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Sample records for host parasite interactions

  1. Coevolutionary interactions between host and parasite genotypes.

    PubMed

    Lambrechts, Louis; Fellous, Simon; Koella, Jacob C

    2006-01-01

    More than 20 years after Dawkins introduced the concept of "extended phenotype" (i.e. phenotypes of hosts and parasites result from interactions between the two genomes) and although this idea has now reached contemporary textbooks of evolutionary biology, most studies of the evolution of host-parasite systems still focus solely on either the host or the parasite, neglecting the role of the other partner. It is important to consider that host and parasite genotypes share control of the epidemiological parameters of their relationship. Moreover, not only the traits of the infection but also the genetic correlations among these and other traits that determine fitness might be controlled by interactions between host and parasite genotypes. PMID:16310412

  2. Biological warfare: Microorganisms as drivers of host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Dheilly, Nolwenn M; Poulin, Robert; Thomas, Frédéric

    2015-08-01

    Understanding parasite strategies for evasion, manipulation or exploitation of hosts is crucial for many fields, from ecology to medical sciences. Generally, research has focused on either the host response to parasitic infection, or the parasite virulence mechanisms. More recently, integrated studies of host-parasite interactions have allowed significant advances in theoretical and applied biology. However, these studies still provide a simplistic view of these as mere two-player interactions. Host and parasite are associated with a myriad of microorganisms that could benefit from the improved fitness of their partner. Illustrations of such complex multi-player interactions have emerged recently from studies performed in various taxa. In this conceptual article, we propose how these associated microorganisms may participate in the phenotypic alterations induced by parasites and hence in host-parasite interactions, from an ecological and evolutionary perspective. Host- and parasite-associated microorganisms may participate in the host-parasite interaction by interacting directly or indirectly with the other partner. As a result, parasites may develop (i) the disruptive strategy in which the parasite alters the host microbiota to its advantage, and (ii) the biological weapon strategy where the parasite-associated microorganism contributes to or modulates the parasite's virulence. Some phenotypic alterations induced by parasite may also arise from conflicts of interests between the host or parasite and its associated microorganism. For each situation, we review the literature and propose new directions for future research. Specifically, investigating the role of host- and parasite-associated microorganisms in host-parasite interactions at the individual, local and regional level will lead to a holistic understanding of how the co-evolution of the different partners influences how the other ones respond, both ecologically and evolutionary. The conceptual framework we

  3. Host-parasite interactions: Marine bivalve molluscs and protozoan parasites, Perkinsus species.

    PubMed

    Soudant, Philippe; E Chu, Fu-Lin; Volety, Aswani

    2013-10-01

    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

  4. Expanding the antimalarial toolkit: Targeting host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Langhorne, Jean; Duffy, Patrick E

    2016-02-01

    Recent successes in malaria control are threatened by drug-resistant Plasmodium parasites and insecticide-resistant Anopheles mosquitoes, and first generation vaccines offer only partial protection. New research approaches have highlighted host as well as parasite molecules or pathways that could be targeted for interventions. In this study, we discuss host-parasite interactions at the different stages of the Plasmodium life cycle within the mammalian host and the potential for therapeutics that prevent parasite migration, invasion, intracellular growth, or egress from host cells, as well as parasite-induced pathology. PMID:26834158

  5. Host-Parasite Interactions in Some Fish Species

    PubMed Central

    Khan, R. A.

    2012-01-01

    Host-parasite interactions are complex, compounded by factors that are capable of shifting the balance in either direction. The host's age, behaviour, immunological status, and environmental change can affect the association that is beneficial to the host whereas evasion of the host's immune response favours the parasite. In fish, some infections that induce mortality are age and temperature dependent. Environmental change, especially habitat degradation by anthropogenic pollutants and oceanographic alterations induced by climatic, can influence parasitic-host interaction. The outcome of these associations will hinge on susceptibility and resistance. PMID:22900144

  6. Using metabolomics to dissect host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Kloehn, J; Blume, M; Cobbold, S A; Saunders, E C; Dagley, M J; McConville, M J

    2016-08-01

    Protozoan parasites have evolved diverse growth and metabolic strategies for surviving and proliferating within different extracellular and intracellular niches in their mammalian hosts. Metabolomic approaches, including high coverage metabolite profiling and (13)C/(2)H-stable isotope labeling, are increasingly being used to identify parasite metabolic pathways that are important for survival and replication in vivo. These approaches are highlighting new links between parasite carbon metabolism and the ability of different parasite stages to colonize specific niches or host cell types. They have also revealed novel metabolic regulatory mechanisms that are important for homeostasis and survival in potentially nutrient variable environments. These studies highlight the importance of parasite and host metabolism as determinants of host-parasite interactions. PMID:27200489

  7. Host-parasite interactions that guide red blood cell invasion by malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Aditya S.; Egan, Elizabeth S.; Duraisingh, Manoj T.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of Review Malaria is caused by the infection and proliferation of parasites from the genus Plasmodium in red blood cells (RBCs). A free Plasmodium parasite, or merozoite, released from an infected RBC must invade another RBC host cell to sustain a blood-stage infection. Here, we review recent advances on RBC invasion by Plasmodium merozoites, focusing on specific molecular interactions between host and parasite. Recent findings Recent work highlights the central role of host-parasite interactions at virtually every stage of RBC invasion by merozoites. Biophysical experiments have for the first time measured the strength of merozoite-RBC attachment during invasion. For P. falciparum, there have been many key insights regarding the invasion ligand PfRh5 in particular, including its influence on host species tropism, a co-crystal structure with its RBC receptor basigin, and its suitability as a vaccine target. For P. vivax, researchers identified the origin and emergence of the parasite from Africa, demonstrating a natural link to the Duffy-negative RBC variant in African populations. For the simian parasite P. knowlesi, zoonotic invasion into human cells is linked to RBC age, which has implications for parasitemia during an infection and thus malaria. Summary New studies of the molecular and cellular mechanisms governing RBC invasion by Plasmodium parasites have shed light on various aspects of parasite biology and host cell tropism; and indicate opportunities for malaria control. PMID:25767956

  8. Empirical evaluation of neutral interactions in host-parasite networks.

    PubMed

    Canard, E F; Mouquet, N; Mouillot, D; Stanko, M; Miklisova, D; Gravel, D

    2014-04-01

    While niche-based processes have been invoked extensively to explain the structure of interaction networks, recent studies propose that neutrality could also be of great importance. Under the neutral hypothesis, network structure would simply emerge from random encounters between individuals and thus would be directly linked to species abundance. We investigated the impact of species abundance distributions on qualitative and quantitative metrics of 113 host-parasite networks. We analyzed the concordance between neutral expectations and empirical observations at interaction, species, and network levels. We found that species abundance accurately predicts network metrics at all levels. Despite host-parasite systems being constrained by physiology and immunology, our results suggest that neutrality could also explain, at least partially, their structure. We hypothesize that trait matching would determine potential interactions between species, while abundance would determine their realization. PMID:24642492

  9. Interacting parasites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2010-01-01

    Parasitism is the most popular life-style on Earth, and many vertebrates host more than one kind of parasite at a time. A common assumption is that parasite species rarely interact, because they often exploit different tissues in a host, and this use of discrete resources limits competition (1). On page 243 of this issue, however, Telfer et al. (2) provide a convincing case of a highly interactive parasite community in voles, and show how infection with one parasite can affect susceptibility to others. If some human parasites are equally interactive, our current, disease-by-disease approach to modeling and treating infectious diseases is inadequate (3).

  10. Coevolutionary interactions between farmers and mafia induce host acceptance of avian brood parasites.

    PubMed

    Abou Chakra, Maria; Hilbe, Christian; Traulsen, Arne

    2016-05-01

    Brood parasites exploit their host in order to increase their own fitness. Typically, this results in an arms race between parasite trickery and host defence. Thus, it is puzzling to observe hosts that accept parasitism without any resistance. The 'mafia' hypothesis suggests that these hosts accept parasitism to avoid retaliation. Retaliation has been shown to evolve when the hosts condition their response to mafia parasites, who use depredation as a targeted response to rejection. However, it is unclear if acceptance would also emerge when 'farming' parasites are present in the population. Farming parasites use depredation to synchronize the timing with the host, destroying mature clutches to force the host to re-nest. Herein, we develop an evolutionary model to analyse the interaction between depredatory parasites and their hosts. We show that coevolutionary cycles between farmers and mafia can still induce host acceptance of brood parasites. However, this equilibrium is unstable and in the long-run the dynamics of this host-parasite interaction exhibits strong oscillations: when farmers are the majority, accepters conditional to mafia (the host will reject first and only accept after retaliation by the parasite) have a higher fitness than unconditional accepters (the host always accepts parasitism). This leads to an increase in mafia parasites' fitness and in turn induce an optimal environment for accepter hosts. PMID:27293783

  11. Parasites destabilize host populations by shifting stage-structured interactions.

    PubMed

    Hite, Jessica L; Penczykowski, Rachel M; Shocket, Marta S; Strauss, Alexander T; Orlando, Paul A; Duffy, Meghan A; Cáceres, Carla E; Hall, Spencer R

    2016-02-01

    Should parasites stabilize or destabilize consumer-resource dynamics? Recent theory suggests that parasite-enhanced mortality may confer underappreciated stability to their hosts. We tested this hypothesis using disease in zooplankton. Across both natural and experimental epidemics, bigger epidemics correlated with larger--not smaller--host fluctuations. Thus, we tested two mechanistic hypotheses to explain destabilization or apparent destabilization by parasites. First, enrichment could, in principle, simultaneously enhance both instability and disease prevalence. In natural epidemics, destabilization was correlated with enrichment (indexed by total phosphorous). However, an in situ (lake enclosure) experiment did not support these links. Instead, field and experimental results point to a novel destabilizing mechanism involving host stage structure. Epidemics pushed hosts from relatively more stable host dynamics with less-synchronized juveniles and adults to less stable dynamics with more-synchronized juveniles and adults. Our results demonstrate how links between host stage structure and disease can shape host/consumer-resource stability. PMID:27145618

  12. Red Queen dynamics in multi-host and multi-parasite interaction system

    PubMed Central

    Rabajante, Jomar F.; Tubay, Jerrold M.; Uehara, Takashi; Morita, Satoru; Ebert, Dieter; Yoshimura, Jin

    2015-01-01

    In host-parasite systems, dominant host types are expected to be eventually replaced by other hosts due to the elevated potency of their specific parasites. This leads to changes in the abundance of both hosts and parasites exhibiting cycles of alternating dominance called Red Queen dynamics. Host-parasite models with less than three hosts and parasites have been demonstrated to exhibit Red Queen cycles, but natural host-parasite interactions typically involve many host and parasite types resulting in an intractable system with many parameters. Here we present numerical simulations of Red Queen dynamics with more than ten hosts and specialist parasites under the condition of no super-host nor super-parasite. The parameter region where the Red Queen cycles arise contracts as the number of interacting host and parasite types increases. The interplay between inter-host competition and parasite infectivity influences the condition for the Red Queen dynamics. Relatively large host carrying capacity and intermediate rates of parasite mortality result in never-ending cycles of dominant types. PMID:25899168

  13. Coevolutionary interactions between farmers and mafia induce host acceptance of avian brood parasites

    PubMed Central

    Hilbe, Christian; Traulsen, Arne

    2016-01-01

    Brood parasites exploit their host in order to increase their own fitness. Typically, this results in an arms race between parasite trickery and host defence. Thus, it is puzzling to observe hosts that accept parasitism without any resistance. The ‘mafia’ hypothesis suggests that these hosts accept parasitism to avoid retaliation. Retaliation has been shown to evolve when the hosts condition their response to mafia parasites, who use depredation as a targeted response to rejection. However, it is unclear if acceptance would also emerge when ‘farming’ parasites are present in the population. Farming parasites use depredation to synchronize the timing with the host, destroying mature clutches to force the host to re-nest. Herein, we develop an evolutionary model to analyse the interaction between depredatory parasites and their hosts. We show that coevolutionary cycles between farmers and mafia can still induce host acceptance of brood parasites. However, this equilibrium is unstable and in the long-run the dynamics of this host–parasite interaction exhibits strong oscillations: when farmers are the majority, accepters conditional to mafia (the host will reject first and only accept after retaliation by the parasite) have a higher fitness than unconditional accepters (the host always accepts parasitism). This leads to an increase in mafia parasites’ fitness and in turn induce an optimal environment for accepter hosts. PMID:27293783

  14. Parasite Transmission in Social Interacting Hosts: Monogenean Epidemics in Guppies

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Mirelle B.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; van Oosterhout, Cock; Cable, Joanne

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21897838

  15. Parasite transmission in social interacting hosts: Monogenean epidemics in guppies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, M.B.; Lafferty, K.D.; van, Oosterhout C.; Cable, J.

    2011-01-01

    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.

  16. Parasite transmission in social interacting hosts: Monogenean epidemics in guppies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Mirelle B.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; van Oosterhout, Cock; Cable, Joanne

    2011-01-01

    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.

  17. Host parasite interactions in closed and open microbial cultivation system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisman, T. I.; Pechurkin, N. S.

    The study addresses interaction of bacteria and phages in the host parasite system in batch and continuous cultures. The study system consists of the auxotrophic strain of Brevibacterium Brevibacterium sp. 22L and the bacteriophage of Brevibacterium sp., isolated from the soil by the enrichment method.Closed system. In the investigation of the relationship between the time of bacterial lysis and multiplicity of phage infection it has been found that at a lower phage amount per cell it takes a longer time for the lysis of the culture to become discernible. Another important factor determining cytolysis in liquid medium is the physiological state of bacterial population. Specific growth rate of bacteria at the moment of phage infection has been chosen as an indicator of the physiological state of bacteria. It has been shown that the shortest latent period and the largest output of the phage are observed during the logarithmic growth phase of bacteria grown under favorable nutrient conditions. In the stationary phase, bacterial cells become “a bad host” for the phage, whose reproduction rate decreases, and the lysis either slows down significantly or does not occur at all.Open system. It has been found that in continuous culture, the components of the host parasite system can coexist over a long period of time. After phage infection, the sizes of the both populations vary for some time and then the density of the host population reaches the level close to that of the uninfected culture. The phage population copies the variations in the density of the host population, but in antiphase. It has been proven that the bacterium becomes resistant to the phage rather soon. It has been supposed that primary resistance is of physiological origin, because the percentage of cells that have survived lysis about 0.2% of the initial bacterial population is too high for phage-resistant mutants. Bacteria and phages cultured over extended periods of time in the host parasite system

  18. Host-Parasite Interactions from the Inside: Plant Reproductive Ontogeny Drives Specialization in Parasitic Insects

    PubMed Central

    Boivin, Thomas; Gidoin, Cindy; von Aderkas, Patrick; Safrana, Jonathan; Candau, Jean-Noël; Chalon, Alain; Sondo, Marion; El Maâtaoui, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    Host plant interactions are likely key drivers of evolutionary processes involved in the diversification of phytophagous insects. Granivory has received substantial attention for its crucial role in shaping the interaction between plants and their seed parasites, but fine-scale mechanisms explaining the role of host plant reproductive biology on specialization of seed parasites remain poorly described. In a comparative approach using plant histological techniques, we tested the hypotheses that different seed parasite species synchronize their life cycles to specific stages in seed development, and that the stage they target depends on major differences in seed development programs. In a pinaceous system, seed storage products are initiated before ovule fertilization and the wasps target the ovule’s nucellus during megagametogenesis, a stage at which larvae may benefit from the by-products derived from both secreting cells and dying nucellar cells. In a cupressaceous system, oviposition activity peaks later, during embryogenesis, and the wasps target the ovule’s megagametophyte where larvae may benefit from cell disintegration during embryogenesis. Our cytohistological approach shows for the first time how, despite divergent oviposition targets, different parasite species share a common strategy that consists of first competing for nutrients with developing plant structures, and then consuming these developed structures to complete their development. Our results support the prediction that seed developmental program is an axis for specialization in seed parasites, and that it could be an important parameter in models of their ecological and taxonomic divergence. This study provides the basis for further investigating the possibility of the link between plant ontogeny and pre-dispersal seed parasitism. PMID:26441311

  19. A three-way perspective of stoichiometric changes on host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Aalto, Sanni L; Decaestecker, Ellen; Pulkkinen, Katja

    2015-07-01

    Changes in environmental nutrients play a crucial role in driving disease dynamics, but global patterns in nutrient-driven changes in disease are difficult to predict. In this paper we use ecological stoichiometry as a framework to review host-parasite interactions under changing nutrient ratios, focusing on three pathways: (i) altered host resistance and parasite virulence through host stoichiometry (ii) changed encounter or contact rates at population level, and (iii) changed host community structure. We predict that the outcome of nutrient changes on host-parasite interactions depends on which pathways are modified, and suggest that the outcome of infection could depend on the overlap in stoichiometric requirements of the host and the parasite. We hypothesize that environmental nutrient enrichment alters infectivity dynamics leading to fluctuating selection dynamics in host-parasite coevolution. PMID:25978937

  20. Lectin Activation in Giardia lamblia by Host Protease: A Novel Host-Parasite Interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lev, Boaz; Ward, Honorine; Keusch, Gerald T.; Pereira, Miercio E. A.

    1986-04-01

    A lectin in Giardia lamblia was activated by secretions from the human duodenum, the environment where the parasite lives. Incubation of the secretions with trypsin inhibitors prevented the appearance of lectin activity, implicating proteases as the activating agent. Accordingly, lectin activation was also produced by crystalline trypsin and Pronase; other proteases tested were ineffective. When activated, the lectin agglutinated intestinal cells to which the parasite adheres in vivo. The lectin was most specific to mannose-6-phosphate and apparently was bound to the plasma membrane. Activation of a parasite lectin by a host protease represents a novel mechanism of hostparasite interaction and may contribute to the affinity of Giardia lamblia to the infection site.

  1. The Use of Arabidopsis to Study Interactions between Parasitic Angiosperms and Their Plant Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Goldwasser, Y.; Westwood, J. H.; Yoder, J. I.

    2002-01-01

    Parasitic plants invade host plants in order to rob them of water, minerals and nutrients. The consequences to the infected hosts can be debilitating and some of the world's most pernicious agricultural weeds are parasitic. Parasitic genera of the Scrophulariaceae and Orobanchaceae directly invade roots of neighboring plants via underground structures called haustoria. The mechanisms by which these parasites identify and associate with host plants present unsurpassed opportunities for studying chemical signaling in plant-plant interactions. Seeds of some parasites require specific host factors for efficient germination, thereby insuring the availability of an appropriate host root prior to germination. A second set of signal molecules is required to induce haustorium development and the beginning of heterotrophy. Later stages in parasitism also require the presence of host factors, although these have not yet been well characterized. Arabidopsis is being used as a model host plant to identify genetic loci associated with stimulating parasite germination, haustorium development, and parasite support. Arabidopsis is also being employed to explore how host plants respond to parasite attack. Current methodologies and recent findings in Arabidopsis – parasitic plant interactions will be discussed. PMID:22303205

  2. Host parasite communications-Messages from helminths for the immune system: Parasite communication and cell-cell interactions.

    PubMed

    Coakley, Gillian; Buck, Amy H; Maizels, Rick M

    2016-07-01

    Helminths are metazoan organisms many of which have evolved parasitic life styles dependent on sophisticated manipulation of the host environment. Most notably, they down-regulate host immune responses to ensure their own survival, by exporting a range of immuno-modulatory mediators that interact with host cells and tissues. While a number of secreted immunoregulatory parasite proteins have been defined, new work also points to the release of extracellular vesicles, or exosomes, that interact with and manipulate host gene expression. These recent results are discussed in the overall context of how helminths communicate effectively with the host organism. PMID:27297184

  3. On the evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions: addressing the question with regard to bumblebees and their parasites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2001-05-01

    Over the last decade, there has been a major shift in the study of adaptive patterns and processes towards including the role of host-parasite interactions, informed by concepts from evolutionary ecology. As a consequence, a number of major questions have emerged. For example, how genetics affects host-parasite interactions, whether parasitism selects for offspring diversification, whether parasite virulence is an adaptive trait, and what constrains the use of the host's immune defences. Using bumblebees, Bombus spp, and their parasites as a model system, answers to some of these questions have been found, while at the same time the complexity of the interaction has led expectations away from simple theoretical models. In addition, the results have also led to the unexpected discovery of novel phenomena concerning, for instance, female mating strategies.

  4. Host genotype by parasite genotype interactions underlying the resistance of anopheline mosquitoes to Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Lambrechts, Louis; Halbert, Jean; Durand, Patrick; Gouagna, Louis C; Koella, Jacob C

    2005-01-01

    Background Most studies on the resistance of mosquitoes to their malaria parasites focus on the response of a mosquito line or colony against a single parasite genotype. In natural situations, however, it may be expected that mosquito-malaria relationships are based, as are many other host-parasite systems, on host genotype by parasite genotype interactions. In such systems, certain hosts are resistant to one subset of the parasite's genotypes, while other hosts are resistant to a different subset. Methods To test for genotype by genotype interactions between malaria parasites and their anopheline vectors, different genetic backgrounds (families consisting of the F1 offspring of individual females) of the major African vector Anopheles gambiae were challenged with several isolates of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (obtained from naturally infected children in Kenya). Results Averaged across all parasites, the proportion of infected mosquitoes and the number of oocysts found in their midguts were similar in all mosquito families. Both indices of resistance, however, differed considerably among isolates of the parasite. In particular, no mosquito family was most resistant to all parasites, and no parasite isolate was most infectious to all mosquitoes. Conclusions These results suggest that the level of mosquito resistance depends on the interaction between its own and the parasite's genotype. This finding thus emphasizes the need to take into account the range of genetic diversity exhibited by mosquito and malaria field populations in ideas and studies concerning the control of malaria. PMID:15644136

  5. Within-host competitive interactions as a mechanism for the maintenance of parasite diversity

    PubMed Central

    Bashey, Farrah

    2015-01-01

    Variation among parasite strains can affect the progression of disease or the effectiveness of treatment. What maintains parasite diversity? Here I argue that competition among parasites within the host is a major cause of variation among parasites. The competitive environment within the host can vary depending on the parasite genotypes present. For example, parasite strategies that target specific competitors, such as bacteriocins, are dependent on the presence and susceptibility of those competitors for success. Accordingly, which parasite traits are favoured by within-host selection can vary from host to host. Given the fluctuating fitness landscape across hosts, genotype by genotype (G×G) interactions among parasites should be prevalent. Moreover, selection should vary in a frequency-dependent manner, as attacking genotypes select for resistance and genotypes producing public goods select for cheaters. I review competitive coexistence theory with regard to parasites and highlight a few key examples where within-host competition promotes diversity. Finally, I discuss how within-host competition affects host health and our ability to successfully treat infectious diseases. PMID:26150667

  6. Cooperation and conflict in host manipulation: interactions among macro-parasites and micro-organisms

    PubMed Central

    Cézilly, Frank; Perrot-Minnot, Marie-Jeanne; Rigaud, Thierry

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24966851

  7. Host-Parasite Interactions and Purifying Selection in a Microsporidian Parasite of Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Huang, Qiang; Chen, Yan Ping; Wang, Rui Wu; Cheng, Shang; Evans, Jay D

    2016-01-01

    To clarify the mechanisms of Nosema ceranae parasitism, we deep-sequenced both honey bee host and parasite mRNAs throughout a complete 6-day infection cycle. By time-series analysis, 1122 parasite genes were significantly differently expressed during the reproduction cycle, clustering into 4 expression patterns. We found reactive mitochondrial oxygen species modulator 1 of the host to be significantly down regulated during the entire infection period. Our data support the hypothesis that apoptosis of honey bee cells was suppressed during infection. We further analyzed genome-wide genetic diversity of this parasite by comparing samples collected from the same site in 2007 and 2013. The number of SNP positions per gene and the proportion of non-synonymous substitutions per gene were significantly reduced over this time period, suggesting purifying selection on the parasite genome and supporting the hypothesis that a subset of N. ceranae strains might be dominating infection. PMID:26840596

  8. Host-Parasite Interactions and Purifying Selection in a Microsporidian Parasite of Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Qiang; Chen, Yan Ping; Wang, Rui Wu; Cheng, Shang; Evans, Jay D.

    2016-01-01

    To clarify the mechanisms of Nosema ceranae parasitism, we deep-sequenced both honey bee host and parasite mRNAs throughout a complete 6-day infection cycle. By time-series analysis, 1122 parasite genes were significantly differently expressed during the reproduction cycle, clustering into 4 expression patterns. We found reactive mitochondrial oxygen species modulator 1 of the host to be significantly down regulated during the entire infection period. Our data support the hypothesis that apoptosis of honey bee cells was suppressed during infection. We further analyzed genome-wide genetic diversity of this parasite by comparing samples collected from the same site in 2007 and 2013. The number of SNP positions per gene and the proportion of non-synonymous substitutions per gene were significantly reduced over this time period, suggesting purifying selection on the parasite genome and supporting the hypothesis that a subset of N. ceranae strains might be dominating infection. PMID:26840596

  9. Dietary supply with polyunsaturated fatty acids and resulting maternal effects influence hostparasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Interactions between hosts and parasites can be substantially modulated by host nutrition. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential dietary nutrients; they are indispensable as structural components of cell membranes and as precursors for eicosanoids, signalling molecules which act on reproduction and immunity. Here, we explored the potential of dietary PUFAs to affect the course of parasitic infections using a well-established invertebrate hostparasite system, the freshwater herbivore Daphnia magna and its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa. Results Using natural food sources differing in their PUFA composition and by experimentally modifying the availability of dietary arachidonic acid (ARA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) we examined PUFA-mediated effects resulting from direct consumption as well as maternal effects on offspring of treated mothers. We found that both host and parasite were affected by food quality. Feeding on C20 PUFA-containing food sources resulted in higher offspring production of hosts and these effects were conveyed to a great extent to the next generation. While feeding on a diet containing high PUFA concentrations significantly reduced the likelihood of becoming infected, the infection success in the next generation increased whenever the maternal diet contained PUFAs. We suggest that this opposing effect was caused by a trade-off between reproduction and immunity in the second generation. Conclusions Considering the direct and maternal effects of dietary PUFAs on host and parasite we propose that hostparasite interactions and thus disease dynamics under natural conditions are subject to the availability of dietary PUFAs. PMID:24175981

  10. A walk on the tundra: Host-parasite interactions in an extreme environment.

    PubMed

    Kutz, Susan J; Hoberg, Eric P; Molnár, Péter K; Dobson, Andy; Verocai, Guilherme G

    2014-08-01

    Climate change is occurring very rapidly in the Arctic, and the processes that have taken millions of years to evolve in this very extreme environment are now changing on timescales as short as decades. These changes are dramatic, subtle and non-linear. In this article, we discuss the evolving insights into host-parasite interactions for wild ungulate species, specifically, muskoxen and caribou, in the North American Arctic. These interactions occur in an environment that is characterized by extremes in temperature, high seasonality, and low host species abundance and diversity. We believe that lessons learned in this system can guide wildlife management and conservation throughout the Arctic, and can also be generalized to more broadly understand host-parasite interactions elsewhere. We specifically examine the impacts of climate change on host-parasite interactions and focus on: (I) the direct temperature effects on parasites; (II) the importance of considering the intricacies of host and parasite ecology for anticipating climate change impacts; and (III) the effect of shifting ecological barriers and corridors. Insights gained from studying the history and ecology of host-parasite systems in the Arctic will be central to understanding the role that climate change is playing in these more complex systems. PMID:25180164

  11. Experimental Models to Study the Role of Microbes in Host-Parasite Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Megan A.; Dheilly, Nolwenn M.

    2016-01-01

    Until recently, parasitic infections have been primarily studied as interactions between the parasite and the host, leaving out crucial players: microbes. The recent realization that microbes play key roles in the biology of all living organisms is not only challenging our understanding of host-parasite evolution, but it also provides new clues to develop new therapies and remediation strategies. In this paper we provide a review of promising and advanced experimental organismal systems to examine the dynamic of host-parasite-microbe interactions. We address the benefits of developing new experimental models appropriate to this new research area and identify systems that offer the best promises considering the nature of the interactions among hosts, parasites, and microbes. Based on these systems, we identify key criteria for selecting experimental models to elucidate the fundamental principles of these complex webs of interactions. It appears that no model is ideal and that complementary studies should be performed on different systems in order to understand the driving roles of microbes in host and parasite evolution. PMID:27602023

  12. Experimental Models to Study the Role of Microbes in Host-Parasite Interactions.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Megan A; Dheilly, Nolwenn M

    2016-01-01

    Until recently, parasitic infections have been primarily studied as interactions between the parasite and the host, leaving out crucial players: microbes. The recent realization that microbes play key roles in the biology of all living organisms is not only challenging our understanding of host-parasite evolution, but it also provides new clues to develop new therapies and remediation strategies. In this paper we provide a review of promising and advanced experimental organismal systems to examine the dynamic of host-parasite-microbe interactions. We address the benefits of developing new experimental models appropriate to this new research area and identify systems that offer the best promises considering the nature of the interactions among hosts, parasites, and microbes. Based on these systems, we identify key criteria for selecting experimental models to elucidate the fundamental principles of these complex webs of interactions. It appears that no model is ideal and that complementary studies should be performed on different systems in order to understand the driving roles of microbes in host and parasite evolution. PMID:27602023

  13. Malaria proteomics: insights into the parasite-host interactions in the pathogenic space.

    PubMed

    Bautista, José M; Marín-García, Patricia; Diez, Amalia; Azcárate, Isabel G; Puyet, Antonio

    2014-01-31

    Proteomics is improving malaria research by providing global information on relevant protein sets from the parasite and the host in connection with its cellular structures and specific functions. In the last decade, reports have described biologically significant elements in the proteome of Plasmodium, which are selectively targeted and quantified, allowing for sensitive and high-throughput comparisons. The identification of molecules by which the parasite and the host react during the malaria infection is crucial to the understanding of the underlying pathogenic mechanisms. Hence, proteomics is playing a major role by defining the elements within the pathogenic space between both organisms that change across the parasite life cycle in association with the host transformation and response. Proteomics has identified post-translational modifications in the parasite and the host that are discussed in terms of functional interactions in malaria parasitism. Furthermore, the contribution of proteomics to the investigation of immunogens for potential vaccine candidates is summarized. The malaria-specific technological advances in proteomics are particularly suited now for identifying host-parasite interactions that could lead to promising targets for therapy, diagnosis or prevention. In this review, we examine the knowledge gained on the biology, pathogenesis, immunity and diagnosis of Plasmodium infection from recent proteomic studies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Trends in Microbial Proteomics. PMID:24140976

  14. Parasitic plants of the genus Cuscuta and their interaction with susceptible and resistant host plants

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Bettina; Vogg, Gerd; Fürst, Ursula B.; Albert, Markus

    2015-01-01

    By comparison with plant–microbe interaction, little is known about the interaction of parasitic plants with their hosts. Plants of the genus Cuscuta belong to the family of Cuscutaceae and comprise about 200 species, all of which live as stem holoparasites on other plants. Cuscuta spp. possess no roots nor fully expanded leaves and the vegetative portion appears to be a stem only. The parasite winds around plants and penetrates the host stems via haustoria, forming direct connections to the vascular bundles of their hosts to withdraw water, carbohydrates, and other solutes. Besides susceptible hosts, a few plants exist that exhibit an active resistance against infestation by Cuscuta spp. For example, cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fends off Cuscuta reflexa by means of a hypersensitive-type response occurring in the early penetration phase. This report on the plant–plant dialog between Cuscuta spp. and its host plants focuses on the incompatible interaction of C. reflexa with tomato. PMID:25699071

  15. Parasite co-infection and interaction as drivers of host heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Cattadori, I M; Boag, B; Hudson, P J

    2008-03-01

    We examined the hypothesis that the interaction between concomitant infecting parasites modifies host susceptibility, parasite intensity and the pattern of parasite distribution within the host population. We used a 26 year time series of three common parasites in a natural population of rabbits: two gastrointestinal nematodes (Trichostrongylus retortaeformis and Graphidium strigosum) and the immunosuppressive myxoma virus. The frequency distribution of nematodes in the host population and the relationship between host age and nematode intensity were explored in rabbits with either single or dual nematode infections and rabbits infected with the nematodes and myxoma virus. The aggregation of T. retortaeformis and G. strigosum among the rabbits varied with the nature of the co-infection both in male and female hosts. The two nematodes exhibited different age-intensity profiles: G. strigosum intensity increased exponentially with host age while T. retortaeformis intensity exhibited a convex shape. The presence of a secondary infection did not change the age-intensity profile for G. strigosum but for T. retortaeformis co-infection (either both nematodes or myxoma-nematodes) resulted in significantly greater intensities in adult hosts. Results suggest that multi-species infections contributed to aggregation of parasites in the host population and to seasonal variation in intensity, but also enhanced differences in parasitism between sexes. This effect was apparent for T. retortaeformis, which appears to elicit a strong acquired immune response but not for G. strigosum which does not produce any evident immune reaction. We concluded that concomitant infections mediated by host immunity are important in modifying host susceptibility and influencing heterogeneity amongst individual hosts. PMID:17936286

  16. The mode of host–parasite interaction shapes coevolutionary dynamics and the fate of host cooperation

    PubMed Central

    Quigley, Benjamin J. Z.; García López, Diana; Buckling, Angus; McKane, Alan J.; Brown, Sam P.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22740644

  17. MicroRNAs in the Host-Apicomplexan Parasites Interactions: A Review of Immunopathological Aspects

    PubMed Central

    Judice, Carla C.; Bourgard, Catarina; Kayano, Ana C. A. V.; Albrecht, Letusa; Costa, Fabio T. M.

