to depend on the spatiotemporal variation in the parasitism pressure. Future studies exploring the repeatability of host responses towards parasitic eggs and the role of host individual experience with parasitic eggs would greatly improve our understanding of the variations in host behaviours considering the persistence of brood parasitism in host populations with rejecter phenotypes.
Procházka, Petr; Konvi?ková-Patzenhauerová, Hana; Požgayová, Milica; Trnka, Alfréd; Jelínek, Václav; Honza, Marcel
Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for growth in consumers. P-limitation and parasite infection comprise one of the most common stressor pairs consumers confront in nature. We conducted a life-table study using a Daphnia–microsporidian parasite model, feeding uninfected or infected Daphnia with either P-sufficient or P-limited algae, and assessed the impact of the two stressors on life-history traits of the host. Both infection and P-limitation negatively affected some life-history traits tested. However, under P-limitation, infected animals had higher juvenile growth rate as compared with uninfected animals. All P-limited individuals died before maturation, regardless of infection. The numbers of spore clusters of the microsporidian parasite did not differ in P-limited or P-sufficient hosts. P-limitation, but not infection, decreased body phosphorus content and ingestion rates of Daphnia tested in separate experiments. As parasite spore production did not suffer even under extreme P-limitation, our results suggest that parasite was less limited by P than the host. We discuss possible interpretations concerning the stoichiometrical demands of parasite and suggest that our results are explained by parasite-driven changes in carbon (C) allocation of the hosts. We conclude that the impact of nutrient starvation and parasite infection on consumers depends not only on the stoichiometric demands of host but also those of the parasite.
Aalto, Sanni L; Pulkkinen, Katja
A new species of parasite, Parvilucifera sinerae sp. nov., isolated from a bloom of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum in the harbor of Arenys de Mar (Mediterranean Sea, Spain), is described. This species is morphologically, behaviourally, and genetically (18S rDNA sequence) different from Parvilucifera infectans, until now the only species of the genus Parvilucifera to be genetically analyzed. Sequence analysis of the 18S ribosomal DNA supported P. sinerae as a new species placed within the Perkinsozoa and close to P. infectans. Data on the seasonal occurrence of P. sinerae, its infective rates in natural and laboratory cultures, and intra-species strain-specific resistance are presented. Life-cycle studies in field samples showed that the dinoflagellate resting zygote (resting cyst) was resistant to infection, but the mobile zygote (planozygote) or pellicle stage (temporary cyst) became infected. The effects of light and salinity levels on the growth of P. sinerae were examined, and the results showed that low salinity levels promote both sporangial germination and higher rates of infection. Our findings on this newly described parasite point to a complex host-parasite interaction and provide valuable information that leads to a reconsideration of the biological strategy to control dinoflagellate blooms by means of intentional parasitic infections. PMID:18693068
Figueroa, Rosa Isabel; Garcés, Esther; Massana, Ramon; Camp, Jordi
Parasitic dinoflagellates of the genus Amoebophrya play important roles in the ecology of estuaries and open ocean environments. Little is known of the cell and molecular biology of Amoebophrya, but the genus is intermediate on phylogenetic trees between apicomplexans and typical dinophycean dinoflagellates. Here, we constructed four cDNA libraries, from different stages after infecting the host, Karlodinium veneficum, with Amoebophrya sp. These libraries were used to generate 898 expressed sequence tags (ESTs), with sequences attributed to either the host or parasite, based on AT bias, codon usage, and occurrence during infection. Overall, 209 sequences were attributable to the parasite and 685 to the host. The 50 putative parasite sequences with good protein matches in GenBank were used to find the same protein from host ESTs. For 26 genes, both host and parasite sequences were identified, of which 20 encoded ribosomal proteins. PCR for seven predicted parasite and two host genes were used to confirm attributions. The most common host and parasite ESTs were compared to see if multiple gene copies were present. The host plastocyanin gene had multiple sequence variants, but parasite rps27a contained only one polymorphism, likely due to an amplification error. Amplification, cloning, and sequencing of five parasite protein-coding genes suggested that the parasite has a single sequence for each gene, but three host genes were found to have multiple variants. The genome of Amoebophrya sp. infecting K. veneficum appears to have an organization more similar to other eukaryotes than to the tandem gene arrangements found in dinoflagellates. PMID:19883441
Bachvaroff, Tsvetan R; Place, Allen R; Coats, Donald Wayne
Egg mimicry by obligate avian brood parasites and host rejection of non-mimetic eggs are well-known textbook examples of host–parasite coevolution. By contrast, reciprocal adaptations and counteradaptations beyond the egg stage in brood parasites and their hosts have received less attention. The screaming cowbird (Molothrus rufoaxillaris) is a specialist obligate brood parasite whose fledglings look identical to those of its primary host, the baywing (Agelaioides badius). Such a resemblance has been proposed as an adaptation in response to host discrimination against odd-looking young, but evidence supporting this idea is scarce. Here, we examined this hypothesis by comparing the survival rates of young screaming cowbirds and non-mimetic shiny cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis) cross-fostered to baywing nests and quantifying the similarity in plumage colour and begging calls between host and cowbird fledglings. Shiny cowbirds suffered higher post-fledging mortality rates (83%) than screaming cowbirds (0%) owing to host rejection. Visual modelling revealed that screaming cowbirds, but not shiny cowbirds, were indistinguishable from host young in plumage colour. Similarly, screaming cowbirds matched baywings' begging calls more closely than shiny cowbirds. Our results strongly support the occurrence of host fledgling mimicry in screaming cowbirds and suggest a role of visual and vocal cues in fledgling discrimination by baywings.
De Marsico, Maria C.; Gantchoff, Mariela G.; Reboreda, Juan C.
The outcome of a bacterial infection depends on the interaction between pathogen and host. The ability of the microbe to survive in the host depends on its invasive potential (i.e. spreading and multiplication), and its ability to obtain essential nutrients and to resist the host's defense system. On the other hand, the host's resistance to a bacterial attack depends on
C. N. Pourreau
One of the great evolutionary puzzles is why hosts of parasitic birds discriminate finely against alien eggs, but almost never discriminate against parasitic chicks. A theoretical model has shown that an adaptive host response to alien eggs can be based on learning. However, learned nestling discrimination is too costly to be favoured by selection in hosts of evicting parasites, such as the European cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Indeed, parasitic chick rejection has never been reported for any European cuckoo host species. As learned nestling discrimination is maladaptive, one can expect that a viable alternative for hosts would be to use discrimination mechanisms not involving learning and/or recognition. We suggest that hosts may starve and desert cuckoo chicks that require higher amounts of food than an average host brood at fledging (i.e. feeding rates to a parasite are outside the normal range of host behaviour in unparasitized nests). Our observations of the reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) at parasitized nests indicate that such behaviour could possibly work in this host species.
Grim, Tomas; Kleven, Oddmund; Mikulica, Oldrich
In birds, host experience can modify response to parasites but nothing similar is known for insects. We studied two desert tenebrionid beetles, the subsocial host Parastizopus armaticeps and its obligate and ubiquitous brood-(clepto)parasite Eremostibes opacus, which mimics the host’s odour spectrum. Nearly 10% of host burrows in the field ( n=214) remain unparasitised even after introducing E. opacus experimentally (
O. Anne E. Rasa; Dik Heg
Host specificity is one of the potential factors affecting parasite diversification because gene flow may be facilitated or constrained by the number of host species that a parasite can exploit. We test this hypothesis using a costructure approach, comparing two sympatric pinworm parasites that differ in host specificity - Parapharyngodon cubensis and Spauligodon anolis - on the Puerto Rican Bank and St. Croix in the Caribbean. Spauligodon anolis specializes on Anolis lizards, whereas P. cubensis parasitizes Anolis lizards as well as many other species of lizards and snakes. We collected lizards from across the Puerto Rican Bank and St. Croix, sampled them for S. anolis and P. cubensis and generated nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data from the parasites. We used these data to show that P. cubensis is comprised of multiple cryptic species that exhibit limited population structure relative to S. anolis, which is consistent with our prediction based on their host specificity. We also provide evidence that the distribution of P. cubensis species is maintained by competitive exclusion, and in contrast to previous theoretical work, the parasites with the greatest number of host species also reach the highest prevalence rates. Overall, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that host specificity shapes parasite diversification, and suggest that even moderate differences in host specificity may contribute to substantial differences in diversification. PMID:23848187
Falk, Bryan G; Perkins, Susan L
\\u000a The genus Pasteuria comprises a truly extraordinary group of unculturable bacteria that are obligate parasites of either water fleas or plant\\u000a parasitic nematodes. They have an astonishing vegetative morphology that, through an intricate process of differentiation,\\u000a leads to a structurally unique endospore form. Remarkably, phylogenetic studies indicate that this genus is ancestral to the\\u000a genus Bacillus. P.\\u000a penetrans is the
Alistair H. Bishop
The possible involvement of enzymes in the penetration of intrusive cells of the parasitic angiospermOrobancheinto host root tissues was studied using cytochemical and immunocytochemical methods. Pectin methyl esterase (PME) was detected, with specific antibodies, in the cytoplasm and cell walls ofOrobancheintrusive cells and in adjacent host apoplast. Depletion and chemical changes of pectins in host cell walls were shown by
DALIA LOSNER-GOSHEN; VITALY H PORTNOY; ALFRED M MAYER; DANIEL M JOEL
Polydnaviruses, symbionts of parasitic ichneumonid (ichnoviruses, IVs) and braconid (bracoviruses, BVs), are injected into hosts along with wasp eggs. Within the host, PDV genes are expressed and their products function to alter lepidopteran host physiology and enable endoparasitoid development. In the present study, we describe two Campoletis chlorideae ichnovirus (CcIV) viral ankyrin (vankyrin) genes and their transcription. The CcIV vankyrin
Shen-Peng Tian; Ji-Hong Zhang; Chen-Zhu Wang
The combination of exceptionally high species diversity, high host specificity, and a complex reproduction system raises many questions about the underlying mechanisms triggering speciation in the flatworm genus Gyrodactylus. The coevolutionary history with their goby hosts was investigated using both topology- and distance-based approaches; phylogenies were constructed of the V4 region of the 18S rRNA and the complete ITS rDNA region for the parasites, and 12S and 16S mtDNA fragments for the hosts. The overall fit between both trees was significant according to the topology-based programs (TreeMap 1.0, 2.0 beta and TreeFitter), but not according to the timed analysis in TreeMap 2.0 beta and the distance-based method (ParaFit). An absolute timing of speciation events in host and parasite ruled out the possibility of synchronous speciation for the gill parasites, favouring the distance-based result. Based on this information together with the biological background of host and parasite, the following TreeMap solution was selected. The group of gill parasites evolved from a host switch from G. arcuatus, parasitizing the three-spined stickleback onto the gobies, followed by several host-switching events among the respective goby hosts. The timing of these events is estimated to date back to the Late Pleistocene, suggesting a role for refugia-mediated mixing of parasite species. In contrast, it is suggested that co-speciation in the fin-parasites resulted in several host-associated species complexes. This illustrates that phylogenetically conserved host-switching mimics the phylogenetic signature of co-speciation, confounding topology-based programs. PMID:16195215
Huyse, Tine; Volckaert, Filip A M
Animals have a number of behavioral defenses against infection. For example, they typically avoid sick conspecifics, especially during mating. Most animals also alter their behavior after infection and thereby promote recovery (i.e., sickness behavior). For example, sick animals typically reduce the performance of energetically demanding behaviors, such as sexual behavior. Finally, some animals can increase their reproductive output when they face a life-threatening immune challenge (i.e., terminal reproductive investment). All of these behavioral responses probably rely on immune/neural communication signals for their initiation. Unfortunately, this communication channel is prone to manipulation by parasites. In the case of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), these parasites/pathogens must subvert some of these behavioral defenses for successful transmission. There is evidence that STIs suppress systemic signals of immune activation (e.g., pro-inflammatory cytokines). This manipulation is probably important for the suppression of sickness behavior and other behavioral defenses, as well as for the prevention of attack by the host's immune system. For example, the cricket, Gryllus texensis, is infected with an STI, the iridovirus IIV-6/CrIV. The virus attacks the immune system, which suffers a dramatic decline in its ability to make proteins important for immune function. This attack also hampers the ability of the immune system to activate sickness behavior. Infected crickets cannot express sickness behavior, even when challenged with heat-killed bacteria. Understanding how STIs suppress sickness behavior in humans and other animals will significantly advance the field of psychoneuroimmunology and could also provide practical benefits. PMID:24813461
Adamo, Shelley A
Summary Immune compromise can modify the severity and manifestation of some parasitic infections. More widespread use of newer immnosuppressive therapies, the growing population of individuals with immunocompromised states as well as the prolonged survival of these patients have altered the pattern of parasitic infection. This review article discusses the burden and immunology of parasitic infections in patients who are immunocompromised secondary to congenital immunodeficiency, malnutrition, malignancy, and immunosuppressive medications. This review does not address the literature on parasitic infections in the setting of HIV-1 infection.
Evering, T.; Weiss, L. M.
As the data have poured in, and the number of published food webs containing parasites has increased, questions have been raised as to why free-living species consistently outnumber parasites, even though most general reviews on the subject of host:parasite species richness suggest the contrary. Here, I describe this pattern as it exists in the literature, posit both real and artifactual sources of these findings, and suggest ways that we might interpret existing parasite-inclusive food webs. In large part, the reporting of free-living species devoid of any associated parasites (termed here in the coding of food web matrices as “zeros”) is a consequence of either sampling issues or the intent of the study. However, there are also several powerful explanatory features that validate real cases of this phenomenon. Some hosts appear to authentically lack parasitism in portions of their geographic ranges, and parasites are often lost from systems that are either in early phases of community re-colonization or are compromised by environmental perturbation. Additionally, multi-stage parasite life cycles and broad host spectra allow some parasite species to partially saturate systems without providing a corresponding increase in parasite species richness, leading to low parasite species richness values relative to the free-living community. On the whole, the existing published food webs are sufficient to, at least in principle, determine basic patterns and pathways associated with parasite establishment and persistence in free-living communities because (1) for the purpose of those features, species rarity is roughly analogous to absence and (2) the existing data seem to suggest that the addition of more parasite taxa would reinforce the patterns already observed. This is particularly true for helminth parasites, in which our understanding and the resolution of our work is most robust.
Arms races between avian brood parasites and their hosts often result in parasitic mimicry of host eggs, to evade rejection. Once egg mimicry has evolved, host defences could escalate in two ways: (i) hosts could improve their level of egg discrimination; and (ii) negative frequency-dependent selection could generate increased variation in egg appearance (polymorphism) among individuals. Proficiency in one defence might reduce selection on the other, while a combination of the two should enable successful rejection of parasitic eggs. We compared three highly variable host species of the Afrotropical cuckoo finch Anomalospiza imberbis, using egg rejection experiments and modelling of avian colour and pattern vision. We show that each differed in their level of polymorphism, in the visual cues they used to reject foreign eggs, and in their degree of discrimination. The most polymorphic host had the crudest discrimination, whereas the least polymorphic was most discriminating. The third species, not currently parasitized, was intermediate for both defences. A model simulating parasitic laying and host rejection behaviour based on the field experiments showed that the two host strategies result in approximately the same fitness advantage to hosts. Thus, neither strategy is superior, but rather they reflect alternative potential evolutionary trajectories.
Spottiswoode, Claire N.; Stevens, Martin
The study on the photosynthetic characteristics of Cuscuta japonica and its hosts showed that there was a negative correlation between the photosynthetic pigment content (PPC) of C. japonica and its hosts. The PPC increased in the C. japonica-preferred hosts' parasitized and neighboring leaves, but decreased in its less preferred hosts' parasitized and neighboring leaves. The leaves parasitized by C. japonica and their neighboring far from the parasitized ones had a lowered net photosynthesis rate P(n), and the decreasing order accorded with that of parasitization. The decrease of P(n) for C. japonica-less preferred hosts was mainly due to the stomatal factors, but that for the preferred hosts was regulated by multi-factors. Under light, the PPC of C. japonica detached from preferred hosts increased faster than that of C. japonica detached from less preferred hosts, but the dry matter decrease was in adverse. In dark, however, the changes in PPC and dry matter content of C. japonica were not significant, whatever hosts it was detached from. PMID:17974234
Wang, Dong; Hu, Fei; Chen, Yu-Fen; Yang, Jun; Kong, Chui-Hua
Recent pathogenomic research on plant parasitic oomycete effector function and plant host responses has resulted in major conceptual advances in plant pathology, which has been possible thanks to the availability of genome sequences.
This thesis deals with the associations between parasitic snails and their mushroom coral hosts. Gittenberger has spent 800 hours under water and searched about 60,000 coral discs for these parasites. He dived in Egypt, the Maldives, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Palau, the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia. Places that are less popular with divers, like very deep or shallow sites, areas with
BackgroundTropical diseases caused by parasites continue to cause socioeconomic devastation that reverberates worldwide. There is a growing need for new control measures for many of these diseases due to increasing drug resistance exhibited by the parasites and problems with drug toxicity. One new approach is to apply host defense peptides (HDP; formerly called antimicrobial peptides) to disease control, either to
Lee R. Haines; Jamie M. Thomas; Angela M. Jackson; Brett A. Eyford; Morteza Razavi; Cristalle N. Watson; Brent Gowen; Robert E. W. Hancock; Terry W. Pearson
We have identified and characterized a Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF) family member in the Lophotrochozoan invertebrate, Biomphalaria glabrata, the snail intermediate host of the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. In mammals, MIF is a widely expressed pleiotropic cytokine with potent pro-inflammatory properties that controls cell functions such as gene expression, proliferation or apoptosis. Here we show that the MIF protein from B. glabrata (BgMIF) is expressed in circulating immune defense cells (hemocytes) of the snail as well as in the B. glabrata embryonic (Bge) cell line that has hemocyte-like features. Recombinant BgMIF (rBgMIF) induced cell proliferation and inhibited NO-dependent p53-mediated apoptosis in Bge cells. Moreover, knock-down of BgMIF expression in Bge cells interfered with the in vitro encapsulation of S. mansoni sporocysts. Furthermore, the in vivo knock-down of BgMIF prevented the changes in circulating hemocyte populations that occur in response to an infection by S. mansoni miracidia and led to a significant increase in the parasite burden of the snails. These results provide the first functional evidence that a MIF ortholog is involved in an invertebrate immune response towards a parasitic infection and highlight the importance of cytokines in invertebrate-parasite interactions.
Baeza Garcia, Alvaro; Pierce, Raymond J.; Gourbal, Benjamin; Werkmeister, Elisabeth; Colinet, Dominique; Reichhart, Jean-Marc; Dissous, Colette; Coustau, Christine
Gene flow, and resulting degree of genetic differentiation among populations, will shape geographic genetic patterns and possibly local adaptation of parasites and their hosts. Some studies of Plasmodium falciparum in humans show substantial differentiation of the parasite in locations separated by only a few kilometers, a paradoxical finding for a parasite in a large, mobile host. We examined genetic differentiation of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis, at 8 sites in northern California, with the use of variable microsatellite markers for both species. These lizards are small and highly territorial, so we expected local genetic differentiation of both parasite and lizard. Populations of P. mexicanum were found to be differentiated by analysis of 5 markers (F(st) values >0.05-0.10) over distances as short as 230-400 m, and greatly differentiated (F(st) values >0.25) for sites separated by approximately 10 km. In contrast, the lizard host had no, or very low, levels of differentiation for 3 markers, even for sites >40 km distant. Thus, gene flow for the lizard was great, but despite the mobility of the vertebrate host, the parasite was locally genetically distinct. This discrepancy could result if infected lizards move little, but their noninfected relatives were more mobile. Previous studies on the virulence of P. mexicanum for fence lizards support this hypothesis. However, changing prevalence of the parasite, without changes in density of the lizard, could also result in this pattern. PMID:19916631
Fricke, Jennifer M; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M; Schall, Jos J
Microbe–host interactions are complex processes that are directly and indirectly regulated by a variety of factors, including microbe presentation of specific molecular signatures on the microbial surface, as well as host cell presentation of receptors that recognize these pathogen signatures. Cell surface glycans are one important class of microbial signatures that are recognized by a variety of host cell lectins. Host cell lectins that recognize microbial glycans include members of the galectin family of lectins that recognize specific glycan ligands on viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. In this review, we will discuss the ways that the interactions of microbial glycans with host cell galectins positively and negatively regulate pathogen attachment, invasion, and survival, as well as regulate host responses that mitigate microbial pathogenesis.