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding regulatory RNAs, have been detected in a variety of organisms ranging from ancient unicellular eukaryotes to mammals. They have been associated with numerous molecular mechanisms involving developmental, physiological and pathological changes of cells and tissues. Despite the fact that miRNA-silencing mechanisms appear to be absent in some Apicomplexan species, an increasing number of studies have reported a role for miRNAs in host-parasite interactions. Host miRNA expression can change following parasite infection and the consequences can lead, for instance, to parasite clearance. In this context, the immune system signaling appears to have a crucial role. PMID:26870701

  18. Helminth fauna of chiropterans in Amazonia: biological interactions between parasite and host.

    PubMed

    de Albuquerque, Ana Cláudia Alexandre; Moraes, Marcela Figueiredo Duarte; Silva, Ana Carolina; Lapera, Ivan Moura; Tebaldi, José Hairton; Lux Hoppe, Estevam G

    2016-08-01

    Amazonia, the largest Brazilian biome, is one of the most diverse biomes around the world. Considering the Brazilian chiropteran species, 120 out of known 167 species are registered in Pará state, with 10 endemic species. Despite the high diversity of bats in Amazonia, studies on their parasites, especially on helminths, are scarce. Therefore, the present study aims to study the helminth fauna of different bats from the Pará state, Amazon biome, determine the descriptors of infection, and evaluate the host-parasite interactions, as well as evaluate differences in ecological indexes in accordance with the feeding guilds. The study was developed on 67 bats of 21 species captured in several areas of the Pará state. The animals were identified, divided into feeding guilds, and necropsied. The parasites obtained were identified and quantified. A total of 182 parasites were found in 20.89 % of the studied bats, representing nine species, as follows: Anenterotrema eduardocaballeroi, Anenterotrema liliputianum, Ochoterenatrema caballeroi, Tricholeiperia sp., Parahistiostrongylus octacanthus, Litomosoides guiterasi, Litomosoides brasiliensis, Capillariinae gen. sp., and Hymenolepididae gen. sp. Also, the results indicated that there was no impact of parasitism on host body condition and no relationship between sex and parasite intensity. In relation to the feeding guilds, the omnivores showed higher prevalence and mean intensity. Animals from regions closer to the equator tend to have greater richness in parasite species, but the present study revealed low diversity and richness in species. In conclusion, the ecological pattern observed for other animal groups, in which higher parasitic diversity are registered in lower latitudes, is not applicable to chiropterans from the study area. PMID:27121257

  19. Involvement of apoptosis in host-parasite interactions in the zebra mussel.

    PubMed

    Minguez, Laëtitia; Brulé, Nelly; Sohm, Bénédicte; Devin, Simon; Giambérini, Laure

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23785455

  20. Involvement of Apoptosis in Host-Parasite Interactions in the Zebra Mussel

    PubMed Central

    Minguez, Laëtitia; Brulé, Nelly; Sohm, Bénédicte; Devin, Simon; Giambérini, Laure

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23785455

  1. The ecology, evolution, impacts and management of host-parasite interactions of marine molluscs.

    PubMed

    Coen, Loren D; Bishop, Melanie J

    2015-10-01

    Molluscs are economically and ecologically important components of aquatic ecosystems. In addition to supporting valuable aquaculture and wild-harvest industries, their populations determine the structure of benthic communities, cycling of nutrients, serve as prey resources for higher trophic levels and, in some instances, stabilize shorelines and maintain water quality. This paper reviews existing knowledge of the ecology of host-parasite interactions involving marine molluscs, with a focus on gastropods and bivalves. It considers the ecological and evolutionary impacts of molluscan parasites on their hosts and vice versa, and on the communities and ecosystems in which they are a part, as well as disease management and its ecological impacts. An increasing number of case studies show that disease can have important effects on marine molluscs, their ecological interactions and ecosystem services, at spatial scales from centimeters to thousands of kilometers and timescales ranging from hours to years. In some instances the cascading indirect effects arising from parasitic infection of molluscs extend well beyond the temporal and spatial scales at which molluscs are affected by disease. In addition to the direct effects of molluscan disease, there can be large indirect impacts on marine environments resulting from strategies, such as introduction of non-native species and selective breeding for disease resistance, put in place to manage disease. Much of our understanding of impacts of molluscan diseases on the marine environment has been derived from just a handful of intensively studied marine parasite-host systems, namely gastropod-trematode, cockle-trematode, and oyster-protistan interactions. Understanding molluscan host-parasite dynamics is of growing importance because: (1) expanding aquaculture; (2) current and future climate change; (3) movement of non-native species; and (4) coastal development are modifying molluscan disease dynamics, ultimately leading to

  2. Cohabitation in the intestine: interactions between helminth parasites, bacterial microbiota and host immunity

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Lisa A.; Finlay, B. Brett; Maizels, Rick M.

    2015-01-01

    Both intestinal helminth parasites and certain bacterial microbiota species have been credited with strong immunomodulatory effects. Recent studies have reported that the presence of helminth infection alters the composition of the bacterial intestinal microbiota, and conversely that the presence and composition of the bacterial microbiota affects helminth colonisation and persistence within mammalian hosts. This article reviews recent findings on these reciprocal relationships, in both human populations and mouse models at the level of potential mechanistic pathways, and the implications these bear for immunomodulatory effects on allergic and autoimmune disorders. Understanding the multidirectional complex interactions between intestinal microbes, helminth parasites and the host immune system will allow for a more holistic approach when using pro-, pre-, synbiotics, antibiotics and anthelmintics, and when designing treatments for autoimmune and allergic conditions. PMID:26477048

  3. Cohabitation in the Intestine: Interactions among Helminth Parasites, Bacterial Microbiota, and Host Immunity.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Lisa A; Finlay, B Brett; Maizels, Rick M

    2015-11-01

    Both intestinal helminth parasites and certain bacterial microbiota species have been credited with strong immunomodulatory effects. Recent studies reported that the presence of helminth infection alters the composition of the bacterial intestinal microbiota and, conversely, that the presence and composition of the bacterial microbiota affect helminth colonization and persistence within mammalian hosts. This article reviews recent findings on these reciprocal relationships, in both human populations and mouse models, at the level of potential mechanistic pathways and the implications these bear for immunomodulatory effects on allergic and autoimmune disorders. Understanding the multidirectional complex interactions among intestinal microbes, helminth parasites, and the host immune system allows for a more holistic approach when using probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, antibiotics, and anthelmintics, as well as when designing treatments for autoimmune and allergic conditions. PMID:26477048

  4. Assessing the Effects of Climate on Host-Parasite Interactions: A Comparative Study of European Birds and Their Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Møller, Anders Pape; Merino, Santiago; Soler, Juan José; Antonov, Anton; Badás, Elisa P.; Calero-Torralbo, Miguel A.; de Lope, Florentino; Eeva, Tapio; Figuerola, Jordi; Flensted-Jensen, Einar; Garamszegi, Laszlo Z.; González-Braojos, Sonia; Gwinner, Helga; Hanssen, Sveinn Are; Heylen, Dieter; Ilmonen, Petteri; Klarborg, Kurt; Korpimäki, Erkki; Martínez, Javier; Martínez-de la Puente, Josue; Marzal, Alfonso; Matthysen, Erik; Matyjasiak, Piotr; Molina-Morales, Mercedes; Moreno, Juan; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Nielsen, Jan Tøttrup; Pap, Péter László; Rivero-de Aguilar, Juan; Shurulinkov, Peter; Slagsvold, Tore; Szép, Tibor; Szöllősi, Eszter; Török, Janos; Vaclav, Radovan; Valera, Francisco; Ziane, Nadia

    2013-01-01

    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

  5. Hepatic tissue culture model for study of host-parasite interactions in alveolar echinococcosis.

    PubMed Central

    Jura, H; Bader, A; Hartmann, M; Maschek, H; Frosch, M

    1996-01-01

    An in vitro model for growth and differentiation of the metacestode tissue of the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis is described. This model simulates the organotropism of the parasite toward the liver of the intermediate host. In the presence of collagen-embedded primary hepatocytes from rats and humans, which can be kept in culture for 2 to 3 months, the parasitic vesicles grew by exogenous budding and multiplied about 12-fold within 3 weeks. In contrast, without the hepatocytes, the metacestodes rapidly degenerated. Development of protoscolices was seen only in the presence of rat hepatocytes but not in coculture of the metacestodes with hepatocytes of human origin, thus reflecting the in vivo situation during infection of rodents and in alveolar echinococcosis in humans. The experiments indicated that growth of the metacestodes and development of protoscolices depended on soluble low-molecular-weight factors released by the hepatocytes. The in vitro-grown metacestodes did not differ morphologically from the larvae found in infected intermediate hosts, and their infectivity was completely maintained. This report describes the first in vitro model of alveolar echinococcosis and will be the basis for future studies on host-parasite interactions of this important zoonosis. PMID:8751888

  6. Host-parasite interactions in closed and open microbial cultivation system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisman, T. I.; Pechurkin, N. S.

    We studied interaction between bacteria and phages within a host-parasite system the members of the system being continuously and closely cultivated The objects of our research were auxotrophic strain Brevibacterium 22L and bacteriophage Brevibacterium sp strain A discovered in the soil of the Soviet Union Republic of Latvia using enrichment method 1 Closed system We investigated the dependence of bacteriolysis time upon the multiplicity of phage infection It was shown that reduction of phage amount by one bacterium leads to increase of marked lysis Another important factor determining cytolysis in fluid medium is the physiological state of bacterial population Specific growth rate of bacteria at the moment of phage infection was chosen as the index of the physiological state of bacteria It was revealed that the shortest latent period and the maximal phage burst is observed when the bacteria located in a favorable nutrient medium are in the logarithmic phase If the bacterial population has already passed from the logarithmic phase to the stationary one the cells become a bad host for phage reproduction and lysis occurs very slowly or even never starts at all 2 Open system In the process of continuous cultivation the members of the host-parasite system showed an ability to coexist over a long period of time After phage infection there were variations in the size of both populations and then the density of the host population reached the level close to that of the uninfected culture In this situation the phage population

  7. Parasite-host interaction in malaria: genetic clues and copy number variation

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19725943

  8. Schistosomes: the road from host-parasite interactions to vaccines in clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Capron, André; Riveau, Gilles; Capron, Monique; Trottein, François

    2005-03-01

    Insights over recent years into the interactions between helminths, including schistosomes, and the immune system have generated new concepts in immunology and significant advances in vaccine strategies. Here, we report recent advances that substantially increase our understanding of the nature of the host innate and adaptive responses to schistosomes and on strategies elaborated by the parasite to manipulate such responses. We also describe the long road that has allowed us to move from the identification of an anti-schistosome vaccine candidate, a 28kDa glutathione-S-transferase, to its recent evaluation in human clinical trials. PMID:15734662

  9. Synergistic Parasite-Pathogen Interactions Mediated by Host Immunity Can Drive the Collapse of Honeybee Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Nazzi, Francesco; Brown, Sam P.; Annoscia, Desiderato; Del Piccolo, Fabio; Di Prisco, Gennaro; Varricchio, Paola; Della Vedova, Giorgio; Cattonaro, Federica; Caprio, Emilio; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2012-01-01

    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 molecular changes associated with the collapse of honeybee colonies infested by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we show that this parasite can de-stabilise the within-host dynamics of Deformed wing virus (DWV), transforming a cryptic and vertically transmitted virus into a rapidly replicating killer, which attains lethal levels late in the season. The de-stabilisation of DWV infection is associated with an immunosuppression syndrome, characterized by a strong down-regulation of the transcription factor NF-κB. The centrality of NF-κB in host responses to a range of environmental challenges suggests that this transcription factor can act as a common currency underlying colony collapse that may be triggered by different causes. Our results offer an integrated account for the multifactorial origin of honeybee losses and a new framework for assessing, and possibly mitigating, the impact of environmental challenges on honeybee health. PMID:22719246

  10. Cotesia ruficrus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) Parasitizing Cnaphalocrocis medinalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae): Developmental Interactions and Food Utilization Efficiency of Hosts.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuan; Liu, Xiao-Gai; Wang, Jia; Zhao, Jing; Lu, Zhong-Xian; Liu, Ying-Hong

    2016-04-01

    Cotesia ruficrus (Haliday), a gregarious larval endoparasitoid, is an important biological control agent of various pest species. The developmental interactions between the host rice leaf folder, Cnaphalocrocis medinalis (Guenée), and its koinobiont parasitoid, C. ruficrus, were investigated for the first time under laboratory conditions. The effects of host instar at parasitization on the development time, clutch size, and survival of C. ruficrus were determined. The results showed that the parasitoids starting parasitism in the fourth-instar larvae had the shortest development duration and highest fecundity. Meanwhile, the growth of the host parasitized by C. ruficrus in various instars was also observed. The results indicated that the growth of the parasitized larvae was significantly inhibited, compared with unparasitized ones, irrespective of the host instar at oviposition. In addition, the effect of parasitism on food consumption and utilization of the fourth-instar larvae was determined, suggesting that the nutritional physiology of the host was affected by parasitism. Wet or dry weight gain, food consumption, and fecal matter were all significantly reduced in the parasitized larvae in contrast with the unparasitized larvae. Parasitization by C. ruficrus could significantly increase the approximate digestibility of the host. PMID:26791819

  11. Constraining the Deep Origin of Parasitic Flatworms and Host-Interactions with Fossil Evidence.

    PubMed

    De Baets, Kenneth; Dentzien-Dias, Paula; Upeniece, Ieva; Verneau, Olivier; Donoghue, Philip C J

    2015-01-01

    Novel fossil discoveries have contributed to our understanding of the evolutionary appearance of parasitism in flatworms. Furthermore, genetic analyses with greater coverage have shifted our views on the coevolution of parasitic flatworms and their hosts. The putative record of parasitic flatworms is consistent with extant host associations and so can be used to put constraints on the evolutionary origin of the parasites themselves. The future lies in new molecular clock analyses combined with additional discoveries of exceptionally preserved flatworms associated with hosts and coprolites. Besides direct evidence, the host fossil record and biogeography have the potential to constrain their evolutionary history, albeit with caution needed to avoid circularity, and a need for calibrations to be implemented in the most conservative way. This might result in imprecise, but accurate divergence estimates for the evolution of parasitic flatworms. PMID:26597066

  12. Disease ecology across soil boundaries: effects of below-ground fungi on above-ground host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Tao, Leiling; Gowler, Camden D; Ahmad, Aamina; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2015-10-22

    Host-parasite interactions are subject to strong trait-mediated indirect effects from other species. However, it remains unexplored whether such indirect effects may occur across soil boundaries and connect spatially isolated organisms. Here, we demonstrate that, by changing plant (milkweed Asclepias sp.) traits, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) significantly affect interactions between a herbivore (the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus) and its protozoan parasite (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha), which represents an interaction across four biological kingdoms. In our experiment, AMF affected parasite virulence, host resistance and host tolerance to the parasite. These effects were dependent on both the density of AMF and the identity of milkweed species: AMF indirectly increased disease in monarchs reared on some species, while alleviating disease in monarchs reared on other species. The species-specificity was driven largely by the effects of AMF on both plant primary (phosphorus) and secondary (cardenolides; toxins in milkweeds) traits. Our study demonstrates that trait-mediated indirect effects in disease ecology are extensive, such that below-ground interactions between AMF and plant roots can alter host-parasite interactions above ground. In general, soil biota may play an underappreciated role in the ecology of many terrestrial host-parasite systems. PMID:26468247

  13. Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) parasite-host interactions in the Great Lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bence, James R.; Bergstedt, Roger A.; Christie, Gavin C.; Cochran, Phillip A.; Ebener, Mark P.; Koonce, Joseph F.; Rutter, Michael A.; Swink, William D.

    2003-01-01

    Prediction of how host mortality responds to efforts to control sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus) is central to the integrated management strategy for sea lamprey (IMSL) in the Great Lakes. A parasite-host submodel is used as part of this strategy, and this includes a type-2 multi-species functional response, a developmental response, but no numerical response. General patterns of host species and size selection are consistent with the model assumptions, but some observations appear to diverge. For example, some patterns in sea lamprey marking on hosts suggest increases in selectivity for less preferred hosts and lower host survival when preferred hosts are scarce. Nevertheless, many of the IMSL assumptions may be adequate under conditions targeted by fish community objectives. Of great concern is the possibility that the survival of young parasites (parasitic-phase sea lampreys) varies substantially among lakes or over time. Joint analysis of abundance estimates for parasites being produced in streams and returning spawners could address this. Data on sea lamprey marks is a critical source of information on sea lamprey activity and potential effects. Theory connecting observed marks to sea lamprey feeding activity and host mortality is reviewed. Uncertainties regarding healing and attachment times, the probability of hosts surviving attacks, and problems in consistent classification of marks have led to widely divergent estimates of damages caused by sea lamprey. Laboratory and field studies are recommended to provide a firmer linkage between host blood loss, host mortality, and observed marks on surviving hosts, so as to improve estimates of damage.

  14. Nancy E. Beckage (1950-2012): pioneer in insect host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Riddiford, Lynn M; Webb, Bruce A

    2014-01-01

    Nancy E. Beckage is widely recognized for her pioneering work in the field of insect host-parasitoid interactions beginning with endocrine influences of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, host and its parasitoid wasp Apanteles congregatus (now Cotesia congregata) on each other's development. Moreover, her studies show that the polydnavirus carried by the parasitoid wasp not only protects the parasitoid from the host's immune defenses, but also is responsible for some of the developmental effects of parasitism. Nancy was a highly regarded mentor of both undergraduate and graduate students and more widely of women students and colleagues in entomology. Her service both to her particular area and to entomology in general through participation on federal grant review panels and in the governance of the Entomological Society of America, organization of symposia at both national and international meetings, and editorship of several different journal issues and of several books is legendary. She has left behind a lasting legacy of increased understanding of multilevel endocrine and physiological interactions among insects and other organisms and a strong network of interacting scientists and colleagues in her area of entomology. PMID:24112111

  15. Cancer and life-history traits: lessons from host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Ujvari, Beata; Beckmann, Christa; Biro, Peter A; Arnal, Audrey; Tasiemski, Aurelie; Massol, Francois; Salzet, Michel; Mery, Frederic; Boidin-Wichlacz, Celine; Misse, Dorothee; Renaud, Francois; Vittecoq, Marion; Tissot, Tazzio; Roche, Benjamin; Poulin, Robert; Thomas, Frederic

    2016-04-01

    Despite important differences between infectious diseases and cancers, tumour development (neoplasia) can nonetheless be closely compared to infectious disease because of the similarity of their effects on the body. On this basis, we predict that many of the life-history (LH) responses observed in the context of host-parasite interactions should also be relevant in the context of cancer. Parasites are thought to affect LH traits of their hosts because of strong selective pressures like direct and indirect mortality effects favouring, for example, early maturation and reproduction. Cancer can similarly also affect LH traits by imposing direct costs and/or indirectly by triggering plastic adjustments and evolutionary responses. Here, we discuss how and why a LH focus is a potentially productive but under-exploited research direction for cancer research, by focusing our attention on similarities between infectious disease and cancer with respect to their effects on LH traits and their evolution. We raise the possibility that LH adjustments can occur in response to cancer via maternal/paternal effects and that these changes can be heritable to (adaptively) modify the LH traits of their offspring. We conclude that LH adjustments can potentially influence the transgenerational persistence of inherited oncogenic mutations in populations. PMID:26887797

  16. What is a pathogen? Toward a process view of host-parasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    Méthot, Pierre-Olivier; Alizon, Samuel

    2014-01-01

    Until quite recently and since the late 19th century, medical microbiology has been based on the assumption that some micro-organisms are pathogens and others are not. This binary view is now strongly criticized and is even becoming untenable. We first provide a historical overview of the changing nature of host-parasite interactions, in which we argue that large-scale sequencing not only shows that identifying the roots of pathogenesis is much more complicated than previously thought, but also forces us to reconsider what a pathogen is. To address the challenge of defining a pathogen in post-genomic science, we present and discuss recent results that embrace the microbial genetic diversity (both within- and between-host) and underline the relevance of microbial ecology and evolution. By analyzing and extending earlier work on the concept of pathogen, we propose pathogenicity (or virulence) should be viewed as a dynamical feature of an interaction between a host and microbes. PMID:25483864

  17. Host Sexual Dimorphism and Parasite Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Duneau, David; Ebert, Dieter

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22389630

  18. Interactions among host diet, nutritional status and gastrointestinal parasite infection in wild bovids.

    PubMed

    Ezenwa, Vanessa O

    2004-03-29

    In this study, I explored the interactions among host diet, nutritional status and gastrointestinal parasitism in wild bovids by examining temporal patterns of nematode faecal egg shedding in species with different diet types during a drought and non-drought year. Study species included three grass and roughage feeders (buffalo, hartebeest, waterbuck), four mixed or intermediate feeders (eland, Grant's gazelle, impala, Thomson's gazelle) and two concentrate selectors (dik-dik, klipspringer). Six out of the nine focal species had higher mean faecal egg counts in the drought year compared to the normal year, and over the course of the dry year, monthly faecal egg counts were correlated with drought intensity in four species with low-quality diets, but no such relationship was found for species with high-quality diets. Comparisons of dietary crude protein and faecal egg count in impala showed that during the dry season, individuals with high faecal egg counts (> or =1550 eggs/g of faeces) had significantly lower crude protein levels than individuals with low (0-500 eggs/g) or moderate (550-1500 eggs/g) egg counts. These results suggest that under drought conditions, species unable to maintain adequate nutrition, mainly low-quality feeders, are less able to cope with gastrointestinal parasite infections. In particular, during dry periods, reduced protein intake seems to be associated with declining resilience and resistance to infection. PMID:15013743

  19. Interactions among host diet, nutritional status and gastrointestinal parasite infection in wild bovids

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ezenwa, V.O.

    2004-01-01

    In this study, I explored the interactions among host diet, nutritional status and gastrointestinal parasitism in wild bovids by examining temporal patterns of nematode faecal egg shedding in species with different diet types during a drought and non-drought year. Study species included three grass and roughage feeders (buffalo, hartebeest, waterbuck), four mixed or intermediate feeders (eland, Grant's gazelle, impala, Thomson's gazelle) and two concentrate selectors (dik-dik, klipspringer). Six out of the nine focal species had higher mean faecal egg counts in the drought year compared to the normal year, and over the course of the dry year, monthly faecal egg counts were correlated with drought intensity in four species with low-quality diets, but no such relationship was found for species with high-quality diets. Comparisons of dietary crude protein and faecal egg count in impala showed that during the dry season, individuals with high faecal egg counts (???1550 eggs/g of faeces) had significantly lower crude protein levels than individuals with low (0-500 eggs/g) or moderate (550-1500 eggs/g) egg counts. These results suggest that under drought conditions, species unable to maintain adequate nutrition, mainly low-quality feeders, are less able to cope with gastrointestinal parasite infections. In particular, during dry periods, reduced protein intake seems to be associated with declining resilience and resistance to infection. ?? 2003 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Host age modulates within-host parasite competition.

    PubMed

    Izhar, Rony; Routtu, Jarkko; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2015-05-01

    In many host populations, one of the most striking differences among hosts is their age. While parasite prevalence differences in relation to host age are well known, little is known on how host age impacts ecological and evolutionary dynamics of diseases. Using two clones of the water flea Daphnia magna and two clones of its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa, we examined how host age at exposure influences within-host parasite competition and virulence. We found that multiply-exposed hosts were more susceptible to infection and suffered higher mortality than singly-exposed hosts. Hosts oldest at exposure were least often infected and vice versa. Furthermore, we found that in young multiply-exposed hosts competition was weak, allowing coexistence and transmission of both parasite clones, whereas in older multiply-exposed hosts competitive exclusion was observed. Thus, age-dependent parasite exposure and host demography (age structure) could together play an important role in mediating parasite evolution. At the individual level, our results demonstrate a previously unnoticed interaction of the host's immune system with host age, suggesting that the specificity of immune function changes as hosts mature. Therefore, evolutionary models of parasite virulence might benefit from incorporating age-dependent epidemiological parameters. PMID:25994010

  1. Parasite-host interactions of bat flies (Diptera: Hippoboscoidea) in Brazilian tropical dry forests.

    PubMed

    de Vasconcelos, Pedro Fonseca; Falcão, Luiz Alberto Dolabela; Graciolli, Gustavo; Borges, Magno Augusto Zazá

    2016-01-01

    Studies on the parasitology of ectoparasitic bat flies are scarce, and they are needed to identify patterns in parasitism. Hence, in the present study, we assessed community composition, prevalence, average infestation intensity, and specificity in the fly-bat associations in Brazilian tropical dry forests. In order to do that, we used the parasitological indices known as prevalence and average infestation intensity, along with an index of host specificity. We collected 1098 bat flies of 38 species. Five of the associations found are new to Brazil, 9 are new to southeastern Brazil, and 10 are new to science. Average infestation intensity varied from 1 to 9 and prevalence 0 to 100 %. In terms of specificity, 76 % of the bat flies were associated to a single host (monoxenic). These results highlight the low capacity of bat flies to survive on a not usual host especially due to an immunological incompatibility between parasites and hosts and dispersal barriers. PMID:26475479

  2. Haemonchus contortus P-Glycoproteins Interact with Host Eosinophil Granules: A Novel Insight into the Role of ABC Transporters in Host-Parasite Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Issouf, Mohamed; Guégnard, Fabrice; Koch, Christine; Le Vern, Yves; Blanchard-Letort, Alexandra; Che, Hua; Beech, Robin N.; Kerboeuf, Dominique; Neveu, Cedric

    2014-01-01

    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

  3. Getting What Is Served? Feeding Ecology Influencing Parasite-Host Interactions in Invasive Round Goby Neogobius melanostomus

    PubMed Central

    Emde, Sebastian; Kochmann, Judith; Kuhn, Thomas; Plath, Martin; Klimpel, Sven

    2014-01-01

    Freshwater ecosystems are increasingly impacted by alien invasive species which have the potential to alter various ecological interactions like predator-prey and host-parasite relationships. Here, we simultaneously examined predator-prey interactions and parasitization patterns of the highly invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in the rivers Rhine and Main in Germany. A total of 350 N. melanostomus were sampled between June and October 2011. Gut content analysis revealed a broad prey spectrum, partly reflecting temporal and local differences in prey availability. For the major food type (amphipods), species compositions were determined. Amphipod fauna consisted entirely of non-native species and was dominated by Dikerogammarus villosus in the Main and Echinogammarus trichiatus in the Rhine. However, the availability of amphipod species in the field did not reflect their relative abundance in gut contents of N. melanostomus. Only two metazoan parasites, the nematode Raphidascaris acus and the acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus sp., were isolated from N. melanostomus in all months, whereas unionid glochidia were only detected in June and October in fish from the Main. To analyse infection pathways, we examined 17,356 amphipods and found Pomphorhynchus sp. larvae only in D. villosus in the river Rhine at a prevalence of 0.15%. Dikerogammarus villosus represented the most important amphipod prey for N. melanostomus in both rivers but parasite intensities differed between rivers, suggesting that final hosts (large predatory fishes) may influence host-parasite dynamics of N. melanostomus in its introduced range. PMID:25338158

  4. Controlled Chaos of Polymorphic Mucins in a Metazoan Parasite (Schistosoma mansoni) Interacting with Its Invertebrate Host (Biomphalaria glabrata)

    PubMed Central

    Roger, Emmanuel; Grunau, Christoph; Pierce, Raymond J.; Hirai, Hirohisa; Gourbal, Benjamin; Galinier, Richard; Emans, Rémi; Cesari, Italo M.; Cosseau, Céline; Mitta, Guillaume

    2008-01-01

    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

  5. Mechanisms of host seeking by parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Gang, Spencer S; Hallem, Elissa A

    2016-07-01

    The phylum Nematoda comprises a diverse group of roundworms that includes parasites of vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Human-parasitic nematodes infect more than one billion people worldwide and cause some of the most common neglected tropical diseases, particularly in low-resource countries [1]. Parasitic nematodes of livestock and crops result in billions of dollars in losses each year [1]. Many nematode infections are treatable with low-cost anthelmintic drugs, but repeated infections are common in endemic areas and drug resistance is a growing concern with increasing therapeutic and agricultural administration [1]. Many parasitic nematodes have an environmental infective larval stage that engages in host seeking, a process whereby the infective larvae use sensory cues to search for hosts. Host seeking is a complex behavior that involves multiple sensory modalities, including olfaction, gustation, thermosensation, and humidity sensation. As the initial step of the parasite-host interaction, host seeking could be a powerful target for preventative intervention. However, host-seeking behavior remains poorly understood. Here we review what is currently known about the host-seeking behaviors of different parasitic nematodes, including insect-parasitic nematodes, mammalian-parasitic nematodes, and plant-parasitic nematodes. We also discuss the neural bases of these behaviors. PMID:27211240

  6. Complex interactions among a nematode parasite (Daubaylia potomaca), a commensalistic annelid (Chaetogaster limnaei limnaei), and trematode parasites in a snail host (Helisoma anceps).