Baum, Linda G.; Garner, Omai B.; Schaefer, Katrin; Lee, Benhur
Field studies have shown that native, parasitic plants grow vigorously on invasive plants and can cause more damage to invasive plants than native plants. However, no empirical test has been conducted and the mechanism is still unknown. We conducted a completely randomized greenhouse experiment using 3 congeneric pairs of exotic, invasive and native, non-invasive herbaceous plant species to quantify the damage caused by parasitic plants to hosts and its correlation with the hosts' growth rate and resource use efficiency. The biomass of the parasitic plants on exotic, invasive hosts was significantly higher than on congeneric native, non-invasive hosts. Parasites caused more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to congeneric, native, non-invasive hosts. The damage caused by parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the biomass of parasitic plants. The damage of parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the relative growth rate and the resource use efficiency of its host plants. It may be the mechanism by which parasitic plants grow more vigorously on invasive hosts and cause more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to native, non-invasive hosts. These results suggest a potential biological control effect of native, parasitic plants on invasive species by reducing the dominance of invasive species in the invaded community.
Li, Junmin; Jin, Zexin; Song, Wenjing
The distribution of microtubules, microfilaments, mitochondria, Golgi complex and endosomes/lysosomes was analyzed in Vero cells allowed to interact for different periods of time with the pathogenic protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi and observed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Microtubules were revealed using a mouse monoclonal anti-alpha-tubulin antibody. Actin filaments were revealed using phalloidin-rhodamine. To identify mitochondria, endosomes/lysosomes and the Golgi complex the cells were labelled with Rhodamine 123, Lucifer yellow and C6-NBD-ceramide, respectively. During cell invasion actin filaments concentrate at the site of parasite penetration in some, but not in all cells, probably depending upon the mechanism used by the trypomastigote form to penetrate into the host cells. Following internalization the trypomastigote form gradually changes into the amastigote form, disruption of the parasitophorous vacuole membrane takes place and the amastigote form enters in direct contact with host cell structures and organelles, and starts to divide. The presence of the parasite in the cytoplasm of the host cell did not induce significant changes in the distribution of actin filaments, microtubules, the Golgi complex, mitochondria and endosomes/lysosomes during the first 48 h of infection. Amastigote forms were seen close to the microtubules. After 72 h of interaction, the number of microtubules and microfilaments around the parasites was reduced and lysosomes and mitochondria were seen in between the parasites. PMID:10626001
Carvalho, T M; Ferreira, A G; Coimbra, E S; Rosestolato, C T; De Souza, W
The potato rot nematode, Ditylenchus destructor, is a very destructive nematode pest on many agriculturally important crops worldwide, but the molecular characterization of its parasitism of plant has been limited. The effectors involved in nematode parasitism of plant for several sedentary endo-parasitic nematodes such as Heterodera glycines, Globodera rostochiensis and Meloidogyne incognita have been identified and extensively studied over the past two decades. Ditylenchus destructor, as a migratory plant parasitic nematode, has different feeding behavior, life cycle and host response. Comparing the transcriptome and parasitome among different types of plant-parasitic nematodes is the way to understand more fully the parasitic mechanism of plant nematodes. We undertook the approach of sequencing expressed sequence tags (ESTs) derived from a mixed stage cDNA library of D. destructor. This is the first study of D. destructor ESTs. A total of 9800 ESTs were grouped into 5008 clusters including 3606 singletons and 1402 multi-member contigs, representing a catalog of D. destructor genes. Implementing a bioinformatics' workflow, we found 1391 clusters have no match in the available gene database; 31 clusters only have similarities to genes identified from D. africanus, the most closely related species to D. destructor; 1991 clusters were annotated using Gene Ontology (GO); 1550 clusters were assigned enzyme commission (EC) numbers; and 1211 clusters were mapped to 181 KEGG biochemical pathways. 22 ESTs had similarities to reported nematode effectors. Interestedly, most of the effectors identified in this study are involved in host cell wall degradation or modification, such as 1,4-beta-glucanse, 1,3-beta-glucanse, pectate lyase, chitinases and expansin, or host defense suppression such as calreticulin, annexin and venom allergen-like protein. This result implies that the migratory plant-parasitic nematode D. destructor secrets similar effectors to those of sedentary plant nematodes. Finally we further characterized the two D. destructor expansin proteins. PMID:23922743
Peng, Huan; Gao, Bing-li; Kong, Ling-an; Yu, Qing; Huang, Wen-kun; He, Xu-feng; Long, Hai-bo; Peng, De-liang
Many parasitic angiosperms have a broad host range and are therefore considered to be host generalists. Orobanche minor is a nonphotosynthetic root parasite that attacks a range of hosts from taxonomically disparate families. In the present study, we show that O. minor sensu lato may comprise distinct, genetically divergent races isolated by the different ecologies of their hosts. Using a three-pronged approach, we tested the hypothesis that intraspecific taxa O. minor var. minor and O. minor ssp. maritima parasitizing either clover (Trifolium pratense) or sea carrot (Daucus carota ssp.gummifer), respectively, are in allopatric isolation. Morphometric analysis revealed evidence of divergence but this was insufficient to define discrete, host-specific taxa. Intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) marker-based data provided stronger evidence of divergence, suggesting that populations were isolated from gene flow. Phylogenetic analysis, using sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) markers derived from ISSR loci, provided strong evidence for divergence by clearly differentiating sea carrot-specific clades and mixed-host clades. Low levels of intrapopulation SCAR marker sequence variation and floral morphology suggest that populations on different hosts are probably selfing and inbreeding. Morphologically cryptic Orobanche taxa may therefore be isolated from gene flow by host ecology. Together, these data suggest that host specificity may be an important driver of allopatric speciation in parasitic plants. PMID:19378406
Thorogood, C J; Rumsey, F J; Harris, S A; Hiscock, S J
The unprecedented polymorphism in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes is thought to be maintained by balancing selection from parasites. However, do parasites also drive divergence at MHC loci between host populations, or do the effects of balancing selection maintain similarities among populations? We examined MHC variation in populations of the livebearing fish Poecilia mexicana and characterized their parasite communities. Poecilia mexicana populations in the Cueva del Azufre system are locally adapted to darkness and the presence of toxic hydrogen sulphide, representing highly divergent ecotypes or incipient species. Parasite communities differed significantly across populations, and populations with higher parasite loads had higher levels of diversity at class II MHC genes. However, despite different parasite communities, marked divergence in adaptive traits and in neutral genetic markers, we found MHC alleles to be remarkably similar among host populations. Our findings indicate that balancing selection from parasites maintains immunogenetic diversity of hosts, but this process does not promote MHC divergence in this system. On the contrary, we suggest that balancing selection on immunogenetic loci may outweigh divergent selection causing divergence, thereby hindering host divergence and speciation. Our findings support the hypothesis that balancing selection maintains MHC similarities among lineages during and after speciation (trans-species evolution). PMID:24725091
Tobler, M; Plath, M; Riesch, R; Schlupp, I; Grasse, A; Munimanda, G K; Setzer, C; Penn, D J; Moodley, Y
Biomagnification and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congener distribution was examined in a predator-prey, host-parasite system, in which Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) preyed upon sprat (Sprattus sprattus). Eubothrium crassum was an intestinal parasite in salmon that also "preyed upon" sprat, because the parasites gained access to foodstuffs via the host (salmon) gut. Salmon contained significantly higher concentrations of total PCBs compared to both parasites and prey (sprat), but no difference in PCB concentration was found between sprat and E. crassum. Salmon biomagnified several PCB congeners from their diet (sprat), whereas parasites did not, despite the fact that both salmon and their parasites ingested the same prey. Differences in nutrient uptake mechanisms between the host and their parasites, in addition to the lack of a gastrointestinal tract in the cestode, may explain the lack of biomagnification in E. crassum. No difference was found in PCB congener distribution between parasites, salmon, and sprat, and none of the animal types showed a preference for accumulating more or less lipophilic congeners (congeners with a high or low octanol/water partition coefficient [K(ow)]). Biomagnification factors for individual congeners in salmon did not increase with K(ow); rather, they were constant, as shown by a linear relationship for congener concentration in prey and predator. PMID:17521127
Persson, Maria E; Larsson, Per; Stenroth, Patrik
With growing interest in the effects of biodiversity on disease, there is a critical need for studies that empirically identify the mechanisms underlying the diversity-disease relationship. Here, we combined wetland surveys of host community structure with mechanistic experiments involving a multi-host parasite to evaluate competing explanations for the dilution effect. Sampling of 320 wetlands in California indicated that snail host communities were strongly nested, with competent hosts for the trematode Ribeiroia ondatrae predominating in low-richness assemblages and unsuitable hosts increasingly present in more diverse communities. Moreover, competent host density was negatively associated with increases in snail species richness. These patterns in host community assembly support a key prerequisite underlying the dilution effect. Results of multigenerational mesocosm experiments designed to mimic field-observed community assemblages allowed us to evaluate the relative importance of host density and diversity in influencing parasite infection success. Increases in snail species richness (from one to four species) had sharply negative effects on the density of infected hosts (-90% reduction). However, this effect was indirect; competition associated with non-host species led to a 95% reduction in host density (susceptible host regulation), owing primarily to a reduction in host reproduction. Among susceptible hosts, there were no differences in infection prevalence as a function of community structure, indicating a lack of support for a direct effect of diversity on infection (encounter reduction). In monospecific conditions, higher initial host densities increased infection among adult hosts; however, compensatory reproduction in the low-density treatments equalized the final number of infected hosts by the next generation, underscoring the relevance of multigenerational studies in understanding the dilution effect. These findings highlight the role of interspecific competition in mediating the relationship between species richness and parasite infection and emphasize the importance of field-informed experimental research in understanding mechanisms underlying the diversity-disease relationship. PMID:22486087
Johnson, Pieter T J; Preston, Daniel L; Hoverman, Jason T; Henderson, Jeremy S; Paull, Sara H; Richgels, Katherine L D; Redmond, Miranda D
The parasitic protozoa Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania sp release a variety of molecules into their mammalian hosts (ESA: excretory-secretory products). The effects of these ESA on the host cell function may participate in the establishment of a successful infection, in which the parasite persists for a sufficient period of time to complete its life cycle. A number of regulatory components or processes originating from the parasite that control or regulate the metabolism and the growth of host cell have been identified. The purpose of the present review is to analyze some of the current data related to the parasite ESA that interfere with the host cell physiology. Special attention is given to members of conserved protein families demonstrating remarkable diversity and plasticity of function (ie, glutathione S-transferases and related molecules; members of the trans-sialidase and mucin family; and members of the ribosomal protein family). The identification of parasite target molecules and the elucidation of their mode of action toward the host cell represents a step forward in efforts aimed at an immunotherapeutic or pharmacological control of parasitic infection.
The influence and interaction of dietary protein:carbohydrate balance and parasitism by Cotesia congregata on nutrient intake and growth were examined over the last two larval stadia of Manduca sexta. Effects of nutritional status on host blood metabolite concentrations were also determined. Six fat-free chemically defined diets were tested, each having the same total level of casein and sucrose, but with
S. N. Thompson; R. A. Redak; L.-W. Wang
Conspecific brood parasitism (CBP), females laying eggs in the nest of other 'host' females of the same species, is a common alternative reproductive tactic among birds. For hosts there are likely costs of incubating and rearing foreign offspring, but costs may be low in species with precocial chicks such as waterfowl, among which CBP is common. Waterfowl show strong female
SOFIA ANDERHOLM; PETER WALDECK; HENK P. VAN DER JEUGD; RUPERT C. MARSHALL; KJELL LARSSON; MALTE ANDERSSON
We discuss geographical distribution and phylogeny of Dactylogyridea (Monogenea) parasitizing Cichlidae to elucidate their hosts' history. Although mesoparasitic Monogenea (Enterogyrus spp.) show typical vicariant distribution, ectoparasitic representatives from different continents are not considered sister taxa, hence their distribution cannot result from vicariance alone. Because of the close host-parasite relationship, this might indicate that present-day cichlid distribution may also reflect dispersal through coastal or brackish waters. Loss of ectoparasites during transoceanic migration, followed by lateral transfer from other fish families might explain extant host-parasite associations. Because of its mesoparasitic nature, hence not subject to salinity variations of the host's environment, Enterogyrus could have survived marine migrations, intolerable for ectoparasites. Host-switches and salinity transitions may be invoked to explain the pattern revealed by a preliminary morphological phylogeny of monogenean genera from Cichlidae and other selected Monogenea genera, rendering the parasite distribution explicable under both vicariance and dispersal. Testable hypotheses are put forward in this parasitological approach to cichlid biogeography. Along with more comprehensive in-depth morphological phylogeny, comparison with molecular data, clarifying dactylogyridean evolution on different continents and from various fish families, and providing temporal information on host-parasite history, are needed to discriminate between the possible scenarios.
Pariselle, Antoine; Boeger, Walter A.; Snoeks, Jos; Bilong Bilong, Charles F.; Morand, Serge; Vanhove, Maarten P. M.
Four helminth parasites out of 19 species found in the Lübeck Bight, Baltic Sea, were chosen for investigations on the transfer from invertebrate to small-sized fish hosts: larvae of the tapeworms Schistocephalus sp. and Bothriocephalus sp. (Cestoda) living in planktonic copepods as primary hosts; Podocotyle atomon (Digenea) and Hysterothylacium sp. (Nematoda) were found in benthic crustaceans, especially Gammarus spp. These hosts were the prey of 3 gobiid fishes, Gobiusculus flavescens (feeding mainly on plankton), Pomatoschistus minutus (preferring benthos), and P. pictus (feeding more on plankton than benthos). Because the fishes selected smaller sizes of crustaceans, they ingested all stages of the copepods but only the smaller-sized groups of gammarids which were often less infested by parasites. In order to evaluate the probability for a fish to be parasitized by a helminth, an infestation potential index (IP) was calculated. Podocotyle atomon and Hysterothylacium sp. revealed an IP which was far lower in gobies than expected when the prevalences of the previous hosts were taken into consideration. The IP of tapeworm larvae was mainly influenced by the feeding pressure of the gobiid predators, which might change with developmental stage and season. It is concluded that parasite transfer to the next host decreases when sizes of prey and predator differ only moderately. This mechanism can reduce the numbers of parasites transferred to less suitable or wrong hosts.
Zander, C. D.; Groenewold, S.; Strohbach, U.
Local adaptation within host-parasite systems can evolve by several non-exclusive drivers (e.g., host species-genetic adaptation; ecological conditions-ecological adaptation, and time-temporal adaptation). Social insects, especially bumblebees, with an annual colony life history not only provide an ideal system to test parasite transmission within and between different host colonies, but also parasite adaptation to specific host species and environments. Here, we study local adaptation in a multiple-host parasite characterized by high levels of horizontal transmission. Crithidia bombi occurs as a gut parasite in several bumblebee species. Parasites were sampled from five different host species in two subsequent years. Population genetic tools were used to test for the several types of adaptation. Although we found no evidence for local adaptation of the parasite toward host species, there was a slight temporal differentiation of the parasite populations, which might have resulted from severe bottlenecks during queen hibernation. Parasite populations were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and showed no signs of linkage disequilibrium suggesting that sexual reproduction is an alternative strategy in this otherwise clonal parasite. Moreover, high levels of multiple infections were found, which might facilitate sexual genetic exchange. The detection of identical clones in different host species suggested that horizontal transmission occurs between host species and underpins the lack of host-specific adaptation.
Erler, Silvio; Popp, Mario; Wolf, Stephan; Lattorff, H Michael G
Parasite antigens released from Trypanosoma cruzi-infected cells were adsorbed to infected and uninfected mammalian cells thus rendering them susceptible to immune lysis by antibody and cell-mediated immunity directed against the parasite. BALB/c mice infected with T. cruzi for 15 days developed cytotoxic T lymphocytes specific for parasite antigens. At 60 days post infection, however, the mice developed an additional population of cytotoxic T lymphocytes that were able to kill normal syngeneic muscle or neuronederived cell lines in vitro. These '60-day" T lymphocytes did not kill HeLa cells unless they were coated with T. cruzi antigens suggesting that the population of atuoaggressive T lymphocytes was not an artefact due to an increase in natural killer cells.
Ribeiro Dos Santos, R; Hudson, L
Colonies of the polistine wasp Polistes dominulus are parasitized by the permanent worker-less social parasite Polistes sulcifer. After usurpation of the host colony, parasite females are characterized by a change in the relative proportions of their cuticular hydrocarbons to match those of the host species. In this paper we present evidence from field data and laboratory experiments that P. sulcifer females adopt a colony-specific host odour that facilitates their acceptance by host females of the usurped colony. Presentation experiments demonstrate that parasite females are recognized as foreign individuals by workers of other parasitized nests. We show that the modification of parasite cuticular compounds is sufficient for this recognition. This provides evidence that, after invasion, P. sulcifer queens do not require appeasement or propaganda substances for their acceptance by host colonies. Furthermore, multivariate discriminant analysis of the cuticular hydrocarbon proportions of the parasites after usurpation assigns the parasites together with P. dominulus females of their own host colony. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first confirmation that social parasites adopt colony-specific host odours.
Sledge, M. F.; Dani, F. R.; Cervo, R.; Dapporto, L.; Turillazzi, S.
For hundreds of years, the unmanaged Soay sheep population on St Kilda has survived despite enduring presumably deleterious co-infections of helminth, protozoan and arthropod parasites and intermittent periods of starvation. Important parasite taxa in young Soay sheep are strongyles (Trichostrongylus axei, Trichostrongylus vitrinus and Teladorsagia circumcincta), coccidia (11 Eimeria species) and keds (Melophagus ovinus) and in older animals, Teladorsagia circumcincta. In this research, associations between the intensity of different parasite taxa were investigated. Secondly, the intensities of different parasite taxa were tested for associations with variation in host weight, which is itself a determinant of over-winter survival in the host population. In lambs, the intensity of strongyle eggs was positively correlated with that of Nematodirus spp. eggs, while in yearlings and adults strongyle eggs and coccidia oocysts were positively correlated. In lambs and yearlings, of the parasite taxa tested, only strongyle eggs were significantly and negatively associated with host weight. However, in adult hosts, strongyles and coccidia were independently and negatively associated with host weight. These results are consistent with the idea that strongyles and coccidia are exerting independent selection on Soay sheep. PMID:18215336
Craig, B H; Tempest, L J; Pilkington, J G; Pemberton, J M
The visceral mass ofBiomphalaria glabrata uninfected or infected withSchistosoma mansoni was serially sectioned. The amount of hepatopancreas tissue and of parasite tissue was quantified. In pool-infected snails the volume of the whole visceral mass increased very significantly until week 6 and then decreased. Due to the growing parasites the volume of the visceral mass in infected snails was at most
A. Schwanbek; W. Becker; H. Rupprecht
Intracellular pathogens including bacteria, viruses and protozoa hijack host cell functions to access nutrients and to bypass cellular defenses and immune responses. These strategies have been acquired through selective pressure and allowed pathogens to reach an appropriate cellular niche for their survival and growth. To get new insights on how parasites hijack host cellular functions, we developed a SILAC (Stable Isotope Labeling by Amino Acids in Cell culture) quantitative proteomics workflow. Our study focused on deciphering the cross-talk in a host-parasite association, involving human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF) and the microsporidia Anncaliia algerae, a fungus related parasite with an obligate intracellular lifestyle and a strong host dependency. The host-parasite cross-talk was analyzed at five post-infection times 1, 6, 12 and 24 hours post-infection (hpi) and 8 days post-infection (dpi). A significant up-regulation of four interferon-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats IFIT1, IFIT2, IFIT3 and MX1 was observed at 8 dpi suggesting a type 1 interferon (IFN) host response. Quantitative alteration of host proteins involved in biological functions such as signaling (STAT1, Ras) and reduction of the translation activity (EIF3) confirmed a host type 1 IFN response. Interestingly, the SILAC approach also allowed the detection of 148 A. algerae proteins during the kinetics of infection. Among these proteins many are involved in parasite proliferation, and an over-representation of putative secreted effectors proteins was observed. Finally our survey also suggests that A. algerae could use a transposable element as a lure strategy to escape the host innate immune system.