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Michael R; Luth, Kyle E; Esch, Gerald W

    2011-10-01

    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

  7. Atrazine reduces the transmission of an amphibian trematode by altering snail and ostracod host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, Kyle D; Belden, Jason B; Bolek, Matthew G

    2016-04-01

    Trematodes are ubiquitous members of aquatic environments, have many functional roles in ecosystems, and can cause diseases in humans, livestock, and wild animals. Despite their importance and reports of parasite population declines, few studies have concurrently assessed the effects of aquatic contaminants on multiple hosts, multiple parasite life cycle stages, and on transmission-related host-parasite interactions. Here, we test the effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of the herbicide atrazine (0, 3, 30 μg/L) on the establishment and development of an amphibian trematode (Halipegus eccentricus) in a first-intermediate snail host (Physa acuta) and in a second-intermediate ostracod host (Cypridopsis sp.). Additionally, we test the interactive effects of atrazine and parasitism on snail and ostracod survival. Our results indicate that atrazine negatively affects trematode transmission by altering snail and ostracod host-parasite interactions. Although atrazine did not affect the survival of uninfected snails alone, atrazine acted synergistically with parasitism to reduce the longevity of infected snails. As a result, the number of cercariae (i.e., larval trematodes) produced by snails was 50.7 % (3 μg/L) and 14.9 % (30 μg/L) relative to controls. Atrazine exhibited direct negative effects on ostracod survival at 30 μg/L. However, when ostracods were also exposed to trematodes, the negative effects of atrazine on survival were diminished. Although infected ostracod survival remained high, trematode development was significantly reduced, resulting in reduced infectivity of metacercariae (i.e., nongravid adult cysts infective to definite host) to 32.2 % (3 μg/L) and 28.6 % (30 μg/L) relative to the controls. The combination of reduced cercaria production and reduced metacercarial infectivity in the 3 and 30 μg/L atrazine treatment groups reduced the net number of infective worms produced to 16.4 and 4.3 % (respectively) relative to the control

  8. Learned parasite avoidance is driven by host personality and resistance to infection in a fish-trematode interaction.

    PubMed

    Klemme, Ines; Karvonen, Anssi

    2016-09-14

    Cognitive abilities related to the assessment of risk improve survival. While earlier studies have examined the ability of animals to learn to avoid predators, learned parasite avoidance has received little interest. In a series of behavioural trials with the trematode parasite Diplostomum pseudospathaceum, we asked whether sea trout (Salmo trutta trutta) hosts show associative learning in the context of parasitism and if so, whether learning capacity is related to the likelihood of infection mediated through host personality and resistance. We show that animals are capable of learning to avoid visual cues associated with the presence of parasites. However, avoidance behaviour ceased after the likely activation of host resistance following consecutive exposures during learning, suggesting that resistance to infection outweighs avoidance. Further, we found a positive relationship between learning ability and boldness, suggesting a compensation of risky lifestyles through increased investment in cognitive abilities. By contrast, an increased risk of infection due to low resistance was not balanced by learning ability. Instead, these traits were positively related, which may be explained by inherent physiological qualities controlling both traits. Overall, the results demonstrate that parasitism, in addition to other biological interactions such as predation, is an important selective factor in the evolution of animal cognition. PMID:27605504

  9. Urbanization breaks up host-parasite interactions: a case study on parasite community ecology of rufous-bellied thrushes (Turdus rufiventris) along a rural-urban gradient.

    PubMed

    Calegaro-Marques, Cláudia; Amato, Suzana B

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization drastically alters natural ecosystems and the structure of their plant and animal communities. Whereas some species cope successfully with these environmental changes, others may go extinct. In the case of parasite communities, the expansion of urban areas has a critical effect by changing the availability of suitable substrates for the eggs or free-larval stages of those species with direct life cycles or for the range of hosts of those species with complex cycles. In this study we investigated the influence of the degree of urbanization and environmental heterogeneity on helminth richness, abundance and community structure of rufous-bellied thrushes (Turdus rufiventris) along a rural-urban gradient in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. This common native bird species of southern Brazil hosts 15 endoparasite species at the study region. A total of 144 thrushes were collected with mist nets at 11 sites. The degree of urbanization and environmental heterogeneity were estimated by quantifying five landscape elements: buildings, woodlands, fields, bare lands, and water. Landscape analyses were performed at two spatial scales (10 and 100 ha) taking into account home range size and the potential dispersal distance of thrushes and their prey (intermediate hosts). Mean parasite richness showed an inverse relationship with the degree of urbanization, but a positive relationship with environmental heterogeneity. Changes in the structure of component communities along the rural-urban gradient resulted from responses to the availability of particular landscape elements that are compatible with the parasites' life cycles. We found that the replacement of natural environments with buildings breaks up host-parasite interactions, whereas a higher environmental (substrate) diversity allows the survival of a wider range of intermediate hosts and vectors and their associated parasites. PMID:25068271

  10. Urbanization Breaks Up Host-Parasite Interactions: A Case Study on Parasite Community Ecology of Rufous-Bellied Thrushes (Turdus rufiventris) along a Rural-Urban Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Calegaro-Marques, Cláudia; Amato, Suzana B.

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization drastically alters natural ecosystems and the structure of their plant and animal communities. Whereas some species cope successfully with these environmental changes, others may go extinct. In the case of parasite communities, the expansion of urban areas has a critical effect by changing the availability of suitable substrates for the eggs or free-larval stages of those species with direct life cycles or for the range of hosts of those species with complex cycles. In this study we investigated the influence of the degree of urbanization and environmental heterogeneity on helminth richness, abundance and community structure of rufous-bellied thrushes (Turdus rufiventris) along a rural-urban gradient in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. This common native bird species of southern Brazil hosts 15 endoparasite species at the study region. A total of 144 thrushes were collected with mist nets at 11 sites. The degree of urbanization and environmental heterogeneity were estimated by quantifying five landscape elements: buildings, woodlands, fields, bare lands, and water. Landscape analyses were performed at two spatial scales (10 and 100 ha) taking into account home range size and the potential dispersal distance of thrushes and their prey (intermediate hosts). Mean parasite richness showed an inverse relationship with the degree of urbanization, but a positive relationship with environmental heterogeneity. Changes in the structure of component communities along the rural-urban gradient resulted from responses to the availability of particular landscape elements that are compatible with the parasites' life cycles. We found that the replacement of natural environments with buildings breaks up host-parasite interactions, whereas a higher environmental (substrate) diversity allows the survival of a wider range of intermediate hosts and vectors and their associated parasites. PMID:25068271

  11. Hosts and parasites as aliens.

    PubMed

    Taraschewski, H

    2006-06-01

    Over the past decades, various free-living animals (hosts) and their parasites have invaded recipient areas in which they had not previously occurred, thus gaining the status of aliens or exotics. In general this happened to a low extent for hundreds of years. With variable frequency, invasions have been followed by the dispersal and establishment of non-indigenous species, whether host or parasite. In the literature thus far, colonizations by both hosts and parasites have not been treated and reviewed together, although both are usually interwoven in various ways. As to those factors permitting invasive success and colonization strength, various hypotheses have been put forward depending on the scientific background of respective authors and on the conspicuousness of certain invasions. Researchers who have tried to analyse characteristic developmental patterns, the speed of dispersal or the degree of genetic divergence in populations of alien species have come to different conclusions. Among parasitologists, the applied aspects of parasite invasions, such as the negative effects on economically important hosts, have long been at the centre of interest. In this contribution, invasions by hosts as well as parasites are considered comparatively, revealing many similarities and a few differences. Two helminths, the liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, of cattle and sheep and the swimbladder nematode, Anguillicola crassus, of eels are shown to be useful as model parasites for the study of animal invasions and environmental global change. Introductions of F. hepatica have been associated with imports of cattle or other grazing animals. In various target areas, susceptible lymnaeid snails serving as intermediate hosts were either naturally present and/or were introduced from the donor continent of the parasite (Europe) and/or from other regions which were not within the original range of the parasite, partly reflecting progressive stages of a global biota change. In several

  12. Host–parasite interactions during a biological invasion: The fate of lungworms (Rhabdias spp.) inside native and novel anuran hosts

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Felicity B.L.; Brown, Gregory P.; Shilton, Catherine; Shine, Richard

    2015-01-01

    The cane toad invasion in Australia provides a robust opportunity to clarify the infection process in co-evolved versus de novo host–parasite interactions. We investigated these infection dynamics through histological examination following experimental infections of metamorphs of native frogs (Cyclorana australis) and cane toads (Rhinella marina) with Rhabdias hylae (the lungworm found in native frogs) and Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala (the lungworm found in cane toads). Cane toads reared under continuous exposure to infective larvae of the frog lungworm were examined after periods of 2, 6, 10 and 15 days. Additionally, both toads and frogs were exposed for 24 h to larvae of either the toad or the frog lungworm, and examined 2, 5, 10 and 20 days post-treatment. R. hylae (frog) lungworms entered cane toads and migrated through the body but were not found in the target tissue, the lungs. Larvae of both lungworm species induced inflammation in both types of hosts, although the immune response (relative numbers of different cell types) differed between hosts and between parasite species. Co-evolution has modified the immune response elicited by infection and (perhaps for that reason) has enhanced the parasite's ability to survive and to reach the host's lungs. PMID:25973392

  13. Genome sequencing and comparative genomics of honey bee microsporidia, Nosema apis reveal novel insights into host-parasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The microsporidia parasite Nosema contributes to the steep global decline of honey bees that are critical pollinators of food crops. There are two species of Nosema that have been found to infect honey bees, Nosema apis and N. ceranae. Genome sequencing of N. apis and comparative genome analysis with N. ceranae, a fully sequenced microsporidia species, reveal novel insights into host-parasite interactions underlying the parasite infections. Results We applied the whole-genome shotgun sequencing approach to sequence and assemble the genome of N. apis which has an estimated size of 8.5 Mbp. We predicted 2,771 protein- coding genes and predicted the function of each putative protein using the Gene Ontology. The comparative genomic analysis led to identification of 1,356 orthologs that are conserved between the two Nosema species and genes that are unique characteristics of the individual species, thereby providing a list of virulence factors and new genetic tools for studying host-parasite interactions. We also identified a highly abundant motif in the upstream promoter regions of N. apis genes. This motif is also conserved in N. ceranae and other microsporidia species and likely plays a role in gene regulation across the microsporidia. Conclusions The availability of the N. apis genome sequence is a significant addition to the rapidly expanding body of microsprodian genomic data which has been improving our understanding of eukaryotic genome diversity and evolution in a broad sense. The predicted virulent genes and transcriptional regulatory elements are potential targets for innovative therapeutics to break down the life cycle of the parasite. PMID:23829473

  14. Myxidium mackiei (Myxosporea) in Indo-Gangetic flap-shelled turtles Lissemys punctata andersonii: parasite-host interaction and ultrastructure.

    PubMed

    Helke, K L; Poynton, S L

    2005-02-28

    Myxosporeans are common parasites of fish, and uncommon parasites of amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates, that can cause significant morbidity and mortality. The common genus Myxidium infects the excretory system of turtles, yet knowledge of its pathogenicity in these hosts is limited. We offer new knowledge of morphological and ultrastructural aspects of host-parasite interactions in Myxidium infections from our recent diagnostic investigations on captive freshwater turtles listed in CITES (Appendix II). We investigated the cause of death of 2 adult Indo-Gangetic flap-shelled turtles Lissemys punctata andersonii from a zoo collection. After post-mortem examination, tissues were processed for histopathology, and special stains were used to demonstrate morphology of myxosporean spores. Additional kidney tissue, immersion-fixed in formalin, was processed for transmission electron microscopy. Both turtles were infected with a myxosporidian, Myxidium mackiei, in the kidney, which occluded 5 to 10% of the renal proximal convoluted tubules. The polysporic plasmodia contained pairs of developing and mature spores. Each mature, spindle-shaped spore had 2 asymmetric valves (1 overlapping, 1 overlapped), with 10 to 13 and 10 to 14 longitudinal ridges per valve, and 2 polar capsules each containing a polar filament with 4 to 5 turns. A pair of spores, each surrounded by a membrane-bound electron-lucent matrix, lay in an enclosing cell within the plasmodium. Regions of the parasite-host interface consisted of undulations of the parasite surface, with intense pinocytotic activity beneath, intermingled with the hosts' microvilli, and endocytotic channels at the apex of renal epithelial cells. The microvilli of the renal epithelial cells of infected tubules were frequently sheared or compressed, or occasionally missing; we did not detect other pathology induced by the parasite. Our report of M. mackiei in L. punctata is a new host record. Both individuals also had disseminated

  15. Molecular characterization of S. japonicum exosome-like vesicles reveals their regulatory roles in parasite-host interactions.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lihui; Liu, Juntao; Dao, Jinwei; Lu, Ke; Li, Hao; Gu, Huiming; Liu, Jinming; Feng, Xingang; Cheng, Guofeng

    2016-01-01

    Secreted extracellular vesicles play an important role in pathogen-host interactions. Increased knowledge of schistosome extracellular vesicles could provide insights into schistosome-host interactions and enable the development of novel intervention strategies to inhibit parasitic processes and lessen disease transmission. Here, we describe biochemical characterization of Schistosoma japonicum exosome-like vesicles (S. japonicum EVs). A total of 403 proteins were identified in S. japonicum EVs, and bioinformatics analyses indicated that these proteins were mainly involved in binding, catalytic activity, and translation regulatory activity. Next, we characterized the population of small RNAs associated with S. japonicum EVs. Further studies demonstrated that mammalian cells could internalize S. japonicum EVs and transfer their cargo miRNAs to recipient cells. Additionally, we found that a specific miRNA, likely originating from a final host, ocu-miR-191-5p, is also associated with S. japonicum EVs. Overall, our findings demonstrate that S. japonicum EVs could be implicated in the pathogenesis of schistosomiasis via a mechanism involving the transfer of their cargo miRNAs to hosts. Our findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms of schistosome-host interactions. PMID:27172881

  16. Molecular characterization of S. japonicum exosome-like vesicles reveals their regulatory roles in parasite-host interactions

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Lihui; Liu, Juntao; Dao, Jinwei; Lu, Ke; Li, Hao; Gu, Huiming; Liu, Jinming; Feng, Xingang; Cheng, Guofeng

    2016-01-01

    Secreted extracellular vesicles play an important role in pathogen-host interactions. Increased knowledge of schistosome extracellular vesicles could provide insights into schistosome-host interactions and enable the development of novel intervention strategies to inhibit parasitic processes and lessen disease transmission. Here, we describe biochemical characterization of Schistosoma japonicum exosome-like vesicles (S. japonicum EVs). A total of 403 proteins were identified in S. japonicum EVs, and bioinformatics analyses indicated that these proteins were mainly involved in binding, catalytic activity, and translation regulatory activity. Next, we characterized the population of small RNAs associated with S. japonicum EVs. Further studies demonstrated that mammalian cells could internalize S. japonicum EVs and transfer their cargo miRNAs to recipient cells. Additionally, we found that a specific miRNA, likely originating from a final host, ocu-miR-191–5p, is also associated with S. japonicum EVs. Overall, our findings demonstrate that S. japonicum EVs could be implicated in the pathogenesis of schistosomiasis via a mechanism involving the transfer of their cargo miRNAs to hosts. Our findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms of schistosome-host interactions. PMID:27172881

  17. Hookworm SCP/TAPS protein structure--A key to understanding host-parasite interactions and developing new interventions.

    PubMed

    Osman, Asiah; Wang, Conan K; Winter, Anja; Loukas, Alex; Tribolet, Leon; Gasser, Robin B; Hofmann, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    SCP/TAPS proteins are a diverse family of molecules in eukaryotes, including parasites. Despite their abundant occurrence in parasite secretomes, very little is known about their functions in parasitic nematodes, including blood-feeding hookworms. Current information indicates that SCP/TAPS proteins (called Ancylostoma-secreted proteins, ASPs) of the canine hookworm, Ancylostoma caninum, represent at least three distinct groups of proteins. This information, combined with comparative modelling, indicates that all known ASPs have an equatorial groove that binds extended structures, such as peptides or glycans. To elucidate structure-function relationships, we explored the three-dimensional crystal structure of an ASP (called Ac-ASP-7), which is highly up-regulated in expression in the transition of A. caninum larvae from a free-living to a parasitic stage. The topology of the N-terminal domain is consistent with pathogenesis-related proteins, and the C-terminal extension that resembles the fold of the Hinge domain. By anomalous diffraction, we identified a new metal binding site in the C-terminal extension of the protein. Ac-ASP-7 is in a monomer-dimer equilibrium, and crystal-packing analysis identified a dimeric structure which might resemble the homo-dimer in solution. The dimer interaction interface includes a novel binding site for divalent metal ions, and is proposed to serve as a binding site for proteins involved in the parasite-host interplay at the molecular level. Understanding this interplay and the integration of structural and functional data could lead to the design of new approaches for the control of parasitic diseases, with biotechnological outcomes. PMID:22120067

  18. Evidence of horizontal transfer of non-autonomous Lep1 Helitrons facilitated by host-parasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Xuezhu; Gao, Jingkun; Li, Fei; Wang, Jianjun

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. Evidence of horizontal transfer of non-autonomous Lep1 Helitrons facilitated by host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xuezhu; Gao, Jingkun; Li, Fei; Wang, Jianjun

    2014-01-01

    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

  20. Global Gene Expression Analysis of the Zoonotic Parasite Trichinella spiralis Revealed Novel Genes in Host Parasite Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ning; Wang, Jielin; Tang, Bin; Lu, Huijun; Peng, Shuai; Chang, Zhiguang; Tang, Yizhi; Yin, Jigang; Liu, Mingyuan; Tan, Yan; Chen, Qijun

    2012-01-01

    Background Trichinellosis is a typical food-borne zoonotic disease which is epidemic worldwide and the nematode Trichinella spiralis is the main pathogen. The life cycle of T. spiralis contains three developmental stages, i.e. adult worms, new borne larva (new borne L1 larva) and muscular larva (infective L1 larva). Stage-specific gene expression in the parasites has been investigated with various immunological and cDNA cloning approaches, whereas the genome-wide transcriptome and expression features of the parasite have been largely unknown. The availability of the genome sequence information of T. spiralis has made it possible to deeply dissect parasite biology in association with global gene expression and pathogenesis. Methodology and Principal Findings In this study, we analyzed the global gene expression patterns in the three developmental stages of T. spiralis using digital gene expression (DGE) analysis. Almost 15 million sequence tags were generated with the Illumina RNA-seq technology, producing expression data for more than 9,000 genes, covering 65% of the genome. The transcriptome analysis revealed thousands of differentially expressed genes within the genome, and importantly, a panel of genes encoding functional proteins associated with parasite invasion and immuno-modulation were identified. More than 45% of the genes were found to be transcribed from both strands, indicating the importance of RNA-mediated gene regulation in the development of the parasite. Further, based on gene ontological analysis, over 3000 genes were functionally categorized and biological pathways in the three life cycle stage were elucidated. Conclusions and Significance The global transcriptome of T. spiralis in three developmental stages has been profiled, and most gene activity in the genome was found to be developmentally regulated. Many metabolic and biological pathways have been revealed. The findings of the differential expression of several protein families facilitate

  1. Cell wall glycoproteins at interaction sites between parasitic giant dodder (Cuscuta reflexa) and its host Pelargonium zonale.

    PubMed

    Striberny, Bernd; Krause, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    The process of host plant penetration by parasitic dodder (genus Cuscuta) is accompanied by molecular and structural changes at the host/parasite interface. Recently, changes in pectin methyl esterification levels in the host cell walls abutting parasitic cells in established infection sites were reported. In addition to that, we show here that the composition of cell wall glycoproteins in Cuscuta-infected Pelargonium zonale undergoes substantial changes. While several arabinogalactan protein epitopes exhibit decreased abundances in the vicinity of the Cuscuta reflexa haustorium, extensins tend to increase in the infected areas. PMID:26367804

  2. Cell wall glycoproteins at interaction sites between parasitic giant dodder (Cuscuta reflexa) and its host Pelargonium zonale

    PubMed Central

    Striberny, Bernd; Krause, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    The process of host plant penetration by parasitic dodder (genus Cuscuta) is accompanied by molecular and structural changes at the host/parasite interface. Recently, changes in pectin methyl esterification levels in the host cell walls abutting parasitic cells in established infection sites were reported. In addition to that, we show here that the composition of cell wall glycoproteins in Cuscuta-infected Pelargonium zonale undergoes substantial changes. While several arabinogalactan protein epitopes exhibit decreased abundances in the vicinity of the Cuscuta reflexa haustorium, extensins tend to increase in the infected areas. PMID:26367804

  3. From parasitism to mutualism: unexpected interactions between a cuckoo and its host.

    PubMed

    Canestrari, Daniela; Bolopo, Diana; Turlings, Ted C J; Röder, Gregory; Marcos, José M; Baglione, Vittorio

    2014-03-21

    Avian brood parasites lay eggs in the nests of other birds, which raise the unrelated chicks and typically suffer partial or complete loss of their own brood. However, carrion crows Corvus corone corone can benefit from parasitism by the great spotted cuckoo Clamator glandarius. Parasitized nests have lower rates of predation-induced failure due to production of a repellent secretion by cuckoo chicks, but among nests that are successful, those with cuckoo chicks fledge fewer crows. The outcome of these counterbalancing effects fluctuates between parasitism and mutualism each season, depending on the intensity of predation pressure. PMID:24653032

  4. Parasite species richness and intensity of interspecific interactions increase with latitude in two wide-ranging hosts.

    PubMed

    Torchin, Mark E; Miura, Osamu; Hechinger, Ryan F

    2015-11-01

    Although the latitudinal diversity gradient is a well-known and general pattern, the mechanisms structuring it remain elusive. Two key issues limit differentiating these. First, habitat type usually varies with latitude, precluding a standardized evaluation of species richness. Second, broad-scale and local factors hypothesized to shape diversity patterns covary with one another, making it difficult to tease apart independent effects. Examining communities of parasites in widely distributed hosts can eliminate some of these confounding factors. We quantified diversity and interspecific interactions for trematode parasites infecting two similar snail species across 27 degrees of latitude from 43 locations in tropical and temperate oceans. Counter to typical patterns, we found that species richness, levels of parasitism, and intensity of intraguild predation increased with latitude. Because speciation rates are precluded from driving diversity gradients in this particular system, the reversed gradients are likely due to local ecological factors, specifically, increased productivity and stability. We highlight how this system may serve as a useful tool to provide insight into what processes drive diversity gradients in general. PMID:27070022

  5. When parasites disagree: evidence for parasite-induced sabotage of host manipulation.

    PubMed

    Hafer, Nina; Milinski, Manfred

    2015-03-01

    Host manipulation is a common parasite strategy to alter host behavior in a manner to enhance parasite fitness usually by increasing the parasite's transmission to the next host. In nature, hosts often harbor multiple parasites with agreeing or conflicting interests over host manipulation. Natural selection might drive such parasites to cooperation, compromise, or sabotage. Sabotage would occur if one parasite suppresses the manipulation of another. Experimental studies on the effect of multi-parasite interactions on host manipulation are scarce, clear experimental evidence for sabotage is elusive. We tested the effect of multiple infections on host manipulation using laboratory-bred copepods experimentally infected with the trophically transmitted tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus. This parasite is known to manipulate its host depending on its own developmental stage. Coinfecting parasites with the same aim enhance each other's manipulation but only after reaching infectivity. If the coinfecting parasites disagree over host manipulation, the infective parasite wins this conflict: the noninfective one has no effect. The winning (i.e., infective) parasite suppresses the manipulation of its noninfective competitor. This presents conclusive experimental evidence for both cooperation in and sabotage of host manipulation and hence a proof of principal that one parasite can alter and even neutralize manipulation by another. PMID:25643621

  6. Parasite calcineurin regulates host cell recognition and attachment by apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Aditya S.; Saha, Sudeshna; Engelberg, Klemens; Jiang, Rays H.Y.; Coleman, Bradley I.; Kosber, Aziz L.; Chen, Chun-Ti; Ganter, Markus; Espy, Nicole; Gilberger, Tim W.; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Duraisingh, Manoj T.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Apicomplexans invade a variety of metazoan host cells through mechanisms involving host cell receptor engagement and secretion of parasite factors to facilitate cellular attachment. We find that the parasite homolog of calcineurin, a calcium-regulated phosphatase complex central to signal transduction in eukaryotes, also contributes to host cell invasion by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related Toxoplasma gondii. Using reverse genetic and chemical-genetic approaches, we determine that calcineurin critically regulates and stabilizes attachment of extracellular P. falciparum to host erythrocytes before intracellular entry and has similar functions in host cell engagement by T. gondii. Calcineurin-mediated Plasmodium invasion is strongly associated with host receptors required for host cell recognition and calcineurin function distinguishes this form of receptor-mediated attachment from a second mode of host-parasite adhesion independent of host receptors. This specific role of calcineurin in coordinating physical interactions with host cells highlights an ancestral mechanism for parasitism used by apicomplexans. PMID:26118996

  7. Multitrophic interaction facilitates parasite-host relationship between an invasive beetle and the honey bee.

    PubMed

    Torto, Baldwyn; Boucias, Drion G; Arbogast, Richard T; Tumlinson, James H; Teal, Peter E A

    2007-05-15

    Colony defense by honey bees, Apis mellifera, is associated with stinging and mass attack, fueled by the release of alarm pheromones. Thus, alarm pheromones are critically important to survival of honey bee colonies. Here we report that in the parasitic relationship between the European honey bee and the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, the honey bee's alarm pheromones serve a negative function because they are potent attractants for the beetle. Furthermore, we discovered that the beetles from both Africa and the United States vector a strain of Kodamaea ohmeri yeast, which produces these same honey bee alarm pheromones when grown on pollen in hives. The beetle is not a pest of African honey bees because African bees have evolved effective methods to mitigate beetle infestation. However, European honey bees, faced with disease and pest management stresses different from those experienced by African bees, are unable to effectively inhibit beetle infestation. Therefore, the environment of the European honey bee colony provides optimal conditions to promote the unique bee-beetle-yeast-pollen multitrophic interaction that facilitates effective infestation of hives at the expense of the European honey bee. PMID:17483478

  8. Comparing mechanisms of host manipulation across host and parasite taxa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Shaw, Jenny C.

    2013-01-01

    Parasites affect host behavior in several ways. They can alter activity, microhabitats or both. For trophically transmitted parasites (the focus of our study), decreased activity might impair the ability of hosts to respond to final-host predators, and increased activity and altered microhabitat choice might increase contact rates between hosts and final-host predators. In an analysis of trophically transmitted parasites, more parasite groups altered activity than altered microhabitat choice. Parasites that infected vertebrates were more likely to impair the host’s reaction to predators, whereas parasites that infected invertebrates were more likely to increase the host’s contact with predators. The site of infection might affect how parasites manipulate their hosts. For instance, parasites in the central nervous system seem particularly suited to manipulating host behavior. Manipulative parasites commonly occupy the body cavity, muscles and central nervous systems of their hosts. Acanthocephalans in the data set differed from other taxa in that they occurred exclusively in the body cavity of invertebrates. In addition, they were more likely to alter microhabitat choice than activity. Parasites in the body cavity (across parasite types) were more likely to be associated with increased host contact with predators. Parasites can manipulate the host through energetic drain, but most parasites use more sophisticated means. For instance, parasites target four physiological systems that shape behavior in both invertebrates and vertebrates: neural, endocrine, neuromodulatory and immunomodulatory. The interconnections between these systems make it difficult to isolate specific mechanisms of host behavioral manipulation.

  9. Whipworm genome and dual-species transcriptome analyses provide molecular insights into an intimate host-parasite interaction

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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. Here we present the genome sequences of the human-infective Trichuris trichiura and the murine laboratory model T. muris. Based on whole transcriptome analyses we identify many genes that are expressed in a gender- or life stage-specific manner and characterise the transcriptional landscape of a morphological region with unique biological adaptations, namely bacillary band and stichosome, found only in whipworms and related parasites. Using RNAseq data from whipworm-infected mice we describe the regulated Th1-like immune response of the chronically infected cecum in unprecedented detail. In silico screening identifies numerous potential new 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

  10. Plastic behaviors in hosts promote the emergence of retaliatory parasites

    PubMed Central

    Chakra, Maria Abou; Hilbe, Christian; Traulsen, Arne

    2014-01-01

    Mafia like behavior, where individuals cooperate under the threat of punishment, occurs not only in humans, but is also observed in several animal species. Observations suggest that avian hosts tend to accept a certain degree of parasitism in order to avoid retaliating punishment from the brood parasite. To understand under which conditions it will be beneficial for a host to cooperate, we model the interaction between hosts and parasites as an evolutionary game. In our model, the host's behavior is plastic, and thus, its response depends on the previous interactions with the parasite. We find that such learned behavior in turn is crucial for the evolution of retaliating parasites. The abundance of this kind of mafia behavior oscillates in time and does not settle to an equilibrium. Our results suggest that retaliation is a mechanism for the parasite to evade specialization and to induce acceptance by the host. PMID:24589512

  11. Plastic behaviors in hosts promote the emergence of retaliatory parasites.

    PubMed

    Abou Chakra, Maria; Hilbe, Christian; Traulsen, Arne

    2014-01-01

    Mafia like behavior, where individuals cooperate under the threat of punishment, occurs not only in humans, but is also observed in several animal species. Observations suggest that avian hosts tend to accept a certain degree of parasitism in order to avoid retaliating punishment from the brood parasite. To understand under which conditions it will be beneficial for a host to cooperate, we model the interaction between hosts and parasites as an evolutionary game. In our model, the host's behavior is plastic, and thus, its response depends on the previous interactions with the parasite. We find that such learned behavior in turn is crucial for the evolution of retaliating parasites. The abundance of this kind of mafia behavior oscillates in time and does not settle to an equilibrium. Our results suggest that retaliation is a mechanism for the parasite to evade specialization and to induce acceptance by the host. PMID:24589512

  12. Parasite host range and the evolution of host resistance.

    PubMed

    Gorter, F A; Hall, A R; Buckling, A; Scanlan, P D

    2015-05-01

    Parasite host range plays a pivotal role in the evolution and ecology of hosts and the emergence of infectious disease. Although the factors that promote host range and the epidemiological consequences of variation in host range are relatively well characterized, the effect of parasite host range on host resistance evolution is less well understood. In this study, we tested the impact of parasite host range on host resistance evolution. To do so, we used the host bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 and a diverse suite of coevolved viral parasites (lytic bacteriophage Φ2) with variable host ranges (defined here as the number of host genotypes that can be infected) as our experimental model organisms. Our results show that resistance evolution to coevolved phages occurred at a much lower rate than to ancestral phage (approximately 50% vs. 100%), but the host range of coevolved phages did not influence the likelihood of resistance evolution. We also show that the host range of both single parasites and populations of parasites does not affect the breadth of the resulting resistance range in a naïve host but that hosts that evolve resistance to single parasites are more likely to resist other (genetically) more closely related parasites as a correlated response. These findings have important implications for our understanding of resistance evolution in natural populations of bacteria and viruses and other host-parasite combinations with similar underlying infection genetics, as well as the development of phage therapy. PMID:25851735

  13. Parasite and host assemblages: embracing the reality will improve our knowledge of parasite transmission and virulence

    PubMed Central

    Rigaud, Thierry; Perrot-Minnot, Marie-Jeanne; Brown, Mark J. F.

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20667874

  14. Environmentally transmitted parasites: Host-jumping in a heterogeneous environment.

    PubMed

    Caraco, Thomas; Cizauskas, Carrie A; Wang, Ing-Nang

    2016-05-21

    Groups of chronically infected reservoir-hosts contaminate resource patches by shedding a parasite׳s free-living stage. Novel-host groups visit the same patches, where they are exposed to infection. We treat arrival at patches, levels of parasite deposition, and infection of the novel host as stochastic processes, and derive the expected time elapsing until a host-jump (initial infection of a novel host) occurs. At stationarity, mean parasite densities are independent of reservoir-host group size. But within-patch parasite-density variances increase with reservoir group size. The probability of infecting a novel host declines with parasite-density variance; consequently larger reservoir groups extend the mean waiting time for host-jumping. Larger novel-host groups increase the probability of a host-jump during any single patch visit, but also reduce the total number of visits per unit time. Interaction of these effects implies that the waiting time for the first infection increases with the novel-host group size. If the reservoir-host uses resource patches in any non-uniform manner, reduced spatial overlap between host species increases the waiting time for host-jumping. PMID:26921466

  15. Potential Parasite Transmission in Multi-Host Networks Based on Parasite Sharing

    PubMed Central

    Pilosof, Shai; Morand, Serge; Krasnov, Boris R.; Nunn, Charles L.