Panek, Johan; El Alaoui, Hicham; Mone, Anne; Urbach, Serge; Demettre, Edith; Texier, Catherine; Brun, Christine; Zanzoni, Andreas; Peyretaillade, Eric; Parisot, Nicolas; Lerat, Emmanuelle; Peyret, Pierre; Delbac, Frederic; Biron, David G.
Symbiotic relationships, both parasitic and mutualistic, are ubiquitous in nature. Understanding how these symbioses evolve, from bacteria and their phages to humans and our gut microflora, is crucial in understanding how life operates. Often, symbioses consist of a slowly evolving host species with each host only interacting with its own sub-population of symbionts. The Red Queen hypothesis describes coevolutionary relationships as constant arms races with each species rushing to evolve an advantage over the other, suggesting that faster evolution is favored. Here, we use a simple game theoretic model of host- symbiont coevolution that includes population structure to show that if the symbionts evolve much faster than the host, the equilibrium distribution is the same as it would be if it were a sequential game where the host moves first against its symbionts. For the slowly evolving host, this will prove to be advantageous in mutualisms and a handicap in antagonisms. The model allows for symbiont adaptation to its host, a result that is robust to changes in the parameters and generalizes to continuous and multiplayer games. Our findings provide insight into a wide range of symbiotic phenomena and help to unify the field of coevolutionary theory.
Damore, James; Gore, Jeff
Data on the taxonomic diversity of Baikal whitefish parasites are summarized in the study. Significant correlations of some parasite species' relative abundance and parasite communities' (infracommunities and component communities) parameters with host age were found during the study of parasite distribution in the host's age groups in the Baikal whitefish population from Chivyrkui Bay of Lake Baikal. Study of morphobiological and genetic features which have arisen due to long-term geographic isolation allowed confirming the initial specific independence of lake whitefishes of Lake Baikal as Coregonus baicalensis Dybowski, 1874, i.e., the Baikal whitefish (Sukhanova et al., 2000). The main habitats of this Baikal endemic are Barguzin and Chivyrkui bays, Selenga shallow, and Little Sea strait (Pronin et al., 2007). Local populations from these habitats were previously considered to be independent stocks (Krogius, 1933). PMID:21268871
Dugarov, Zh N; Pronin, N M
Gene flow maintains the genetic integrity of species over large spatial scales, and dispersal maintains gene flow among separate populations. However, body size is a strong correlate of dispersal ability, with small-bodied organisms being poor dispersers. For parasites, small size may be compensated by using their hosts for indirect dispersal. In trematodes, some species use only aquatic hosts to complete their life cycle, whereas others use birds or mammals as final hosts, allowing dispersal among separate aquatic habitats. We performed the first test of the universality of the type of life cycle as a driver of parasite dispersal, using a meta-analysis of 16 studies of population genetic structure in 16 trematode species. After accounting for the geographic scale of a study, the number of populations sampled, and the genetic marker used, we found the type of life cycle to be the best predictor of genetic structure (Fst): trematode species bound to complete their life cycle within water showed significantly more pronounced genetic structuring than those leaving water through a bird or mammal host. This finding highlights the dependence of parasites on host traits for their dispersal, suggesting that genetic differentiation of parasites reflects the mobility of their hosts. PMID:23866918
Blasco-Costa, Isabel; Poulin, Robert
Cophylogenetic studies investigate the evolutionary trends within host-parasite associations. Examination of the different levels of fidelity between host and parasite phylogenies provides a powerful tool to inspect patterns and processes of parasite diversification over host evolution and geological times. Within the phylum Platyhelminthes, the monogeneans are mainly fish parasites. The Polystomatidae, however, are known from the sarcopterygian Australian lungfish and tetrapods such as amphibians, freshwater turtles, and the African hippopotamus. Cophylogenetic and biogeographic vicariance analyses, supplemented by molecular calibrations, showed that the Polystomatidae may track the evolutionary history of the first aquatic tetrapods in the Palaeozoic age. Evolutionary lines of the major polystome lineages would also be intimately related to the evolution of their hosts over hundreds of millions years. Since the Mesozoic, evolution of polystomes would have been shaped mainly by plate tectonics during the break-up of Gondwanaland and subsequent dispersal of ancestral neobatrachian host lineages. Therefore the Polystomatidae could serve as a novel model to improve cophylogenetic tools and to inspect a suite of questions about the evolution of vertebrate hosts. PMID:19281948
Verneau, Olivier; Du Preez, Louis; Badets, Mathieu
Among the host fruits of the Caribbean fruit fly there are a variety of sizes and shapes. These morphological differences\\u000a may influence the vulnerability of the larvae to parasites. In the laboratory, Caribbean fruit fly larvae placed in the smaller\\u000a of 2 different sizes of artificial ‘fruit’ (cloth spheres filled with a diet material) were parasitized at a higher rate
The genetic mechanisms underlying host specificity of parasitic infections are largely unknown. After hatching, the larvae of the monogenean parasite, Heterobothrium okamotoi, attach to the gill filaments of hosts and the post-larval worms develop there by consuming nutrients from the host. The susceptibility to H. okamotoi infection differs markedly among fish species. While this parasite can grow on tiger pufferfish (also called fugu), Takifugu rubripes, it appears to be rejected by a close congener, grass pufferfish, Takifugu niphobles, after initial attachment to the gills. To determine the genetic architecture of the pufferfish responsible for this host specificity, we performed genome-wide quantitative trait loci analysis. We raised second generation (F2) hybrids of the two pufferfish species and experimentally infected them with the monogenean in vivo. To assess possible differences in host mechanisms between early and later periods of infection, we sampled fish three h and 21days after exposure. Genome scanning of fish from the 3h infection trial revealed suggestive quantitative trait loci on linkage groups 2 and 14, which affected the number of parasites on the gill. However, analysis of fish 21days p.i. detected a significant quantitative trait locus on linkage group 9 and three other suggestive quantitative trait loci on linkage groups 7, 18 and 22. These results indicated the polygenic nature of the host mechanisms involved in the infection/rejection of H. okamotoi. Moreover the analyses suggested that host factors may play a more important role during the growth period of the parasite than during initial host recognition at the time of attachment. Within the 95% confidence interval of the linkage group 9 quantitative trait locus in the fugu genome, there were 214 annotated protein-coding genes, including immunity-related genes such as Irak4, Muc2 and Muc5ac. PMID:23872522
Hosoya, Sho; Kido, Shinichi; Hirabayashi, Yo; Kai, Wataru; Kinami, Ryuhei; Yoshinaga, Tomoyoshi; Ogawa, Kazuo; Suetake, Hiroaki; Kikuchi, Kiyoshi; Suzuki, Yuzuru
Oral Treponema species, most notably T. denticola, are implicated in the destructive effects of human periodontal disease. Progress in the molecular analysis of interactions between T. denticola and host proteins is reviewed here, with particular emphasis on the characterization of surface-expressed and secreted proteins of T. denticola involved in interactions with host cells, extracellular matrix components, and components of the innate immune system.
Fenno, J. Christopher
Proteolytic enzymes of the caspase family, which reside as latent precursors in most nucleated metazoan cells, are core effectors of apoptosis. Of them, the executioner caspases- 3 and -7 exist within the cytosol as inactive dimers and are activated by a process called dimerization. Caspase inhibition is looked upon as a promising approach for treating multiple diseases. Though caspases have been extensively studied in the human system, their role in eukaryotic pathogens and parasites of human hosts has not drawn enough attention. In protein sequence analysis, caspases of blood flukes (Schistosoma spp) were revealed to have a low sequence identity with their counterparts in human and other mammalian hosts, which encouraged us to analyse interacting domains that participate in dimerization of caspases in the parasite and to reveal differences, if any, between the host-parasite systems. Significant differences in the molecular surface arrangement of the dimer interfaces reveal that in schistosomal caspases only eight out of forty dimer conformations are similar to human caspase structures. Thus, the parasite-specific dimer conformations (that are different from caspases of the host) may emerge as potential drug targets of therapeutic value against schistosomal infections. Three important factors namely, the size of amino acids, secondary structures and geometrical arrangement of interacting domains influence the pattern of caspase dimer formation, which, in turn, is manifested in varied structural conformations of caspases in the parasite and its human hosts.
Kumar, Shakti; Biswal, Devendra Kumar; Tandon, Veena
The fate of host defensive behaviour in the absence of selection from brood parasitism is critical to long-term host-parasite coevolution. We investigated whether New World Bohemian waxwings Bombycilla garrulus that are allopatric from brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater and common cuckoo Cuculus canorus parasitism have retained egg rejection behaviour. We found that egg rejection was expressed by 100 per cent of Bohemian waxwings. Our phylogeny revealed that Bohemian and Japanese waxwings Bombycilla japonica were sister taxa, and this clade was sister to the cedar waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum. In addition, there was support for a split between Old and New World Bohemian waxwings. Our molecular clock estimates suggest that egg rejection may have been retained for 2.8-3.0 Myr since New World Bohemian waxwings inherited it from their common ancestor with the rejecter cedar waxwings. These results support the 'single trajectory' model of host-brood parasite coevolution that once hosts evolve defences, they are retained, forcing parasites to become more specialized over time. PMID:21493623
Peer, Brian D; Kuehn, Michael J; Rothstein, Stephen I; Fleischer, Robert C
Summary Humans and mice infected with different Plasmodium strains are known to produce microvesicles derived from the infected red blood cells (RBC), denoted RMVs. Studies in mice have shown that RMVs are elevated during infection and have pro-inflammatory activity. Here we present a detailed characterization of RMV composition and function in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Proteomics profiling revealed the enrichment of multiple host and parasite proteins, in particular of parasite antigens associated with host cell membranes and proteins involved in parasite invasion into RBCs. RMVs are quantitatively released during the asexual parasite cycle prior to parasite egress. RMVs demonstrate potent immunomodulatory properties on human primary macrophages and neutrophils. Additionally, RMVs are internalized by infected red blood cells and stimulate production of transmission stage parasites in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, RMVs mediate cellular communication within the parasite population and with the host innate immune system.
Mantel, Pierre-Yves; Hoang, Anh N.; Goldowitz, Ilana; Potashnikova, Daria; Hamza, Bashar; Vorobjev, Ivan; Ghiran, Ionita; Toner, Mehmet; Irimia, Daniel; Ivanov, Alexander R.; Barteneva, Natasha; Marti, Matthias
Summary Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease of significant medical and veterinary importance in many regions of the world. Recent shifts in global health policy have led towards the implementation of mass chemotherapeutic control programmes at the national scale in previously ‘neglected’ countries such as those within sub-Saharan Africa. Evolutionary theory has an important role to play in the design, application and interpretation of such programmes. Whilst celebrating the rapid success achieved to date by such programmes, in terms of reduced infection prevalence, intensity and associated human morbidity, evolutionary change in response to drug selection pressure may be predicted under certain circumstances, particularly in terms of the development of potential drug resistance, evolutionary changes in parasite virulence, transmission and host use, and/or competitive interactions with co-infecting pathogens. Theoretical and empirical data gained to date serve to highlight the importance of careful monitoring and evaluation of parasites and their hosts whenever and wherever chemotherapy is applied and where parasite transmission remains.
Webster, Joanne P; Gower, Charlotte M; Norton, Alice J
The life cycle of the parasitic copepod Lernaeocera branchialis involves 2 hosts, typically a pleuronectiform host upon which development of larvae and mating of adults occurs and a subsequent gadoid host, upon which the adult female feeds and reproduces. Both the copepodid and adult female stages must therefore locate and identify a suitable host to continue the life cycle. Several mechanisms are potentially involved in locating a host and ensuring its suitability for infection. These may include mechano-reception to detect host movement and chemo-reception to recognize host-associated chemical cues, or kairomones. The aim of this study was to identify the role of kairomones in host location by adult L. branchialis, by analysing their behaviour in response to fish-derived chemicals. Experiments demonstrated that water conditioned by immersion of whiting, Merlangius merlangus, elicited host-seeking behaviour in L. branchialis, whereas cod- (Gadus morhua) conditioned water did not. Lernaeocera branchialis are considered a genetically homogeneous population infecting a range of gadoids. However, their differential response to whiting- and cod-derived chemicals in this study suggests that either there are genetically determined subspecies of L. branchialis or there is some form of environmental pre-conditioning that allows the parasite to preferentially recognize the host species from which it originated. PMID:23369461
Brooker, A J; Shinn, A P; Souissi, S; Bron, J E
A good understanding of how microbes interact with hosts has a direct bearing on our capability of fighting infectious microbial pathogens and making good use of beneficial ones. Among the model organisms used to study reciprocal actions among microbes and hosts, C. elegans may be the most advantageous in the context of its unique attributes such as the short life cycle, easiness of laboratory maintenance, and the availability of different genetic mutants. This review summarizes the recent advances in understanding host-microbe interactions in C. elegans. Although these investigations have greatly enhanced our understanding of C. elegans-microbe relationships, all but one of them involve only one or few microbial species. We argue here that more research is needed for exploring the evolution and establishment of a complex microbial community in the worm's intestine and its interaction with the host. PMID:23984180
Zhang, Rui; Hou, Aixin
The negative consequences of parasitic infection (virulence) were examined for two lizard malaria parasite-host associations: Plasmodium agamae and P. giganteum, parasites of the rainbow lizard, Agama agama, in Sierra Leone, West Africa; and P. mexicanum in the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, in northern California. These malaria species vary greatly in their reproductive characteristics: P. agamae produces only 8 merozoites per schizont, P. giganteum yields over 100, and P. mexicanum an intermediate number. All three parasites appear to have had an ancient association with their host. In fence lizards, infection with malaria is associated with increased numbers of immature erythrocytes, decreased haemoglobin levels, decreased maximal oxygen consumption, and decreased running stamina. Not affected were numbers of erythrocytes, resting metabolic rate, and sprint running speed which is supported by anaerobic means in lizards. Infected male fence lizards had smaller testes, stored less fat in preparation for winter dormancy, were more often socially submissive and, unexpectedly, were more extravagantly coloured on the ventral surface (a sexually dimorphic trait) than non-infected males. Females also stored less fat and produced smaller clutches of eggs, a directly observed reduction in fitness. Infected fence lizards do not develop behavioural fevers. P. mexicanum appears to have broad thermal buffering abilities and thermal tolerance; the parasite's population growth was unaffected by experimental alterations in the lizard's body temperature. The data are less complete for A. agama, but infected lizards suffered similar haematological and physiological effects. Infected animals may be socially submissive because they appear to gather less insect prey, possibly a result of being forced into inferior territories. Infection does not reduce clutch size in rainbow lizards, but may lengthen the time between clutches. These results are compared with predictions emerging from several models of the evolution of parasite virulence. The lack of behavioural fevers in fence lizards may represent a physiological constraint by the lizards in evolving a thermal tolerance large enough to allow elimination of the parasite via fever. Such constraints may be important in determining the outcome of parasite-host coevolution. Some theory predicts low virulence in old parasite-host systems and higher virulence in parasites with greater reproductive output. However, in conflict with this argument, all three malarial species exhibited similar high costs to their hosts. PMID:2235062
Schall, J J
During the intracellular maturation in Escherichia coli of the parasite Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus the outer membrane, major protein I of E. coli (i.e., the matrix protein) becomes associated with the outer membrane of the emerging parasite cells. The binding properties of this protein with the outer membrane of the host and of the parasite are identical. An analogous phenomenon also occurs during Bdellovibrio parasitism on Klebsiella pneumoniae and on Salmonella typhimurium. Possible roles for this scavenging action of Bdellovibrio, and similar phenomena in other parasitic systems, are discussed. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Fig. 7.
Guerrini, F; Romano, V; Valenzi, M; Di Giulio, M; Mupo, M R; Sacco, M
The advances in microscopy combined to the invaluable progress carried by the utilization of molecular, immunological or immunochemical markers and the implementation of more powerful imaging technologies have yielded great improvements to the knowledge of the interaction between microorganisms and their hosts, notably a better understanding of the establishment of infectious processes. Still today, the intricacies of the dialog between parasites, cells and tissues remain limited. Some improvements have been attained with the stable integration and expression of the green fluorescence protein or firefly luciferase and other reporter genes, which have allowed to better approach the monitoring of gene expression and protein localization in vivo, in situ and in real time. Aiming at better exploring the well-established models of murine infections with the characterized strains of Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma vivax, we revisited in the present report the state of the art about the tools for the imaging of Trypanosomatids in vitro and in vivo and show the latest transgenic parasites that we have engineered in our laboratory using conventional transfection methods. The targeting of trypanosomes presented in this study is a promising tool for approaching the biology of parasite interactions with host cells, the progression of the diseases they trigger and the screening of new drugs in vivo or in vitro. PMID:23892180
Goyard, S; Dutra, P Lourenço; Deolindo, P; Autheman, D; D'Archivio, S; Minoprio, P
Medicinal properties of parasitic plants were investigated by means of ethnobotanical study in some areas of northeastern Thailand. Important traditional usages are: Scurrula atropurpurea nourishes blood, Dendrophthoe pentandra decreases high blood pressure, and Helixanthera parasitica treats liver disease. Their systematics were also determined. The research is based on findings obtained from 100 parasite-host pairs. Of these, eight parasitic species were recorded; they are members of two families, viz. family Loranthaceae, namely D. lanosa, D. pentandra, H. parasitica, Macrosolen brandisianus, M. cochinchinensis and S. atropurpurea, and family Viscaceae, namely Viscum articulatum and V. ovalifolium. In addition, each parasitic species is found on diverse hosts, indicating non-host-parasitic specificity. Species-specific tagging of all species studied was carried out using the rbcL and psbA-trnH chloroplast regions. These tag sequences are submitted to GenBank databases under accession numbers JN687563-JN687578. Genetic distances calculated from nucleotide variations in a couple of species of each genus, Dendrophthoe, Macrosolen, and Viscum, were 0.032, 0.067 and 0.036 in the rbcL region, and 0.269, 0.073 and 0.264 in the psbA-trnH spacer region, respectively. These variations will be used for further identification of incomplete plant parts or other forms such as capsule, powder, dried or chopped pieces. PMID:22864809
Kwanda, Nantiya; Noikotr, Kowit; Sudmoon, Runglawan; Tanee, Tawatchai; Chaveerach, Arunrat
Nest protection against intruders is an indispensable component of avian parental care. In species with biparental care, both mates should evolve nest defence behaviour to increase their reproductive success. In most host-parasite systems, host females are predicted to have more important roles in nest defence against brood parasites, because they typically are primarily responsible for clutch incubation. Male antiparasitic behaviour, on the other hand, is often underestimated or even not considered at all. Here we investigated sex-specific roles in four aspects of great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) nest defence against a brood parasite-the cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), namely (1) mobbing, (2) nest attendance/guarding, (3) nest checking and (4) egg ejection. Using dummy experiments, simulating brood parasitism and by video-monitoring of host nests we found that males took the key roles in cuckoo mobbing and nest guarding, while females were responsible for nest checking and egg ejection behaviours. Such partitioning of parental roles may provide a comprehensive clutch protection against brood parasitism. PMID:19154783
Pozgayová, Milica; Procházka, Petr; Honza, Marcel
A major determinant of the rate at which drug-resistant malaria parasites spread through a population is the ecology of resistant and sensitive parasites sharing the same host. Drug treatment can significantly alter this ecology by removing the drug-sensitive parasites, leading to competitive release of resistant parasites. Here, we test the hypothesis that the spread of resistance can be slowed by reducing drug treatment and hence restricting competitive release. Using the rodent malaria model Plasmodium chabaudi, we found that low-dose chemotherapy did reduce competitive release. A higher drug dose regimen exerted stronger positive selection on resistant parasites for no detectable clinical gain. We estimated instantaneous selection coefficients throughout the course of replicate infections to analyze the temporal pattern of the strength and direction of within-host selection. The strength of selection on resistance varied through the course of infections, even in untreated infections, but increased immediately following drug treatment, particularly in the high-dose groups. Resistance remained under positive selection for much longer than expected from the half life of the drug. Although there are many differences between mice and people, our data do raise the question whether the aggressive treatment regimens aimed at complete parasite clearance are the best resistance-management strategies for humans.
Huijben, Silvie; Nelson, William A.; Wargo, Andrew R.; Sim, Derek G.; Drew, Damien R.; Read, Andrew F.
Background Malaria is the most significant human parasitic disease, and yet understanding of the energy metabolism of the principle pathogen, Plasmodium falciparum, remains to be fully elucidated. Amino acids were shown to be essential nutritional requirements since early times and much of the current knowledge of Plasmodium energy metabolism is based on early biochemical work, performed using basic analytical techniques, carried out almost exclusively on human plasma with considerable inter-individual variability. Methods In order to further characterize the fate of amino acid metabolism in malaria parasite, multivariate analysis using statistical modelling of amino acid concentrations (aminogram) of plasma and liver were determined in host infected with rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium yoelii. Results and conclusion Comprehensive and statistical aminogram analysis revealed that P. yoelii infection caused drastic change of plasma and liver aminogram, and altered intra- and inter-correlation of amino acid concentration in plasma and liver. These findings of the interactions between amino acids and Plasmodium infection may provide insight to reveal the interaction between nutrients and parasites.
In contrast to the situation with egg-larval and larval endoparasitic wasps, little is known about the effects of pupal endoparasitoids and their secretions on the hemocytes of their insect hosts. This study focuses on the pupal endoparasitoid, Pteromalus puparum, and its host, the small white butterfly, Pieris rapae. Parasitism by P. puparum, resulted in a significant increase in the total number of host hemocytes up to day five after parasitization. From day one to day four after parasitization, the percentage of plasmatocytes significantly decreased, and the proportion of granular cells increased. Moreover, from 12 h to day three after parasitization, hemocyte mortality in parasitized pupae was noticeably higher. When P. rapae pupae were parasitized by adult females of P. puparum irradiated by gamma-ray (pseudoparasitization), it was clear that the treated wasps could induce similar hemocyte changes. However, such phenomena did not occur in punctured host pupae (mimic-parasitization). After treatment with P. puparum venom, both the percentages of spreading plasmatocytes and encapsulated Sephadex G-25 beads were lessened significantly in vitro. Electron microscopy analysis and visualization of hemocyte F-actin with phalloidin-FITC showed that hemocytes treated with venom had a rounded configuration and neither spread nor extended pseudopods, while there was no marked alteration of hemocyte cytoskeletons after venom treatment. The results suggested that venom of P. puparum could actively suppress the hemocyte immune response of its host, but not by destroying the host hemocyte cytoskeleton. PMID:15081824
Cai, Jun; Ye, Gong-yin; Hu, Cui
Simultaneous infection by multiple parasite species is ubiquitous in nature. Interactions among co-infecting parasites may have important consequences for disease severity, transmission and community-level responses to perturbations. However, our current view of parasite interactions in nature comes primarily from observational studies, which may be unreliable at detecting interactions. We performed a perturbation experiment in wild mice, by using an anthelminthic to suppress nematodes, and monitored the consequences for other parasite species. Overall, these parasite communities were remarkably stable to perturbation. Only one non-target parasite species responded to deworming, and this response was temporary: we found strong, but short-lived, increases in the abundance of Eimeria protozoa, which share an infection site with the dominant nematode species, suggesting local, dynamic competition. These results, providing a rare and clear experimental demonstration of interactions between helminths and co-infecting parasites in wild vertebrates, constitute an important step towards understanding the wider consequences of similar drug treatments in humans and animals. PMID:23677343
Knowles, Sarah C L; Fenton, Andy; Petchey, Owen L; Jones, Trevor R; Barber, Rebecca; Pedersen, Amy B
Polydnavirus is a DNA virus symbiotic to some endoparasitic wasps and plays a critical role in accomplishing successful parasitic life cycle of host wasps. Host translation inhibitory factor (HTIF) has been found in some polydnaviral genomes and performs parasitic functions leading to host immunosuppression and redirecting host nutrient usage to wasp development. The cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae, parasitized by
Conspecific competition occurs in a multitude of organisms, particularly in parasites, where several clones are commonly sharing limited resources inside their host. In theory, increased or decreased transmission investment might maximize parasite fitness in the face of competition, but, to our knowledge, this has not been tested experimentally. We developed and used a clone-specific, stage-specific, quantitative PCR protocol to quantify Plasmodium chabaudi replication and transmission stage densities in mixed-clone infections. We co-infected mice from two strains with an avirulent and virulent parasite clone and found competitive suppression of in-host (blood-stage) parasite densities and generally corresponding reductions in transmission stage production, with the virulent clone obtaining overall competitive superiority. In response to competitive suppression, there was little evidence of any alteration in transmission stage investment, apart from a small reduction by one of the two clones in one of the two host strains. This alteration did not result in a competitive advantage, although it might have reduced the disadvantage. This study supports much of the current literature, which predicts that conspecific in-host competition will result in a competitive advantage and positive selection for virulent clones and thus the evolution of higher virulence.
Wargo, Andrew R; de Roode, Jacobus C; Huijben, Silvie; Drew, Damien R; Read, Andrew F
Cooperative behaviors are common among social insects such as bees, wasps, ants, and termites, but they have not been reported from insect species that use aggressive mimicry to manipulate and exploit prey or hosts. Here we show that larval aggregations of the blister beetle Meloe franciscanus, which parasitize nests of the solitary bee Habropoda pallida, cooperate to exploit the sexual
Leslie S. Saul-Gershenz; Jocelyn G. Millar
Parasite infections around the world are a huge economic burden and decrease the quality of life for many people. Probiotic bacteria are being investigated as a possible treatment for many enteric issues due to their beneficial effects by altering the immune system. Goblet cells are the main source of mucins in the gut, and play an important role in host
Jessica M McClemens
In the context of agricultural landscapes, conservation biocontrol practitioners attempt to secure and enhance the presence and effectiveness of natural enemies of insect pest species, for example parasitoids. Conservation biocontrol aims at maximizing both parasitoid persistence and parasitation rate. It is, however, still poorly understood how the amount, fragmentation and isolation of non-crop habitat of the host and its parasitoid
Ute Visser; Kerstin Wiegand; Volker Grimm; Karin Johst
Obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasites rely on gliding motion powered by their actomyosin system to disperse throughout tissues and to penetrate host cells. Toxoplasma gondii myosin A has been implicated in this process, but direct proof has been lacking. We designed a genetic screen to generate a tetracycline-inducible transactivator system in T. gondii. The MyoA gene was disrupted in the presence
Markus Meissner; Dirk Schlüter; Dominique Soldati
Climatic conditions, through their effects on resource availability, may affect important life history strategies and trade-offs in animals, as well as their interactions with other organisms such as parasites. This impact may depend on species-specific pathways of development that differ even among species with similar resource requirements (e.g., avian brood parasites and their hosts). Here we explore the degree of covariation between environmental-climatic conditions and nestling phenotypes (i.e., tarsus length, body mass, immune response to phytohemagglutinin injection) and ectoparasite loads of great spotted cuckoos (Clamator glandarius) and those of their magpie (Pica pica) hosts, both within and among 11 study years (1997-2011). Our main results were that (1) nestling phenotypes differed among years, but differently for great spotted cuckoos and magpies; (2) nestling phenotypes showed significant among-year covariation with breeding climatic conditions (temperature and precipitation); and (3) these associations differed for cuckoos and magpies for some phenotypic traits. As the average temperature at the beginning of the breeding season (April) increased, body mass and tarsus length increased only for cuckoos, but not for magpie hosts, while immune response decreased in both species. Finally, (4) the strength of the within-year relationships between the probability of ectoparasitism by Carnus hemapterus flies and laying date (used as an estimate of the within-year variation in climatic conditions) was negatively affected by the annual accumulated precipitation in April. These results strongly suggest that variation in climatic conditions would result in asymmetric effects on different species with respect to the probability of ectoparasitism, immunity and body size. Such asymmetric effects may affect animal interactions in general and those of brood parasites and their hosts in particular. PMID:24078079
Soler, Juan J; De Neve, Liesbeth; Martín-Gálvez, David; Molina-Morales, Mercedes; Pérez-Contreras, Tomás; Ruiz-Rodríguez, Magdalena
Parasitic isopods of Bopyroidea and Cryptoniscoidea (commonly referred to as epicarideans) are unique in using crustaceans as both intermediate and definitive hosts. In total, 795 epicarideans are known, representing ?7.7% of described isopods. The rate of description of parasitic species has not matched that of free-living isopods and this disparity will likely continue due to the more cryptic nature of these parasites. Distribution patterns of epicarideans are influenced by a combination of their definitive (both benthic and pelagic species) and intermediate (pelagic copepod) host distributions, although host specificity is poorly known for most species. Among epicarideans, nearly all species in Bopyroidea are ectoparasitic on decapod hosts. Bopyrids are the most diverse taxon (605 species), with their highest diversity in the North West Pacific (139 species), East Asian Sea (120 species), and Central Indian Ocean (44 species). The diversity patterns of Cryptoniscoidea (99 species, endoparasites of a diverse assemblage of crustacean hosts) are distinct from bopyrids, with the greatest diversity of cryptoniscoids in the North East Atlantic (18 species) followed by the Antarctic, Mediterranean, and Arctic regions (13, 12, and 8 species, respectively). Dajidae (54 species, ectoparasites of shrimp, mysids, and euphausids) exhibits highest diversity in the Antarctic (7 species) with 14 species in the Arctic and North East Atlantic regions combined. Entoniscidae (37 species, endoparasites within anomuran, brachyuran and shrimp hosts) show highest diversity in the North West Pacific (10 species) and North East Atlantic (8 species). Most epicarideans are known from relatively shallow waters, although some bopyrids are known from depths below 4000 m. Lack of parasitic groups in certain geographic areas is likely a sampling artifact and we predict that the Central Indian Ocean and East Asian Sea (in particular, the Indo-Malay-Philippines Archipelago) hold a wealth of undescribed species, reflecting our knowledge of host diversity patterns.
Williams, Jason D.; Boyko, Christopher B.
Antagonistic coevolution between hosts and parasites can result in negative frequency-dependent selection and may thus be an important mechanism maintaining genetic variation in populations. Negative frequency-dependence emerges readily if interactions between hosts and parasites are genotype-specific such that no host genotype is most resistant to all parasite genotypes, and no parasite genotype is most infective on all hosts. Although there is increasing evidence for genotype specificity in interactions between hosts and pathogens or microparasites, the picture is less clear for insect host-parasitoid interactions. Here, we addressed this question in the black bean aphid (Aphis fabae) and its most important parasitoid Lysiphlebus fabarum. Because both antagonists are capable of parthenogenetic reproduction, this system allows for powerful tests of genotype x genotype interactions. Our test consisted of exposing multiple host clones to different parthenogenetic lines of parasitoids in all combinations, and this experiment was repeated with animals from four different sites. All aphids were free of endosymbiotic bacteria known to increase resistance to parasitoids. We observed ample genetic variation for host resistance and parasitoid infectivity, but there was no significant host clone x parasitoid line interaction, and this result was consistent across the four sites. Thus, there is no evidence for genotype specificity in the interaction between A. fabae and L. fabarum, suggesting that the observed variation is based on rather general mechanisms of defence and attack. PMID:20074305
Sandrock, C; Gouskov, A; Vorburger, C
A reduction in the strength of selection is expected to cause the evolution of reduced trait expression. Elimination of a parasite should thus cause the evolution of reduced resistance to that parasite. To test this prediction in nature, we studied the fourth- and eighth-generation descendants of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) introduced into four natural streams following experimental elimination of a common and deleterious parasite (Gyrodactylus spp.). After two generations of laboratory rearing to control for plasticity and maternal effects, we infected individual fish to assess their resistance to the parasite. Contrary to theoretical expectations, the introduced guppy populations had rapidly and repeatably evolved increased resistance to the now-absent parasite. This evolution was not owing to a resistance-tolerance trade-off, nor to differences in productivity among the sites. Instead, a leading candidate hypothesis is that the rapid life-history evolution typical in such introductions pleiotropically increases parasite resistance. Our study adds a new dimension to the growing evidence for contemporary evolution in the wild, and also points to the need for a re-consideration of simple expectations from host-parasite theory. In particular, our results highlight the need for increased consideration of multiple sources of selection and pleiotropy when studying evolution in natural contexts. PMID:24197417
Dargent, Felipe; Scott, Marilyn E; Hendry, Andrew P; Fussmann, Gregor F
The oral microbial flora comprises one of the most diverse human-associated biofilms. Its development is heavily influenced by oral streptococci, which are considered the main group of early colonizers. Their initial attachment determines the composition of later colonizers in the oral biofilm and impacts the health or disease status of the host. Thus, the role of streptococci in the development of oral diseases is best described in the context of bacterial ecology, which itself is further influenced by interactions with host epithelial cells, the immune system, and salivary components. The tractability of the oral biofilm makes it an excellent model system for studies of complex, biofilm-associated polymicrobial diseases. Using this system, numerous cooperative and antagonistic bacterial interactions have been demonstrated to occur within the community and with the host. In this review, several recent identified interactions are presented.
Merritt, Justin; Qi, Fengxia
Recently, several applied studies exploring the use of pathogens for insect biocontrol have demonstrated significant effects of environmental temperature on the outcome of infection. For example, host resistance, host recovery, pathogen virulence and replication can alter considerably with sometimes very small changes in temperature. Moreover, the effectiveness of certain insect parasitoids and the activity of endosymbionts can vary across the
Matthew B. Thomas; Simon Blanford
BACKGROUND: AP65 is a prominent adhesin of Trichomonas vaginalis that mediates binding of parasites to host vaginal epithelial cells (VECs). AP65 with no secretion signal sequence, membrane targeting peptide, and anchoring motif was recently found to be secreted. RESULTS: We first wanted to demonstrate surface association of AP65 to the parasite followed by the identification of the binding epitope interacting
Ana F Garcia; JF Alderete
As natural enemies, parasites can dramatically harm host populations, and even catalyze their decline. Thus, identifying factors that promote disease spread is paramount. Environmental factors can drive epidemics by altering traits involved in disease spread. For example, nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorus) can stimulate reproduction of both hosts and parasites or alter rates of disease transmission by stimulating productivity and nutrition of food resources of hosts. Here, we demonstrate nutrient-trait-epidemic connections between the greatly understudied macronutrient potassium (K) and fungal disease (Metschnikowia bicuspidata) in a zooplankton host (Daphnia dentifera). In a three-year survey, epidemics grew larger in lakes with more potassium. In laboratory assays, potassium enrichment of low-K lake water enhanced both host and parasite reproduction. Parameterized with these data, a model predicted that potassium addition catalyzes disease spread. We confirmed this prediction with an experiment in large mesocosms (6000 L) in a low K-lake: potassium enrichment caused larger epidemics in replicated Daphnia populations. Consequently, the model--data combination mechanistically explained the field pattern and revealed a novel ecological role for the nutrient potassium. Furthermore, our findings highlight the need for further development of theory for nutrient limitation of epidemics. Such theory could help to explain heterogeneous eruptions of disease in space, connect these outbreaks to natural or anthropogenic enrichment of ecosystems, predict the ecological consequences of these outbreaks, and reveal novel strategies for disease management. PMID:23691657
Civitello, David J; Penczykowski, Rachel M; Hite, Jessica L; Duffy, Meghan A; Hall, Spencer R
It is generally accepted that the combination of both Plasmodium falciparum parasite and human host factors is involved in the pathogenesis of complicated severe malaria, including cerebral malaria (CM). Among parasite products, the malarial pigment haemozoin (HZ) has been shown to impair the functions of mononuclear and endothelial cells. Different CM models were associated with enhanced levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), a family of proteolytic enzymes able to disrupt subendothelial basement membrane and tight junctions and shed, activate, or inactivate cytokines, chemokines, and other MMPs through cleavage from their precursors. Among MMPs, a good candidate for targeted therapy might be MMP-9, whose mRNA and protein expression enhancement as well as direct proenzyme activation by HZ have been recently investigated in a series of studies by our group and others. In the present paper the role of HZ and MMP-9 in complicated malaria, as well as their interactions, will be discussed. PMID:21760809
Prato, Mauro; Giribaldi, Giuliana
A vast theoretical literature has explored the evolutionary dynamics of parasite virulence. The classic result from this modelling work is that, assuming a saturating transmission-virulence trade-off, there is a single evolutionary optimum where the parasite optimizes the epidemiological R 0. However, there are an increasing number of models that have shown how ecological and epidemiological feedbacks to evolution can instead result in the creation and maintenance of multiple parasite strains. Here, we fully explore one such example, where recovered hosts have a limited 'immune range' resulting in partial cross-immunity to parasite strains that they have not previously encountered. Taking an adaptive dynamics approach, we show that, provided this immune range is not too wide, high levels of diversity can evolve and be maintained through multiple branching events. We argue that our model provides a more realistic picture of disease dynamics in vertebrate host populations and may be a key explanatory factor in the high levels of parasite diversity seen in natural systems. PMID:24516712
Best, Alex; Hoyle, Andy
\\u000a The facultative egg-pathogenic fungus Paecilomyces lilacinus is the most widely tested biocontrol agent for control of plant parasitic nematodes. The commercial strain 251 (PL251) is\\u000a available in several countries and has demonstrated efficacy in reducing root-knot, cyst and free-living nematodes on a range\\u000a of crops. To better understand the multitrophic interactions between PL251 and host-plants, target nematodes and other soil
In the wild, Bombus spp. bees may contract infections of the trypanosome parasite Crithidia bombi from their nestmates or from others while foraging on contaminated flowers. We expected that as C. bombi is transmitted repeatedly among related workers within a colony, the parasite population would become more successful in this relatively homogeneous host population and less successful in individuals from unrelated colonies of the same or different species. To test our prediction, we serially passaged cocktails of C. bombi strains through workers from the same colony, taking the intensity of infection in related versus unrelated workers as a measure of parasite success at each step in the serial transfer. Using a repeated measures ANOVA, we found the ability of C. bombi to exploit Bombus spp. hosts did not increase within a colony, but did decrease for infections in workers from unrelated colonies. This reduction in success is most likely due to a gradual loss of appropriate C. bombi strains from the infecting the population as the cocktail is ‘filtered’ during the serial passage within a given colony, without a corresponding increase in overall intensity of the surviving strains.