    2015-01-01

    Epidemiological networks are commonly used to explore dynamics of parasite transmission among individuals in a population of a given host species. However, many parasites infect multiple host species, and thus multi-host networks may offer a better framework for investigating parasite dynamics. We investigated the factors that influence parasite sharing – and thus potential transmission pathways – among rodent hosts in Southeast Asia. We focused on differences between networks of a single host species and networks that involve multiple host species. In host-parasite networks, modularity (the extent to which the network is divided into subgroups of rodents that interact with similar parasites) was higher in the multi-species than in the single-species networks. This suggests that phylogeny affects patterns of parasite sharing, which was confirmed in analyses showing that it predicted affiliation of individuals to modules. We then constructed “potential transmission networks” based on the host-parasite networks, in which edges depict the similarity between a pair of individuals in the parasites they share. The centrality of individuals in these networks differed between multi- and single-species networks, with species identity and individual characteristics influencing their position in the networks. Simulations further revealed that parasite dynamics differed between multi- and single-species networks. We conclude that multi-host networks based on parasite sharing can provide new insights into the potential for transmission among hosts in an ecological community. In addition, the factors that determine the nature of parasite sharing (i.e. structure of the host-parasite network) may impact transmission patterns. PMID:25748947

  16. Repeated targeting of the same hosts by a brood parasite compromises host egg rejection

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Martin; Troscianko, Jolyon; Spottiswoode, Claire N.

    2013-01-01

    Cuckoo eggs famously mimic those of their foster parents to evade rejection from discriminating hosts. Here we test whether parasites benefit by repeatedly parasitizing the same host nest. This should make accurate rejection decisions harder, regardless of the mechanism that hosts use to identify foreign eggs. Here we find strong support for this prediction in the African tawny-flanked prinia (Prinia subflava), the most common host of the cuckoo finch (Anomalospiza imberbis). We show experimentally that hosts reject eggs that differ from an internal template, but crucially, as the proportion of foreign eggs increases, hosts are less likely to reject them and require greater differences in appearance to do so. Repeated parasitism by the same cuckoo finch female is common in host nests and likely to be an adaptation to increase the probability of host acceptance. Thus, repeated parasitism interacts with egg mimicry to exploit cognitive and sensory limitations in host defences. PMID:24064931

  17. [How does the apicomplexan parasite Theileria control host cell identity?].

    PubMed

    Marsolier, Justine; Weitzman, Jonathan B

    2014-01-01

    Infectious agents, like bacteria or virus, are responsible for a large number of pathologies in mammals. Microbes have developed mechanisms for interacting with host cell pathways and hijacking cellular machinery to change the phenotypic state. In this review, we focus on an interesting apicomplexan parasite called Theileria. Infection by the tick-transmitted T. annulata parasite causes Tropical Theileriosis in North Africa and Asia, and the related T. parva parasite causes East Coast Fever in Sub-Saharan Africa. This parasite is the only eukaryote known to induce the transformation of its mammalian host cells. Indeed, T. annulata and T. parva infect bovine leukocytes leading to transforming phenotypes, which partially mirror human lymphoma pathologies. Theileria infection causes hyperproliferation, invasiveness and escape from apoptosis, presumably through the manipulation of host cellular pathways. Several host-signaling mechanisms have been implicated. Here we describe the mechanisms involved in parasite-induced transformation phenotypes. PMID:25840458

  18. Postcolonial Ecologies of Parasite and Host: Making Parasitism Cosmopolitan.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Warwick

    2016-04-01

    The interest of F. Macfarlane Burnet in host-parasite interactions grew through the 1920s and 1930s, culminating in his book, Biological Aspects of Infectious Disease (1940), often regarded as the founding text of disease ecology. Our knowledge of the influences on Burnet's ecological thinking is still incomplete. Burnet later attributed much of his conceptual development to his reading of British theoretical biology, especially the work of Julian Huxley and Charles Elton, and regretted he did not study Theobald Smith's Parasitism and Disease (1934) until after he had formulated his ideas. Scholars also have adduced Burnet's fascination with natural history and the clinical and public health demands on his research effort, among other influences. I want to consider here additional contributions to Burnet's ecological thinking, focusing on his intellectual milieu, placing his research in a settler society with exceptional expertise in environmental studies and pest management. In part, an ''ecological turn'' in Australian science in the 1930s, derived to a degree from British colonial scientific investments, shaped Burnet's conceptual development. This raises the question of whether we might characterize, in postcolonial fashion, disease ecology, and other studies of parasitism, as successful settler colonial or dominion science. PMID:27188710

  19. Parasitism, host immune function, and sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Møller, A P; Christe, P; Lux, E

    1999-03-01

    Parasite-mediated sexual selection may arise as a consequence of 1) females avoiding mates with directly transmitted parasites, 2) females choosing less-parasitized males that provide parental care of superior quality, or 3) females choosing males with few parasites in order to obtain genes for parasite resistance in their offspring. Studies of specific host-parasite systems and comparative analyses have revealed both supportive and conflicting evidence for these hypotheses. A meta-analysis of the available evidence revealed a negative relationship between parasite load and the expression of male secondary sexual characters. Experimental studies yielded more strongly negative relationships than observations did, and the relationships were more strongly negative for ectoparasites than for endoparasites. There was no significant difference in the magnitude of the negative effect for species with and without male parental care, or between behavioral and morphological secondary sexual characters. There was a significant difference between studies based on host immune function and those based on parasite loads, with stronger effects for measures of immune function, suggesting that the many negative results from previous analyses of parasite-mediated sexual selection may be explained because relatively benign parasites were studied. The multivariate analyses demonstrating strong effect sizes of immune function in relation to the expression of secondary sexual characters, and for species with male parental care as compared to those without, suggest that parasite resistance may be a general determinant of parasite-mediated sexual selection. PMID:10081812

  20. The Interaction of Classical Complement Component C1 with Parasite and Host Calreticulin Mediates Trypanosoma cruzi Infection of Human Placenta

    PubMed Central

    Castillo, Christian; Ramírez, Galia; Valck, Carolina; Aguilar, Lorena; Maldonado, Ismael; Rosas, Carlos; Galanti, Norbel; Kemmerling, Ulrike; Ferreira, Arturo

    2013-01-01

    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

  1. Host diversity begets parasite diversity: Bird final hosts and trematodes in snail intermediate hosts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hechinger, R.F.; Lafferty, K.D.

    2005-01-01

    An unappreciated facet of biodiversity is that rich communities and high abundance may foster parasitism. For parasites that sequentially use different host species throughout complex life cycles, parasite diversity and abundance in 'downstream' hosts should logically increase with the diversity and abundance of 'upstream' hosts (which carry the preceding stages of parasites). Surprisingly, this logical assumption has little empirical support, especially regarding metazoan parasites. Few studies have attempted direct tests of this idea and most have lacked the appropriate scale of investigation. In two different studies, we used time-lapse videography to quantify birds at fine spatial scales, and then related bird communities to larval trematode communities in snail populations sampled at the same small spatial scales. Species richness, species heterogeneity and abundance of final host birds were positively correlated with species richness, species heterogeneity and abundance of trematodes in host snails. Such community-level interactions have rarely been demonstrated and have implications for community theory, epidemiological theory and ecosystem management. ?? 2005 The Royal Society.

  2. Host population bottlenecks drive parasite extinction during antagonistic coevolution

    PubMed Central

    Hesse, Elze; Buckling, Angus

    2015-01-01

    Host–parasite interactions are often characterized by large fluctuations in host population size, and we investigated how such host bottlenecks affected coevolution between a bacterium and a virus. Previous theory suggests that host bottlenecks should provide parasites with an evolutionary advantage, but instead we found that phages were rapidly driven to extinction when coevolving with hosts exposed to large genetic bottlenecks. This was caused by the stochastic loss of sensitive bacteria, which are required for phage persistence and infectivity evolution. Our findings emphasize the importance of feedbacks between ecological and coevolutionary dynamics, and how this feedback can qualitatively alter coevolutionary dynamics. PMID:26661325

  3. Parasitism and phenotypic change in colonial hosts.

    PubMed

    Hartikainen, Hanna; Fontes, Inês; Okamura, Beth

    2013-09-01

    Changes in host phenotype are often attributed to manipulation that enables parasites to complete trophic transmission cycles. We characterized changes in host phenotype in a colonial host–endoparasite system that lacks trophic transmission (the freshwater bryozoan Fredericella sultana and myxozoan parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae). We show that parasitism exerts opposing phenotypic effects at the colony and module levels. Thus, overt infection (the development of infectious spores in the host body cavity) was linked to a reduction in colony size and growth rate, while colony modules exhibited a form of gigantism. Larger modules may support larger parasite sacs and increase metabolite availability to the parasite. Host metabolic rates were lower in overtly infected relative to uninfected hosts that were not investing in propagule production. This suggests a role for direct resource competition and active parasite manipulation (castration) in driving the expression of the infected phenotype. The malformed offspring (statoblasts) of infected colonies had greatly reduced hatching success. Coupled with the severe reduction in statoblast production this suggests that vertical transmission is rare in overtly infected modules. We show that although the parasite can occasionally infect statoblasts during overt infections, no infections were detected in the surviving mature offspring, suggesting that during overt infections, horizontal transmission incurs a trade-off with vertical transmission. PMID:23965820

  4. Parasite predators exhibit a rapid numerical response to increased parasite abundance and reduce transmission to hosts

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, Skylar R; Wyderko, Jennie A; Sheehy, Robert R; Belden, Lisa K; Wojdak, Jeremy M

    2013-01-01

    Predators of parasites have recently gained attention as important parts of food webs and ecosystems. In aquatic systems, many taxa consume free-living stages of parasites, and can thus reduce parasite transmission to hosts. However, the importance of the functional and numerical responses of parasite predators to disease dynamics is not well understood. We collected host–parasite–predator cooccurrence data from the field, and then experimentally manipulated predator abundance, parasite abundance, and the presence of alternative prey to determine the consequences for parasite transmission. The parasite predator of interest was a ubiquitous symbiotic oligochaete of mollusks, Chaetogaster limnaei limnaei, which inhabits host shells and consumes larval trematode parasites. Predators exhibited a rapid numerical response, where predator populations increased or decreased by as much as 60% in just 5 days, depending on the parasite:predator ratio. Furthermore, snail infection decreased substantially with increasing parasite predator densities, where the highest predator densities reduced infection by up to 89%. Predators of parasites can play an important role in regulating parasite transmission, even when infection risk is high, and especially when predators can rapidly respond numerically to resource pulses. We suggest that these types of interactions might have cascading effects on entire disease systems, and emphasize the importance of considering disease dynamics at the community level. PMID:24340184

  5. Differential reproductive success favours strong host preference in a highly specialized brood parasite

    PubMed Central

    De Mársico, María C; Reboreda, Juan C

    2008-01-01

    Obligate avian brood parasites show dramatic variation in the degree to which they are host specialists or host generalists. The screaming cowbird Molothrus rufoaxillaris is one of the most specialized brood parasites, using a single host, the bay-winged cowbird (Agelaioides badius) over most of its range. Coevolutionary theory predicts increasing host specificity the longer the parasite interacts with a particular avian community, as hosts evolve defences that the parasite cannot counteract. According to this view, host specificity can be maintained if screaming cowbirds avoid parasitizing potentially suitable hosts that have developed effective defences against parasitic females or eggs. Specialization may also be favoured, even in the absence of host defences, if the parasite's reproductive success in alternative hosts is lower than that in the main host. We experimentally tested these hypotheses using as alternative hosts two suitable but unparasitized species: house wrens (Troglodytes aedon) and chalk-browed mockingbirds (Mimus saturninus). We assessed host defences against parasitic females and eggs, and reproductive success of the parasite in current and alternative hosts. Alternative hosts did not discriminate against screaming cowbird females or eggs. Egg survival and hatching success were similarly high in current and alternative hosts, but the survival of parasitic chicks was significantly lower in alternative hosts. Our results indicate that screaming cowbirds have the potential to colonize novel hosts, but higher reproductive success in the current host may favour host fidelity. PMID:18647716

  6. An acanthocephalan parasite boosts the escape performance of its intermediate host facing non-host predators.

    PubMed

    Medoc, V; Beisel, J-N

    2008-07-01

    Among the potential effects of parasitism on host condition, the 'increased host abilities' hypothesis is a counterintuitive pattern which might be predicted in complex-life-cycle parasites. In the case of trophic transmission, a parasite increasing its intermediate host's performance facing non-host predators improves its probability of transmission to an adequate, definitive host. In the present study, we investigated the cost of infection with the acanthocephalan Polymorphus minutus on the locomotor/escape performance of its intermediate host, the crustacean Gammarus roeseli. This parasite alters the behaviour of its intermediate host making it more vulnerable to predation by avian definitive hosts. We assessed the swimming speeds of gammarids using a stressful treatment and their escape abilities under predation pressure. Despite the encystment of P. minutus in the abdomen of its intermediate host, infected amphipods had significantly higher swimming speeds than uninfected ones (increases of up to 35%). Furthermore, when interacting with the non-host crustacean predator Dikerogammarus villosus, the highest escape speeds and greatest distances covered by invertebrates were observed for parasitized animals. The altered behaviour observed among the manipulated invertebrates supported the 'increased host abilities' hypothesis, which has until now remained untested experimentally. The tactic of increasing the ability of infected intermediate hosts to evade potential predation attempts by non-host species is discussed. PMID:18477417

  7. Host plant resistance to parasitic weeds; recent progress and bottlenecks.

    PubMed

    Yoder, John I; Scholes, Julie D

    2010-08-01

    Parasitic witchweeds (Striga spp.) and broomrapes (Orobanche and Phelipanche spp.) directly invade the roots of crop plants connecting to the vascular system and abstracting nutrients and water. As a consequence they cause devastating losses in crop yield. Genetic resistance to parasitic weeds is a highly desirable component of any control strategy. Resistance to parasitic plants can occur at different stages of the parasite lifecycle: before attachment to the host, during penetration of the root or after establishment of vascular connections. New studies are beginning to shed light on the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways involved in plant-plant resistance. The first resistance gene to Striga, encoding a CC-NBS-LRR Resistance protein (R) has been identified and cloned suggesting that host plants resist attack from parasitic plants using similar surveillance mechanisms as those used against fungal and bacterial pathogens. It is becoming clear that the salicylic acid (SA) signaling pathway plays an important role in resistance to parasitic plants and genes encoding pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins are upregulated in a number of the resistant interactions. New strategies for engineering resistance to parasitic plants are also being explored, including the expression of parasite-specific toxins in host roots and RNAi to silence parasite genes crucial for development. PMID:20627804

  8. The evolution of acceptance and tolerance in hosts of avian brood parasites.

    PubMed

    Medina, Iliana; Langmore, Naomi E

    2016-08-01

    Avian brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of their hosts, which rear the parasite's progeny. The costs of parasitism have selected for the evolution of defence strategies in many host species. Most research has focused on resistance strategies, where hosts minimize the number of successful parasitism events using defences such as mobbing of adult brood parasites or rejection of parasite eggs. However, many hosts do not exhibit resistance. Here we explore why some hosts accept parasite eggs in their nests and how this is related to the virulence of the parasite. We also explore the extent to which acceptance of parasites can be explained by the evolution of tolerance; a strategy in which the host accepts the parasite but adjusts its life history or other traits to minimize the costs of parasitism. We review examples of tolerance in hosts of brood parasites (such as modifications to clutch size and multi-broodedness), and utilize the literature on host-pathogen interactions and plant herbivory to analyse the prevalence of each type of defence (tolerance or resistance) and their evolution. We conclude that (i) the interactions between brood parasites and their hosts provide a highly tractable system for studying the evolution of tolerance, (ii) studies of host defences against brood parasites should investigate both resistance and tolerance, and (iii) tolerance and resistance can lead to contrasting evolutionary scenarios. PMID:25765722

  9. Parasites, immunology of hosts, and host sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Møller, A P; Saino, N

    1994-12-01

    Parasite-mediated sexual selection is reviewed with special emphasis on the bird literature. Choosy females may benefit from choosing parasite-free mates if such males provide better parental care, do not transmit contagious parasites, or provide resistance genes to offspring. There is evidence in support of each of these mechanisms. The immunocompetence handicap hypothesis posits that secondary sexual characters reliably reveal the ability of males to resist parasites due to the immunosuppressive effects of testosterone and other biochemicals. Several aspects of these negative feedback mechanisms are supported by laboratory studies, but evidence from free-living animals is almost completely absent. Corticosterone rather than testosterone may potentially mediate the immunocompetence handicap mechanism. A simple version of the immunocompetence handicap is developed suggesting that body condition of male hosts is a sufficient mediator of the handicap mechanism of reliable sexual signaling. Sexual selection appears to be more intense in sexually dichromatic bird species, and comparative studies using pairwise comparisons of closely related taxa reveal that sexually dichromatic bird species have larger spleens, larger bursa of Fabricius, and higher concentrations of leukocytes than monochromatic species. Parasite-mediated sexual selection is proposed to affect parasite biology by increasing (1) the variance-to-mean ratio in parasite abundance, (2) variance in the intensity of natural selection affecting hosts, and (3) speciation rates among parasites exploiting hosts subject to intense sexual selection as compared to those subject to less intense selection. PMID:7799157

  10. Cryptosporidia: epicellular parasites embraced by the host cell membrane.

    PubMed

    Valigurová, Andrea; Jirků, Miloslav; Koudela, Bretislav; Gelnar, Milan; Modrý, David; Slapeta, Jan

    2008-07-01

    The ultrastructure of two gastric cryptosporidia, Cryptosporidium muris from experimentally infected rodents (Mastomys natalensis) and Cryptosporidium sp. 'toad' from naturally infected toads (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), was studied using electron microscopy. Observations presented herein allowed us to map ultrastructural aspects of the cryptosporidian invasion process and the origin of a parasitophorous sac. Invading parasites attach to the host cell, followed by gradual envelopment, with the host's cell membrane folds, eventually forming the parasitophorous sac. Cryptosporidian developmental stages remain epicellular during the entire life cycle. The parasite development is illustrated in detail using high resolution field emission scanning electron microscopy. This provides a new insight into the ultrastructural detail of host-parasite interactions and species-specific differences manifested in frequency of detachment of the parasitophorous sac, radial folds of the parasitophorous sac and stem-formation of the parasitised host cell. PMID:18158154

  11. Complex Daphnia interactions with parasites and competitors.

    PubMed

    Cáceres, C E; Davis, G; Duple, S; Hall, S R; Koss, A; Lee, P; Rapti, Z

    2014-12-01

    Species interactions can strongly influence the size and dynamics of epidemics in populations of focal hosts. The "dilution effect" provides a particularly interesting type of interaction from a biological standpoint. Diluters - other host species which resist infection but remove environmentally-distributed propagules of parasites (spores) - should reduce disease prevalence in focal hosts. However, diluters and focal hosts may compete for shared resources. This combination of positive (dilution) and negative (competition) effects could greatly complicate, even undermine, the benefits of dilution and diluter species from the perspective of the focal host. Motivated by an example from the plankton (i.e., zooplankton hosts, a fungal parasite, and algal resources), we study a model of dilution and competition. Our model reveals a suite of five results: • A diluter that is a superior competitor wipes out the host, regardless of parasitism. Although expected, this outcome is an ever-present danger in strategies that might use diluters to control disease. • If the diluter is an inferior competitor, it can reduce disease prevalence, despite the competition, as parameterized in our model. However, competition may also reduce density of susceptible hosts to levels below that seen in focal host-parasite systems alone. • As they decrease disease prevalence, diluters destabilize dynamics of the focal host and their resources. Thus, diluters undermine the stabilizing effects of disease. • The four species combination can generate very complex dynamics, including period-doubling bifurcations and torus (Neimark-Sacker) bifurcations. • At lower resource carrying capacity, the diluter’s dilution of spores is 'helpful' to the focal host, i.e., dilution can elevate host density by reducing disease. But, as the resource carrying capacity increases further, the equilibrium density of the diluter increases while the density of the focal host decreases, despite competition

  12. Host behaviour-parasite feedback: an essential link between animal behaviour and disease ecology.

    PubMed

    Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Archie, Elizabeth A; Craft, Meggan E; Hawley, Dana M; Martin, Lynn B; Moore, Janice; White, Lauren

    2016-04-13

    Animal behaviour and the ecology and evolution of parasites are inextricably linked. For this reason, animal behaviourists and disease ecologists have been interested in the intersection of their respective fields for decades. Despite this interest, most research at the behaviour-disease interface focuses either on how host behaviour affects parasites or how parasites affect behaviour, with little overlap between the two. Yet, the majority of interactions between hosts and parasites are probably reciprocal, such that host behaviour feeds back on parasites and vice versa. Explicitly considering these feedbacks is essential for understanding the complex connections between animal behaviour and parasite ecology and evolution. To illustrate this point, we discuss how host behaviour-parasite feedbacks might operate and explore the consequences of feedback for studies of animal behaviour and parasites. For example, ignoring the feedback of host social structure on parasite dynamics can limit the accuracy of predictions about parasite spread. Likewise, considering feedback in studies of parasites and animal personalities may provide unique insight about the maintenance of variation in personality types. Finally, applying the feedback concept to links between host behaviour and beneficial, rather than pathogenic, microbes may shed new light on transitions between mutualism and parasitism. More generally, accounting for host behaviour-parasite feedbacks can help identify critical gaps in our understanding of how key host behaviours and parasite traits evolve and are maintained. PMID:27053751

  13. Host behaviour–parasite feedback: an essential link between animal behaviour and disease ecology

    PubMed Central

    Archie, Elizabeth A.; Craft, Meggan E.; Hawley, Dana M.; Martin, Lynn B.; Moore, Janice; White, Lauren

    2016-01-01

    Animal behaviour and the ecology and evolution of parasites are inextricably linked. For this reason, animal behaviourists and disease ecologists have been interested in the intersection of their respective fields for decades. Despite this interest, most research at the behaviour–disease interface focuses either on how host behaviour affects parasites or how parasites affect behaviour, with little overlap between the two. Yet, the majority of interactions between hosts and parasites are probably reciprocal, such that host behaviour feeds back on parasites and vice versa. Explicitly considering these feedbacks is essential for understanding the complex connections between animal behaviour and parasite ecology and evolution. To illustrate this point, we discuss how host behaviour–parasite feedbacks might operate and explore the consequences of feedback for studies of animal behaviour and parasites. For example, ignoring the feedback of host social structure on parasite dynamics can limit the accuracy of predictions about parasite spread. Likewise, considering feedback in studies of parasites and animal personalities may provide unique insight about the maintenance of variation in personality types. Finally, applying the feedback concept to links between host behaviour and beneficial, rather than pathogenic, microbes may shed new light on transitions between mutualism and parasitism. More generally, accounting for host behaviour–parasite feedbacks can help identify critical gaps in our understanding of how key host behaviours and parasite traits evolve and are maintained. PMID:27053751

  14. For Host's Sake: The Pluses of Parasite Preservation.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Hamish G; Zuk, Marlene

    2016-05-01

    Conservation biologists now realize that parasites of endangered hosts should be conserved for their own sake and as part of their host's natural environment. But parasites should also be conserved because parasitic exposure might be crucial to the host's development of a fully functional immune system and hence to the survival of the host. PMID:27020732

  15. Deviance partitioning of host factors affecting parasitization in the European brown hare ( Lepus europaeus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alzaga, Vanesa; Tizzani, Paolo; Acevedo, Pelayo; Ruiz-Fons, Francisco; Vicente, Joaquín; Gortázar, Christian

    2009-10-01

    Deviance partitioning can provide new insights into the ecology of host-parasite interactions. We studied the host-related factors influencing parasite prevalence, abundance, and species richness in European brown hares ( Lepus europaeus) from northern Spain. We defined three groups of explanatory variables: host environment, host population, and individual factors. We hypothesised that parasite infection rates and species richness were determined by different host-related factors depending on the nature of the parasite (endo- or ectoparasite, direct or indirect life cycle). To assess the relative importance of these components, we used deviance partitioning, an innovative approach. The explained deviance (ED) was higher for parasite abundance models, followed by those of prevalence and then by species richness, suggesting that parasite abundance models may best describe the host factors influencing parasitization. Models for parasites with a direct life cycle yielded higher ED values than those for indirect life cycle ones. As a general trend, host individual factors explained the largest proportion of the ED, followed by host environmental factors and, finally, the interaction between host environmental and individual factors. Similar hierarchies were found for parasite prevalence, abundance, and species richness. Individual factors comprised the most relevant group of explanatory variables for both types of parasites. However, host environmental factors were also relevant in models for indirect life-cycle parasites. These findings are consistent with the idea of the host as the main habitat of the parasite; whereas, for indirect life-cycle parasites, transmission would be also modulated by environmental conditions. We suggest that parasitization can be used not only as an indicator of individual fitness but also as an indicator of environmental quality for the host. This research underlines the importance of monitoring parasite rates together with environmental

  16. Social learning of a brood parasite by its host.

    PubMed

    Feeney, William E; Langmore, Naomi E

    2013-08-23

    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

  17. Social learning of a brood parasite by its host

    PubMed Central

    Feeney, William E.; Langmore, Naomi E.

    2013-01-01

    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

  18. Host life history and host-parasite syntopy predict behavioural resistance and tolerance of parasites.

    PubMed

    Sears, Brittany F; Snyder, Paul W; Rohr, Jason R

    2015-05-01

    There is growing interest in the role that life-history traits of hosts, such as their 'pace-of-life', play in the evolution of resistance and tolerance to parasites. Theory suggests that, relative to host species that have high syntopy (local spatial and temporal overlap) with parasites, host species with low syntopy should have lower selection pressures for more constitutive (always present) and costly defences, such as tolerance, and greater reliance on more inducible and cheaper defences, such as behaviour. Consequently, we postulated that the degree of host-parasite syntopy, which is negatively correlated with host pace-of-life (an axis reflecting the developmental rate of tadpoles and the inverse of their size at metamorphosis) in our tadpole-parasitic cercarial (trematode) system, would be a negative and positive predictor of behavioural resistance and tolerance, respectively. To test these hypotheses, we exposed seven tadpole species to a range of parasite (cercarial) doses crossed with anaesthesia treatments that controlled for anti-parasite behaviour. We quantified host behaviour, successful and unsuccessful infections, and each species' reaction norm for behavioural resistance and tolerance, defined as the slope between cercarial exposure (or attempted infections) and anti-cercarial behaviours and mass change, respectively. Hence, tolerance is capturing any cost of parasite exposure. As hypothesized, tadpole pace-of-life was a significant positive predictor of behavioural resistance and negative predictor of tolerance, a result that is consistent with a trade-off between behavioural resistance and tolerance across species that warrants further investigation. Moreover, these results were robust to considerations of phylogeny, all possible re-orderings of the three fastest or slowest paced species, and various measurements of tolerance. These results suggest that host pace-of-life and host-parasite syntopy are powerful drivers of both the strength and type

  19. Pollination niche overlap between a parasitic plant and its host.

    PubMed

    Ollerton, Jeff; Stott, Adrian; Allnutt, Emma; Shove, Sam; Taylor, Chloe; Lamborn, Ellen

    2007-03-01

    Niche theory predicts that species which share resources should evolve strategies to minimise competition for those resources, or the less competitive species would be extirpated. Some plant species are constrained to co-occur, for example parasitic plants and their hosts, and may overlap in their pollination niche if they flower at the same time and attract the same pollinators. Using field observations and experiments between 1996 and 2006, we tested a series of hypotheses regarding pollination niche overlap between a specialist parasitic plant Orobanche elatior (Orobanchaceae) and its host Centaurea scabiosa (Asteraceae). These species flower more or less at the same time, with some year-to-year variation. The host is pollinated by a diverse range of insects, which vary in their effectiveness, whilst the parasite is pollinated by a single species of bumblebee, Bombus pascuorum, which is also an effective pollinator of the host plant. The two species therefore have partially overlapping pollination niches. These niches are not finely subdivided by differential pollen placement, or by diurnal segregation of the niches. We therefore found no evidence of character displacement within the pollination niches of these species, possibly because pollinators are not a limiting resource for these plants. Direct observation of pollinator movements, coupled with experimental manipulations of host plant inflorescence density, showed that Bombus pascuorum only rarely moves between inflorescences of the host and the parasite and therefore the presence of one plant is unlikely to be facilitating pollination in the other. This is the first detailed examination of pollination niche overlap in a plant parasite system and we suggest avenues for future research in relation to pollination and other shared interactions between parasitic plants and their hosts. PMID:17146683

  20. Trichinella inflammatory myopathy: host or parasite strategy?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The parasitic nematode Trichinella has a special relation with muscle, because of its unique intracellular localization in the skeletal muscle cell, completely devoted in morphology and biochemistry to become the parasite protective niche, otherwise called the nurse cell. The long-lasting muscle infection of Trichinella exhibits a strong interplay with the host immune response, mainly characterized by a Th2 phenotype. The aim of this review is to illustrate the role of the Th2 host immune response at the muscle level during trichinellosis in different experimental models, such as knock-out or immuno-modulated mice. In particular, in knock-out mice a crucial role of IL-10 is evident for the regulation of inflammation intensity. The muscular host immune response to Trichinella is partially regulated by the intestinal phase of the parasite which emphasizes the intensity of the following muscle inflammation compared with animals infected by synchronized injections of newborn larvae. In eosinophil-ablated mice such as PHIL and GATA-- animals it was observed that there was an increased NOS2 expression in macrophages, driven by higher IFN-γ release, thus responsible for muscle larva damage. Besides modulation of the intestinal stage of the infection, using recombinant IL-12, increases the muscular parasite burden delaying adult worm expulsion from the intestine. Furthermore, a Th1 adjuvant of bacterial origin called Helicobacter pylori neutrophil activating protein (HP-NAP), administered during the intestinal phase of trichinellosis, alters the Th2 dependent response at muscle level. All these data from the literature delineate then a mutual adaptation between parasite and host immune response in order to achieve a strategic compromise between two evolutionary forces pointed towards the survival of both species. PMID:21429196

  1. The host-parasite relationship in neosporosis.

    PubMed

    Hemphill, A

    1999-01-01

    Neospora caninum is an apicomplexan parasite which invades many different cell types and tissues. It causes neosporosis, namely stillbirth and abortion in cattle and neuromuscular disease in dogs, and has been found in several other animal species. N. caninum is closely related to Toxoplasma gondii, and controversial opinions exist with respect to its phylogenetical status. Initially, two stages of N. caninum had been identified, namely asexually proliferating tachyzoites and bradyzoites. The sexually produced stage of this parasite, oocysts containing sporozoites, has been found only recently. In order to answer the many open questions regarding its basic biology and its relationship with the host, a number of diagnostic tools have been developed. These techniques are based on the detection of antibodies against parasites in body fluids, the direct visualization of the parasite within tissue samples by immunohistochemistry, or the specific amplification of parasite DNA by PCR. Other studies have been aiming at the identification of specific antigenic components of N. caninum, and the molecular and functional characterization of these antigens with respect to the cell biology of the parasite. Clearly, molecular approaches will also be used increasingly to elucidate the immunological and pathogenetic events during infection, but also to prepare potential new immunotherapeutic tools for future vaccination against N. caninum infection. PMID:10214690

  2. Expanding the antimalarial toolkit: Targeting host–parasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    Duffy, Patrick E.