Yourth, Christopher P; Schmid-Hempel, Paul
Genetic variation in plants can influence the community structure of associated species, through both direct and indirect interactions. Herbivorous insects are known to feed on a restricted range of plants, and herbivore preference and performance can vary among host plants within a species due to genetically based traits of the plant (e.g., defensive compounds). In a natural system, we expect to find genetic variation within both plant and herbivore communities and we expect this variation to influence species interactions. Using a three-species plant-aphid model system, we investigated the effect of genetic diversity on genetic interactions among the community members. Our system involved a host plant (Hordeum vulgare) that was shared by an aphid (Sitobion avenae) and a hemi-parasitic plant (Rhinanthus minor). We showed that aphids cluster more tightly in a genetically diverse host-plant community than in a genetic monoculture, with host-plant genetic diversity explaining up to 24% of the variation in aphid distribution. This is driven by differing preferences of the aphids to the different plant genotypes and their resulting performance on these plants. Within the two host-plant diversity levels, aphid spatial distribution was influenced by an interaction among the aphid's own genotype, the genotype of a competing aphid, the origin of the parasitic plant population, and the host-plant genotype. Thus, the overall outcome involves both direct (i.e., host plant to aphid) and indirect (i.e., parasitic plant to aphid) interactions across all these species. These results show that a complex genetic environment influences the distribution of herbivores among host plants. Thus, in genetically diverse systems, interspecific genetic interactions between the host plant and herbivore can influence the population dynamics of the system and could also structure local communities. We suggest that direct and indirect genotypic interactions among species can influence community structure and processes.
Zytynska, Sharon E; Frantz, Laurent; Hurst, Ben; Johnson, Andrew; Preziosi, Richard F; Rowntree, Jennifer K
Simultaneous infection by multiple parasite species (viruses, bacteria, helminths, protozoa or fungi) is commonplace. Most reports show co-infected humans to have worse health than those with single infections. However, we have little understanding of how co-infecting parasites interact within human hosts. We used data from over 300 published studies to construct a network that offers the first broad indications of how groups of co-infecting parasites tend to interact. The network had three levels comprising parasites, the resources they consume and the immune responses they elicit, connected by potential, observed and experimentally proved links. Pairs of parasite species had most potential to interact indirectly through shared resources, rather than through immune responses or other parasites. In addition, the network comprised 10 tightly knit groups, eight of which were associated with particular body parts, and seven of which were dominated by parasite–resource links. Reported co-infection in humans is therefore structured by physical location within the body, with bottom-up, resource-mediated processes most often influencing how, where and which co-infecting parasites interact. The many indirect interactions show how treating an infection could affect other infections in co-infected patients, but the compartmentalized structure of the network will limit how far these indirect effects are likely to spread.
Griffiths, Emily C.; Pedersen, Amy B.; Fenton, Andy; Petchey, Owen L.
Background Many potential hosts of social parasites recognize and reject foreign intruders, and reduce or altogether escape the negative impacts of parasitism. The ontogenetic basis of whether and how avian hosts recognize their own and the brood parasitic eggs remains unclear. By repeatedly parasitizing the same hosts with a consistent parasitic egg type, and contrasting the responses of naďve and older breeders, we studied ontogenetic plasticity in the rejection of foreign eggs by the great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), a host species of the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Results In response to experimental parasitism before the onset of laying, first time breeding hosts showed almost no egg ejection, compared to higher rates of ejection in older breeders. Young birds continued to accept foreign eggs when they were subjected to repeated parasitism, whereas older birds showed even higher ejection rates later in the same laying cycle. Conclusions Our results are consistent with the hypotheses that (i) naďve hosts need to see and learn the appearance of their own eggs to discriminate and reject foreign eggs, whereas (ii) experienced breeders possess a recognition template of their own eggs and reject parasitic eggs even without having to see their own eggs. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that other external cues and internal processes, accumulated simply with increasing age, may also modify age-specific patterns in egg rejection (e.g. more sightings of the cuckoo by older breeders). Future research should specifically track the potential role of learning in responses of individual hosts between first and subsequent breeding attempts by testing whether imprinting on a parasitized clutch reduces the rates of rejecting foreign eggs in subsequent parasitized clutches.
\\u000a Parasitic plants are among the most problematic pests of agricultural crops worldwide. Effective means of control are generally\\u000a lacking, in part because of the close physiological connection between the established parasite and host plant hindering efficient\\u000a control using traditional methods. Seed germination and host location are critical early-growth stages that occur prior to\\u000a host attachment, and provide promising targets for
Justin B. Runyon; John F. Tooker; Mark C. Mescher; Consuelo M. De Moraes
Infected hosts are exposed to many environmental stressors that must be taken into account in order to determine the importance of disease, as various combinations can interact in unpredictable ways. Here, northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) tadpoles, a species in decline, were exposed to stressors singly or in combination. Stressors included infection by Echinostoma trivolvis (a trematode parasite), exposure to predator chemical cues (larval dragonflies), and exposure to varying concentrations of the herbicide atrazine. Parasitism decreased survival only in combination with exposure to 3 microg/L atrazine, with a negative interaction observed for mass as well. Similarly, a negative interaction of parasitism and predation on survival occurred. However, atrazine exposure alone negatively affected the survival, mass, and developmental stage of tadpoles. These results indicate that certain stressor combinations are particularly deleterious for young parasitized tadpoles. Notably, very common low-intensity parasite infection can be particularly harmful in certain situations. Such negative impacts on larval amphibians in certain scenarios may contribute to ongoing amphibian population declines, emphasizing that the combination of environmental stressors must be considered when evaluating the general role of disease in species extinctions. PMID:21265456
Plant parasitic nematodes (PPNs) infest the roots of crops and cause global losses with a severe economic impact on food production. Current chemical control agents are being removed from use due to environmental and toxicity concerns and there is a need for new approaches to crop protection. A key feature of parasitic behaviour for the majority of PPNs is a hollow stomastyle or odontostyle required for interaction with the host plant and feeding. This lance-like microscopic structure, often called a stylet, protrudes from the mouth of the worm and thrusts in a rhythmic manner to stab the host root. Studying stylet activity presents technical challenges and as a consequence the underlying biology is poorly understood. We have addressed this by designing a microfluidic chip which traps the PPN Globodera pallida and permits the recording of an electrophysiological signal concomitant with stylet thrusting. The PDMS chip incorporates a precisely designed aperture to trap the nematode securely around a mid-point of its body. It is fabricated using a novel combination of conventional photolithography and two photon polymerization. The chip incorporates valves for rapid application of test compounds and integral electrodes to facilitate acquisition of electrical signals. We show that stylet thrusting can be induced by controlled application of 5-HT (serotonin) to the worm. Each thrust and retraction produces an electrical waveform that characterises the physiological activity associated with the worm's behaviour. The ability to reproducibly record the stylet activity of PPNs provides a new platform for nematicide screening that specifically focuses on a behaviour that is integral to the parasite host interaction. This is the first report of a microfluidic chip capable of electrophysiological recording from nematodes other than Caenorhabditis elegans. The unique approach is optimised for trapping and recording from smaller worms or worms with distinct anterior body shapes and may be applied to other species of economic or medical importance. PMID:24839944
Hu, Chunxiao; Kearn, James; Urwin, Peter; Lilley, Catherine; O' Connor, Vincent; Holden-Dye, Lindy; Morgan, Hywel
Songbirds can learn both to produce and to discriminate between different classes of acoustic stimuli. Varying levels of auditory discrimination may improve the fitness of individuals in certain ecological and social contexts and, thus, selection is expected to mold the cognitive abilities of different species according to the potential benefits of acoustic processing. Although fine-scale auditory discrimination of conspecific songs and calls has been frequently reported for brood parasitic brown-headed cowbirds ( Molothrus ater), it remains unclear why and how they perceive differently the songs of their many host species. Using habituation-dishabituation paradigms and measuring behavioral and physiological (heart-rate) responses, we found that captive female cowbirds consistently discriminated between songs of two host species, the song sparrow ( Melospiza melodia) and the red-winged blackbird ( Agelaius phoeniceus). Playback experiments with stimuli composed of con-specific followed by heterospecific vocalizations in the field also demonstrated discrimination between these heterospecific songs even though cowbirds were not attracted to playbacks of either host species' songs alone. Our results do not directly support a nest-searching function of heterospecific song discrimination by cowbirds and are most consistent with a function of the parasites' avoidance of attacks by their aggressive hosts. These data demonstrate discrimination between heterospecific vocalizations by brown-headed cowbirds and add a novel dimension to the already expansive auditory perceptual abilities of brood parasitic species and other songbirds. PMID:12357285
Hauber, Mark E; Pearson, Heather E; Reh, Andrea; Merges, Angela
Natural enemies are important ecological and evolutionary forces, and heritable variation in resistance to enemies is a prerequisite for adaptive responses of populations. Such variation in resistance has been previously documented for pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum) attacked by the parasitoid wasp Aphidius ervi. Although the variation was presumed to reflect genotypic differences among the aphids, another potential source of resistance to A. ervi is infection by the facultative bacterial symbiont Hamiltonella defensa. Here, we explored whether variation among symbiont isolates underlies variation among A. pisum clones in resistance to A. ervi. Although maternally transmitted, H. defensa is sometimes horizontally transferred in nature and can be experimentally established in clonal aphid lineages. We established five H. defensa isolates in a common A. pisum genetic background. All of the five isolates tested, including one originating from another aphid species, conferred resistance. Furthermore, isolates varied in levels of resistance conferred, ranging from 19% to nearly 100% resistance. In contrast, a single H. defensa isolate established in five different aphid clones conferred similar levels of resistance; that is, host genotype did not influence resistance level. These results indicate that symbiont-mediated resistance to parasitism is a general phenomenon in A. pisum and that, at least for the isolates and genotypes considered, it is the symbiont isolate that determines the level of resistance, not aphid genotype or any interaction between isolate and genotype. Thus, acquisition of a heritable symbiont appears to be a major mode of adaptation to natural enemy pressure in these insects. PMID:16120675
Oliver, Kerry M; Moran, Nancy A; Hunter, Martha S
Natural enemies are important ecological and evolutionary forces, and heritable variation in resistance to enemies is a prerequisite for adaptive responses of populations. Such variation in resistance has been previously documented for pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum) attacked by the parasitoid wasp Aphidius ervi. Although the variation was presumed to reflect genotypic differences among the aphids, another potential source of resistance to A. ervi is infection by the facultative bacterial symbiont Hamiltonella defensa. Here, we explored whether variation among symbiont isolates underlies variation among A. pisum clones in resistance to A. ervi. Although maternally transmitted, H. defensa is sometimes horizontally transferred in nature and can be experimentally established in clonal aphid lineages. We established five H. defensa isolates in a common A. pisum genetic background. All of the five isolates tested, including one originating from another aphid species, conferred resistance. Furthermore, isolates varied in levels of resistance conferred, ranging from 19% to nearly 100% resistance. In contrast, a single H. defensa isolate established in five different aphid clones conferred similar levels of resistance; that is, host genotype did not influence resistance level. These results indicate that symbiont-mediated resistance to parasitism is a general phenomenon in A. pisum and that, at least for the isolates and genotypes considered, it is the symbiont isolate that determines the level of resistance, not aphid genotype or any interaction between isolate and genotype. Thus, acquisition of a heritable symbiont appears to be a major mode of adaptation to natural enemy pressure in these insects.
Oliver, Kerry M.; Moran, Nancy A.; Hunter, Martha S.
How global warming will affect insect parasitoids and their role as natural enemies of insect pests is difficult to assess within a short period of time. Considering that elevation gradients can be used as analogues for global warming, we carried out meta-analyses of 27 correlations between parasitoid richness and elevation and 140 correlations between parasitism rate and elevation in natural and semi-natural environments. We also explored various covariates that may explain the observed responses. Both parasitism rates and parasitoid species richness significantly decreased with increasing elevation. The decrease was greater for ectoparasitoids and parasitoids of ectophagous insects than for endoparasitoids and parasitoids of endophagous hosts, possibly because these latter are better protected from adverse and extreme climatic conditions occurring at higher elevations. Although our results suggest an increase of parasitism with increasing temperature, other factors regulating herbivorous insects have to be considered before concluding that climate warming will lead to a decrease in pest density. PMID:23760164
Péré, Christelle; Jactel, Hervé; Kenis, Marc
Global climate change is altering the ecology of infectious agents and driving the emergence of disease in people, domestic animals, and wildlife. We present a novel, empirically based, predictive model for the impact of climate warming on development rates and availability of an important parasitic nematode of muskoxen in the Canadian Arctic, a region that is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Using this model, we show that warming in the Arctic may have already radically altered the transmission dynamics of this parasite, escalating infection pressure for muskoxen, and that this trend is expected to continue. This work establishes a foundation for understanding responses to climate change of other host–parasite systems, in the Arctic and globally.
Kutz, S.J; Hoberg, E.P; Polley, L; Jenkins, E.J
Leishmania parasites are the causative agent of leishmaniasis, a neglected tropical disease. An important aspect of Leishmania biology is asymptomatic parasite persistence, which typically occurs after clinical cure. Persistent parasites remain enigmatic despite their importance as reservoirs for transmission, having roles in maintaining protective immunity, and posing the risk of reactivation. I developed methods for assessing parasite replication by BrdU
Background By definition, parasites harm their hosts. However, some forms of parasite-induced alterations increase parasite transmission between hosts, such that manipulated hosts can be considered extensions of the parasite's phenotype. While well accepted in principle, surprisingly few studies have quantified how parasite manipulations alter host performance and survival under field and laboratory conditions. Methodology/Principal Findings By interfering with limb development, the trematode Ribeiroia ondatrae causes particularly severe morphological alterations within amphibian hosts that provide an ideal system to evaluate parasite-induced changes in phenotype. Here, we coupled laboratory performance trials with a capture-mark-recapture study of 1388 Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla) to quantify the effects of parasite-induced malformations on host locomotion, foraging, and survival. Malformations, which affected ?50% of metamorphosing frogs in nature, caused dramatic reductions in all measures of organismal function. Malformed frogs exhibited significantly shorter jumping distances (41% reduction), slower swimming speeds (37% reduction), reduced endurance (66% reduction), and lower foraging success relative to infected hosts without malformations. Furthermore, while normal and malformed individuals had comparable survival within predator-free exclosures, deformed frogs in natural populations had 22% lower biweekly survival than normal frogs and rarely recruited to the adult population over a two-year period. Conclusions/Significance Our results highlight the ability of parasites to deeply alter multiple dimensions of host phenotype with important consequences for performance and survival. These patterns were best explained by malformation status, rather than infection per se, helping to decouple the direct and indirect effects of parasitism on host fitness.
Goodman, Brett A.; Johnson, Pieter T. J.
Projected increases in wildfire and other climate-driven disturbances will affect populations and communities worldwide, including host-parasite relationships. Research in temperate forests has shown that wildfire can negatively affect amphibians, but this research has occurred primarily outside of managed landscapes where interactions with human disturbances could result in additive or synergistic effects. Furthermore, parasites represent a large component of biodiversity and can affect host fitness and population dynamics, yet they are rarely included in studies of how vertebrate hosts respond to disturbance. To determine how wildfire affects amphibians and their parasites, and whether effects differ between protected and managed landscapes, we compared abundance of two amphibians and two nematodes relative to wildfire extent and severity around wetlands in neighboring protected and managed forests (Montana, USA). Population sizes of adult, male long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) decreased with increased burn severity, with stronger negative effects on isolated populations and in managed forests. In contrast, breeding population sizes of Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) increased with burn extent in both protected and managed protected forests. Path analysis showed that the effects of wildfire on the two species of nematodes were consistent with differences in their life history and transmission strategies and the responses of their hosts. Burn severity indirectly reduced abundance of soil-transmitted Cosmocercoides variabilis through reductions in salamander abundance. Burn severity also directly reduced C. variabilis abundance, possibly though changes in soil conditions. For the aquatically transmitted nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis, the positive effect of burn extent on density of Columbia spotted frog larvae indirectly increased parasite abundance. Our results show that effects of wildfire on amphibians depend upon burn extent and severity, isolation, and prior land use. Through subsequent effects on the parasites, our results also reveal how changes in disturbance regimes can affect communities across trophic levels. PMID:23634596
Hossack, Blake R; Lowe, Winsor H; Honeycutt, R Ken; Parks, Sean A; Corn, Paul Stephen
A total of 237 rodents was collected in 4 regions of South Carolina from July 1994 through December 1995. Eight species were collected, including cotton mouse, hispid cotton rat, eastern woodrat, marsh rice rat, white-footed mouse, eastern harvest mouse, golden mouse, and black rat. Of the 1,514 ticks recovered from these hosts, Ixodes minor Neumann, including larvae, nymphs, and adults, was the most abundant species, representing 54% of the total. Only immature stages of other tick species were found, including larvae and nymphs of Dermacentor variabilis (Say), Amblyomma maculatum Koch, Ixodes affinis Neumann, and Ixodes scapularis Say. All 5 tick species parasitized cotton mice, cotton rats, and woodrats, which were the most important small mammal hosts for ticks at the localities studied. Rice rats were hosts of A. maculatum, D. variabilis, and L. minor. Amblyomma maculatum was more strongly associated with cotton rats than other rodent species. Ixodes scapularis was most strongly associated with cotton mice, and I. minor was more strongly associated with both woodrats and cotton mice than other species of rodents. Ixodes minor parasitized hosts in the Coastal Zone only, where among spirochete-infected hosts, it was present in significantly greater numbers than other ticks. Furthermore, I. minor was the only tick species that showed a statistically significant positive association with spirochetal infection in rodents. More I. affinis parasitized spirochete-infected hosts than I. scapularis, but fewer than I. minor. The findings discussed herein provide evidence that implicates I. minor as the possible primary enzootic vector of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt and Brenner in the Coastal Zone of South Carolina. They also indicate that the high level of B. burgdorferi infection in rodents from this region may be a function of the combined involvement of I. minor, I. affinis, and I. scapularis in the enzootic transmission of the spirochete. PMID:11780825
Clark, K L; Oliver, J H; Grego, J M; James, A M; Durden, L A; Banks, C W
The host pathogen interaction is strikingly complex during HIV infection. While several immune effector mechanisms (i.e., cytotoxic T cells, neutralizing antibodies, NK cells, etc) can play a strong antiviral role in vivo, the virus is remarkably able to evade these responses. In addition, the virus preferentially infects and kills activated memory CD4+ T cells, thus exploiting the host antiviral immune response as a source of new cellular targets for infection. Recent advances in understanding (i) how HIV perturbs the host immune system, (ii) how the immune system fights HIV; and (iii) how HIV disease persists when virus replication is suppressed by antiretroviral drugs may hopefully lead to better prevention and treatment strategies for this deadly viral infection.