    2016-01-01

    Recent successes in malaria control are threatened by drug-resistant Plasmodium parasites and insecticide-resistant Anopheles mosquitoes, and first generation vaccines offer only partial protection. New research approaches have highlighted host as well as parasite molecules or pathways that could be targeted for interventions. In this study, we discuss host–parasite interactions at the different stages of the Plasmodium life cycle within the mammalian host and the potential for therapeutics that prevent parasite migration, invasion, intracellular growth, or egress from host cells, as well as parasite-induced pathology. PMID:26834158

  3. Host range, host ecology, and distribution of more than 11800 fish parasite species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Strona, Giovanni; Palomares, Maria Lourdes D.; Bailly, Nicholas; Galli, Paolo; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2013-01-01

    Our data set includes 38 008 fish parasite records (for Acanthocephala, Cestoda, Monogenea, Nematoda, Trematoda) compiled from the scientific literature, Internet databases, and museum collections paired to the corresponding host ecological, biogeographical, and phylogenetic traits (maximum length, growth rate, life span, age at maturity, trophic level, habitat preference, geographical range size, taxonomy). The data focus on host features, because specific parasite traits are not consistently available across records. For this reason, the data set is intended as a flexible resource able to extend the principles of ecological niche modeling to the host–parasite system, providing researchers with the data to model parasite niches based on their distribution in host species and the associated host features. In this sense, the database offers a framework for testing general ecological, biogeographical, and phylogenetic hypotheses based on the identification of hosts as parasite habitat. Potential applications of the data set are, for example, the investigation of species–area relationships or the taxonomic distribution of host-specificity. The provided host–parasite list is that currently used by Fish Parasite Ecology Software Tool (FishPEST, http://purl.oclc.org/fishpest), which is a website that allows researchers to model several aspects of the relationships between fish parasites and their hosts. The database is intended for researchers who wish to have more freedom to analyze the database than currently possible with FishPEST. However, for readers who have not seen FishPEST, we recommend using this as a starting point for interacting with the database.

  4. Early host-pathogen interactions in marine bivalves: evidence that the alveolate parasite Perkinsus marinus infects through the oyster mantle during rejection of pseudofeces.

    PubMed

    Allam, Bassem; Carden, Wade E; Ward, J Evan; Ralph, Gina; Winnicki, Sarah; Pales Espinosa, Emmanuelle

    2013-05-01

    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

  5. Local host specialization, host-switching, and dispersal shape the regional distributions of avian haemosporidian parasites

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Vincenzo A.; Collins, Michael D.; Medeiros, Matthew C. I.; Sari, Eloisa H. R.; Coffey, Elyse D.; Dickerson, Rebecca C.; Lugarini, Camile; Stratford, Jeffrey A.; Henry, Donata R.; Merrill, Loren; Matthews, Alix E.; Hanson, Alison A.; Roberts, Jackson R.; Joyce, Michael; Kunkel, Melanie R.; Ricklefs, Robert E.

    2015-01-01

    The drivers of regional parasite distributions are poorly understood, especially in comparison with those of free-living species. For vector-transmitted parasites, in particular, distributions might be influenced by host-switching and by parasite dispersal with primary hosts and vectors. We surveyed haemosporidian blood parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) of small land birds in eastern North America to characterize a regional parasite community. Distributions of parasite populations generally reflected distributions of their hosts across the region. However, when the interdependence between hosts and parasites was controlled statistically, local host assemblages were related to regional climatic gradients, but parasite assemblages were not. Moreover, because parasite assemblage similarity does not decrease with distance when controlling for host assemblages and climate, parasites evidently disperse readily within the distributions of their hosts. The degree of specialization on hosts varied in some parasite lineages over short periods and small geographic distances independently of the diversity of available hosts and potentially competing parasite lineages. Nonrandom spatial turnover was apparent in parasite lineages infecting one host species that was well-sampled within a single year across its range, plausibly reflecting localized adaptations of hosts and parasites. Overall, populations of avian hosts generally determine the geographic distributions of haemosporidian parasites. However, parasites are not dispersal-limited within their host distributions, and they may switch hosts readily. PMID:26305975

  6. From Fossil Parasitoids to Vectors: Insects as Parasites and Hosts.

    PubMed

    Nagler, Christina; Haug, Joachim T

    2015-01-01

    Within Metazoa, it has been proposed that as many as two-thirds of all species are parasitic. This propensity towards parasitism is also reflected within insects, where several lineages independently evolved a parasitic lifestyle. Parasitic behaviour ranges from parasitic habits in the strict sense, but also includes parasitoid, phoretic or kleptoparasitic behaviour. Numerous insects are also the host for other parasitic insects or metazoans. Insects can also serve as vectors for numerous metazoan, protistan, bacterial and viral diseases. The fossil record can report this behaviour with direct (parasite associated with its host) or indirect evidence (insect with parasitic larva, isolated parasitic insect, pathological changes of host). The high abundance of parasitism in the fossil record of insects can reveal important aspects of parasitic lifestyles in various evolutionary lineages. For a comprehensive view on fossil parasitic insects, we discuss here different aspects, including phylogenetic systematics, functional morphology and a direct comparison of fossil and extant species. PMID:26597067

  7. SPARC (secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine) of the intestinal nematode Strongyloides ratti is involved in mucosa-associated parasite-host interaction.

    PubMed

    Anandarajah, Emmanuela M; Ditgen, Dana; Hansmann, Jan; Erttmann, Klaus D; Liebau, Eva; Brattig, Norbert W

    2016-06-01

    The secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), found in the excretory/secretory products of Strongyloides ratti, is most strongly expressed in parasitic females. Since SPARC proteins are involved in the modulation of cell-matrix interactions, a role of the secreted S. ratti SPARC (Sr-SPARC) in the manifestation of the parasite in the host's intestine is postulated. The full-length cDNA of Sr-SPARC was identified and the protein was recombinantly expressed. The purified protein was biologically active, able to bind calcium, and to attach to mucosa-associated human cells. Addition of Sr-SPARC to an in vitro mucosal three-dimensional-cell culture model led to a time-dependent release of the cytokines TNF-α, IL-22, IL-10 and TSLP. Of importance, exposure with Sr-SPARC fostered wound closure in an intestinal epithelial cell model. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that SPARC released from the nematode is a multifunctional protein affecting the mucosal immune system. PMID:27268729

  8. Malaria: targeting parasite and host cell kinomes.

    PubMed

    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

    2010-03-01

    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

  9. Infection Strategies of Intestinal Parasite Pathogens and Host Cell Responses.

    PubMed

    Di Genova, Bruno M; Tonelli, Renata R

    2016-01-01

    Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium sp., and Entamoeba histolytica are important pathogenic intestinal parasites and are amongst the leading causes worldwide of diarrheal illness in humans. Diseases caused by these organisms, giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, and amoebiasis, respectively, are characterized by self-limited diarrhea but can evolve to long-term complications. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of diarrhea associated with these three pathogens are being unraveled, with knowledge of both the strategies explored by the parasites to establish infection and the methods evolved by hosts to avoid it. Special attention is being given to molecules participating in parasite-host interaction and in the mechanisms implicated in the diseases' pathophysiologic processes. This review focuses on cell mechanisms that are modulated during infection, including gene transcription, cytoskeleton rearrangements, signal transduction pathways, and cell death. PMID:26973630

  10. Ecological genomics of host behavior manipulation by parasites.

    PubMed

    Hébert, François Olivier; Aubin-Horth, Nadia

    2014-01-01

    Among the vast array of niche exploitation strategies exhibited by millions of different species on Earth, parasitic lifestyles are characterized by extremely successful evolutionary outcomes. Some parasites even seem to have the ability to 'control' their host's behavior to fulfill their own vital needs. Research efforts in the past decades have focused on surveying the phylogenetic diversity and ecological nature of these host-parasite interactions, and trying to understand their evolutionary significance. However, to understand the proximal and ultimate causes of these behavioral alterations triggered by parasitic infections, the underlying molecular mechanisms governing them must be uncovered. Studies using ecological genomics approaches have identified key candidate molecules involved in host-parasite molecular cross-talk, but also molecules not expected to alter behavior. These studies have shown the importance of following up with functional analyses, using a comparative approach and including a time-series analysis. High-throughput methods surveying different levels of biological information, such as the transcriptome and the epigenome, suggest that specific biologically-relevant processes are affected by infection, that sex-specific effects at the level of behavior are recapitulated at the level of transcription, and that epigenetic control represents a key factor in managing life cycle stages of the parasite through temporal regulation of gene expression. Post-translational processes, such as protein-protein interactions (interactome) and post translational modifications (e.g. protein phosphorylation, phosphorylome), and processes modifying gene expression and translation, such as interactions with microRNAs (microRNAome), are examples of promising avenues to explore to obtain crucial insights into the proximal and ultimate causes of these fascinating and complex inter-specific interactions. PMID:24277300

  11. Rapid evolution of antimicrobial peptide genes in an insect host-social parasite system.

    PubMed

    Erler, Silvio; Lhomme, Patrick; Rasmont, Pierre; Lattorff, H Michael G

    2014-04-01

    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

  12. Diversification and host switching in avian malaria parasites.

    PubMed Central

    Ricklefs, Robert E; Fallon, Sylvia M

    2002-01-01

    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. PMID:12028770

  13. Cross-talk in host-parasite associations: What do past and recent proteomics approaches tell us?

    PubMed

    Chetouhi, Chérif; Panek, Johan; Bonhomme, Ludovic; ElAlaoui, Hicham; Texier, Catherine; Langin, Thierry; de Bekker, Charissa; Urbach, Serge; Demettre, Edith; Missé, Dorothée; Holzmuller, Philippe; Hughes, David P; Zanzoni, Andreas; Brun, Christine; Biron, David G

    2015-07-01

    A cross-talk in host-parasite associations begins when a host encounters a parasite. For many host-parasite relationships, this cross-talk has been taking place for hundreds of millions of years. The co-evolution of hosts and parasites, the familiar 'arms race' results in fascinating adaptations. Over the years, host-parasite interactions have been studied extensively from both the host and parasitic point of view. Proteomics studies have led to new insights into host-parasite cross-talk and suggest that the molecular strategies used by parasites attacking animals and plants share many similarities. Likewise, animals and plants use several common molecular tactics to counter parasite attacks. Based on proteomics surveys undertaken since the post-genomic era, a synthesis is presented on the molecular strategies used by intra- and extracellular parasites to invade and create the needed habitat for growth inside the host, as well as strategies used by hosts to counter these parasite attacks. Pitfalls in deciphering host-parasite cross-talk are also discussed. To conclude, helpful advice is given with regard to new directions that are needed to discover the generic and specific molecular strategies used by the host against parasite invasion as well as by the parasite to invade, survive, and grow inside their hosts, and to finally discover parasitic molecular signatures associated with their development. PMID:25913042

  14. Inflammasomes in host response to protozoan parasites.

    PubMed

    Zamboni, Dario S; Lima-Junior, Djalma S

    2015-05-01

    Inflammasomes are multimeric complexes of proteins that are assembled in the host cell cytoplasm in response to specific stress signals or contamination of the cytoplasm by microbial molecules. The canonical inflammasomes are composed of at least three main components: an inflammatory caspase (caspase-1, caspase-11), an adapter molecule (such as ASC), and a sensor protein (such as NLRP1, NLRP3, NLRP12, NAIP1, NAIP2, NAIP5, or AIM2). The sensor molecule determines the inflammasome specificity by detecting specific microbial products or cell stress signals. Upon activation, these molecular platforms facilitate restriction of microbial replication and trigger an inflammatory form of cell death called pyroptosis, thus accounting for the genesis of inflammatory processes. Inflammasome activation has been widely reported in response to pathogenic bacteria. However, recent reports have highlighted the important role of the inflammasomes in the host response to the pathogenesis of infections caused by intracellular protozoan parasites. Herein, we review the activation and specific roles of inflammasomes in recognition and host responses to intracellular protozoan parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, Plasmodium spp., and Leishmania spp. PMID:25879291

  15. Host-dependent genetic structure of parasite populations: differential dispersal of seabird tick host races.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Karen D; Boulinier, Thierry; Tirard, Claire; Michalakis, Yannis

    2003-02-01

    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

  16. Host density drives the postglacial migration of the tree parasite, Epifagus virginiana

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Yi-Hsin Erica; Manos, Paul S.

    2010-01-01

    To survive changes in climate, successful species shift their geographic ranges to remain in suitable habitats. For parasites and other highly specialized species, distributional changes not only are dictated by climate but can also be engineered by their hosts. The extent of host control on parasite range expansion is revealed through comparisons of host and parasite migration and demographic histories. However, understanding the codistributional history of entire forest communities is complicated by challenges in synthesizing datasets from multiple interacting species of differing datatypes. Here we integrate genetic and fossil pollen datasets from a host–parasite pair; specifically, the population structure of the parasitic plant (Epifagus virginiana) was compared with both its host (Fagus grandifolia) genetic patterns and abundance data from the paleopollen record of the last 21,000 y. Through tests of phylogeographic structure and spatial linear regression models we find, surprisingly, host range changes had little effect on the parasite's range expansion and instead host density is the main driver of parasite spread. Unlike other symbionts that have been used as proxies to track their host's movements, this parasite's migration routes are incongruent with the host and instead reflect the greater importance of host density in this community's assembly. Furthermore, these results confirm predictions of disease ecological models regarding the role of host density in the spread of pathogens. Due to host density constraints, highly specialized species may have low migration capacities and long lag times before colonization of new areas. PMID:20841421

  17. Possible mechanism of host manipulation resulting from a diel behaviour pattern of eye-dwelling parasites?

    PubMed

    Stumbo, Anthony D; Poulin, Robert

    2016-09-01

    Parasitic infection often results in alterations to the host's phenotype, and may modify selection pressures for host populations. Elucidating the mechanisms underlying these changes is essential to understand the evolution of host-parasite interactions. A variety of mechanisms may result in changes in the host's behavioural phenotype, ranging from simple by-products of infection to chemicals directly released by the parasite to alter behaviour. Another possibility may involve parasites freely moving to certain sites within tissues, at specific times of the day to induce behavioural changes in the host. We tested the hypothesis that parasites shift to certain sites within the host by quantifying the location and activity of the trematode Tylodelphys sp., whose mobile metacercarial stages remain unencysted in the eyes of the second intermediate fish host, the common bully (Gobiomorphus cotidianus). This parasite's definitive host is a piscivorous bird feeding exclusively during daytime. Ocular obstruction and metacercarial activity were assessed within the sedated host's eye at three time points 24 h-1 period, using video captured via an ophthalmoscope. Although observed metacercarial activity did not change between time periods, ocular obstruction was significantly reduced at night. Increased visual obstruction specifically during the foraging time of the parasite's definitive host strongly suggests that the parasite's activity pattern is adaptive. PMID:27216502

  18. Microsporidia-Host Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Szumowski, Suzannah C.; Troemel, Emily R.

    2015-01-01

    Microsporidia comprise one of the largest groups of obligate intracellular pathogens and can infect virtually all animals, but host response to these fungal-related microbes has been poorly understood. Several new studies of the host transcriptional response to microsporidia infection have found infection-induced regulation of genes involved in innate immunity, ubiquitylation, metabolism, and hormonal signaling. In addition, microsporidia have recently been shown to exploit host recycling endocytosis for exit from intestinal cells, and to interact with host degradation pathways. Microsporidia infection has also been shown to profoundly affect behavior in insect hosts. Altogether, these and other recent findings are providing much-needed insight into the underlying mechanisms of microsporidia interaction with host animals. PMID:25847674

  19. Draft genome sequence of the Daphnia pathogen Octosporea bayeri: insights into the gene content of a large microsporidian genome and a model for host-parasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background The highly compacted 2.9-Mb genome of Encephalitozoon cuniculi placed the microsporidia in the spotlight, encoding a mere 2,000 proteins and a highly reduced suite of biochemical pathways. This extreme level of reduction is not universal across the microsporidia, with genomes known to vary up to sixfold in size, suggesting that some genomes may harbor a gene content that is not as reduced as that of Enc. cuniculi. In this study, we present an in-depth survey of the large genome of Octosporea bayeri, a pathogen of Daphnia magna, with an estimated genome size of 24 Mb, in order to shed light on the organization and content of a large microsporidian genome. Results Using Illumina sequencing, 898 Mb of O. bayeri genome sequence was generated, resulting in 13.3 Mb of unique sequence. We annotated a total of 2,174 genes, of which 893 encodes proteins with assigned function. The gene density of the O. bayeri genome is very low on average, but also highly uneven, so gene-dense regions also occur. The data presented here suggest that the O. bayeri proteome is well represented in this analysis and is more complex that that of Enc. cuniculi. Functional annotation of O. bayeri proteins suggests that this species might be less biochemically dependent on its host for its metabolism than its more reduced relatives. Conclusions The combination of the data presented here, together with the imminent annotated genome of Daphnia magna, will provide a wealth of genetic and genomic tools to study host-parasite interactions in an interesting model for pathogenesis. PMID:19807911

  20. Infection Strategies of Intestinal Parasite Pathogens and Host Cell Responses

    PubMed Central

    Di Genova, Bruno M.; Tonelli, Renata R.

    2016-01-01

    Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium sp., and Entamoeba histolytica are important pathogenic intestinal parasites and are amongst the leading causes worldwide of diarrheal illness in humans. Diseases caused by these organisms, giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, and amoebiasis, respectively, are characterized by self-limited diarrhea but can evolve to long-term complications. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of diarrhea associated with these three pathogens are being unraveled, with knowledge of both the strategies explored by the parasites to establish infection and the methods evolved by hosts to avoid it. Special attention is being given to molecules participating in parasite–host interaction and in the mechanisms implicated in the diseases’ pathophysiologic processes. This review focuses on cell mechanisms that are modulated during infection, including gene transcription, cytoskeleton rearrangements, signal transduction pathways, and cell death. PMID:26973630

  1. Echinococcus multilocularis and Its Intermediate Host: A Model of Parasite-Host Interplay

    PubMed Central

    Vuitton, Dominique Angèle; Gottstein, Bruno

    2010-01-01

    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-β, 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-α, 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. PMID:20339517

  2. Coevolution of parasite virulence and host mating strategies

    PubMed Central

    Ashby, Ben; Boots, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Parasites are thought to play an important role in sexual selection and the evolution of mating strategies, which in turn are likely to be critical to the transmission and therefore the evolution of parasites. Despite this clear interdependence we have little understanding of parasite-mediated sexual selection in the context of reciprocal parasite evolution. Here we develop a general coevolutionary model between host mate preference and the virulence of a sexually transmitted parasite. We show when the characteristics of both the host and parasite lead to coevolutionarily stable strategies or runaway selection, and when coevolutionary cycling between high and low levels of host mate choosiness and virulence is possible. A prominent argument against parasites being involved in sexual selection is that they should evolve to become less virulent when transmission depends on host mating success. The present study, however, demonstrates that coevolution can maintain stable host mate choosiness and parasite virulence or indeed coevolutionary cycling of both traits. We predict that choosiness should vary inversely with parasite virulence and that both relatively long and short life spans select against choosy behavior in the host. The model also reveals that hosts can evolve different behavioral responses from the same initial conditions, which highlights difficulties in using comparative analysis to detect parasite-mediated sexual selection. Taken as a whole, our results emphasize the importance of viewing parasite-mediated sexual selection in the context of coevolution. PMID:26430236

  3. Host age modulates parasite infectivity, virulence and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Izhar, Rony; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2015-07-01

    Host age is one of the most striking differences among hosts within most populations, but there is very little data on how age-dependent effects impact ecological and evolutionary dynamics of both the host and the parasite. Here, we examined the influence of host age (juveniles, young and old adults) at parasite exposure on host susceptibility, fecundity and survival as well as parasite transmission, using two clones of the water flea Daphnia magna and two clones of its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa. Younger D. magna were more susceptible to infection than older ones, regardless of host or parasite clone. Also, younger-infected D. magna became castrated faster than older hosts, but host and parasite clone effects contributed to this trait as well. Furthermore, the early-infected D. magna produced considerably more parasite transmission stages than late-infected ones, while host age at exposure did not affect virulence as it is defined in models (host mortality). When virulence is defined more broadly as the negative effects of infection on host fitness, by integrating the parasitic effects on host fecundity and mortality, then host age at exposure seems to slide along a negative relationship between host and parasite fitness. Thus, the virulence-transmission trade-off differs strongly among age classes, which in turn affects predictions of optimal virulence. Age-dependent effects on host susceptibility, virulence and parasite transmission could pose an important challenge for experimental and theoretical studies of infectious disease dynamics and disease ecology. Our results present a call for a more explicit stage-structured theory for disease, which will incorporate age-dependent epidemiological parameters. PMID:25661269

  4. mRNA-Seq and microarray development for the Grooved carpet shell clam, Ruditapes decussatus: a functional approach to unravel host -parasite interaction

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    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

  5. Host infection history modifies co-infection success of multiple parasite genotypes.

    PubMed

    Klemme, Ines; Louhi, Katja-Riikka; Karvonen, Anssi

    2016-03-01

    Co-infections by multiple parasite genotypes are common and have important implications for host-parasite ecology and evolution through within-host interactions. Typically, these infections take place sequentially, and therefore, the outcome of co-infection may be shaped by host immune responses triggered by previous infections. For example, in vertebrates, specific immune responses play a central role in protection against disease over the course of life, but co-infection research has mostly focused on previously uninfected individuals. Here, we investigated whether sequential exposure and activation of host resistance in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss affects infection success and interactions between co-infecting parasite genotypes of the trematode eye-fluke Diplostomum pseudospathaceum. In accordance with earlier results, we show that a simultaneous attack of two parasite genotypes facilitates parasite establishment in previously uninfected hosts. However, we find for the first time that this facilitation in co-infection is lost in hosts with prior infection. We conclude that vertebrate host infection history can affect the direction of within-host-parasite interactions. Our results may have significant implications for the evolution of co-infections and parasite transmission strategies. PMID:26589834

  6. Ecology of avian brood parasitism at an early interfacing of host and parasite populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiley, J.W.

    1982-01-01

    The shiny cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis), a brood parasite, has recently spread into the Greater Antilles from South America via the Lesser Antilles. This species is a host generalist and upon reaching Puerto Rico exploited avian communities with no history of social parasitism. Forty-two percent of the resident non-raptorial land bird species were parasitized in mangrove habitat study areas. Cowbird parasitism affected hosts by (1) depressing nest success an average of 41 percent below non-parasitized nests, and (2) reducing host productivity. Parasitized hosts produced 12 percent fewer eggs and fledged 67 percent fewer of their own chicks than non-parasitized pairs. Growth rates of chicks of some host species were lower in parasitized nests compared with non-parasitized nests while growth of others was not affected by brood parasitism. Cowbird chick growth varied directly with host size; i.e., cowbird chicks grew faster and attained greater fledging weight and body size in nests of larger hosts. Factors important in shiny cowbird host selection were examined within the mangrove study community. Cowbirds did not parasitize avian species in proportion to their abundance. The cowbird breeding season coincided with that of its major hosts, which were high quality foster species, and did not extend into other periods even though nests of poor quality species were available. Food habits and egg size of cowbirds were similar to those of their hosts, suggesting that cowbirds choose hosts partly on the basis of this alignment. Cowbirds locate nests by cryptically watching activities of birds in likely habitat. Despite the recency of the cowbird's arrival in Puerto Rico, some nesting species have effective anti-parasite strategies, including alien egg rejection and nest guarding. Behavior effective in avoiding parasitism is similar to that used by certain birds in evading nest predators. It is suggested that anti-predator behavior is preadaptive to countering cowbird

  7. Manipulation of host-resource dynamics impacts transmission of trophic parasites.

    PubMed

    Luong, Lien T; Grear, Daniel A; Hudson, Peter J

    2014-09-01

    Many complex life cycle parasites rely on predator-prey interactions for transmission, whereby definitive hosts become infected via the consumption of an infected intermediate host. As such, these trophic parasites are embedded in the larger community food web. We postulated that exposure to infection and, hence, parasite transmission are inherently linked to host foraging ecology, and that perturbation of the host-resource dynamic will impact parasite transmission dynamics. We employed a field manipulation experiment in which natural populations of the eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) were provisioned with a readily available food resource in clumped or uniform spatial distributions. Using replicated longitudinal capture-mark-recapture techniques, replicated supplemented and unsupplemented control sites were monitored before and after treatment for changes in infection levels with three gastro-intestinal helminth parasites. We predicted that definitive hosts subject to food supplementation would experience lower rates of exposure to infective intermediate hosts, presumably because they shifted their diet away from the intermediate host towards the more readily available resource (sunflower seeds). As predicted, prevalence of infection by the trophically transmitted parasite decreased in response to supplemental food treatment, but no such change in infection prevalence was detected for the two directly transmitted parasites in the system. The fact that food supplementation only had an impact on the transmission of the trophically transmitted parasite, and not the directly transmitted parasites, supports our hypothesis that host foraging ecology directly affects exposure to parasites that rely on the ingestion of intermediate hosts for transmission. We concluded that the relative availability of different food resources has important consequences for the transmission of parasites and, more specifically, parasites that are embedded in the food web. The broader

  8. Knowing your enemies: seasonal dynamics of host social parasite recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Brunner, Elisabeth; Wenseleers, Tom; Heinze, Jürgen

    2004-12-01

    Despite its evolutionary significance, behavioural flexibility of social response has rarely been investigated in insects. We studied a host social parasite system: the slave-making ant Polyergus rufescens and its host Formica rufibarbis. Free-living host workers from parasitized and from unparasitized areas were compared in their level of aggression against the parasite and alien conspecifics. We expected that a seasonal change would occur in the acceptance threshold of F. rufibarbis workers from a parasitized area towards the parasite, whereas F. rufibarbis workers from an unparasitized area would not show substantial changes connected with the parasite’s peak in activity (raiding and colony-founding season). The results showed a significant adaptive behavioural flexibility of host species workers and are consistent with the acceptance threshold model’s (Reeve 1989) prediction that recognition systems are not fixed but context-dependent. In particular, host workers from the unparasitized area were highly aggressive towards the parasite regardless of the season, whereas host workers from the parasitized area significantly increased their aggression towards the parasite during its raiding and colony-founding season. Being able to detect and possibly kill a Polyergus scout searching for host nests can be an effective strategy for a Formica colony to avoid being raided or usurped by a parasite queen.

  9. Trans-specific gene silencing between host and parasitic plants.

    PubMed

    Tomilov, Alexey A; Tomilova, Natalia B; Wroblewski, Tadeusz; Michelmore, Richard; Yoder, John I

    2008-11-01

    Species of Orobanchaceae parasitize the roots of nearby host plants to rob them of water and other nutrients. Parasitism can be debilitating to the host plant, and some of the world's most pernicious agricultural pests are parasitic weeds. We demonstrate here that interfering hairpin constructs transformed into host plants can silence expression of the targeted genes in the parasite. Transgenic roots of the hemi-parasitic plant Triphysaria versicolor expressing the GUS reporter gene were allowed to parasitize transgenic lettuce roots expressing a hairpin RNA containing a fragment of the GUS gene (hpGUS). When stained for GUS activity, Triphysaria roots attached to non-transgenic lettuce showed full GUS activity, but those parasitizing transgenic hpGUS lettuce lacked activity in root tissues distal to the haustorium. Transcript quantification indicated a reduction in the steady-state level of GUS mRNA in Triphysaria when they were attached to hpGUS lettuce. These results demonstrate that the GUS silencing signal generated by the host roots was translocated across the haustorium interface and was functional in the parasite. Movement across the haustorium was bi-directional, as demonstrated in double-junction experiments in which non-transgenic Triphysaria concomitantly parasitized two hosts, one transgenic for hpGUS and the other transgenic for a functional GUS gene. Observation of GUS silencing in the second host demonstrated that the silencing trigger could be moved from one host to another using the parasite as a physiological bridge. Silencing of parasite genes by generating siRNAs in the host provides a novel strategy for controlling parasitic weeds. PMID:18643992

  10. Inter- and intraspecific conflicts between parasites over host manipulation.

    PubMed

    Hafer, Nina; Milinski, Manfred

    2016-02-10

    Host manipulation is a common strategy by which parasites alter the behaviour of their host to enhance their own fitness. In nature, hosts are usually infected by multiple parasites. This can result in a conflict over host manipulation. Studies of such a conflict in experimentally infected hosts are rare. The cestode Schistocephalus solidus (S) and the nematode Camallanus lacustris (C) use copepods as their first intermediate host. They need to grow for some time inside this host before they are infective and ready to be trophically transmitted to their subsequent fish host. Accordingly, not yet infective parasites manipulate to suppress predation. Infective ones manipulate to enhance predation. We experimentally infected laboratory-bred copepods in a manner that resulted in copepods harbouring (i) an infective C plus a not yet infective C or S, or (ii) an infective S plus a not yet infective C. An infective C completely sabotaged host manipulation by any not yet infective parasite. An infective S partially reduced host manipulation by a not yet infective C. We hence show experimentally that a parasite can reduce or even sabotage host manipulation exerted by a parasite from a different species. PMID:26842574

  11. Inter- and intraspecific conflicts between parasites over host manipulation

    PubMed Central

    Hafer, Nina; Milinski, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Host manipulation is a common strategy by which parasites alter the behaviour of their host to enhance their own fitness. In nature, hosts are usually infected by multiple parasites. This can result in a conflict over host manipulation. Studies of such a conflict in experimentally infected hosts are rare. The cestode Schistocephalus solidus (S) and the nematode Camallanus lacustris (C) use copepods as their first intermediate host. They need to grow for some time inside this host before they are infective and ready to be trophically transmitted to their subsequent fish host. Accordingly, not yet infective parasites manipulate to suppress predation. Infective ones manipulate to enhance predation. We experimentally infected laboratory-bred copepods in a manner that resulted in copepods harbouring (i) an infective C plus a not yet infective C or S, or (ii) an infective S plus a not yet infective C. An infective C completely sabotaged host manipulation by any not yet infective parasite. An infective S partially reduced host manipulation by a not yet infective C. We hence show experimentally that a parasite can reduce or even sabotage host manipulation exerted by a parasite from a different species. PMID:26842574

  12. Relative reproductive success of co-infecting parasite genotypes under intensified within-host competition.

    PubMed

    Seppälä, Otto; Louhi, Katja-Riikka; Karvonen, Anssi; Rellstab, Christian; Jokela, Jukka

    2015-12-01

    In nature, host individuals are commonly simultaneously infected with more than one genotype of the same parasite species. These co-infecting parasites often interact, which can affect their fitness and shape host-parasite ecology and evolution. Many of such interactions take place through competition for limited host resources. Therefore, variation in ecological factors modifying the host resource level could be important in determining the intensity of competition and the outcome of co-infections. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the relative reproductive success of co-infecting genotypes of the trematode parasite Diplostomum pseudospathaceum in its snail host Lymnaea stagnalis while experimentally manipulating snail resource level using contrasting feeding treatments (ad libitum food supply, no food). We found that food deprivation constrained the overall parasite within-host reproduction as the release of parasite transmission stages (cercariae) was reduced. This indicates intensified competition among the parasite genotypes. The genotypic composition of the released cercariae, however, was not affected by the feeding treatments. This suggests that in this system, the relative reproductive success of co-infecting parasite genotypes, which is an important component determining their fitness, is robust to variation in ecological factors modifying the strength of resource competition. PMID:26296607

  13. Coupled range dynamics of brood parasites and their hosts responding to climate and vegetation changes.

    PubMed

    Péron, Guillaume; Altwegg, Res; Jamie, Gabriel A; Spottiswoode, Claire N

    2016-09-01

    As populations shift their ranges in response to global change, local species assemblages can change, setting the stage for new ecological interactions, community equilibria and evolutionary responses. Here, we focus on the range dynamics of four avian brood parasite species and their hosts in southern Africa, in a context of bush encroachment (increase in woody vegetation density in places previously occupied by savanna-grassland mosaics) favouring some species at the expense of others. We first tested whether hosts and parasites constrained each other's ability to expand or maintain their ranges. Secondly, we investigated whether range shifts represented an opportunity for new host-parasite and parasite-parasite interactions. We used multispecies dynamic occupancy models with interactions, fitted to citizen science data, to estimate the contribution of interspecific interactions to range shifts and to quantify the change in species co-occurrence probability over a 25-year period. Parasites were able to track their hosts' range shifts. We detected no deleterious effect of the parasites' presence on either the local population viability of host species or the hosts' ability to colonize newly suitable areas. In the recently diversified indigobird radiation (Vidua spp.), following bush encroachment, the new assemblages presented more potential opportunities for speciation via host switch, but also more potential for hybridization between extant lineages, also via host switch. Multispecies dynamic occupancy models with interactions brought new insights into the feedbacks between range shifts, biotic interactions and local demography: brood parasitism had little detected impact on extinction or colonization processes, but inversely the latter processes affected biotic interactions via the modification of co-occurrence patterns. PMID:27155344

  14. Cystatins from filarial parasites: evolution, adaptation and function in the host-parasite relationship.

    PubMed

    Gregory, William F; Maizels, Rick M

    2008-01-01

    Cystatins, together with stefins and kininogens, are members of the cystatin superfamily of cysteine protease inhibitors (CPI) present across the animal and plant kingdoms. Their role in parasitic organisms may encompass both essential developmental processes and specific interactions with the parasite's vector and/or final host. We summarise information gathered on three cystatins from the human filarial nematode Brugia malayi (Bm-CPI-1, -2 and -3), and contrast them those expressed by other parasites and by the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Bm-CPI-2 differs from C. elegans cystatin, having acquired the additional function of inhibiting asparaginyl endopeptidase (AEP), in a manner similar to some human cystatins. Thus, we propose that Bm-CPI-2 and orthologues from related filarial parasites represent a new subset of nematode cystatins. Bm-CPI-1 and CPI-3 share only 25% amino acid identity with Bm-CPI-2, and lack an evolutionarily conserved glycine residue in the N-terminal region. These sequences group distantly from the other nematode cystatins, and represent a second novel subset of filarial cystatin-like genes. Expression analyses also show important differences between the CPI-2 and CPI-1/-3 groups. Bm-cpi-2 is expressed at all time points of the parasite life cycle, while Bm-cpi-1 and -3 expression is confined to the late stages of development in the mosquito vector, terminating within 48h of infection of the mammalian host. Hence, we hypothesise that CPI-2 has evolved to block mammalian proteases (including the antigen-processing enzyme AEP) while CPI-1 and -3 function in the milieu of the mosquito vector necessary for transmission of the parasite. PMID:18249028

  15. Retaliatory mafia behavior by a parasitic cowbird favors host acceptance of parasitic eggs.

    PubMed

    Hoover, Jeffrey P; Robinson, Scott K

    2007-03-13

    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

  16. Brood parasite eggs enhance egg survivorship in a multiply parasitized host

    PubMed Central

    Gloag, Ros; Fiorini, Vanina D.; Reboreda, Juan C.; Kacelnik, Alex

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22158956

  17. The evolution of host specialisation in avian brood parasites.

    PubMed

    Medina, Iliana; Langmore, Naomi E

    2016-09-01

    Traditional ecological theory predicts that specialisation can promote speciation; hence, recently derived species are specialists. However, an alternative view is that new species have broad niches, which become narrower and specialised over time. Here, we test these hypotheses using avian brood parasites and three different measures of host specialisation. Brood parasites provide an ideal system in which to investigate the evolution of specialisation, because some exploit more than 40 host species and others specialise on only one. We find that young brood parasite species are smaller and specialise on a narrower range of host sizes, as expected, if specialisation is linked with the generation of new species. Moreover, we show that highly virulent parasites are more specialised, supporting findings in other host-parasite systems. Finally, we demonstrate that different measures of specialisation can lead to different conclusions, and specialisation indices should be designed taking into account the biology of each system. PMID:27417381

  18. Interactions between hemiparasitic plants and their hosts

    PubMed Central

    Plavcová, Lenka; Cameron, Duncan D

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20729638

  19. Trypanosoma cruzi parasites fight for control of the JAK-STAT pathway by disarming their host

    PubMed Central

    Stahl, Philipp; Schwarz, Ralph T; Debierre-Grockiego, Françoise; Meyer, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    The zoonotic Chagas’ disease is caused by infections with the hemoflagellate Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) which is endemic in Latin America. Despite recent advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease, the underlying molecular processes involved in host-parasite interactions are only poorly understood. In particular, the mechanisms for parasite persistence in host cells remain largely unknown. Cytokine-driven transcription factors from the family of STAT (signal transducer and activator of transcription) proteins appear to play a central role in the fight against T. cruzi infection. However, amastigotes proliferating in the cytoplasm of infected host cells develop effective strategies to circumvent the attack executed by STAT proteins. This review highlights the interactions between T. cruzi parasites and human host cells in terms of cytokine signaling and, in particular, discusses the impact of STATs on the balance between parasite invasion and clearance. PMID:26413423

  20. Relationships between host body condition and immunocompetence, not host sex, best predict parasite burden in a bat-helminth system.

    PubMed

    Warburton, Elizabeth M; Pearl, Christopher A; Vonhof, Maarten J

    2016-06-01

    Sex-biased parasitism highlights potentially divergent approaches to parasite resistance resulting in differing energetic trade-offs for males and females; however, trade-offs between immunity and self-maintenance could also depend on host body condition. We investigated these relationships in the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus, to determine if host sex or body condition better predicted parasite resistance, if testosterone levels predicted male parasite burdens, and if immune parameters could predict male testosterone levels. We found that male and female hosts had similar parasite burdens and female bats scored higher than males in only one immunological measure. Top models of helminth burden revealed interactions between body condition index and agglutination score as well as between agglutination score and host sex. Additionally, the strength of the relationships between sex, agglutination, and helminth burden is affected by body condition. Models of male parasite burden provided no support for testosterone predicting helminthiasis. Models that best predicted testosterone levels did not include parasite burden but instead consistently included month of capture and agglutination score. Thus, in our system, body condition was a more important predictor of immunity and worm burden than host sex. PMID:26898834

  1. Host compatibility rather than vector–host-encounter rate determines the host range of avian Plasmodium parasites

    PubMed Central

    Medeiros, Matthew C. I.; Hamer, Gabriel L.; Ricklefs, Robert E.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23595266

  2. Social transmission of a host defense against cuckoo parasitism.

    PubMed

    Davies, Nicholas B; Welbergen, Justin A

    2009-06-01

    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

  3. Gene expression patterns underlying parasite-induced alterations in host behaviour and life history.

    PubMed

    Feldmeyer, Barbara; Mazur, Johanna; Beros, Sara; Lerp, Hannes; Binder, Harald; Foitzik, Susanne

    2016-01-01

    Many parasites manipulate their hosts' phenotype. In particular, parasites with complex life cycles take control of their intermediate hosts' behaviour and life history to increase transmission to their definitive host. The proximate mechanisms underlying these parasite-induced alterations are poorly understood. The cestode Anomotaenia brevis affects the behaviour, life history and morphology of parasitized Temnothorax nylanderi ants and indirectly of their unparasitized nestmates. To gain insights on how parasites alter host phenotypes, we contrast brain gene expression patterns of T. nylanderi workers parasitized with the cestode, their unparasitized nestmates and unparasitized workers from unparasitized colonies. Over 400 differentially expressed genes between the three groups were identified, with most uniquely expressed genes detected in parasitized workers. Among these are genes that can be linked to the increased lifespan of parasitized workers. Furthermore, many muscle (functionality) genes are downregulated in these workers, potentially causing the observed muscular deformations and their inactive behaviour. Alterations in lifespan and activity could be adaptive for the parasite by increasing the likelihood that infected workers residing in acorns are eaten by their definitive host, a woodpecker. Our transcriptome analysis reveals numerous gene expression changes in parasitized workers and their uninfected nestmates and indicates possible routes of parasite manipulation. Although causality still needs to be established, parasite-induced alterations in lifespan and host behaviour appear to be partly explained by morphological muscle atrophy instead of central nervous system interference, which is often the core of behavioural regulation. Results of this study will shed light upon the molecular basis of antagonistic species interactions. PMID:26615010

  4. A sensory code for host seeking in parasitic nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Hallem, Elissa A.; Dillman, Adler R.; Hong, Annie V.; Zhang, Yuanjun; Yano, Jessica M.; DeMarco, Stephanie F.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Nematodes comprise a large phylum of both free-living and parasitic species that show remarkably diverse lifestyles, ecological niches, and behavioral repertoires. Parasitic species in particular often display highly specialized host-seeking behaviors that reflect their specific host preferences. Many host-seeking behaviors can be triggered by the presence of host odors, yet little is known about either the specific olfactory cues that trigger these behaviors or the neural circuits that underlie them. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and Steinernema carpocapsae are phylogenetically distant insect-parasitic nematodes whose host-seeking and host-invasion behavior resembles that of some of the most devastating human- and plant-parasitic nematodes. Here we compare the olfactory responses of H. bacteriophora and S. carpocapsae infective juveniles (IJs) to those of Caenorhabditis elegans dauers, which are analogous life stages [1]. We show that the broad host range of these parasites results from their ability to respond to the universally-produced signal carbon dioxide (CO2) as well as a wide array of odors, including host-specific odors that we identified using TD-GC-MS. We show that CO2 is attractive for the parasitic IJs and C. elegans dauers despite being repulsive for C. elegans adults [2–4], and we identify an ancient and conserved sensory neuron that mediates CO2 response in both parasitic and free-living species regardless of whether CO2 is an attractive or a repulsive cue. Finally, we show that 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. Our results suggest that the olfactory responses of parasitic versus free-living nematodes are highly diverse and that this diversity is critical to the evolution of nematode behavior. PMID:21353558

  5. Cross-kingdom host shifts of phytomyxid parasites

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24559266

  6. Temporal, spatial, and between-host comparisons of patterns of parasitism in lake zooplankton.

    PubMed

    Duffy, Meghan A; Cáceres, Carla E; Hall, Spencer R; Tessier, Alan J; Ives, Anthony R

    2010-11-01

    In nature, multiple parasite species infect multiple host species and are influenced by processes operating across different spatial and temporal scales. Data sets incorporating these complexities offer exciting opportunities to examine factors that shape epidemics. We present a method using generalized linear mixed models in a multilevel modeling framework to analyze patterns of variances and correlations in binomially distributed prevalence data. We then apply it to a multi-lake, multiyear data set involving two Daphnia host species and nine microparasite species. We found that the largest source of variation in parasite prevalence was the species identities of host-parasite pairs, indicating strong host-parasite specificity. Within host-parasite combinations, spatial variation (among lakes) exceeded interannual variation. This suggests that factors promoting differences among lakes (e.g., habitat characteristics and species interactions) better explain variation in peak infection prevalence in our data set than factors driving differences among years (e.g., climate). Prevalences of parasites in D. dentifera were more positively correlated than those for D. pulicaria, suggesting that similar factors influenced epidemic size among parasites in D. dentifera. Overall, this study demonstrates a method for parsing patterns of variation and covariation in infection prevalence data, providing greater insight into the relative importance of different underlying drivers of parasitism. PMID:21141193

  7. Density-dependence and within-host competition in a semelparous parasite of leaf-cutting ants

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, William OH; Petersen, Klaus S; Ugelvig, Line V; Pedersen, Dorthe; Thomsen, Lene; Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2004-01-01

    Background Parasite heterogeneity and within-host competition are thought to be important factors influencing the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Yet, while there have been many theoretical investigations of how these factors may act, empirical data is more limited. We investigated the effects of parasite density and heterogeneity on parasite virulence and fitness using four strains of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae, and its leaf-cutting ant host Acromyrmex echinatior as the model system. Results The relationship between parasite density and infection was sigmoidal, with there being an invasion threshold for an infection to occur (an Allee effect). Although spore production was positively density-dependent, parasite fitness decreased with increasing parasite density, indicating within-host scramble competition. The dynamics differed little between the four strains tested. In mixed infections of three strains the infection-growth dynamics were unaffected by parasite heterogeneity. Conclusions The strength of within-host competition makes dispersal the best strategy for the parasite. Parasite heterogeneity may not have effected virulence or the infection dynamics either because the most virulent strain outcompeted the others, or because the interaction involved scramble competition that was impervious to parasite heterogeneity. The dynamics observed may be common for virulent parasites, such as Metarhizium, that produce aggregated transmission stages. Such parasites make useful models for investigating infection dynamics and the impact of parasite competition. PMID:15541185

  8. Parasitic castration by Xenos vesparum depends on host gender.

    PubMed

    Cappa, Federico; Manfredini, Fabio; Dallai, Romano; Gottardo, Marco; Beani, Laura

    2014-07-01

    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

  9. Parasite-induced aggression and impaired contest ability in a fish host

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20226098

  10. Parasite diversity drives rapid host dynamics and evolution of resistance in a bacteria‐phage system

    PubMed Central

    Betts, Alex; Gifford, Danna R.; MacLean, R. Craig; King, Kayla C.

    2016-01-01

    Host–parasite evolutionary interactions are typically considered in a pairwise species framework. However, natural infections frequently involve multiple parasites. Altering parasite diversity alters ecological and evolutionary dynamics as parasites compete and hosts resist multiple infection. We investigated the effects of parasite diversity on host–parasite population dynamics and evolution using the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa and five lytic bacteriophage parasites. To manipulate parasite diversity, bacterial populations were exposed for 24 hours to either phage monocultures or diverse communities containing up to five phages. Phage communities suppressed host populations more rapidly but also showed reduced phage density, likely due to interphage competition. The evolution of resistance allowed rapid bacterial recovery that was greater in magnitude with increases in phage diversity. We observed no difference in the extent of resistance with increased parasite diversity, but there was a profound impact on the specificity of resistance; specialized resistance evolved to monocultures through mutations in a diverse set of genes. In summary, we demonstrate that parasite diversity has rapid effects on host–parasite population dynamics and evolution by selecting for different resistance mutations and affecting the magnitude of bacterial suppression and recovery. Finally, we discuss the implications of phage diversity for their use as biological control agents. PMID:27005577

  11. Host-specific races in the holoparasitic angiosperm Orobanche minor: implications for speciation in parasitic plants

    PubMed Central

    Thorogood, C. J.; Rumsey, F. J.; Hiscock, S. J.

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID

  12. Host Lipid Bodies as Platforms for Intracellular Survival of Protozoan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Toledo, Daniel A. M.; D’Avila, Heloísa; Melo, Rossana C. N.

    2016-01-01

    Pathogens induce several changes in the host cell signaling and trafficking mechanisms in order to evade and manipulate the immune response. One prominent pathogen-mediated change is the formation of lipid-rich organelles, termed lipid bodies (LBs) or lipid droplets, in the host cell cytoplasm. Protozoan parasites, which contribute expressively to the burden of infectious diseases worldwide, are able to induce LB genesis in non-immune and immune cells, mainly macrophages, key players in the initial resistance to the infection. Under host–parasite interaction, LBs not only accumulate in the host cytoplasm but also relocate around and move into parasitophorous vacuoles. There is increasing evidence that protozoan parasites may target host-derived LBs either for gaining nutrients or for escaping the host immune response. Newly formed, parasite-induced LBs may serve as lipid sources for parasite growth and also produce inflammatory mediators that potentially act in the host immune response deactivation. In this mini review, we summarize current knowledge on the formation and role of host LBs as sites exploited by intracellular protozoan parasites as a strategy to maintain their own survival. PMID:27199996

  13. Retaliatory mafia behavior by a parasitic cowbird favors host acceptance of parasitic eggs

    PubMed Central

    Hoover, Jeffrey P.; Robinson, Scott K.

    2007-01-01

    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

  14. Batflies parasitic on some phyllostomid bats in southeastern Brazil: parasitism rates and host-parasite relationships.

    PubMed

    Komeno, C A; Linhares, A X

    1999-01-01

    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

  15. Brood parasites lay eggs matching the appearance of host clutches

    PubMed Central

    Honza, Marcel; Šulc, Michal; Jelínek, Václav; Požgayová, Milica; Procházka, Petr

    2014-01-01

    Interspecific brood parasitism represents a prime example of the coevolutionary arms race where each party has evolved strategies in response to the other. Here, we investigated whether common cuckoos (Cuculus canorus) actively select nests within a host population to match the egg appearance of a particular host clutch. To achieve this goal, we quantified the degree of egg matching using the avian vision modelling approach. Randomization tests revealed that cuckoo eggs in naturally parasitized nests showed lower chromatic contrast to host eggs than those assigned randomly to other nests with egg-laying date similar to naturally parasitized clutches. Moreover, egg matching in terms of chromaticity was better in naturally parasitized nests than it would be in the nests of the nearest active non-parasitized neighbour. However, there was no indication of matching in achromatic spectral characteristics whatsoever. Thus, our results clearly indicate that cuckoos select certain host nests to increase matching of their own eggs with host clutches, but only in chromatic characteristics. Our results suggest that the ability of cuckoos to actively choose host nests based on the eggshell appearance imposes a strong selection pressure on host egg recognition. PMID:24258721

  16. Direct and indirect costs of co-infection in the wild: Linking gastrointestinal parasite communities, host hematology, and immune function☆

    PubMed Central

    Budischak, Sarah A.; Jolles, Anna E.; Ezenwa, Vanessa O.

    2012-01-01

    Most animals are concurrently infected with multiple parasites, and interactions among these parasites may influence both disease dynamics and host fitness. However, the sublethal costs of parasite infections are difficult to measure and the effects of concomitant infections with multiple parasite species on individual physiology and fitness are poorly described for wild hosts. To understand the direct and indirect physiological costs of co-infection, we investigated the relationships among gastrointestinal parasite richness, species identity, and abundance and host hematological parameters, body condition, and investment in lymphocyte defenses. Using aggregate-scale parasite data from African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), we found few direct or indirect associations between infection and hematology in male hosts, and no significant associations were observed in female hosts or with respect to body condition in either sex. These results suggest that only strong physiological effects are detectable with aggregate-scale parasite data, and that hematological variables may be more sensitive to changes in condition than standard body fat condition indices. Analyses accounting for parasite species identity in female buffalo revealed that different parasites show distinct relationships with host hematology, body condition, and immune investment. However, four of six species-specific associations were obscured when parasites were considered in combination. Overall, fitness-related physiological mediators such as hematological indices may provide assessments of direct and indirect effects of parasite infection, particularly when parasite species identity and community composition are considered. PMID:24533308

  17. Immigration of susceptible hosts triggers the evolution of alternative parasite defence strategies.

    PubMed

    Chabas, Hélène; van Houte, Stineke; Høyland-Kroghsbo, Nina Molin; Buckling, Angus; Westra, Edze R

    2016-08-31

    Migration of hosts and parasites can have a profound impact on host-parasite ecological and evolutionary interactions. Using the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa UCBPP-PA14 and its phage DMS3vir, we here show that immigration of naive hosts into coevolving populations of hosts and parasites can influence the mechanistic basis underlying host defence evolution. Specifically, we found that at high levels of bacterial immigration, bacteria switched from clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR-Cas) to surface modification-mediated defence. This effect emerges from an increase in the force of infection, which tips the balance from CRISPR to surface modification-based defence owing to the induced and fixed fitness costs associated with these mechanisms, respectively. PMID:27581884

  18. Ectoparasitism and stress hormones: strategy of host exploitation, common host-parasite history and energetics matter.

    PubMed

    St Juliana, Justin R; Khokhlova, Irina S; Wielebnowski, Nadja; Kotler, Burt P; Krasnov, Boris R

    2014-09-01

    Parasites are thought to have numerous negative effects on their hosts. These negative effects may be associated with stress in a host. We evaluated the effects of four species of flea ectoparasites (Parapulex chephrenis, Synosternus cleopatrae, Xenopsylla conformis and Xenopsylla ramesis) on non-specific responses of eight species of rodents (Meriones crassus, Gerbillus dasyurus, Gerbillus andersoni, Gerbillus pyramidum, Gerbillus nanus, Acomys cahirinus, Acomys russatus and Mesocricetus auratus) and measured faecal glucocorticoid metabolites concentrations (FGMC) produced by the hosts. We found no effect of body mass of an individual rodent on FGMCs. Parasitism by fleas with a 'stay on the host body' exploitation strategy was associated with higher host FGMCs than parasitism by fleas that spent most of their life 'off-host'. FGMCs among rodents infested by the same flea species were correlated positively with the phylogenetic distance of a given rodent from the principal host of this flea; changes in FGMCs were lower in the host species more closely related to the flea's principal host. Changes in FMGCs of a host while parasitized were correlated with a host's change in body mass, where hosts that lost more body mass had higher FGMCs. Our results suggest that ectoparasitism can be stressful to their hosts. However, the occurrence of parasite-induced stress seems to depend on the identity of both host and parasite species and the evolutionary history of a host-parasite association. To our knowledge, this is the first multispecies study to evaluate the effect of ectoparasites on glucocorticoid hormones in small mammals. PMID:24661039

  19. Host-parasite Red Queen dynamics with phase-locked rare genotypes

    PubMed Central

    Rabajante, Jomar F.; Tubay, Jerrold M.; Ito, Hiromu; Uehara, Takashi; Kakishima, Satoshi; Morita, Satoru; Yoshimura, Jin; Ebert, Dieter

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between hosts and parasites have been hypothesized to cause winnerless coevolution, called Red Queen dynamics. The canonical Red Queen dynamics assume that all interacting genotypes of hosts and parasites undergo cyclic changes in abundance through negative frequency-dependent selection, which means that any genotype could become frequent at some stage. However, this prediction cannot explain why many rare genotypes stay rare in natural host-parasite systems. To investigate this, we build a mathematical model involving multihost and multiparasite genotypes. In a deterministic and controlled environment, Red Queen dynamics occur between two genotypes undergoing cyclic dominance changes, whereas the rest of the genotypes remain subordinate for long periods of time in phase-locked synchronized dynamics with low amplitude. However, introduction of stochastic noise in the model might allow the subordinate cyclic host and parasite types to replace dominant cyclic types as new players in the Red Queen dynamics. The factors that influence such evolutionary switching are interhost competition, specificity of parasitism, and degree of stochastic noise. Our model can explain, for the first time, the persistence of rare, hardly cycling genotypes in populations (for example, marine microbial communities) undergoing host-parasite coevolution. PMID:26973878

  20. Host-parasite Red Queen dynamics with phase-locked rare genotypes.

    PubMed

    Rabajante, Jomar F; Tubay, Jerrold M; Ito, Hiromu; Uehara, Takashi; Kakishima, Satoshi; Morita, Satoru; Yoshimura, Jin; Ebert, Dieter

    2016-03-01

    Interactions between hosts and parasites have been hypothesized to cause winnerless coevolution, called Red Queen dynamics. The canonical Red Queen dynamics assume that all interacting genotypes of hosts and parasites undergo cyclic changes in abundance through negative frequency-dependent selection, which means that any genotype could become frequent at some stage. However, this prediction cannot explain why many rare genotypes stay rare in natural host-parasite systems. To investigate this, we build a mathematical model involving multihost and multiparasite genotypes. In a deterministic and controlled environment, Red Queen dynamics occur between two genotypes undergoing cyclic dominance changes, whereas the rest of the genotypes remain subordinate for long periods of time in phase-locked synchronized dynamics with low amplitude. However, introduction of stochastic noise in the model might allow the subordinate cyclic host and parasite types to replace dominant cyclic types as new players in the Red Queen dynamics. The factors that influence such evolutionary switching are interhost competition, specificity of parasitism, and degree of stochastic noise. Our model can explain, for the first time, the persistence of rare, hardly cycling genotypes in populations (for example, marine microbial communities) undergoing host-parasite coevolution. PMID:26973878

  1. THE ENDOPARASITOID Pteromalus puparum INFLUENCES HOST GENE EXPRESSION WITHIN FIRST HOUR OF PARASITIZATION.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yu; Fang, Qi; Liu, Yang; Gao, Ling-Feng; Yan, Zhi-Chao; Ye, Gong-Yin

    2015-11-01

    The small cabbage butterfly, Pieris rapae, is an important pest of cruciferous corps, and Pteromalus puparum is a predominant pupal endoparasitoid wasp of this butterfly. For successful development of parasitoid offspring, female parasitoids usually introduce one or several kinds of maternal factors into the hemocoels during oviposition to suppress host immunity. To investigate the early changes in host immune-related genes following parasitization, we analyzed transcriptomes of parasitized and unparasitized, control, host pupae. Approximately 17.7 and 19.3 million paired-end reads were generated from nonparasitized and parasitized host pupae, and assembled de novo into 45,639 transcripts and 27,659 nonredundant unigenes. The average unigene length was 790 bp. A total 18,377 of 27,659 unigenes were annotated and we identified 557 differentially expressed unigenes in host pupae at 1 h after parasitization, of which 21 were immune-related. Parasitization led to downregulation of most pattern recognition receptors and upregulation of all serine protease inhibitors. The transcirptomic profile of P. rapae is considerably affected by parasitization. This study provides valuable sources for future investigations of the molecular interaction between P. puparum and its host P. rapae. PMID:26241821

  2. Brood parasitism selects for no defence in a cuckoo host.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Oliver

    2011-09-22

    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. PMID:21288944

  3. Glycoconjugates in Host-Helminth Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Prasanphanich, Nina Salinger; Mickum, Megan L.; Heimburg-Molinaro, Jamie; Cummings, Richard D.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24009607

  4. Intraspecific conflict over host manipulation between different larval stages of an acanthocephalan parasite.

    PubMed

    Dianne, L; Rigaud, T; Léger, E; Motreuil, S; Bauer, A; Perrot-Minnot, M-J

    2010-12-01

    Competitive interactions between coinfecting parasites are expected to be strong when they affect transmission success. When transmission is enhanced by altering host behaviour, intraspecific conflict can lead to 'coinfection exclusion' by the first-in parasite or to a 'sabotage' of behavioural manipulation by the youngest noninfective parasite. We tested these hypotheses in the acanthocephalan parasite Pomphorhynchus laevis, reversing phototaxis in its intermediate host Gammarus pulex. No evidence was found for coinfection exclusion in gammarids sequentially exposed to infection. Behavioural manipulation was slightly weakened but not cancelled in gammarids infected with mixed larval stages. Therefore, coinfecting infective and noninfective larvae both suffered competition, potentially resulting in delayed transmission and increased risk of mortality, respectively. Consequently, noninfective larva is not just a 'passive passenger' in the manipulated host, which raises interesting questions about the selective pressures at play and the mechanisms underlying manipulation. PMID:20964763

  5. The Dialogue of the Host-Parasite Relationship: Leishmania spp. and Trypanosoma cruzi Infection

    PubMed Central

    de Morais, Carlos Gustavo Vieira; Castro Lima, Ana Karina; dos Santos, Rosiane Freire; Da-Silva, Silvia Amaral Gonçalves; Dutra, Patrícia Maria Lourenço

    2015-01-01

    The intracellular protozoa Leishmania spp. and Trypanosoma cruzi and the causative agents of Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease, respectively, belong to the Trypanosomatidae family. Together, these two neglected tropical diseases affect approximately 25 million people worldwide. Whether the host can control the infection or develops disease depends on the complex interaction between parasite and host. Parasite surface and secreted molecules are involved in triggering specific signaling pathways essential for parasite entry and intracellular survival. The recognition of the parasite antigens by host immune cells generates a specific immune response. Leishmania spp. and T. cruzi have a multifaceted repertoire of strategies to evade or subvert the immune system by interfering with a range of signal transduction pathways in host cells, which causes the inhibition of the protective response and contributes to their persistence in the host. The current therapeutic strategies in leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis are very limited. Efficacy is variable, toxicity is high, and the emergence of resistance is increasingly common. In this review, we discuss the molecular basis of the host-parasite interaction of Leishmania and Trypanosoma cruzi infection and their mechanisms of subverting the immune response and how this knowledge can be used as a tool for the development of new drugs. PMID:26090399

  6. Host Density and Competency Determine the Effects of Host Diversity on Trematode Parasite Infection

    PubMed Central

    Wojdak, Jeremy M.; Edman, Robert M.; Wyderko, Jennie A.; Zemmer, Sally A.; Belden, Lisa K.

    2014-01-01

    Variation in host species composition can dramatically alter parasite transmission in natural communities. Whether diverse host communities dilute or amplify parasite transmission is thought to depend critically on species traits, particularly on how hosts affect each other’s densities, and their relative competency as hosts. Here we studied a community of potential hosts and/or decoys (i.e. non-competent hosts) for two trematode parasite species, Echinostoma trivolvis and Ribeiroia ondatrae, which commonly infect wildlife across North America. We manipulated the density of a focal host (green frog tadpoles, Rana clamitans), in concert with manipulating the diversity of alternative species, to simulate communities where alternative species either (1) replace the focal host species so that the total number of individuals remains constant (substitution) or (2) add to total host density (addition). For E. trivolvis, we found that total parasite transmission remained roughly equal (or perhaps decreased slightly) when alternative species replaced focal host individuals, but parasite transmission was higher when alternative species were added to a community without replacing focal host individuals. Given the alternative species were roughly equal in competency, these results are consistent with current theory. Remarkably, both total tadpole and per-capita tadpole infection intensity by E. trivolvis increased with increasing intraspecific host density. For R. ondatrae, alternative species did not function as effective decoys or hosts for parasite infective stages, and the diversity and density treatments did not produce clear changes in parasite transmission, although high tank to tank variation in R. ondatrae infection could have obscured patterns. PMID:25119568

  7. Correlated evolution between host immunity and parasite life histories in primates and oxyurid parasites.

    PubMed Central

    Sorci, Gabriele; Skarstein, Frode; Morand, Serge; Hugot, Jean-Pierre

    2003-01-01

    Maturation time is a pivotal life-history trait of parasitic nematodes, determining adult body size, as well as daily and total fecundity. Recent theoretical work has emphasized the influence of prematurational mortality on the optimal values of age and size at maturity in nematodes. Eosinophils are a family of white blood cells often associated with infections by parasitic nematodes. Although the role of eosinophils in nematode resistance is controversial, recent work has suggested that the action of these immune effectors might be limited to the larval stages of the parasite. If eosinophils act on larval survival, one might predict, in line with theoretical models, that nematode species living in hosts with large eosinophil numbers should show reduced age and size at maturity. We tested this prediction using the association between the pinworms (Oxyuridae, Nematoda) and their primate hosts. Pinworms are highly host specific and are expected to be involved in a coevolutionary process with their hosts. We found that the body size of female parasites was negatively correlated with eosinophil concentration, whereas the concentration of two other leucocyte families-neutrophils and lymphocytes-was unrelated to female body size. Egg size of parasites also decreased with host eosinophil concentration, independently of female size. Male body size was unrelated to host immune parameters. Primates with the highest immune defence, therefore, harbour small female pinworms laying small eggs. These results are in agreement with theoretical expectations and suggest that life histories of oxyurid parasites covary with the immune defence of their hosts. Our findings illustrate the potential for host immune defence as a factor driving parasite life-history evolution. PMID:14667339

  8. Influence of host diet and phylogeny on parasite sharing by fish in a diverse tropical floodplain.

    PubMed

    Lima, L B; Bellay, S; Giacomini, H C; Isaac, A; Lima-Junior, D P

    2016-03-01

    The patterns of parasite sharing among hosts have important implications for ecosystem structure and functioning, and are influenced by several ecological and evolutionary factors associated with both hosts and parasites. Here we evaluated the influence of fish diet and phylogenetic relatedness on the pattern of infection by parasites with contrasting life history strategies in a freshwater ecosystem of key ecological importance in South America. The studied network of interactions included 52 fish species, which consumed 58 food types and were infected with 303 parasite taxa. Our results show that both diet and evolutionary history of hosts significantly explained parasite sharing; phylogenetically close fish species and/or species sharing food types tend to share more parasites. However, the effect of diet was observed only for endoparasites in contrast to ectoparasites. These results are consistent with the different life history strategies and selective pressures imposed on these groups: endoparasites are in general acquired via ingestion by their intermediate hosts, whereas ectoparasites actively seek and attach to the gills, body surface or nostrils of its sole host, thus not depending directly on its feeding habits. PMID:26647725

  9. Glucosinolates from Host Plants Influence Growth of the Parasitic Plant Cuscuta gronovii and Its Susceptibility to Aphid Feeding.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jason D; Woldemariam, Melkamu G; Mescher, Mark C; Jander, Georg; De Moraes, Consuelo M

    2016-09-01

    Parasitic plants acquire diverse secondary metabolites from their hosts, including defense compounds that target insect herbivores. However, the ecological implications of this phenomenon, including the potential enhancement of parasite defenses, remain largely unexplored. We studied the translocation of glucosinolates from the brassicaceous host plant Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) into parasitic dodder vines (Convolvulaceae; Cuscuta gronovii) and its effects on the parasite itself and on dodder-aphid interactions. Aliphatic and indole glucosinolates reached concentrations in parasite tissues higher than those observed in corresponding host tissues. Dodder growth was enhanced on cyp79B2 cyp79B3 hosts (without indole glucosinolates) but inhibited on atr1D hosts (with elevated indole glucosinolates) relative to wild-type hosts, which responded to parasitism with localized elevation of indole and aliphatic glucosinolates. These findings implicate indole glucosinolates in defense against parasitic plants. Rates of settling and survival on dodder vines by pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum) were reduced significantly when dodder parasitized glucosinolate-producing hosts (wild type and atr1D) compared with glucosinolate-free hosts (cyp79B2 cyp79B3 myb28 myb29). However, settling and survival of green peach aphids (Myzus persicae) were not affected. M. persicae population growth was actually reduced on dodder parasitizing glucosinolate-free hosts compared with wild-type or atr1D hosts, even though stems of the former contain less glucosinolates and more amino acids. Strikingly, this effect was reversed when the aphids fed directly upon Arabidopsis, which indicates an interactive effect of parasite and host genotype on M. persicae that stems from host effects on dodder. Thus, our findings indicate that glucosinolates may have both direct and indirect effects on dodder-feeding herbivores. PMID:27482077

  10. Inferring host-parasite relationships using stable isotopes: implications for disease transmission and host specificity.