Chowdhury, Ankita; Silvestri, Guido
Within mixed-genotype infections of malaria parasites (Plasmodium), the number of genetic clones present is associated with variation in important life history traits of the infection, including virulence. Although the number of clones present is important, how the proportion of those clones varies over time is poorly known. Clonal proportions of the lizard malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, were assessed in naturally infected free-ranging lizards followed in a mark-recapture program over as long as two warm seasons, the typical life span of the lizard. Clonal proportions were determined by amplifying two microsatellite markers, a method previously verified for accuracy. Most blood samples had been stored for over a decade, so a verification test determined that these samples had not degraded. Although the environment experienced by the parasite (its host) varies over the seasons and transmission occurs over the entire warm season, 68 % of infections were stable over time, harboring a single clone (37 % of infections) or multiple clones changing only 1-12 % maximum comparing any two samples (31 % of infections). The maximum change seen in any infection (comparing any two sample periods) was only 30 %. A new clone entered three infections (only once successfully), and a clone was lost in only three infections. These results mirror those seen for a previous study of experimentally induced infections that showed little change in relative proportions over time. The results of this study, the first look at how clonal proportions vary over time for any malaria parasite of a nonhuman vertebrate host for natural infections, were surprising because experimental studies show clones of P. mexicanum appear to interact, yet relative proportions of clones typically remain constant over time. PMID:24647987
Hicks, Nathan D; Schall, Jos J
Cooperative behaviors are common among social insects such as bees, wasps, ants, and termites, but they have not been reported from insect species that use aggressive mimicry to manipulate and exploit prey or hosts. Here we show that larval aggregations of the blister beetle Meloe franciscanus, which parasitize nests of the solitary bee Habropoda pallida, cooperate to exploit the sexual communication system of their hosts by producing a chemical cue that mimics the sex pheromone of the female bee. Male bees are lured to larval aggregations, and upon contact (pseudocopulation) the beetle larvae attach to the male bees. The larvae transfer to female bees during mating and subsequently are transported to the nests of their hosts. To mimic the chemical and visual signals of female bees effectively, the parasite larvae must cooperate, emphasizing the adaptive value of cooperation between larvae. The aggressive chemical mimicry by the beetle larvae and their subsequent transport to their hosts' nests by the hosts themselves provide an efficient solution to the problem of locating a critical but scarce resource in a harsh environment.
Saul-Gershenz, Leslie S.; Millar, Jocelyn G.
Explanations for the evolution of pathogen-induced fecundity reduction usually rely on a common principle: the trade-off between host longevity and reproduction. Recent advances in nutritional research have, however, challenged this assumption and shown that longevity and reproduction are not inextricably linked. In this study, we showed that beetles infected by cysticercoids of the tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta increased their total food intake and, more particularly, their carbohydrate consumption compared with uninfected insects. This increased intake was only pronounced during the first 12 days p.i., when the parasite grows and develops into a mature metacestode. Despite consuming more nutrients, infected individuals sustained lower levels of body lipid and were less efficient at converting ingested protein to body protein. However they demonstrated a capacity to compose a diet that sustained high levels of reproductive output unless confined to foods that were nutritionally dilute. We did not find any indication that macronutrient intakes had an effect on host pro-phenoloxidase activity; however, phenoloxidase activity was significantly affected by protein intake. Our results showed that when offered nutritionally complementary diets, infected hosts do not systematically suffer a reduction in fecundity. Thus, in our view, the assumption that a reduction in host reproduction represents an adaptive response by the host or the parasite to divert resources away from reproduction toward other traits should be reassessed. PMID:20691186
Ponton, Fleur; Lalubin, Fabrice; Fromont, Caroline; Wilson, Kenneth; Behm, Carolyn; Simpson, Stephen J
Lygus Hahn plant bugs (Hemiptera: Miridae) are serious pests of a wide variety of economically important crops in North America. European Peristenus digoneutis Loan and P. relictus Ruthe (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) are being considered for release in Canada as part of a classical biological control program for Lygus. The attractiveness of different host plants to European Peristenus has not been addressed, but may be an important consideration prior to parasitoid release. Lygus rugulipennis Poppius nymphs were collected in the Northern Temperate Atlantic (NTA) ecoregion on red clover (Trifolium pratense L.; Fabaceae) and chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.; Asteraceae), and in the Western European Broadleaf Forest (WEBF) ecoregion on red clover and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.; Fabaceae). Parasitism levels and parasitoid species were determined using a multiplex PCR assay for P. digoneutis, P. relictus, and P. pallipes Curtis. Mean parasitism levels in L. rugulipennis were 45-49% in the NTA ecoregion and 25-32% in the WEBF ecoregion. However, in neither ecoregion were parasitism levels and parasitoid species compositions significantly different in nymphs from different host plant species. Furthermore, multiparasitism was low despite the fact that P. digoneutis and P. relictus share the same host species. PMID:18439339
Gariepy, T D; Kuhlmann, U; Gillott, C; Erlandson, M
There is growing concern about the threats facing many pollinator populations. Emergent diseases are one of the major threats to biodiversity and a microsporidian parasite, Nosema ceranae, has recently jumped host from the Asian to the Western honeybee, spreading rapidly worldwide, and contributing to dramatic colony losses. Bumblebees are ecologically and economically important pollinators of conservation concern, which are likely exposed to N. ceranae by sharing flowers with honeybees. Whilst a further intergeneric jump by N. ceranae to infect bumblebees would be potentially serious, its capacity to do this is unknown. Here we investigate the prevalence of N. ceranae in wild bumblebees in the UK and determine the infectivity of the parasite under controlled conditions. We found N. ceranae in all seven wild bumblebee species sampled, and at multiple sites, with many of the bees having spores from this parasite in their guts. When we fed N. ceranae spores to bumblebees under controlled conditions, we confirmed that the parasite can infect bumblebees. Infections spread from the midgut to other tissues, reduced bumblebee survival by 48% and had sub-lethal effects on behaviour. Although spore production appeared lower in bumblebees than in honeybees, virulence was greater. The parasite N. ceranae therefore represents a real and emerging threat to bumblebees, with the potential to have devastating consequences for their already vulnerable populations. PMID:23816821
Graystock, Peter; Yates, Kathryn; Darvill, Ben; Goulson, Dave; Hughes, William O H
The rapid increase in body size and abundance of most species inside Management and Exploitations Areas for Benthic Resources (MEABRs) has led to the proposal of these areas as a good complement for achieving the conservation objectives of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). However, when evaluating MEABRs and MPAs as conservation and/or management tools, their impact upon parasite populations has rarely been considered, despite the fact that epidemiological theory suggests an increased susceptibility to parasitism under high population abundance. We evaluated the effects of MEABRs on the parasite abundance of Proctoeces lintoni and its impact on the growth of the host limpet Fissurella crassa in central Chile. Parasitic magnitude was higher inside MEABRs than in Open-Access Areas, and parasitized limpets showed a greater shell length, muscular foot biomass, and gonadosomatic index compared to non-parasitized limpets of the same age. Our results suggest that the life cycle of P. lintoni and, consequently, its trophic links have been strengthened inside MEABRs. The increased growth rate could reduce the time required to reach the minimum catch size and increase the reproductive and muscular output of the host population. Thus, parasitism should be considered in the conservation and management of economically important mollusk hosts. PMID:24142461
Aldana, Marcela; Pulgar, José M; Orellana, Nathalie; Patricio Ojeda, F; García-Huidobro, M Roberto
Infestation by parasitic Psoroptes mites (Acari: Psoroptidae) is an important cause of economic loss and welfare problems in livestock in many areas of the world. At least five species within this genus have been recognized, based on the host infested, the infestation site and differences in length of the opisthosomal setae of adult male mites. Here the integrity of these species is considered by subjecting populations of mites from a range of host species and geographical locations to simultaneous morphological and molecular genetic analyses. Morphological analysis showed that there were significant differences in shape and size between mite populations from different hosts, and that length of the outer opisthosomal setae in males and the homologous seta in females were the most important distinguishing character in adults. However, considerable variation in outer opisthosomal seta length was evident within and between populations of mites, and differences were not clearly related to host-species or geographical origin and did not support the accepted species differences. Molecular characterization using sequence data from the mitochondrial second internal transcribed spacer (ITS-2) region and microsatellite markers found little or no consistent host-related variation between the mite population samples. The results suggest that there is no case for considering the Psoroptes mites from the different hosts examined as separate species and that the morphological variation observed therefore may represent phenotypic adaptation to the local microenvironment on particular species of host. PMID:16336304
Pegler, K R; Evans, L; Stevens, J R; Wall, R
Recent advances in research on parasitic fungi and their molecular and cellular interactions with the insect immune system have led to new insights into the complex relationships and mechanisms involved in fungal pathogenesis. This review focuses on molecules which mediate virulence of the producing fungi (fungal proteases and toxins) and on molecules contributing to the antifungal humoral immune responses of
Andreas Vilcinskas; Peter Götz
Background Tropical diseases caused by parasites continue to cause socioeconomic devastation that reverberates worldwide. There is a growing need for new control measures for many of these diseases due to increasing drug resistance exhibited by the parasites and problems with drug toxicity. One new approach is to apply host defense peptides (HDP; formerly called antimicrobial peptides) to disease control, either to treat infected hosts, or to prevent disease transmission by interfering with parasites in their insect vectors. A potent anti-parasite effector is bovine myeloid antimicrobial peptide-27 (BMAP-27), a member of the cathelicidin family. Although BMAP-27 is a potent inhibitor of microbial growth, at higher concentrations it also exhibits cytotoxicity to mammalian cells. We tested the anti-parasite activity of BMAP-18, a truncated peptide that lacks the hydrophobic C-terminal sequence of the BMAP-27 parent molecule, an alteration that confers reduced toxicity to mammalian cells. Methodology/Principal Findings BMAP-18 showed strong growth inhibitory activity against several species and life cycle stages of African trypanosomes, fish trypanosomes and Leishmania parasites in vitro. When compared to native BMAP-27, the truncated BMAP-18 peptide showed reduced cytotoxicity on a wide variety of mammalian and insect cells and on Sodalis glossindius, a bacterial symbiont of the tsetse vector. The fluorescent stain rhodamine 123 was used in immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry experiments to show that BMAP-18 at low concentrations rapidly disrupted mitochondrial potential without obvious alteration of parasite plasma membranes, thus inducing death by apoptosis. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that higher concentrations of BMAP-18 induced membrane lesions in the parasites as early as 15 minutes after exposure, thus killing them by necrosis. In addition to direct killing of parasites, BMAP-18 was shown to inhibit LPS-induced secretion of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?), a cytokine that is associated with inflammation and cachexia (wasting) in sleeping sickness patients. As a prelude to in vivo applications, high affinity antibodies to BMAP-18 were produced in rabbits and used in immuno-mass spectrometry assays to detect the intact peptide in human blood and plasma. Conclusions/Significance BMAP-18, a truncated form of the potent antimicrobial BMAP-27, showed low toxicity to mammalian cells, insect cells and the tsetse bacterial symbiont Sodalis glossinidius while retaining an ability to kill a variety of species and life cycle stages of pathogenic kinetoplastid parasites in vitro. BMAP-18 also inhibited secretion of TNF-?, an inflammatory cytokine that plays a role in the cachexia associated with African sleeping sickness. These findings support the idea that BMAP-18 should be explored as a candidate for therapy of economically important trypanosome-infected hosts, such as cattle, fish and humans, and for paratransgenic expression in Sodalis glossinidius, a bacterial symbiont in the tsetse vector, as a strategy for interference with trypanosome transmission.
Haines, Lee R.; Thomas, Jamie M.; Jackson, Angela M.; Eyford, Brett A.; Razavi, Morteza; Watson, Cristalle N.; Gowen, Brent; Hancock, Robert E. W.; Pearson, Terry W.
Parasitic bacteria of the genus Pasteuria are reported for three Anaplectus and four identified and several unidentified Plectus species found in eight countries in various habitats. The pasteurias from plectids agree in essential morphological characters of sporangia and endospores as well as in developmental cycle with those of the Pasteuria species and strains described from tylenchid nematodes, but appear to be mainly distinguished from these by absence of a distinct perisporium in the spores and the endospores obviously not being cup- or saucer-shaped. The wide range of measurements and morphological peculiarities of sporangia and endospores suggest that probably several Pasteuria species have to be distinguished as parasites in Plectidae. From an infected juvenile of an unidentified plectid species the 16S rRNA gene sequence of Pasteuria sp. was obtained. Substantial sequence divergence from described Pasteuria species and its phylogenetic position on molecular trees indicate that this Pasteuria sp. could be considered as a new species. Preliminary results of the analysis of DNA phylogeny of Pasteuria spp. and their nematode hosts provide evidence for incongruence of their phylogenetic history and of host switching events during evolution of the bacterial parasites. PMID:15707865
Sturhan, Dieter; Shutova, Tatyana S; Akimov, Vladimir N; Subbotin, Sergei A
Many trematode groups have a long history of systematic revision, which can make parasite identification a difficult task. The trematode parasites of muskrats are no exception. Here, we highlight the systematic issues associated with trematodes of muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus). Then, we demonstrate the utility of using both morphological and molecular tools to identify these parasites. Morphological examinations of specimens from muskrats (n = 63) first suggested that at least 4 genera were present including Echinostoma, Wardius, Quinqueserialis, and Notocotylus. For the latter 3 groups, the 28S region verified this assessment. For echinostomes, ND1 sequences revealed at least 5 genetic lineages. A particular lineage, Echinostoma trivolvis lineage b, predominated in both prevalence and intensity of infection. Molecular sequences provided a more accurate estimate of echinostome diversity in the muskrats and further support the idea that E. trivolvis is a species complex. Future studies will focus on whether there are differences in host specificity among the E. trivolvis lineages. In addition, this study has provided initial sequences that will help verify the life cycles of Wardius, Quinqueserialis, and especially, Notocotylus. By linking molecular, morphological, and life history information, we can better understand parasite diversity. PMID:22694483
Detwiler, Jillian T; Zajac, Anne M; Minchella, Dennis J; Belden, Lisa K
Wildlife reintroductions select or treat individuals for good health with the expectation that these individuals will fare better than infected animals. However, these individuals, new to their environment, may also be particularly susceptible to circulating infections and this may result in high morbidity and mortality, potentially jeopardizing the goals of recovery. Here, using the reintroduction of the grey wolf (Canis lupus) into Yellowstone National Park as a case study, we address the question of how parasites invade a reintroduced population and consider the impact of these invasions on population performance. We find that several viral parasites rapidly invaded the population inside the park, likely via spillover from resident canid species, and we contrast these with the slower invasion of sarcoptic mange, caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. The spatio-temporal patterns of mange invasion were largely consistent with patterns of host connectivity and density, and we demonstrate that the area of highest resource quality, supporting the greatest density of wolves, is also the region that appears most susceptible to repeated disease invasion and parasite-induced declines. The success of wolf reintroduction appears not to have been jeopardized by infectious disease, but now shows signs of regulation or limitation modulated by parasites.
Almberg, Emily S.; Cross, Paul C.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Smith, Douglas W.; Hudson, Peter J.
The study of how parasites adapt to new hosts is of great importance for understanding the emergence of new diseases. Here, we report a study of the anther smut disease on Gypsophila repens (Caryophyllaceae). In contrast to what is usually found on other host species, infected natural populations of G. repens are extremely rare. Moreover, symptoms of diseased plants are incomplete and highly variable over the time. These results suggest that the fungus infecting G. repens is a case of a parasite not capable of exploiting its host optimally. Molecular analyses of Microbotryum violaceum strains infecting this and other Caryophyllaceae revealed that this sub-optimal behaviour probably resulted from a recent host shift from the morphologically similar plant Petrorhagia saxifraga. With its exceptionally low virulence and prevalence, but apparent self-sustainability, the disease on G. repens may thus represent an interesting case study for investigating the conditions leading to adaptation of parasites on new hosts. PMID:16135124
López-Villavicencio, M; Enjalbert, J; Hood, M E; Shykoff, J A; Raquin, C; Giraud, T
Macroparasites are commonly aggregated on a small subset of a host population. Previous explanations for this aggregation relate to differences in immunocompetence or the degree to which hosts encounter parasites. We propose active tick host choice through chemical attraction as a potential mechanism leading to aggregated tick burdens. We test this hypothesis using a Y-maze olfactometer, comparing chemical attraction responses of larval and nymphal Dermacentor variabilis ticks parasitic to the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus, as a function of host sex and host body mass. We hypothesized that larger hosts and male hosts would be most attractive to searching ticks, as these hosts commonly have higher tick burdens in the field. Chemical attraction trials were run in the presence and absence of a known tick attractant, host-produced carbon dioxide (CO2). Male hosts and larger hosts were preferred by nymphal D. variabilis in the presence and absence of CO2, whereas larvae had no detectable host preference. The current study suggests that host-produced chemical cues may promote aggregated tick burdens among hosts of a single species based on host body mass and sex. PMID:23543274
Dallas, Tad; Foré, Stephanie
1. Environmental heterogeneity can produce effects that cascade up to higher trophic levels and affect species interactions. We hypothesized that grazing-dependent habitat heterogeneity and grazing-independent host plant heterogeneity would influence directly and indirectly a host-parasitoid interaction in a woodland habitat. 2. Thistles were planted randomly in 20 birch woodlands, half of which are grazed by cattle. The abundances of two species of seed herbivore and their shared parasitoid were measured, and related to habitat and host-plant heterogeneity. 3. The presence of cattle grazing created a structurally and compositionally distinct plant assemblage from the ungrazed seminatural situation. Grazing did not affect the number or dispersion of the host plant underpinning the host-parasitoid interaction. 4. The density of one insect herbivore, Tephritis conura, and its parasitoid Pteromalus elevatus was significantly increased by the presence of cattle; but another herbivore, Xyphosia miliaria, was unaffected. The percentage of parasitism of T. conura was increased in grazed habitat occurring at twice the rate found in ungrazed habitat. 5. The increase in T. conura abundance was correlated with increased species richness and cover of forbs in grazed sites. This effect of grazing-dependent habitat variation on host insect density cascaded up to parasitoid density and percentage of parasitism. Habitat heterogeneity had a further direct, positive effect on parasitoid density and percentage of parasitism after controlling for host-insect density. 6. Independent of grazing, heterogeneity in host-plant flowering, architecture and stature further affected T. conura and its parasitoid's densities. Parasitoid density was also affected by the dispersion of the host plant. 7. A combination of habitat and host-plant scale environmental heterogeneity influenced a host-parasitoid interaction indirectly and directly, providing a rare example of an anthropogenic disturbance positively affecting a tertiary trophic level. This finding highlights the need to consider not only the importance of bottom-up effects for top-down processes, but also the role of environmental heterogeneity arising from anthropogenic disturbance for trophic interactions such as parasitism. PMID:16689961
Vanbergen, A J; Hails, R S; Watt, A D; Jones, T H
Infectious diseases threaten the health and survival of wildlife populations. Consequently, relationships between host diversity, host abundance, and parasite infection are important aspects of disease ecology and conservation research. Here, we report on the prevalence patterns of avian Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infections and host relative abundance influence based on sampling 728 wild-caught birds representing 124 species at seven geographically widespread sites in southern China. The overall prevalence of two haemoprotozoan parasites, Plasmodium and Haemoproteus, was 29.5%, with 22.0% attributable to Haemoproteus and 7.8% to Plasmodium. Haemoproteus prevalence differed significantly among different avian host families, with the highest prevalence in Nectariniidae, Pycnonotidae and Muscicapidae, whereas Plasmodium prevalence varied significantly among host species. Seventy-nine mitochondrial lineages including 25 from Plasmodium and 54 from Haemoproteus were identified, 80% of which were described here for the first time. The phylogenetic relationships among these parasites indicated stronger host-species specificity for Haemoproteus than Plasmodium. Well-supported host-family (Timaliidae) specific clades were found in both Plasmodium and Haemoproteus. The Haemoproteus tree shows regional subclades, whereas the Plasmodium clades are “scattered” among different geographical regions. Interestingly, there were statistically significant variations in the prevalence of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus among the geographical regions. Furthermore, the prevalence of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus were not significantly correlated with host relative abundance. Further efforts will focus on exploring the relationships between parasite prevalence and sex, age, and immune defense of the host.