    PubMed

    Stapp, Paul; Salkeld, Daniel J

    2009-11-01

    Identifying the roles of different hosts and vectors is a major challenge in the study of the ecology of diseases caused by multi-host pathogens. Intensive field studies suggested that grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster) help spread the bacterium that causes plague (Yersinia pestis) in prairie dog colonies by sharing fleas with prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus); yet conclusive evidence that prairie dog fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta) feed on grasshopper mice is lacking. Using stable nitrogen isotope analysis, we determined that many blood-engorged O. hirsuta collected from wild grasshopper mice apparently contained blood meals of prairie dogs. These results suggest that grasshopper mice may be infected with Y. pestis via mechanisms other than flea feeding, e.g., early phase or mechanical transmission or scavenging carcasses, and raise questions about the ability of grasshopper mice to maintain Y. pestis in prairie dog colonies during years between plague outbreaks. They also indicate that caution may be warranted when inferring feeding relationships based purely on the occurrence of fleas or other haematophagous ectoparasites on hosts. Stable-isotope analysis may complement or provide a useful alternative to immunological or molecular techniques for identifying hosts of cryptically feeding ectoparasites, and for clarifying feeding relationships in studies of host-parasite interactions. PMID:19967881

  11. The path to host extinction can lead to loss of generalist parasites.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Maxwell J; Stephens, Patrick R; Berrang-Ford, Lea; Gittleman, John L; Davies, T Jonathan

    2015-07-01

    Host extinction can alter disease transmission dynamics, influence parasite extinction and ultimately change the nature of host-parasite systems. While theory predicts that single-host parasites are among the parasite species most susceptible to extinction following declines in their hosts, documented parasite extinctions are rare. Using a comparative approach, we investigate how the richness of single-host and multi-host parasites is influenced by extinction risk among ungulate and carnivore hosts. Host-parasite associations for free-living carnivores (order Carnivora) and terrestrial ungulates (orders Perissodactyla + Cetartiodactyla minus cetaceans) were merged with host trait data and IUCN Red List status to explore the distribution of single-host and multi-host parasites among threatened and non-threatened hosts. We find that threatened ungulates harbour a higher proportion of single-host parasites compared to non-threatened ungulates, which is explained by decreases in the richness of multi-host parasites. However, among carnivores threat status is not a significant predictor of the proportion of single-host parasites, or the richness of single-host or multi-host parasites. The loss of multi-host parasites from threatened ungulates may be explained by decreased cross-species contact as hosts decline and habitats become fragmented. Among carnivores, threat status may not be important in predicting patterns of parasite specificity because host decline results in equal losses of both single-host parasites and multi-host parasites through reduction in average population density and frequency of cross-species contact. Our results contrast with current models of parasite coextinction and highlight the need for updated theories that are applicable across host groups and account for both inter- and intraspecific contact. PMID:25640629

  12. Chemical interrogation of malarial host and parasite kinomes

    PubMed Central

    Zuzarte-Luís, Vanessa; Magalhães, Andreia D.; Kato, Nobutaka; Sanschagrin, Paul C.; Wang, Jinhua; Zhou, Wenjun; Miduturu, Chandrasekhar V.; Mazitschek, Ralph; Sliz, Piotr; Mota, Maria M.; Gray, Nathanael S.

    2014-01-01

    Malaria, an infectious disease caused by eukaryotic parasites from the genus Plasmodium, afflicts hundreds of millions of people every year. Both the parasite and its host utilize protein kinases to regulate essential cellular processes. Bioinformatic analyses of parasite genomes predict at least 65 protein kinases, but their biological functions and therapeutic potential are largely unknown. We profiled 1,358 small molecule kinase inhibitors to evaluate the role of both the human and malaria kinomes in Plasmodium infection of liver cells, the parasites’ obligatory but transient developmental stage that precedes the symptomatic blood stage. The screen identified several small molecules that inhibit parasite load in liver cells, some with nanomolar efficacy, and each compound was subsequently assessed for activity against blood stage malaria. Most of the screening hits inhibited both liver and blood stage malaria parasites, which have dissimilar gene expression profiles and infect different host cells. Evaluation of existing kinase activity profiling data for the library members suggests several kinases are essential to malaria parasites, including cyclin-dependent kinases, glycogen synthase kinases, and phosphoinositide-3-kinases. CDK inhibitors were found to bind to Plasmodium protein kinase 5, but it is likely that these compounds target multiple parasite kinases. The dual stage inhibition of the identified kinase inhibitors makes them useful chemical probes and promising starting points for antimalarial development. PMID:25111632

  13. Nocardia species: host-parasite relationships.

    PubMed Central

    Beaman, B L; Beaman, L

    1994-01-01

    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 PMID:8055469

  14. Using Proteomics to Understand How Leishmania Parasites Survive inside the Host and Establish Infection

    PubMed Central

    Veras, Patrícia Sampaio Tavares; Bezerra de Menezes, Juliana Perrone

    2016-01-01

    Leishmania is a protozoan parasite that causes a wide range of different clinical manifestations in mammalian hosts. It is a major public health risk on different continents and represents one of the most important neglected diseases. Due to the high toxicity of the drugs currently used, and in the light of increasing drug resistance, there is a critical need to develop new drugs and vaccines to control Leishmania infection. Over the past few years, proteomics has become an important tool to understand the underlying biology of Leishmania parasites and host interaction. The large-scale study of proteins, both in parasites and within the host in response to infection, can accelerate the discovery of new therapeutic targets. By studying the proteomes of host cells and tissues infected with Leishmania, as well as changes in protein profiles among promastigotes and amastigotes, scientists hope to better understand the biology involved in the parasite survival and the host-parasite interaction. This review demonstrates the feasibility of proteomics as an approach to identify new proteins involved in Leishmania differentiation and intracellular survival. PMID:27548150

  15. Using Proteomics to Understand How Leishmania Parasites Survive inside the Host and Establish Infection.

    PubMed

    Veras, Patrícia Sampaio Tavares; Bezerra de Menezes, Juliana Perrone

    2016-01-01

    Leishmania is a protozoan parasite that causes a wide range of different clinical manifestations in mammalian hosts. It is a major public health risk on different continents and represents one of the most important neglected diseases. Due to the high toxicity of the drugs currently used, and in the light of increasing drug resistance, there is a critical need to develop new drugs and vaccines to control Leishmania infection. Over the past few years, proteomics has become an important tool to understand the underlying biology of Leishmania parasites and host interaction. The large-scale study of proteins, both in parasites and within the host in response to infection, can accelerate the discovery of new therapeutic targets. By studying the proteomes of host cells and tissues infected with Leishmania, as well as changes in protein profiles among promastigotes and amastigotes, scientists hope to better understand the biology involved in the parasite survival and the host-parasite interaction. This review demonstrates the feasibility of proteomics as an approach to identify new proteins involved in Leishmania differentiation and intracellular survival. PMID:27548150

  16. Feeding guild of non-host community members affects host-foraging efficiency of a parasitic wasp.

    PubMed

    De Rijk, Marjolein; Yang, Daowei; Engel, Bas; Dicke, Marcel; Poelman, Erik H

    2016-06-01

    Interactions between predator and prey, or parasitoid and host, are shaped by trait- and density-mediated processes involving other community members. Parasitoids that lay their eggs in herbivorous insects locate their hosts through infochemicals such as herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) and host-produced kairomones. Hosts are frequently accompanied by non-host herbivores that are unsuitable for the parasitoid. These non-hosts may interfere with host location primarily through trait-mediated processes, by their own infochemicals, and their induction of the emission of plant volatiles. Although it is known that single non-hosts can interfere with parasitoid host location, it is still unknown whether the observed effects are due to species specific characteristics or to the feeding habits of the non-host herbivores. Here we addressed whether the feeding guild of non-host herbivores differentially affects foraging of the parasitoid Cotesia glomerata for its common host, caterpillars of Pieris brassicae feeding on Brassica oleracea plants. We used different phloem-feeding and leaf-chewing non-hosts to study their effects on host location by the parasitoid when searching for host-infested plants based on HIPVs and when searching for hosts on the plant using infochemicals. To evaluate the ultimate effect of these two phases in host location, we studied parasitism efficiency of parasitoids in small plant communities under field-tent conditions. We show that leaf-chewing non-hosts primarily affected host location through trait-mediated effects via plant volatiles, whereas phloem-feeding non-hosts exerted trait-mediated effects by affecting foraging efficiency of the parasitoid on the plant. These trait-mediated effects resulted in associational susceptibility of hosts in environments with phloem feeders and associational resistance in environments with non-host leaf chewers. PMID:27459770

  17. Phylogeny, host-parasite relationship and zoogeography

    PubMed Central

    1999-01-01

    Phylogeny is the evolutionary history of a group or the lineage of organisms and is reconstructed based on morphological, molecular and other characteristics. The genealogical relationship of a group of taxa is often expressed as a phylogenetic tree. The difficulty in categorizing the phylogeny is mainly due to the existence of frequent homoplasies that deceive observers. At the present time, cladistic analysis is believed to be one of the most effective methods of reconstructing a phylogenetic tree. Excellent computer program software for phylogenetic analysis is available. As an example, cladistic analysis was applied for nematode genera of the family Acuariidae, and the phylogenetic tree formed was compared with the system used currently. Nematodes in the genera Nippostrongylus and Heligmonoides were also analyzed, and the validity of the reconstructed phylogenetic trees was observed from a zoogeographical point of view. Some of the theories of parasite evolution were briefly reviewed as well. Coevolution of parasites and humans was discussed with special reference to the evolutionary relationship between Enterobius and primates. PMID:10634036

  18. Regulation of host workers' oviposition by the social parasite ant Polyergus samurai.

    PubMed

    Tsuneoka, Yousuke

    2014-07-01

    Polyergus samurai, an obligatory social parasite ant, lacks the ability to perform usual colony tasks. It depends completely on host Formica japonica workers. In the mixed colony, arrhenotokous reproduction by host workers must be detrimental to the parasites. This study, conducted under artificial rearing conditions, investigated the behavioral influence by P. samurai worker on the production of host workers' male eggs. Host workers started laying eggs when the P. samurai queen was removed, but most eggs were destroyed by P. samurai workers. In a queenless condition, P. samurai workers showed frequent intraspecific dominance interactions, but few interspecific ones. After a short while the P. samurai worker started laying eggs, the F. japonica worker stopped laying eggs. The ovary had no mature oocyte. These results suggest that both the P. samurai queen and dominant workers can inhibit host workers' oviposition. A mesh experiment revealed that the dominant P. samurai workers were able to inhibit host workers' oviposition without contacts. The dominant workers and queens of P. samurai frequently received grooming and trophallaxis from host workers just as a host queen does, suggesting that the parasites secreted similar products to those of the host queen to inhibit the host workers' oviposition. PMID:25001911

  19. Host responses to historical climate change shape parasite communities in North America’s intermountain west

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Host-parasite co-speciation, in which parasite divergence occurs in response to host divergence, is commonly proposed as a driver of parasite diversification, yet few empirical examples of strict co-speciation exist. Host-parasite co-evolutionary histories commonly reflect complex mosaics of co-spe...

  20. Parasite fitness traits under environmental variation: disentangling the roles of a chytrid's immediate host and external environment.

    PubMed

    Van den Wyngaert, Silke; Vanholsbeeck, Olivier; Spaak, Piet; Ibelings, Bas W

    2014-10-01

    Parasite environments are heterogeneous at different levels. The first level of variability is the host itself. The second level represents the external environment for the hosts, to which parasites may be exposed during part of their life cycle. Both levels are expected to affect parasite fitness traits. We disentangle the main and interaction effects of variation in the immediate host environment, here the diatom Asterionella formosa (variables host cell volume and host condition through herbicide pre-exposure) and variation in the external environment (variables host density and acute herbicide exposure) on three fitness traits (infection success, development time and reproductive output) of a chytrid parasite. Herbicide exposure only decreased infection success in a low host density environment. This result reinforces the hypothesis that chytrid zoospores use photosynthesis-dependent chemical cues to locate its host. At high host densities, chemotaxis becomes less relevant due to increasing chance contact rates between host and parasite, thereby following the mass-action principle in epidemiology. Theoretical support for this finding is provided by an agent-based simulation model. The immediate host environment (cell volume) substantially affected parasite reproductive output and also interacted with the external herbicide exposed environment. On the contrary, changes in the immediate host environment through herbicide pre-exposure did not increase infection success, though it had subtle effects on zoospore development time and reproductive output. This study shows that both immediate host and external environment as well as their interaction have significant effects on parasite fitness. Disentangling these effects improves our understanding of the processes underlying parasite spread and disease dynamics. PMID:24863129

  1. HOST INNATE IMMUNITY AGAINST INTESTINAL PARASITES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the poultry industry, there are mounting concerns over the ability of current vaccines to adequately protect against emerging hyper-virulent strains of pathogens and a lack of suitable, cost effective adjuvants. Thorough investigation of the immunogenetic responses involved in host-pathogen inte...

  2. Multiple host-switching of Haemosporidia parasites in bats

    PubMed Central

    Duval, Linda; Robert, Vincent; Csorba, Gabor; Hassanin, Alexandre; Randrianarivelojosia, Milijaona; Walston, Joe; Nhim, Thy; Goodman, Steve M; Ariey, Frédéric

    2007-01-01

    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. PMID:18045505

  3. Volatile chemical cues guide host location and host selection by parasitic plants.

    PubMed

    Runyon, Justin B; Mescher, Mark C; De Moraes, Consuelo M

    2006-09-29

    The importance of plant volatiles in mediating interactions between plant species is much debated. Here, we demonstrate that the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona (dodder) uses volatile cues for host location. Cuscuta pentagona seedlings exhibit directed growth toward nearby tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum) and toward extracted tomato-plant volatiles presented in the absence of other cues. Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana) and wheat plants (Triticum aestivum) also elicit directed growth. Moreover, seedlings can distinguish tomato and wheat volatiles and preferentially grow toward the former. Several individual compounds from tomato and wheat elicit directed growth by C. pentagona, whereas one compound from wheat is repellent. These findings provide compelling evidence that volatiles mediate important ecological interactions among plant species. PMID:17008532

  4. Horizontal transmission of a parasite is influenced by infected host phenotype and density.

    PubMed

    Roberts, K E; Hughes, W O H

    2015-02-01

    Transmission is a key determinant of parasite fitness, and understanding the dynamics of transmission is fundamental to the ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions. Successful transmission is often reliant on contact between infected individuals and susceptible hosts. The social insects consist of aggregated groups of genetically similar hosts, making them particularly vulnerable to parasite transmission. Here we investigate how the ratio of infected to susceptible individuals impacts parasite transmission, using the honey bee, Apis mellifera and its microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae. We used 2 types of infected hosts found simultaneously in colonies; sterile female workers and sexual males. We found a higher ratio of infected to susceptible individuals in groups resulted in a greater proportion of susceptibles becoming infected, but this effect was non-linear and interestingly, the ratio also affected the spore production of infected individuals. The transmission level was much greater in an experiment where the infected individuals were drones than in an experiment where they were workers, suggesting drones may act as intracolonial 'superspreaders'. Understanding the subtleties of transmission and how it is influenced by the phenotype of the infected/susceptible individuals is important for understanding pathogen transmission at population level, and for optimum targeting of parasite control strategies. PMID:25111753

  5. Live Imaging of Host-Parasite Interactions in a Zebrafish Infection Model Reveals Cryptococcal Determinants of Virulence and Central Nervous System Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Tenor, Jennifer L.; Oehlers, Stefan H.; Yang, Jialu L.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans is capable of infecting a broad range of hosts, from invertebrates like amoebas and nematodes to standard vertebrate models such as mice and rabbits. Here we have taken advantage of a zebrafish model to investigate host-pathogen interactions of Cryptococcus with the zebrafish innate immune system, which shares a highly conserved framework with that of mammals. Through live-imaging observations and genetic knockdown, we establish that macrophages are the primary immune cells responsible for responding to and containing acute cryptococcal infections. By interrogating survival and cryptococcal burden following infection with a panel of Cryptococcus mutants, we find that virulence factors initially identified as important in causing disease in mice are also necessary for pathogenesis in zebrafish larvae. Live imaging of the cranial blood vessels of infected larvae reveals that C. neoformans is able to penetrate the zebrafish brain following intravenous infection. By studying a C. neoformans FNX1 gene mutant, we find that blood-brain barrier invasion is dependent on a known cryptococcal invasion-promoting pathway previously identified in a murine model of central nervous system invasion. The zebrafish-C. neoformans platform provides a visually and genetically accessible vertebrate model system for cryptococcal pathogenesis with many of the advantages of small invertebrates. This model is well suited for higher-throughput screening of mutants, mechanistic dissection of cryptococcal pathogenesis in live animals, and use in the evaluation of therapeutic agents. PMID:26419880

  6. Multiple host shifts by the emerging honeybee parasite, Varroa jacobsoni.

    PubMed

    Roberts, J M K; Anderson, D L; Tay, W T

    2015-05-01

    Host shifts are a key mechanism of parasite evolution and responsible for the emergence of many economically important pathogens. Varroa destructor has been a major factor in global honeybee (Apis mellifera) declines since shifting hosts from the Asian honeybee (Apis cerana) > 50 years ago. Until recently, only two haplotypes of V. destructor (Korea and Japan) had successfully host shifted to A. mellifera. In 2008, the sister species V. jacobsoni was found for the first time parasitizing A. mellifera in Papua New Guinea (PNG). This recent host shift presents a serious threat to world apiculture but also provides the opportunity to examine host shifting in this system. We used 12 microsatellites to compare genetic variation of V. jacobsoni on A. mellifera in PNG with mites on A. cerana in both PNG and surrounding regions. We identified two distinct lineages of V. jacobsoni reproducing on A. mellifera in PNG. Our analysis indicated independent host shift events have occurred through small numbers of mites shifting from local A. cerana populations. Additional lineages were found in the neighbouring Papua and Solomon Islands that had partially host shifted to A. mellifera, that is producing immature offspring on drone brood only. These mites were likely in transition to full colonization of A. mellifera. Significant population structure between mites on the different hosts suggested host shifted V. jacobsoni populations may not still reproduce on A. cerana, although limited gene flow may exist. Our studies provide further insight into parasite host shift evolution and help characterize this new Varroa mite threat to A. mellifera worldwide. PMID:25846956

  7. Habitat selection for parasite-free space by hosts of parasitic cowbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Forsman, J.T.; Martin, T.E.

    2009-01-01

    Choice of breeding habitat can have a major impact on fitness. Sensitivity of habitat choice to environmental cues predicting reproductive success, such as density of harmful enemy species, should be favored by natural selection. Yet, experimental tests of this idea are in short supply. Brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater commonly reduce reproductive success of a wide diversity of birds by parasitizing their nests. We used song playbacks to simulate high cowbird density and tested whether cowbird hosts avoid such areas in habitat selection. Host species that made settlement decisions during manipulations were significantly less abundant in the cowbird treatment as a group. In contrast, hosts that settled before manipulations started and non-host species did not respond to treatments. These results suggest that hosts of cowbirds can use vocal cues to assess parasitism risk among potential habitat patches and avoid high risk habitats. This can affect community structure by affecting habitat choices of species with differential vulnerability.

  8. Geography and major host evolutionary transitions shape the resource use of plant parasites.

    PubMed

    Calatayud, Joaquín; Hórreo, José Luis; Madrigal-González, Jaime; Migeon, Alain; Rodríguez, Miguel Á; Magalhães, Sara; Hortal, Joaquín

    2016-08-30

    The evolution of resource use in herbivores has been conceptualized as an analog of the theory of island biogeography, assuming that plant species are islands separated by phylogenetic distances. Despite its usefulness, this analogy has paradoxically led to neglecting real biogeographical processes in the study of macroevolutionary patterns of herbivore-plant interactions. Here we show that host use is mostly determined by the geographical cooccurrence of hosts and parasites in spider mites (Tetranychidae), a globally distributed group of plant parasites. Strikingly, geography accounts for most of the phylogenetic signal in host use by these parasites. Beyond geography, only evolutionary transitions among major plant lineages (i.e., gymnosperms, commelinids, and eudicots) shape resource use patterns in these herbivores. Still, even these barriers have been repeatedly overcome in evolutionary time, resulting in phylogenetically diverse parasite communities feeding on similar hosts. Therefore, our results imply that patterns of apparent evolutionary conservatism may largely be a byproduct of the geographic cooccurrence of hosts and parasites. PMID:27535932

  9. Effects of a native parasitic plant on an exotic invader decrease with increasing host age

    PubMed Central

    Li, Junmin; Yang, Beifen; Yan, Qiaodi; Zhang, Jing; Yan, Min; Li, Maihe

    2015-01-01

    Understanding changes in the interactions between parasitic plants and their hosts in relation to ontogenetic changes in the hosts is crucial for successful use of parasitic plants as biological controls. We investigated growth, photosynthesis and chemical defences in different-aged Bidens pilosa plants in response to infection by Cuscuta australis. We were particularly interested in whether plant responses to parasite infection change with changes in the host plant age. Compared with the non-infected B. pilosa, parasite infection reduced total host biomass and net photosynthetic rates, but these deleterious effects decreased with increasing host age. Parasite infection reduced the concentrations of total phenolics, total flavonoids and saponins in the younger B. pilosa but not in the older B. pilosa. Compared with the relatively older and larger plants, younger and smaller plants suffered from more severe damage and are likely less to recover from the infection, suggesting that C. australis is only a viable biocontrol agent for younger B. pilosa plants. PMID:25838325

  10. Effects of a native parasitic plant on an exotic invader decrease with increasing host age.

    PubMed

    Li, Junmin; Yang, Beifen; Yan, Qiaodi; Zhang, Jing; Yan, Min; Li, Maihe

    2015-01-01

    Understanding changes in the interactions between parasitic plants and their hosts in relation to ontogenetic changes in the hosts is crucial for successful use of parasitic plants as biological controls. We investigated growth, photosynthesis and chemical defences in different-aged Bidens pilosa plants in response to infection by Cuscuta australis. We were particularly interested in whether plant responses to parasite infection change with changes in the host plant age. Compared with the non-infected B. pilosa, parasite infection reduced total host biomass and net photosynthetic rates, but these deleterious effects decreased with increasing host age. Parasite infection reduced the concentrations of total phenolics, total flavonoids and saponins in the younger B. pilosa but not in the older B. pilosa. Compared with the relatively older and larger plants, younger and smaller plants suffered from more severe damage and are likely less to recover from the infection, suggesting that C. australis is only a viable biocontrol agent for younger B. pilosa plants. PMID:25838325

  11. Friendly competition: evidence for a dilution effect among competitors in a planktonic host-parasite system.

    PubMed

    Hall, Spencer R; Becker, Claes R; Simonis, Joseph L; Duffy, Meghan A; Tessier, Alan J; Cáceres, Carla E

    2009-03-01

    The "dilution effect" concept in disease ecology offers the intriguing possibility that clever manipulation of less competent hosts could reduce disease prevalence in populations of more competent hosts. The basic concept is straightforward: host species vary in suitability (competence) for parasites, and disease transmission decreases when there are more incompetent hosts interacting with vectors or removing free-living stages of a parasite. However, host species also often interact with each other in other ecological ways, e.g., as competitors for resources. The net result of these simultaneous, multiple interactions (disease dilution and resource competition) is challenging to predict. Nonetheless, we see the signature of both roles operating concurrently in a planktonic host-parasite system. We document pronounced spatiotemporal variation in the size of epidemics of a virulent fungus (Metschnikowia bicuspidata) in Midwestern U.S. lake populations of a dominant crustacean grazer (Daphnia dentifera). We show that some of this variation is captured by changes in structure of Daphnia assemblages. Lake-years with smaller epidemics were characterized by assemblages dominated by less suitable hosts ("diluters," D. pulicaria and D. retrocurva, whose suitabilties were determined in lab experiments and field surveys) at the start of epidemics. Furthermore, within a season, less suitable hosts increased as epidemics declined. These observations are consistent with a dilution effect. However, more detailed time series analysis (using multivariate autoregressive models) of three intensively sampled epidemics show the signature of a likely interaction between dilution and resource competition between these Daphnia species. The net outcome of this interaction likely promoted termination of these fungal outbreaks. Should this outcome always arise in "friendly competition" systems where diluting hosts compete with more competent hosts? The answers to this question lie at a

  12. Interactions of microfungi and plant parasitic nematodes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant parasitic nematodes and microfungi inhabit many of the same ecological habitats and interact in almost every conceivable way. Nematodes can feed on fungi, and conversely fungi can use nematodes as a food source. Fungi have been widely studied as biological controls of plant parasitic nematod...

  13. Nematode–coccidia parasite co-infections in African buffalo: Epidemiology and associations with host condition and pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Gorsich, Erin E.; Ezenwa, Vanessa O.; Jolles, Anna E.

    2014-01-01

    Co-infections are common in natural populations and interactions among co-infecting parasites can significantly alter the transmission and host fitness costs of infection. Because both exposure and susceptibility vary over time, predicting the consequences of parasite interactions on host fitness and disease dynamics may require detailed information on their effects across different environmental (season) and host demographic (age, sex) conditions. This study examines five years of seasonal health and co-infection patterns in African buffalo (Syncerus caffer). We use data on two groups of gastrointestinal parasites, coccidia and nematodes, to test the hypothesis that co-infection and season interact to influence (1) parasite prevalence and intensity and (2) three proxies for host fitness: host pregnancy, host body condition, and parasite aggregation. Our results suggest that season-dependent interactions between nematodes and coccidia affect the distribution of infections. Coccidia prevalence, coccidia intensity and nematode prevalence were sensitive to factors that influence host immunity and exposure (age, sex, and season) but nematode intensity was most strongly predicted by co-infection with coccidia and its interaction with season. The influence of co-infection on host body condition and parasite aggregation occurred in season-dependent manner. Co-infected buffalo in the early wet season were in worse condition, had a less aggregated distribution of nematode parasites, and lower nematode infection intensity than buffalo infected with nematodes alone. We did not detect an effect of infection or co-infection on host pregnancy. These results suggest that demographic and seasonal variation may mediate the effects of parasites, and their interactions, on the distribution and fitness costs of infection. PMID:25161911

  14. Host ant independent oviposition in the parasitic butterfly Maculinea alcon

    PubMed Central

    Fürst, Matthias A.; Nash, David R.

    2010-01-01

    Parasitic Maculinea alcon butterflies can only develop in nests of a subset of available Myrmica ant species, so female butterflies have been hypothesized to preferentially lay eggs on plants close to colonies of the correct host ants. Previous correlational investigations of host-ant-dependent oviposition in this and other Maculinea species have, however, shown equivocal results, leading to a long-term controversy over support for this hypothesis. We therefore conducted a controlled field experiment to study the egg-laying behaviour of M. alcon. Matched potted Gentiana plants were set out close to host-ant nests and non-host-ant nests, and the number and position of eggs attached were assessed. Our results show no evidence for host-ant-based oviposition in M. alcon, but support an oviposition strategy based on plant characteristics. This suggests that careful management of host-ant distribution is necessary for conservation of this endangered butterfly. PMID:19864269

  15. Bacterial symbiont sharing in Megalomyrmex social parasites and their fungus-growing ant hosts.

    PubMed

    Liberti, Joanito; Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Hansen, Lars H; Sørensen, Søren J; Adams, Rachelle M M; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2015-06-01

    Bacterial symbionts are important fitness determinants of insects. Some hosts have independently acquired taxonomically related microbes to meet similar challenges, but whether distantly related hosts that live in tight symbiosis can maintain similar microbial communities has not been investigated. Varying degrees of nest sharing between Megalomyrmex social parasites (Solenopsidini) and their fungus-growing ant hosts (Attini) from the genera Cyphomyrmex, Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex allowed us to address this question, as both ant lineages rely on the same fungal diet, interact in varying intensities and are distantly related. We used tag-encoded FLX 454 pyrosequencing and diagnostic PCR to map bacterial symbiont diversity across the Megalomyrmex phylogenetic tree, which also contains free-living generalist predators. We show that social parasites and hosts share a subset of bacterial symbionts, primarily consisting of Entomoplasmatales, Bartonellaceae, Acinetobacter, Wolbachia and Pseudonocardia and that Entomoplasmatales and Bartonellaceae can co-infect specifically associated combinations of hosts and social parasites with identical 16S rRNA genotypes. We reconstructed in more detail the population-level infection dynamics for Entomoplasmatales and Bartonellaceae in Megalomyrmex symmetochus guest ants and their Sericomyrmex amabilis hosts. We further assessed the stability of the bacterial communities through a diet manipulation experiment and evaluated possible transmission modes in shared nests such as consumption of the same fungus garden food, eating of host brood by social parasites, trophallaxis and grooming interactions between the ants, or parallel acquisition from the same nest environment. Our results imply that cohabiting ant social parasites and hosts may obtain functional benefits from bacterial symbiont transfer even when they are not closely related. PMID:25907143

  16. Parasite molecules and host responses in cystic echinococcosis.

    PubMed

    Díaz, A; Casaravilla, C; Barrios, A A; Ferreira, A M

    2016-03-01

    Cystic echinococcosis is the infection by the larvae of cestode parasites belonging to the Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato species complex. Local host responses are strikingly subdued in relation to the size and persistence of these larvae, which develop within mammalian organs as 'hydatid cysts' measuring up to tens of cm in diameter. In a context in which helminth-derived immune-suppressive, as well as Th2-inducing, molecules garner much interest, knowledge on the interactions between E. granulosus molecules and the immune system lags behind. Here, we discuss what is known and what are the open questions on E. granulosus molecules and structures interacting with the innate and adaptive immune systems, potentially or in demonstrated form. We attempt a global biological approach on molecules that have been given consideration primarily as protective (Eg95) or diagnostic antigens (antigen B, antigen 5). We integrate glycobiological information, which traverses the discussions on antigen 5, the mucin-based protective laminated layer and immunologically active preparations from protoscoleces. We also highlight some less well-known molecules that appear as promising candidates to possess immune-regulatory activities. Finally, we point out gaps in the molecular-level knowledge of this infectious agent that hinder our understanding of its immunology. PMID:26425838

  17. Human C1-Inhibitor Suppresses Malaria Parasite Invasion and Cytoadhesion via Binding to Parasite Glycosylphosphatidylinositol and Host Cell Receptors.