Zhang, Yanhua; Wu, Yuchun; Zhang, Qiang; Su, Dongdong; Zou, Fasheng
A total of 443 bat flies belonging to the families Nycteribiidae and Strelidae, were collected on 22 species of bats (Molossidae, Phyllostomidae, and Vespertilionidae) from Parque Estadual da Cantareira (Săo Paulo, Brazil), between January, 2000 and January, 2001. Eighteen new occurrences of bat flies were recorded on Anoura geoffroyi (Anastrebla caudiferae), Glossophaga soricina (A. caudiferae), Sturnira lilium (Trichobius phyllostomae, T. furmani, and Paraeuctenodes similis), Artibeus lituratus (A. caudiferae), A. fimbriatus (Megistopoda proxima), A. obscurus (Metelasmus pseudopterus), Myotis nigricans (M. proxima, M. aranea, Paratrichobius longicrus), M. ruber (Anatrichobius passosi, Joblingia sp.), M. levis (A. passosi), M. albescens (A. passosi, Basilia andersoni), and Histiotus velatus (M. aranea). Seven new occurrences were recorded for the state of Săo Paulo, increasing the range for T. tiptoni, T. furmani, M. proxima, Aspidoptera falcata, A. caudiferae, A. modestini and B. andersoni. The relationships between parasitism and host sex, reproductive stage, age hyperparasitism by fungi are discussed. PMID:15867959
Bertola, Patrícia Beloto; Aires, Caroline Cotrim; Favorito, Sandra Elisa; Graciolli, Gustavo; Amaku, Marcos; Pinto-da-Rocha, Ricardo
Schistosomiasis remains a serious public health problem with an estimated 200 million people infected in 76 countries. Here we isolated ~ 8,400 potential protein-encoding cDNA contigs from Schistosoma japonicum after sequencing circa 84,000 expressed sequence tags. In tandem, we undertook a high-throughput proteomics approach to characterize the protein expression profiles of a number of developmental stages (cercariae, hepatic schistosomula, female and male adults, eggs, and miracidia) and tissues at the host-parasite interface (eggshell and tegument) by interrogating the protein database deduced from the contigs. Comparative analysis of these transcriptomic and proteomic data, the latter including 3,260 proteins with putative identities, revealed differential expression of genes among the various developmental stages and sexes of S. japonicum and localization of putative secretory and membrane antigens, enzymes, and other gene products on the adult tegument and eggshell, many of which displayed genetic polymorphisms. Numerous S. japonicum genes exhibited high levels of identity with those of their mammalian hosts, whereas many others appeared to be conserved only across the genus Schistosoma or Phylum Platyhelminthes. These findings are expected to provide new insights into the pathophysiology of schistosomiasis and for the development of improved interventions for disease control and will facilitate a more fundamental understanding of schistosome biology, evolution, and the host-parasite interplay.
Wang, Sheng-Yue; Cui, Shu-Jian; Chi, Ming; Yan, Qing; Wang, Xin-Rong; Song, Huai-Dong; Xu, Xue-Nian; Wang, Ju-Jun; Zhang, Xiang-Lin; Zhang, Xin; Wang, Zhi-Qin; Xue, Chun-Liang; Brindley, Paul J; McManus, Donald P; Yang, Peng-Yuan; Feng, Zheng; Chen, Zhu; Han, Ze-Guang
Gametocyte sex ratio of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum is variable in its host, the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), both among infections and within infections over time. We sought to determine the effect of host physiological quality on the gametocyte sex ratio in experimentally induced infections of P. mexicanum. Adult male lizards were assigned to 4 treatment groups: castrated, castrated + testosterone implant, sham implant, and unmanipulated control. No significant difference in gametocyte sex ratio was found among the 4 treatment groups. Two other analyses were performed. A surgery stress analysis compared infection sex ratio of castrated, castrated + testosterone implant, and sham implant groups with the unmanipulated control group. A testosterone alteration analysis compared infection sex ratio of the castrated and castrated + testosterone implant groups with the sham implant and unmanipulated control groups. Again, no significant difference was observed for these 2 comparisons. Thus, physiological changes expected for experimentally induced variation in host testosterone and the stress of surgery were not associated with any change in the gametocyte sex ratio. Also, theex-periment suggests testosterone is not a cue for shaping the sex ratio of gametocytes in P. mexicanum. These results are related to the evolutionary theory of sex ratios as applied to malaria parasites. PMID:12659329
Osgood, Sarah M; Eisen, Rebecca J; Wargo, Andrew R; Schall, Jos J
Intracellular parasites reprogram host functions for their survival and reproduction. The extent and relevance of parasite-mediated host responses in vivo remains poorly studied, however. We utilized Eimeria falciformis, a parasite infecting the mouse intestinal epithelium, to identify and validate host determinants of parasite infection. Most prominent mouse genes induced during the onset of asexual and sexual growth of parasite comprise interferon ? (IFN?)-regulated factors, e.g., immunity-related GTPases (IRGA6/B6/D/M2/M3), guanylate-binding proteins (GBP2/3/5/6/8), chemokines (CxCL9-11), and several enzymes of the kynurenine pathway including indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1). These results indicated a multifarious innate defense (tryptophan catabolism, IRG, GBP, and chemokine signaling), and a consequential adaptive immune response (chemokine-cytokine signaling and lymphocyte recruitment). The inflammation- and immunity-associated transcripts were increased during the course of infection, following influx of B cells, T cells, and macrophages to the parasitized caecum tissue. Consistently, parasite growth was enhanced in animals inhibited for CxCr3, a major receptor for CxCL9-11 present on immune cells. Interestingly, despite a prominent induction, mouse IRGB6 failed to bind and disrupt the parasitophorous vacuole, implying an immune evasion by E. falciformis. Furthermore, oocyst output was impaired in IFN?-R(-/-) and IDO1(-/-) mice, both of which suggest a subversion of IFN? signaling by the parasite to promote its growth. PMID:24368565
Schmid, Manuela; Heitlinger, Emanuel; Spork, Simone; Mollenkopf, Hans-Joachim; Lucius, Richard; Gupta, Nishith
Nematomorph parasites manipulate crickets to enter streams where the parasites reproduce. These manipulated crickets become a substantial food subsidy for stream fishes. We used a field experiment to investigate how this subsidy affects the stream community and ecosystem function. When crickets were available, predatory fish ate fewer benthic invertebrates. The resulting release of the benthic invertebrate community from fish predation indirectly decreased the biomass of benthic algae and slightly increased leaf break-down rate. This is the first experimental demonstration that host manipulation by a parasite can reorganise a community and alter ecosystem function. Nematomorphs are common, and many other parasites have dramatic effects on host phenotypes, suggesting that similar effects of parasites on ecosystems might be widespread. PMID:22583960
Sato, Takuya; Egusa, Tomohiro; Fukushima, Keitaro; Oda, Tomoki; Ohte, Nobuhito; Tokuchi, Naoko; Watanabe, Katsutoshi; Kanaiwa, Minoru; Murakami, Isaya; Lafferty, Kevin D
Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) is a phloem-limited virus whose natural host range is restricted to citrus and related species. Although the virus has killed millions of trees, almost destroying whole industries, and continually limits production in many citrus growing areas, most isolates are mild or symptomless in most of their host range. There is little understanding of how the virus causes severe disease in some citrus and none in others. Movement and distribution of CTV differs considerably from that of well-studied viruses of herbaceous plants where movement occurs largely through adjacent cells. In contrast, CTV systemically infects plants mainly by long-distance movement with only limited cell-to-cell movement. The virus is transported through sieve elements and occasionally enters an adjacent companion or phloem parenchyma cell where virus replication occurs. In some plants this is followed by cell-to-cell movement into only a small cluster of adjacent cells, while in others there is no cell-to-cell movement. Different proportions of cells adjacent to sieve elements become infected in different plant species. This appears to be related to how well viral gene products interact with specific hosts. CTV has three genes (p33, p18, and p13) that are not necessary for infection of most of its hosts, but are needed in different combinations for infection of certain citrus species. These genes apparently were acquired by the virus to extend its host range. Some specific viral gene products have been implicated in symptom induction. Remarkably, the deletion of these genes from the virus genome can induce large increases in stem pitting (SP) symptoms. The p23 gene, which is a suppressor of RNA silencing and a regulator of viral RNA synthesis, has been shown to be the cause of seedling yellows (SY) symptoms in sour orange. Most isolates of CTV in nature are populations of different strains of CTV. The next frontier of CTV biology is the understanding how the virus variants in those mixtures interact with each other and cause diseases.
Dawson, W. O.; Garnsey, S. M.; Tatineni, S.; Folimonova, S. Y.; Harper, S. J.; Gowda, S.
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that is able to infect virtually any nucleated cell of all warm-blooded animals. The host cell factors important for parasite attachment, invasion, and replication are poorly understood. We screened a siRNA library targeting 18,200 individual human genes in order to identify host proteins with a role in T. gondii growth. Our screen identified 19 genes whose inhibition by siRNA consistently and significantly lowered parasite replication. The gene ontology categories for those 19 genes represented a wide variety of functions with several genes implicated in regulation of the cell cycle, ion channels and receptors, G-protein coupled receptors, and cytoskeletal structure as well as genes involved in transcription, translation and protein degradation. Further investigation of 5 of the 19 genes demonstrated that the primary reason for the reduction in parasite growth was death of the host cell. Our results suggest that once T. gondii has invaded and established an infection, global changes in the host cell may be necessary to reduce parasite replication. While siRNA screens have been used, albeit rarely, in other parasite systems, this is the first report to describe a high-throughput siRNA screen for host proteins that affect T. gondii replication.
Moser, Lindsey A.; Pollard, Angela M.; Knoll, Laura J.
Following the bite of an infective mosquito, malaria parasites first invade the liver where they develop and replicate for a number of days before being released into the bloodstream where they invade red blood cells and cause disease. The biology of the liver stages of malaria parasites is relatively poorly understood due to the inaccessibility of the parasites to sampling during this phase of their life cycle. Here we report the detection in blood and faecal samples of malaria parasite DNA throughout their development in the livers of mice and before the parasites begin their growth in the blood circulation. It is shown that parasite DNA derived from pre-erythrocytic stage parasites reaches the faeces via the bile. We then show that different primate malaria species can be detected by PCR in blood and faecal samples from naturally infected captive macaque monkeys. These results demonstrate that pre-erythrocytic parasites can be detected and quantified in experimentally infected animals. Furthermore, these results have important implications for both molecular epidemiology and phylogenetics of malaria parasites. In the former case, individuals who are malaria parasite negative by microscopy, but PCR positive for parasite DNA in their blood, are considered to be "sub-microscopic" blood stage parasite carriers. We now propose that PCR positivity is not necessarily an indicator of the presence of blood stage parasites, as the DNA could derive from pre-erythrocytic parasites. Similarly, in the case of molecular phylogenetics based on DNA sequences alone, we argue that DNA amplified from blood or faeces does not necessarily come from a parasite species that infects the red blood cells of that particular host. PMID:24704779
Abkallo, Hussein M; Liu, Weimin; Hokama, Sarina; Ferreira, Pedro E; Nakazawa, Shusuke; Maeno, Yoshimasa; Quang, Nguyen T; Kobayashi, Nobuyuki; Kaneko, Osamu; Huffman, Michael A; Kawai, Satoru; Marchand, Ron P; Carter, Richard; Hahn, Beatrice H; Culleton, Richard
Background One of the main challenges in evolutionary parasitology is to determine the factors that explain variation among host species in parasitism. In this study, we addressed whether host phylogeny or ecology was important in determining host species use by water mites. Parasitism (prevalence and intensity) by Arrenurus water mites was examined in relation to geographic distribution of host damselflies from sibling species pairs. In addition, the likelihood of putative mite species parasitizing both species of a host species pair was explored. Results A total of 1162 damselflies were examined for water mites across four sites in Southeastern Ontario. These damselflies represent ten species (five closely related host species pairs) in the Coenagrionidae. Only two of the five species pairs showed near significant or significant differences in prevalence of infection by mites. In one of those species comparisons, it was the less widespread host that had higher water mite prevalence and in the other species comparison, the less widespread host species had lower water mite prevalence. Only one of the five pairs showed a significant difference in intensity of infection; intensity was higher in the species with a smaller geographic distribution. Based on the COI barcode, there were nine water mite clades (OTU) infecting these ten host species. Three Arrenurus OTUs may be host monospecific, four OTUs were specific to a given host species pair, and two OTUs infected at least three host species. Host species in each species pairs tend to share at least one of the Arrenurus OTU. No striking differences in mite species diversity were found among species in any species pair. Finally, the Arrenurus examined in this study appear to be ecological specialists, restricted to a particular type of habitat, parasitizing few to many of the host species present in that site or habitat. Conclusions Although differences in levels of parasitism by water mites exist for some closely related hosts species, no such differences were found between other related host species. Differences in geographic range of related host species does not reliably explain differential levels of parasitism by water mites.
Comparisons of various strains of hymenopterous parasites,Muscidifurax raptor\\u000a Girault & Sanders,M. uniraptor\\u000a Kogan & Legner,M. zaraptor K. & L.,Spalangia cameroni\\u000a Perkins,S. endius\\u000a Walker,S. longepetiolata\\u000a Boucek,S. nigra\\u000a Latreille andSphegigaster sp. attackingMusca domestica L., showed that theSpalangia species consistently penetrated to the greatest depth, 4 cm, in an experimental wheat flakes habitat. Moisture influenced\\u000a penetration behaviour of some species. Host destruction wrought
E. F. Legner
Studies with rodents infected with Trichinella spiralis, Heligmosomoides poly- gyrus, Nippostrongylus brasiliensis, and Trichuris muris have provided consid- erable information about immune mechanisms that protect against parasitic gas- trointestinal nematodes. Four generalizations can be made: 1. CD4 C T cells are critical for host protection; 2. IL-12 and IFN- inhibit protective immunity; 3. IL-4 can: (a) be required for host
Fred D. Finkelman; Terez Shea-Donohue; Jon Goldhill; Carolyn A. Sullivan; Suzanne C. Morris; Kathleen B. Madden; William C. Gause
Predator-prey and host-parasite interactions and mutualisms are common and may have profound effects on ecosystems. Here we analyze the parasitic and mutualistic associations between three groups of organisms: the plant Artemisia maritima, bacteria, and a colonial seabird (the sandwich tern Sterna sandvicensis) that breeds in dense colonies covered in feces produced by both adults and chicks. A disproportionately large fraction of colonies of the sandwich tern in Denmark were located in patches covered by A. maritima. This association was specific for the densely colonial sandwich tern, but was not present for four other sympatric species of terns that breed in much less dense colonies. A. maritima reduced the abundance of pathogenic Staphylococcus on chicken eggshells in a field experiment. Recruitment by sandwich terns breeding in patches of A. maritima was 18 % higher than for sandwich terns breeding in the absence of A. maritima. A. maritima benefitted from the association with sandwich terns due to the supply of nutrients from feces and uneaten food lost by young. These findings are consistent with sandwich terns exploiting the association with A. maritima and its antimicrobial properties to improve their reproductive success, while sandwich terns and A. maritima are involved in a mutualistic interaction. PMID:23404068
Mřller, Anders Pape; Flensted-Jensen, Einar; Mardal, Willy; Soler, J J
Data from gene sequences and morphological structures were collected for the gull feather lice, Saemundssonia lari, Quadraceps punctatus, and Q. ornatus, parasitizing Larus crassirostris and L. schistisagus. Saemundssonia lari was collected from both gull species, and no detectable morphological and genetic differences were found between lice collected from the two different hosts. In contrast, Q. punctatus was only collected from L. crassirostris, whereas Q. ornatus was only collected from L. schistisagus. The two Quadraceps species were genetically highly divergent, and body-size differences corresponding to the gull's body size (Harrison's rule) were also detected between them. Both Quadraceps species were collected from the interbarb of the remex or rectrix, and a match in body size between the louse and the interbarb space may be important in escape from host preening defenses. In contrast, Saemundssonia is a head louse, inhabiting the finer feathers of the head and neck, which the bird cannot preen. A close match to host body size may be less important for lice in the head microhabitat. The differences in the pattern of host-specificity between Saemundssonia and Quadraceps on the two focal host species of this study were probably due to their different microhabitat preferences. More broadly, comparisons of the gene sequences of S. lari and Q. punctatus to those from other gull hosts showed that genetically almost undifferentiated populations of both species were distributed on wide range of gull species. Frequent interspecific hybridization of gulls is one possible factor that may allow these lice to maintain gene flow across multiple host species. PMID:24882099
Yamagishi, Ayaka; Yao, Izumi; Johnson, Kevin P; Yoshizawa, Kazunori
To relate the marked differences observed in morbidity due to Schistosoma mansoni infection in the Kangundo and Kibwezi areas of Machakos District, Kenya with possible parasite-related differences in pathobiological characteristics, a quantitative comparison of the host-parasite relationship in infections in NMRI mice with S. mansoni isolates from the 2 areas was conducted. One hundred and 20 cercariae were used per mouse, and necropsy took place between 35 and 94 days following infection. Parameters assessed comprised worm establishment, tissue egg counts, fecal egg excretion, egg production/worm pair, and weights of liver and spleen. Central findings included a higher worm establishment and a lower egg production/worm pair in Kangundo infections than in Kibwezi infections, comparable total tissue schistosome egg counts, and a higher liver/intestinal tissue schistosome egg ratio in Kibwezi infected mice than in the Kangundo infected mice. In addition, a much higher fecal egg excretion, expressed as eggs/g feces and eggs/g feces/worm pair, was observed in mice infected with the Kangundo isolate of S. munsoni than in mice infected with the isolate from Kibwezi. Although possible limitations in the use of mouse models need be realized, the results provide some support to the hypothesis that parasite-related differences in pathobiological characteristics may at least contribute to the marked difference observed in S. mansoni-induced morbidity between the Kangundo and Kibwezi areas. PMID:9105324
Thiongo, F W; Madsen, H; Ouma, J H; Andreassen, J; Christensen, N O
This study was carried out to determine the human host preference and presence of Plasmodium parasite in field collected Anopheles mosquitoes among four villages around a military cantonment located in malaria endemic Sonitpur district of Assam, India. Encountered malaria vector mosquitoes were identified and tested for host preference and Plasmodium presence using PCR method. Human host preference was detected using simple PCR, whereas vectorial status for Plasmodium parasite was confirmed using first round PCR with genus specific primers and thereafter nested PCR with three Plasmodium species specific primers. Out of 1874 blood fed vector mosquitoes collected, 187 (10%) were processed for PCR, which revealed that 40.6% had fed on human blood; 9.2% of human blood fed mosquito were harbouring Plasmodium parasites, 71.4% of which were confirmed to Plasmodium falciparum. In addition to An. minimus, An. annularis and An. culicifacies were also found positive for malaria parasites. The present study exhibits the human feeding tendency of Anopheles vectors highlighting their malaria parasite transmission potential. The present study may serve as a model for understanding the human host preference of malaria vectors and detection of malaria parasite inside the anopheline vector mosquitoes in order to update their vectorial status for estimating the possible role of these mosquitoes in malaria transmission. The study has used PCR method and suggests that PCR-based method should be used in this entire malarious region to correctly report the vectorial position of different malaria vectors.
Dhiman, Sunil; Bhola, Rakesh Kumar; Goswami, Diganta; Rabha, Bipul; Kumar, Dinesh; Baruah, Indra; Singh, Lokendra
The intracellular development of the erythrocytic stage of the malarial parasite (merozoite) is initiated by the attachment of the parasite to the erythrocyte surface. This paper describes an assay system to investigate Plasmodium falciparum merozoite entry into the host cell and reports on three observations regarding this interaction. (a) Merozoites do not invade human erythrocytes treated with either trypsin or neuraminidase, and both enzymes partially cleave glycophorin A, the major erythrocyte surface sialoglycoprotein. (b) A membrane protein fraction containing glycophorin A will, at low concentrations, inhibit the invasion of isolated merozoites into erythrocytes; no other fractions of membrane proteins have appreciable effects on the reinvasion. (c) Merozoites do not reinvade erythrocytes preincubated with F ab' fragments of antibody prepared against glycophorin A. Together, these three observations imply a role for glycophorin A in the attachment of the malarial parasite to the erythrocyte surface.
Summary Infection of bovine leucocytes by Theileria annulata results in establishment of transformed, infected cells. Infection of the host cell is known to promote constitutive activation of pro-inflammatory transcription factors that have the potential to be beneficial or detrimental. In this study we have compared the effect of LPS activation on uninfected bovine leucocytes (BL20 cells) and their Theileria-infected counterpart (TBL20). Gene expression profiles representing activated uninfected BL20 relative to TBL20 cells were also compared. The results show that while prolonged stimulation with LPS induces cell death and activation of NF-?B in BL20 cells, the viability of Theileria-infected cells was unaffected. Analysis of gene expression networks provided evidence that the parasite establishes tight control over pathways associated with cellular activation by modulating reception of extrinsic stimuli and by significantly altering the expression outcome of genes targeted by infection-activated transcription factors. Pathway analysis of the data set identified novel candidate genes involved in manipulation of cellular functions associated with the infected transformed cell. The data indicate that the T. annulata parasite can irreversibly reconfigure host cell gene expression networks associated with development of inflammatory disease and cancer to generate an outcome thatis beneficial to survival and propagation of the infected leucocyte.
Durrani, Zeeshan; Weir, William; Pillai, Sreerekha; Kinnaird, Jane; Shiels, Brian
Streblidae flies are specialised parasites of bat hosts, mainly phyllostomids. There is a high richness of streblids in the savannah-like Cerrado region; however, there is little quantitative data available in parasitological indices. Here, we describe the component community, prevalence and intensity of a streblid infestation on a phyllostomid bat assemblage in Serra da Bodoquena, a Cerrado region in Southwest Brazil. We conducted surveys by capturing and inspecting bat hosts during the seven-month period between October 2004-December 2005. All the ectoparasites found on the bats were collected in the field and then counted and identified in the laboratory. We captured 327 bats belonging to 13 species, of which eight species were parasitized by 17 species of streblids. Carollia perspicillata and Glossophaga soricina were infested with seven streblid species, whereas the other bat species were infested with four or fewer streblid species. Megistopoda proxima and Aspidoptera falcata flies were found on Sturnira lilium, and Trichobius joblingi was the most prevalent fly on C. perspicillata. Megistopoda aranea and Aspidoptera phyllostomatis were highly prevalent and had a high intensity of infestation on Artibeus planirostris. Overall comparisons of the available data suggest that the component communities of streblids vary more between the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest phytogeographical regions than between localities within the same phytogeographical region. PMID:21655813
Eriksson, Alan; Graciolli, Gustavo; Fischer, Erich
The lung fluke, Haematoloechus longiplexus, is the most prevalent and abundant parasite of introduced bullfrogs on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The ecological success of this trematode in invasive bullfrogs is related to the fluke's ability to utilize native intermediate hosts for transmission. The purpose of this study was to identify the odonate (dragonfly/damselfly) species involved in the transmission of H. longiplexus to the introduced bullfrog. The prevalences and mean intensities of 21 species of odonates (nymphs and adults) were examined for metacercariae infections. Haematoloechus longiplexus is a second intermediate host specialist, being found only in damselflies. Six damselfly species exhibiting the "climber" ecological habit were identified as second intermediate hosts of H. longiplexus. Enallagma carunculatum (prevalence = 75.0%, mean intensity = 17.2 ± 10.8), Ischnura cervula (65.2%, 8.9 ± 4.3), Ischnura perparva (45.5%, 15.4 ± 10.3), and Enallagma boreale (40.7%, 4.8 ± 7.8) were the most commonly infected damselfly species. Metacercariae were absent in damselflies collected from sites lacking bullfrogs. Haematoloechus longiplexus was likely introduced along with the bullfrog, and subsequently adapted to the physid snail and diverse damselfly intermediate hosts present in ponds on Vancouver Island. PMID:22924931
Novak, Colin W; Goater, Timothy M
The divergence of parasites is important for maintenance within an established host and spread to novel host species. In this paper we have carried out phylogenetic analyses of Theileria parasites isolated from different host species. This was performed with small subunit ribosomal RNA sequences available in the data bases and a novel sequence amplified from Theileria lestoquardi DNA. Similar phylogenetic
Frank Katzer; Sue McKellar; Erol Kirvar; Brian Shiels
Trophically-transmitted parasites often change the phenotype of their intermediate hosts in ways that increase their vulnerability to definitive hosts, hence favouring transmission. As a “collateral damage”, manipulated hosts can also become easy prey for non-host predators that are dead ends for the parasite, and which are supposed to play no role in transmission strategies. Interestingly, infection with the acanthocephalan parasite Polymorphus minutus has been shown to reduce the vulnerability of its gammarid intermediate hosts to non-host predators, whose presence triggered the behavioural alterations expected to favour trophic transmission to bird definitive hosts. Whilst the behavioural response of infected gammarids to the presence of definitive hosts remains to be investigated, this suggests that trophic transmission might be promoted by non-host predation risk. We conducted microcosm experiments to test whether the behaviour of P. minutus-infected gammarids was specific to the type of predator (i.e. mallard as definitive host and fish as non-host), and mesocosm experiments to test whether trophic transmission to bird hosts was influenced by non-host predation risk. Based on the behaviours we investigated (predator avoidance, activity, geotaxis, conspecific attraction), we found no evidence for a specific fine-tuned response in infected gammarids, which behaved similarly whatever the type of predator (mallard or fish). During predation tests, fish predation risk did not influence the differential predation of mallards that over-consumed infected gammarids compared to uninfected individuals. Overall, our results bring support for a less sophisticated scenario of manipulation than previously expected, combining chronic behavioural alterations with phasic behavioural alterations triggered by the chemical and physical cues coming from any type of predator. Given the wide dispersal range of waterbirds (the definitive hosts of P. minutus), such a manipulation whose efficiency does not depend on the biotic context is likely to facilitate its trophic transmission in a wide range of aquatic environments.
Jacquin, Lisa; Mori, Quentin; Pause, Mickael; Steffen, Melanie; Medoc, Vincent
Natural hypersaline waters are widely distributed around the globe, as both continental surface waters and sea floor lakes, the latter being maintained by the large density difference between the hypersaline and overlying marine water. Owing to the extreme salt concentrations, close to or at saturation (approximately 35%, w/v), such waters might be expected to be devoid of life but, in fact, maintain dense populations of microbes. The majority of these microorganisms are halophilic prokaryotes belonging to the Domain Archaea, 'haloarchaea'. Viruses infecting haloarchaea are a vital part of hypersaline ecosystems, in many circumstances outnumbering cells by 10-100-fold. However, few of these 'haloviruses' have been isolated and even fewer have been characterised in molecular detail. In this review, we explore the methods used by haloviruses to replicate within their hosts and consider the implications of haloviral-haloarchaeal interactions for salt lake ecology. PMID:17714980
Porter, Kate; Russ, Brendan E; Dyall-Smith, Michael L
Dendritic cells (DCs) are the antigen-presenting cells capable of activating naďve T cells. Although CD4+ T cells are crucial for Cryptosporidium parvum clearance, little is known about the role of DCs in the immune response to this parasite. In this study, the interaction between mouse DCs and C. parvum was investigated both in vitro and in vivo. For in vitro experiments, mouse bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) derived from wild-type C57B1/6 or MyD88-/- or C3H/HeJ mice and DC cell line DC2.4 were pulsed with C. parvum. Active invasion of parasites was demonstrated by parasite colocalization with host cell membranes and actin-plaque formation at the site of attachment. DC activation induced by the parasite invasion was demonstrated by upregulation of costimulatory molecules CD40, CD80, and CD86, as well as inflammatory cytokines IL-12, TNF-?, and IL-6. BMDCs derived from MyD88-/- and C3H/HeJ mice failed to produce IL-12 in response to C. parvum, suggesting the importance of TLR-dependent signaling pathway specially presence of a functional TLR4 pathway, for C. parvum-induced cytokine production. In vivo experiments showed that both parasite antigens and live parasites were transported to mice mesenteric lymph nodes. All together, these data suggest that DCs play a key role in host immune responses to C. parvum and pathogenesis of the disease. PMID:23913680
Perez-Cordon, Gregorio; Yang, Guilin; Zhou, Boping; Nie, Weijia; Li, Shan; Shi, Lianfa; Tzipori, Saul; Feng, Hanping
Some bees and wasps that host mites have peculiar pocket-like structures called acarinaria. These have long been considered as morphological adaptations to securely transfer beneficial mites into nests, and thus are thought to be the product of a mutualistic relationship. However, there has been little compelling evidence to support this hypothesis. We demonstrated that the parasitic mite Ensliniella parasitica, which uses acarinaria, increases the reproductive success of its host wasp Allodynerus delphinalis by protecting it from parasitoid wasps. Every time the parasitoid Melittobia acasta accessed a prepupal or pupal wasp host cell, adult mites attacked it, continuously clinging to it and possibly piercing the intersegmental membrane of the parasitoid with their chelicerae. Subsequent mortality of the parasitoid depended on the number of attacking mites: an average of six mites led to a 70% chance of mortality, and 10 mites led to a 100% chance of mortality. In this way, parent mites protect the food source (juvenile wasps) for themselves and ultimately for their offspring. We propose that wasps evolved acarinaria to maintain this protective guarding behaviour.
Okabe, Kimiko; Makino, Shun'ichi
Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita is a parasitic nematode that has been formulated into a biological control agent for slugs. The nematode responds to slug-associated cues such as mucus and feces in order to locate potential hosts. We assessed the olfactory response of P. hermaphrodita to mucus from 9 species of slugs, 2 snails, and 2 earthworms (non-hosts). We then examined the susceptibility of each invertebrate test species to high doses of P. hermaphrodita to determine whether susceptible species are more attractive than non-susceptible species to the nematode. We also studied the numbers of infective juveniles produced in each test species, as well as infectivity. Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita showed strong attraction to mucus from the non-susceptible slug Arion subfuscus, the snail Helix aspersa, and the highly susceptible slug Deroceras reticulatum. In reproduction experiments, P. hermaphrodita produced the highest number of infective juveniles in D. reticulatum and Deroceras panormitanum; however, there was no significant relationship with attraction. Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita caused significant mortality in 5-11 gastropod species tested (and showed no chemotactic preference for susceptible or non-susceptible species). There was a significant positive relationship between numbers of P. hermaphrodita penetrating into non-susceptible species and chemotaxis response. These necromenic species represent ideal hosts for P. hermaphrodita in terms of providing protection against abiotic and biotic factors as well as transport to many diverse areas. PMID:19117375
Rae, Robbie G; Robertson, Jamie F; Wilson, Michael J
Polydnaviruses are mutualists of their parasitoid wasps and express genes in immune cells of their Lepidopteran hosts. Polydnaviral genomes carry multiple copies of viral ankyrins or vankyrins. Vankyrin proteins are homologous to I?B proteins, but lack sequences for regulated degradation. We tested if Ichnoviral Vankyrins differentially impede Toll-NF-?B-dependent hematopoietic and immune signaling in a heterologous in vivo Drosophila, system. We first show that hematopoiesis and the cellular encapsulation response against parasitoid wasps are tightly-linked via NF-?B signaling. The niche, which neighbors the larval hematopoietic progenitors, responds to parasite infection. Drosophila NF-?B proteins are expressed in the niche, and non cell-autonomously influence fate choice in basal and parasite-activated hematopoiesis. These effects are blocked by the Vankyrin I2-vank-3, but not by P-vank-1, as is the expression of a NF-?B target transgene. I2-vank-3 and P-vank-1 differentially obstruct cellular and humoral inflammation. Additionally, their maternal expression weakens ventral embryonic patterning. We propose that selective perturbation of NF-?B-I?B interactions in natural hosts of parasitic wasps negatively impacts the outcome of hematopoietic and immune signaling and this immune deficit contributes to parasite survival and species success in nature.
Gueguen, Gwenaelle; Kalamarz, Marta E.; Ramroop, Johnny; Uribe, Jeffrey; Govind, Shubha
Plant viruses modify the development of their aphid vectors by inducing physiological changes in the shared host plant. The performance of hymenopterous parasitoids exploiting these aphids can also be modified by the presence of the plant pathogen. We used laboratory and glasshouse microcosms containing beans (Vicia faba) as the host plant to examine the interactions between a plant virus (pea enation mosaic virus; PEMV) and a hymenopterous parasitoid (Aphidius ervi) that share the aphid vector/host Acyrthosiphon pisum. Neither PEMV-infection of V. faba, nor the carriage of PEMV virions by A. pisum, affected the growth or morphology of the aphid, or the oviposition behaviour and development of A. ervi. The presence of developing Aphidius ervi larvae within Acyrthosiphon pisum did not affect the ability of the aphids to transmit PEMV. However, by reducing their longevity, parasitism ultimately decreased the time viruliferous aphids were able to inoculate plants. In terms of virus dispersal, parasitized aphids exhibited more movement around experimental arenas than unparasitized controls, causing a slight increase in the proportion of beans infected with PEMV. Exposure to adult Aphidius ervi caused Acyrthosiphon pisum to rapidly drop off bean plants and disperse to new hosts, resulting in considerably higher plant infection rates (70%) than that seen in control arenas (25%). The results of this investigation demonstrate that when parasitoids are added to a plant-pathogen-vector system, benefits to the host plant due to reduced herbivore infestation must be balanced against the consequences of parasitoid-induced aphid dispersal and a subsequent increase in the level of plant infection. PMID:18566836
Hodge, Simon; Powell, Glen
The life cycle of phages for streptomycetes and nocardiae were experimentally divided into distinct stages. These included: reversible attachment, irreversible attachment, injection, eclipse, synthesis of viral structural components, maturation, and relea...
S. G. Bradley
Many studies have used host-parasite systems to study local adaptation, but few of these studies have found unequivocal evidence for adaptation. One potential reason is that most studies have focused on limited measures of host and parasite fitness that are generally assumed to be under negative frequency-dependent selection. We have used reciprocal cross-infection experiments to test for local adaptation in Hawaiian, south Floridian, and eastern North American populations of monarch butterflies and their protozoan parasites. Sympatric host-parasite combinations did not result in greater host or parasite fitness, as would be expected under coevolutionary dynamics driven by negative frequency-dependent selection. Instead, we found that Hawaiian hosts were more resistant and carried more infective and virulent parasites, which is consistent with theoretical predictions for virulence evolution and coevolutionary arms race dynamics. We also found that Hawaiian hosts were more tolerant, particularly of Hawaiian parasites, indicating that increased resistance does not preclude increased tolerance within a population and that hosts may be more tolerant of local parasites. We did not find a similar pattern in the south Floridian or eastern populations, possibly because host-parasite adaptation occurs within the context of a greater ecological community. PMID:24231547
Sternberg, Eleanore D; Li, Hui; Wang, Rebecca; Gowler, Camden; de Roode, Jacobus C
Background To invade target cells, Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclic forms engage distinct sets of surface and secreted molecules that interact with host components. Serine-, alanine-, and proline-rich proteins (SAP) comprise a multigene family constituted of molecules with a high serine, alanine and proline residue content. SAP proteins have a central domain (SAP-CD) responsible for interaction with and invasion of mammalian cells by metacyclic forms. Methods and Findings Using a 513 bp sequence from SAP-CD in blastn analysis, we identified 39 full-length SAP genes in the genome of T. cruzi. Although most of these genes were mapped in the T. cruzi in silico chromosome TcChr41, several SAP sequences were spread out across the genome. The level of SAP transcripts was twice as high in metacyclic forms as in epimastigotes. Monoclonal (MAb-SAP) and polyclonal (anti-SAP) antibodies produced against the recombinant protein SAP-CD were used to investigate the expression and localization of SAP proteins. MAb-SAP reacted with a 55 kDa SAP protein released by epimastigotes and metacyclic forms and with distinct sets of SAP variants expressed in amastigotes and tissue culture-derived trypomastigotes (TCTs). Anti-SAP antibodies reacted with components located in the anterior region of epimastigotes and between the nucleus and the kinetoplast in metacyclic trypomastigotes. In contrast, anti-SAP recognized surface components of amastigotes and TCTs, suggesting that SAP proteins are directed to different cellular compartments. Ten SAP peptides were identified by mass spectrometry in vesicle and soluble-protein fractions obtained from parasite conditioned medium. Using overlapping sequences from SAP-CD, we identified a 54-aa peptide (SAP-CE) that was able to induce host-cell lysosome exocytosis and inhibit parasite internalization by 52%. Conclusions This study provides novel information about the genomic organization, expression and cellular localization of SAP proteins and proposes a triggering role for extracellular SAP proteins in host-cell lysosome exocytosis during metacyclic internalization.
Zanforlin, Tamiris; Bayer-Santos, Ethel; Cortez, Cristian; Almeida, Igor C.; Yoshida, Nobuko; da Silveira, Jose Franco
The plant parasitic beet cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii induces syncytial feeding structures in Arabidopsis roots. The feeding structures form strong sink tissues that have been suggested to be metabolically highly active. In the present study, metabolic profiling and gene targeted expression analyses were performed in order to study the local and systemic effects of nematode infection on the plant host. The results showed increased levels of many amino acids and phosphorylated metabolites in syncytia, as well as high accumulation of specific sugars such as 1-kestose that do not accumulate naturally in Arabidopsis roots. A correlation-based network analysis revealed highly activated and coordinated metabolism in syncytia compared to non-infected control roots. An integrated analysis of the central primary metabolism showed a clear coherence of metabolite and transcript levels, indicating transcriptional regulation of specific pathways. Furthermore, systemic effects of nematode infection were demonstrated by correlation-based network analysis as well as independent component analysis. 1-kestose, raffinose, ?,?-trehalose and three non-identified analytes showed clear systemic accumulation, indicating future potential for diagnostic and detailed metabolic analyses. Our studies open the door towards understanding the complex remodelling of plant metabolism in favour of the parasitizing nematode.
Hofmann, Julia; El Ashry, Abd El Naser; Anwar, Shahbaz; Erban, Alexander; Kopka, Joachim; Grundler, Florian
The NIAID (National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases) Biodefense Proteomics program aims to identify targets for potential vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for agents of concern in bioterrorism, including bacterial, parasitic, and viral pathogens. The program includes seven Proteomics Research Centers, generating diverse types of pathogen-host data, including mass spectrometry, microarray transcriptional profiles, protein interactions, protein structures and biological reagents.
Peter B. McGarvey; Hongzhan Huang; Raja Mazumder; Jian Zhang; Yongxing Chen; Chengdong Zhang; Stephen Cammer; Rebecca Will; Margie Odle; Bruno Sobral; Margaret Moore; Cathy H. Wu; Jörg Hoheisel