    PubMed

    Mejia, Pedro; Diez-Silva, Monica; Kamena, Faustin; Lu, Fengxin; Fernandes, Stacey M; Seeberger, Peter H; Davis, Alvin E; Mitchell, James R

    2016-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum-induced severe malaria remains a continuing problem in areas of endemicity, with elevated morbidity and mortality. Drugs targeting mechanisms involved in severe malaria pathology, including cytoadhesion of infected red blood cells (RBCs) to host receptors and production of proinflammatory cytokines, are still necessary. Human C1-inhibitor (C1INH) is a multifunctional protease inhibitor that regulates coagulation, vascular permeability, and inflammation, with beneficial effects in inflammatory disease models, including septic shock. We found that human C1INH, at therapeutically relevant doses, blocks severe malaria pathogenic processes by 2 distinct mechanisms. First, C1INH bound to glycan moieties within P. falciparum glycosylphosphatidylinositol (PfGPI) molecules on the parasite surface, inhibiting parasite RBC invasion and proinflammatory cytokine production by parasite-stimulated monocytes in vitro and reducing parasitemia in a rodent model of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) in vivo. Second, C1INH bound to host CD36 and chondroitin sulfate A molecules, interfering with cytoadhesion of infected RBCs by competitive binding to these receptors in vitro and reducing sequestration in specific tissues and protecting against ECM in vivo. This study reveals that C1INH is a potential therapeutic antimalarial molecule able to interfere with severe-disease etiology at multiple levels through specific interactions with both parasite PfGPIs and host cell receptors. PMID:26347576

  18. How a haemosporidian parasite of bats gets around: the genetic structure of a parasite, vector and host compared.

    PubMed

    Witsenburg, F; Clément, L; López-Baucells, A; Palmeirim, J; Pavlinić, I; Scaravelli, D; Ševčík, M; Dutoit, L; Salamin, N; Goudet, J; Christe, P

    2015-02-01

    Parasite population structure is often thought to be largely shaped by that of its host. In the case of a parasite with a complex life cycle, two host species, each with their own patterns of demography and migration, spread the parasite. However, the population structure of the parasite is predicted to resemble only that of the most vagile host species. In this study, we tested this prediction in the context of a vector-transmitted parasite. We sampled the haemosporidian parasite Polychromophilus melanipherus across its European range, together with its bat fly vector Nycteribia schmidlii and its host, the bent-winged bat Miniopterus schreibersii. Based on microsatellite analyses, the wingless vector, and not the bat host, was identified as the least structured population and should therefore be considered the most vagile host. Genetic distance matrices were compared for all three species based on a mitochondrial DNA fragment. Both host and vector populations followed an isolation-by-distance pattern across the Mediterranean, but not the parasite. Mantel tests found no correlation between the parasite and either the host or vector populations. We therefore found no support for our hypothesis; the parasite population structure matched neither vector nor host. Instead, we propose a model where the parasite's gene flow is represented by the added effects of host and vector dispersal patterns. PMID:25641066

  19. A combined parasitological molecular approach for noninvasive characterization of parasitic nematode communities in wild hosts.

    PubMed

    Budischak, Sarah A; Hoberg, Eric P; Abrams, Art; Jolles, Anna E; Ezenwa, Vanessa O

    2015-09-01

    Most hosts are concurrently or sequentially infected with multiple parasites; thus, fully understanding interactions between individual parasite species and their hosts depends on accurate characterization of the parasite community. For parasitic nematodes, noninvasive methods for obtaining quantitative, species-specific infection data in wildlife are often unreliable. Consequently, characterization of gastrointestinal nematode communities of wild hosts has largely relied on lethal sampling to isolate and enumerate adult worms directly from the tissues of dead hosts. The necessity of lethal sampling severely restricts the host species that can be studied, the adequacy of sample sizes to assess diversity, the geographic scope of collections and the research questions that can be addressed. Focusing on gastrointestinal nematodes of wild African buffalo, we evaluated whether accurate characterization of nematode communities could be made using a noninvasive technique that combined conventional parasitological approaches with molecular barcoding. To establish the reliability of this new method, we compared estimates of gastrointestinal nematode abundance, prevalence, richness and community composition derived from lethal sampling with estimates derived from our noninvasive approach. Our noninvasive technique accurately estimated total and species-specific worm abundances, as well as worm prevalence and community composition when compared to the lethal sampling method. Importantly, the rate of parasite species discovery was similar for both methods, and only a modest number of barcoded larvae (n = 10) were needed to capture key aspects of parasite community composition. Overall, this new noninvasive strategy offers numerous advantages over lethal sampling methods for studying nematode-host interactions in wildlife and can readily be applied to a range of study systems. PMID:25644900

  20. The Relationship between Parasite Fitness and Host Condition in an Insect - Virus System

    PubMed Central

    Tseng, Michelle; Myers, Judith H.

    2014-01-01

    Research in host-parasite evolutionary ecology has demonstrated that environmental variation plays a large role in mediating the outcome of parasite infection. For example, crowding or low food availability can reduce host condition and make them more vulnerable to parasite infection. This observation that poor-condition hosts often suffer more from parasite infection compared to healthy hosts has led to the assumption that parasite productivity is higher in poor-condition hosts. However, the ubiquity of this negative relationship between host condition and parasite fitness is unknown. Moreover, examining the effect of environmental variation on parasite fitness has been largely overlooked in the host-parasite literature. Here we investigate the relationship between parasite fitness and host condition by using a laboratory experiment with the cabbage looper Trichoplusia ni and its viral pathogen, AcMNPV, and by surveying published host-parasite literature. Our experiments demonstrated that virus productivity was positively correlated with host food availability and the literature survey revealed both positive and negative relationships between host condition and parasite fitness. Together these data demonstrate that contrary to previous assumptions, parasite fitness can be positively or negatively correlated with host fitness. We discuss the significance of these findings for host-parasite population biology. PMID:25208329

  1. Host switching in cowbird brood parasites: how often does it occur?

    PubMed

    Domínguez, M; de la Colina, M A; Di Giacomo, A G; Reboreda, J C; Mahler, B

    2015-06-01

    Avian obligate brood parasites lay their eggs in nests of host species, which provide all parental care. Brood parasites may be host specialists, if they use one or a few host species, or host generalists, if they parasitize many hosts. Within the latter, strains of host-specific females might coexist. Although females preferentially parasitize one host, they may occasionally successfully parasitize the nest of another species. These host switching events allow the colonization of new hosts and the expansion of brood parasites into new areas. In this study, we analyse host switching in two parasitic cowbirds, the specialist screaming cowbird (Molothrus rufoaxillaris) and the generalist shiny cowbird (M. bonariensis), and compare the frequency of host switches between these species with different parasitism strategies. Contrary to expected, host switches did not occur more frequently in the generalist than in the specialist brood parasite. We also found that migration between hosts was asymmetrical in most cases and host switches towards one host were more recurrent than backwards, thus differing among hosts within the same species. This might depend on a combination of factors including the rate at which females lay eggs in nests of alternative hosts, fledging success of the chicks in this new host and their subsequent success in parasitizing it. PMID:25903962

  2. Host-mediated volatile polymorphism in a parasitic plant influences its attractiveness to pollinators.

    PubMed

    Troncoso, Alejandra J; Cabezas, Nancy J; Faúndez, Eric H; Urzúa, Alejandro; Niemeyer, Hermann M

    2010-02-01

    Host-plants can mediate the interactions between herbivores and their mutualists and also between parasitic plants and their mutualists. The present study reveals how a hemiparasitic plant parasitizing three host species gives rise to three distinct hemiparasite-host neighborhoods which differ in terms of volatile composition and pollinator attractiveness. The study was performed in a population of the mistletoe Tristerix verticillatus infecting three different species of hosts occurring in sympatry within a small area, thus exposing all individuals studied to similar abiotic conditions and pollinator diversity; we assessed the effect of hosts on the hemiparasites' visual and olfactory cues for pollinator attraction. During the study period, the hemiparasite individuals were flowering but the hosts were past their flowering stage. We collected volatile organic compounds from the hemiparasite and its hosts, measured floral display characteristics and monitored bird and insect visitors to inflorescences of T. verticillatus. We showed that: (1) floral patches did not differ in terms of floral display potentially involved in the attraction of pollinators, (2) hosts and hemiparasites on each host were discriminated as distinct chemical populations in terms of their volatile chemical profiles, (3) insect visitation rates differed between hemiparasites parasitizing different hosts, and (4) volatile compounds from the host and the hemiparasite influenced the visitation of hemiparasite flowers by insects. The study showed that a species regarded as "ornithophilic" by its floral morphology was actually mostly visited by insects that interacted with its sexual organs during their visits and carried its pollen, and that host-specific plant-volatile profiles within the T. verticillatus population were associated with differential attractiveness to pollinating insects. PMID:19890665

  3. Nanomimics of host cell membranes block invasion and expose invasive malaria parasites.

    PubMed

    Najer, Adrian; Wu, Dalin; Bieri, Andrej; Brand, Françoise; Palivan, Cornelia G; Beck, Hans-Peter; Meier, Wolfgang

    2014-12-23

    The fight against most infectious diseases, including malaria, is often hampered by the emergence of drug resistance and lack or limited efficacies of vaccines. Therefore, new drugs, vaccines, or other strategies to control these diseases are needed. Here, we present an innovative nanotechnological strategy in which the nanostructure itself represents the active substance with no necessity to release compounds to attain therapeutic effect and which might act in a drug- and vaccine-like dual function. Invasion of Plasmodium falciparum parasites into red blood cells was selected as a biological model for the initial validation of this approach. Stable nanomimics-polymersomes presenting receptors required for parasite attachment to host cells-were designed to efficiently interrupt the life cycle of the parasite by inhibiting invasion. A simple way to build nanomimics without postformation modifications was established. First, a block copolymer of the receptor with a hydrophobic polymer was synthesized and then mixed with a polymersome-forming block copolymer. The resulting nanomimics bound parasite-derived ligands involved in the initial attachment to host cells and they efficiently blocked reinvasion of malaria parasites after their egress from host cells in vitro. They exhibited efficacies of more than 2 orders of magnitude higher than the soluble form of the receptor, which can be explained by multivalent interactions of several receptors on one nanomimic with multiple ligands on the infective parasite. In the future, our strategy might offer interesting treatment options for severe malaria or a way to modulate the immune response. PMID:25435059

  4. Host-parasite relatedness shown by protein fingerprinting in a brood parasitic bird.

    PubMed

    Andersson, M; Ahlund, M

    2000-11-21

    Brood parasitism as an alternative female breeding tactic is particularly common in ducks, where hosts often receive eggs laid by parasitic females of the same species and raise their offspring. Herein, we test several aspects of a kin selection explanation for this phenomenon in goldeneye ducks (Bucephala clangula) by using techniques of egg albumen sampling and statistical bandsharing analysis based on resampling. We find that host and primary parasite are indeed often related, with mean r = 0.13, about as high as between first cousins. Relatedness to the host is higher in nests where a parasite lays several eggs than in those where she lays only one. Returning young females parasitize their birth nestmates (social mothers or sisters, which are usually also their genetic mothers and sisters) more often than expected by chance. Such adult relatives are also observed together in the field more often than expected and for longer periods than other females. Relatedness and kin discrimination, which can be achieved by recognition of birth nestmates, therefore play a role in these tactics and probably influence their success. PMID:11050150

  5. Host gender in parasitic infections of mammals: an evaluation of the female host supremacy paradigm.

    PubMed

    Morales-Montor, J; Chavarria, A; De León, M A; Del Castillo, L I; Escobedo, E G; Sánchez, E N; Vargas, J A; Hernández-Flores, M; Romo-González, T; Larralde, C

    2004-06-01

    A review of current literature on mammalian hosts' sexual dimorphism (SD) in parasitic infections revealed that (1) it is a scarcely and superficially studied biological phenomenon of considerable significance for individual health, behavior, and lifestyles and for the evolution of species; (2) there are many notable exceptions to the rule of a favorable female bias in susceptibility to infection; (3) a complex network of molecular and cellular reactions connecting the host's immuno-neuroendocrine systems with those of the parasite is responsible for the host-parasite relationship rather than just an adaptive immune response and sex hormones; (4) a lack of gender-specific immune profiles in response to different infections; (5) the direct effects of the host hormones on parasite physiology may significantly contribute to SD in parasitism; and (6) the need to enrich the reductionist approach to complex biological issues, like SD, with more penetrating approaches to the study of cause-effect relationships, i.e., network theory. The review concludes by advising against generalization regarding SD and parasitism and by pointing to some of the most promising lines of research. PMID:15270097

  6. Response of Flour Beetles to Multiple Stressors of Parasitic (Hymenolepis diminuta), Environmental (Diatomaceous Earth), and Host (Reproduction) Origin.

    PubMed

    Shostak, Allen W; Van Buuren, Kala G; Cook, Ranon

    2015-08-01

    Organisms face a multitude of potential stressors, and the way these stressors interact can provide insights into underlying biological processes. This study examined the flour beetle Tribolium confusum and its survival, net fecundity, and surface-seeking behavior in response to combinations of stressors from 3 categories. Infection by the cestode Hymenolepis diminuta provided a stress of parasitic origin. Exposure to diatomaceous earth (DE) provided a stress of environmental origin. Use of virgin and mated beetles evaluated reproduction as a stress of host origin. Single and multiple exposure of beetles to parasite eggs achieved a maximum mean abundance of 21 parasites/beetle and a maximum intensity of 90 parasites in an individual beetle. DE reduced initial parasite establishment, but did not directly affect survival of parasites after their establishment in the host. A rehydration technique was used to recover parasites from dead beetles, enabling this to be the first study to correlate H. diminuta intensity at time of death directly to mortality of T. confusum. A dichotomous intensity-mortality relationship was observed in 8% DE, whereby lightly infected (<20 parasites) hosts were killed by DE in an intensity-independent manner, but more heavily infected hosts were killed in an intensity-dependent manner. Host mating status did not affect host survival, but there were interactions among mating status, parasitism, and DE on net fecundity and surface-seeking behavior. However, these effects were minor compared to the host mortality that occurred when parasite abundance and DE concentration were both high. The aggregated distribution of T. confusum in beetles, the difficulty of achieving high mean abundances, and an apparent need for the stressors to have strong effects individually if they are to have enhanced effects when in combination, suggests that exposure to multiple stressors would seriously impact only a small proportion of the host population. PMID

  7. Parasite Manipulation of Host Behaviour: Acanthocephalans and Shrimps in the Laboratory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, A. F.; Thompson, D. B. A.

    1986-01-01

    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)

  8. Do Parasitic Trematode Cercariae Demonstrate a Preference for Susceptible Host Species?

    PubMed Central

    Sears, Brittany F.; Schlunk, Andrea D.; Rohr, Jason R.

    2012-01-01

    Many parasites are motile and exhibit behavioural preferences for certain host species. Because hosts can vary in their susceptibility to infections, parasites might benefit from preferentially detecting and infecting the most susceptible host, but this mechanistic hypothesis for host-choice has rarely been tested. We evaluated whether cercariae (larval trematode parasites) prefer the most susceptible host species by simultaneously presenting cercariae with four species of tadpole hosts. Cercariae consistently preferred hosts in the following order: Anaxyrus ( = Bufo) terrestris (southern toad), Hyla squirella (squirrel tree frog), Lithobates ( = Rana) sphenocephala (southern leopard frog), and Osteopilus septentrionalis (Cuban tree frog). These host species varied in susceptibility to cercariae in an order similar to their attractiveness with a correlation that approached significance. Host attractiveness to parasites also varied consistently and significantly among individuals within a host species. If heritable, this individual-level host variation would represent the raw material upon which selection could act, which could promote a Red Queen “arms race” between host cues and parasite detection of those cues. If, in general, motile parasites prefer to infect the most susceptible host species, this phenomenon could explain aggregated distributions of parasites among hosts and contribute to parasite transmission rates and the evolution of virulence. Parasite preferences for hosts belie the common assumption of disease models that parasites seek and infect hosts at random. PMID:23272084

  9. Blending in with the crowd: social parasites integrate into their host colonies using a flexible chemical signature.

    PubMed

    D'Ettorre, P; Mondy, N; Lenoir, A; Errard, C

    2002-09-22

    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. PMID:12350253

  10. Host responses to interspecific brood parasitism: a by-product of adaptations to conspecific parasitism?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    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

  11. Leishmania development in sand flies: parasite-vector interactions overview

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Leishmaniases are vector-borne parasitic diseases with 0.9 – 1.4 million new human cases each year worldwide. In the vectorial part of the life-cycle, Leishmania development is confined to the digestive tract. During the first few days after blood feeding, natural barriers to Leishmania development include secreted proteolytic enzymes, the peritrophic matrix surrounding the ingested blood meal and sand fly immune reactions. As the blood digestion proceeds, parasites need to bind to the midgut epithelium to avoid being excreted with the blood remnant. This binding is strictly stage-dependent as it is a property of nectomonad and leptomonad forms only. While the attachment in specific vectors (P. papatasi, P. duboscqi and P. sergenti) involves lipophosphoglycan (LPG), this Leishmania molecule is not required for parasite attachment in other sand fly species experimentally permissive for various Leishmania. During late-stage infections, large numbers of parasites accumulate in the anterior midgut and produce filamentous proteophosphoglycan creating a gel-like plug physically obstructing the gut. The parasites attached to the stomodeal valve cause damage to the chitin lining and epithelial cells of the valve, interfering with its function and facilitating reflux of parasites from the midgut. Transformation to metacyclic stages highly infective for the vertebrate host is the other prerequisite for effective transmission. Here, we review the current state of knowledge of molecular interactions occurring in all these distinct phases of parasite colonization of the sand fly gut, highlighting recent discoveries in the field. PMID:23206339

  12. Toxoplasma gondii dissemination: a parasite's journey through the infected host.

    PubMed

    Harker, K S; Ueno, N; Lodoen, M B

    2015-03-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a highly successful global pathogen that is remarkable in its ability to infect nearly any nucleated cell in any warm-blooded animal. Infection with T. gondii typically occurs through the ingestion of contaminated food or water, but the parasite then breaches the intestinal epithelial barrier and spreads from the lamina propria to a large variety of other organs in the body. A key feature of T. gondii pathogenesis is the parasite's ability to cross formidable biological barriers in the infected host and enter tissues such as the brain, eye and placenta. The dissemination of T. gondii into these organs underlies the severe disease that accompanies human toxoplasmosis. In this review, we will focus on seminal studies as well as exciting recent findings that have shaped our current understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which T. gondii journeys throughout the host and enters organs to cause disease. PMID:25408224

  13. Host-parasite relationship in cystic echinococcosis: an evolving story.

    PubMed

    Siracusano, Alessandra; Delunardo, Federica; Teggi, Antonella; Ortona, Elena

    2012-01-01

    The larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus causes cystic echinococcosis, a neglected infectious disease that constitutes a major public health problem in developing countries. Despite being under constant barrage by the immune system, E. granulosus modulates antiparasite immune responses and persists in the human hosts with detectable humoral and cellular responses against the parasite. In vitro and in vivo immunological approaches, together with molecular biology and immunoproteomic technologies, provided us exciting insights into the mechanisms involved in the initiation of E. granulosus infection and the consequent induction and regulation of the immune response. Although the last decade has clarified many aspects of host-parasite relationship in human cystic echinococcosis, establishing the full mechanisms that cause the disease requires more studies. Here, we review some of the recent developments and discuss new avenues in this evolving story of E. granulosus infection in man. PMID:22110535

  14. Social hackers: integration in the host chemical recognition system by a paper wasp social parasite.

    PubMed

    Turillazzi, S; Sledge, M F; Dani, F R; Cervo, R; Massolo, A; Fondelli, L

    2000-04-01

    Obligate social parasites in the social insects have lost the worker caste and the ability to establish nests. As a result, parasites must usurp a host nest, overcome the host recognition system, and depend on the host workers to rear their offspring. We analysed cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of live parasite females of the paper wasp social parasite Polistes sulcifer before and after usurpation of host nests, using the non-destructive technique of solid-phase micro-extraction. Our results reveal that hydrocarbon profiles of parasites change after usurpation of host nests to match the cuticular profile of the host species. Chemical evidence further shows that the parasite queen changes the odour of the nest by the addition of a parasite-specific hydrocarbon. We discuss the possible role of this in the recognition and acceptance of the parasite and its offspring in the host colony. PMID:10840803

  15. Social Hackers: Integration in the Host Chemical Recognition System by a Paper Wasp Social Parasite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turillazzi, S.; Sledge, M. F.; Dani, F. R.; Cervo, R.; Massolo, A.; Fondelli, L.

    Obligate social parasites in the social insects have lost the worker caste and the ability to establish nests. As a result, parasites must usurp a host nest, overcome the host recognition system, and depend on the host workers to rear their offspring. We analysed cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of live parasite females of the paper wasp social parasite Polistes sulcifer before and after usurpation of host nests, using the non-destructive technique of solid-phase micro-extraction. Our results reveal that hydrocarbon profiles of parasites change after usurpation of host nests to match the cuticular profile of the host species. Chemical evidence further shows that the parasite queen changes the odour of the nest by the addition of a parasite-specific hydrocarbon. We discuss the possible role of this in the recognition and acceptance of the parasite and its offspring in the host colony.

  16. Host genetics and population structure effects on parasitic disease

    PubMed Central

    Williams-Blangero, Sarah; Criscione, Charles D.; VandeBerg, John L.; Correa-Oliveira, Rodrigo; Williams, Kimberly D.; Subedi, Janardan; Kent, Jack W.; Williams, Jeff; Kumar, Satish; Blangero, John

    2012-01-01

    Host genetic factors exert significant influences on differential susceptibility to many infectious diseases. In addition, population structure of both host and parasite may influence disease distribution patterns. In this study, we assess the effects of population structure on infectious disease in two populations in which host genetic factors influencing susceptibility to parasitic disease have been extensively studied. The first population is the Jirel population of eastern Nepal that has been the subject of research on the determinants of differential susceptibility to soil-transmitted helminth infections. The second group is a Brazilian population residing in an area endemic for Trypanosoma cruzi infection that has been assessed for genetic influences on differential disease progression in Chagas disease. For measures of Ascaris worm burden, within-population host genetic effects are generally more important than host population structure factors in determining patterns of infectious disease. No significant influences of population structure on measures associated with progression of cardiac disease in individuals who were seropositive for T. cruzi infection were found. PMID:22312056

  17. Mimetic host shifts in an endangered social parasite of ants.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Jeremy A; Elmes, Graham W; Sielezniew, Marcin; Stankiewicz-Fiedurek, Anna; Simcox, David J; Settele, Josef; Schönrogge, Karsten

    2013-01-22

    An emerging problem in conservation is whether listed morpho-species with broad distributions, yet specialized lifestyles, consist of more than one cryptic species or functionally distinct forms that have different ecological requirements. We describe extreme regional divergence within an iconic endangered butterfly, whose socially parasitic young stages use non-visual, non-tactile cues to infiltrate and supplant the brood in ant societies. Although indistinguishable morphologically or when using current mitochondrial and nuclear sequence-, or microsatellite data, Maculinea rebeli from Spain and southeast Poland exploit different Myrmica ant species and experience 100 per cent mortality with each other's hosts. This reflects major differences in the hydrocarbons synthesized from each region by the larvae, which so closely mimic the recognition profiles of their respective hosts that nurse ants afford each parasite a social status above that of their own kin larvae. The two host ants occupy separate niches within grassland; thus, conservation management must differ in each region. Similar cryptic differentiation may be common, yet equally hard to detect, among the approximately 10 000 unstudied morpho-species of social parasite that are estimated to exist, many of which are Red Data Book listed. PMID:23193127

  18. Parasitism in optima forma: exploiting the host fibrinolytic system for invasion.

    PubMed

    Figuera, Lourdes; Gómez-Arreaza, Amaranta; Avilán, Luisana

    2013-10-01

    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

  19. Host and parasite thermal acclimation responses depend on the stage of infection.

    PubMed

    Altman, Karie A; Paull, Sara H; Johnson, Pieter T J; Golembieski, Michelle N; Stephens, Jeffrey P; LaFonte, Bryan E; Raffel, Thomas R

    2016-07-01

    Global climate change is expected to alter patterns of temperature variability, which could influence species interactions including parasitism. Species interactions can be difficult to predict in variable-temperature environments because of thermal acclimation responses, i.e. physiological changes that allow organisms to adjust to a new temperature following a temperature shift. The goal of this study was to determine how thermal acclimation influences host resistance to infection and to test for parasite acclimation responses, which might differ from host responses in important ways. We tested predictions of three, non-mutually exclusive hypotheses regarding thermal acclimation effects on infection of green frog tadpoles (Lithobates clamitans) by the trematode parasite Ribeiroia ondatrae with fully replicated controlled-temperature experiments. Trematodes or tadpoles were independently acclimated to a range of 'acclimation temperatures' prior to shifting them to new 'performance temperatures' for experimental infections. Trematodes that were acclimated to intermediate temperatures (19-22 °C) had greater encystment success across temperatures than either cold- or warm-acclimated trematodes. However, host acclimation responses varied depending on the stage of infection (encystment vs. clearance): warm- (22-28 °C) and cold-acclimated (13-19 °C) tadpoles had fewer parasites encyst at warm and cold performance temperatures, respectively, whereas intermediate-acclimated tadpoles (19-25 °C) cleared the greatest proportion of parasites in the week following exposure. These results suggest that tadpoles use different immune mechanisms to resist different stages of trematode infection, and that each set of mechanisms has unique responses to temperature variability. Our results highlight the importance of considering thermal responses of both parasites and hosts when predicting disease patterns in variable-temperature environments. PMID:27040618

  20. Discrimination of fish populations using parasites: Random Forests on a 'predictable' host-parasite system.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Del-Olmo, A; Montero, F E; Fernández, M; Barrett, J; Raga, J A; Kostadinova, A

    2010-10-01

    We address the effect of spatial scale and temporal variation on model generality when forming predictive models for fish assignment using a new data mining approach, Random Forests (RF), to variable biological markers (parasite community data). Models were implemented for a fish host-parasite system sampled along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of Spain and were validated using independent datasets. We considered 2 basic classification problems in evaluating the importance of variations in parasite infracommunities for assignment of individual fish to their populations of origin: multiclass (2-5 population models, using 2 seasonal replicates from each of the populations) and 2-class task (using 4 seasonal replicates from 1 Atlantic and 1 Mediterranean population each). The main results are that (i) RF are well suited for multiclass population assignment using parasite communities in non-migratory fish; (ii) RF provide an efficient means for model cross-validation on the baseline data and this allows sample size limitations in parasite tag studies to be tackled effectively; (iii) the performance of RF is dependent on the complexity and spatial extent/configuration of the problem; and (iv) the development of predictive models is strongly influenced by seasonal change and this stresses the importance of both temporal replication and model validation in parasite tagging studies. PMID:20602856

  1. Theileria parasites secrete a prolyl isomerase to maintain host leukocyte transformation

    PubMed Central

    Marsolier, J.; Perichon, M.; DeBarry, JD.; Villoutreix, BO.; Chluba, J.; Lopez, T.; Garrido, C.; Zhou, XZ.; Lu, KP.; Fritsch, L.; Ait-Si-Ali, S.; Mhadhbi, M; Medjkane, S.; Weitzman, JB.

    2014-01-01

    Infectious agents develop intricate mechanisms to interact with host cell pathways and hijack the genetic and epigenetic machinery to change phenotypic states. Amongst the Apicomplexa phylum of obligate intracellular parasites which cause veterinary and human diseases, Theileria is the only genus which transforms its mammalian host cells1. Theileria infection of bovine leukocytes induces proliferative and invasive phenotypes associated with activated signalling pathways, notably JNK and AP-12. The transformed phenotypes are reversed by treatment with the theilericidal drug Buparvaquone3. We used comparative genomics to identify a homologue of the Peptidyl Prolyl Isomerase Pin1 (designated TaPin1) in T. annulata which is secreted into the host cell and modulates oncogenic signalling pathways. Here we show that TaPin1 is a bona fide prolyl isomerase and that it interacts with the host ubiquitin ligase FBW7 leading to its degradation and subsequent stabilization of c-Jun which promotes transformation. We performed in vitro analysis and in vivo zebrafish xenograft experiments to demonstrate that TaPin1 is directly inhibited by the anti-parasite drug Buparvaquone (and other known Pin1 inhibitors) and is mutated in a drug-resistant strain. Prolyl isomerisation is thus a conserved mechanism which is important in cancer and is used by Theileria parasites to manipulate host oncogenic signaling. PMID:25624101

  2. The distribution of parasite strains among hosts affects disease spread in a social insect.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Yuko; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2015-06-01

    Social insects present highly interesting and experimentally amenable systems for the study of disease transmission because they naturally live in dense groups of frequently interacting individuals. Using experimental inoculations of five trypanosomatid strains into groups of its natural host, the bumblebee Bombus terrestris, we investigate the effects of the initial parasite strain distribution across group members on the establishment and transmission success of the different strains to new hosts. For a given number of parasite strains circulating within a host group, transmission to new hosts was increased when the strains were initially inoculated as mixed infections (as opposed to separate single infections), presumably because mixed infections generally favored fast replicating strains. In contrast, separate single infections reduced transmission at least in part through a precedence effect, whereby weak strains appeared to persist by making their host unavailable to superinfection. These results suggest that host groups could benefit from 'compartmentalizing' infections by different parasite strains across different group members, which might be achieved in social insects, for example, by division of labor. PMID:25858120

  3. Marine protected areas facilitate parasite populations among four fished host species of central Chile.

    PubMed

    Wood, Chelsea L; Micheli, Fiorenza; Fernández, Miriam; Gelcich, Stefan; Castilla, Juan Carlos; Carvajal, Juan

    2013-11-01

    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

  4. Interactions of warming and exposure affect susceptibility to parasite infection in a temperate fish species.

    PubMed

    Sheath, Danny J; Andreou, Demetra; Britton, J Robert

    2016-09-01

    Predicting how elevated temperatures from climate change alter host-parasite interactions requires understandings of how warming affects host susceptibility and parasite virulence. Here, the effect of elevated water temperature and parasite exposure level was tested on parasite prevalence, abundance and burden, and on fish growth, using Pomphorhynchus laevis and its fish host Squalius cephalus. At 60 days post-exposure, prevalence was higher at the elevated temperature (22 °C) than ambient temperature (18 °C), with infections achieved at considerably lower levels of exposure. Whilst parasite number was significantly higher in infected fish at 22 °C, both mean parasite weight and parasite burden was significantly higher at 18 °C. There were, however, no significant relationships between fish growth rate and temperature, parasite exposure, and the infection parameters. Thus, whilst elevated temperature significantly influenced parasite infection rates, it also impacted parasite development rates, suggesting warming could have complex implications for parasite dynamics and host resistance. PMID:27225942

  5. Tree phylogenetic diversity promotes host-parasitoid interactions.

    PubMed

    Staab, Michael; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Michalski, Stefan; Purschke, Oliver; Zhu, Chao-Dong; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2016-07-13

    Evidence from grassland experiments suggests that a plant community's phylogenetic diversity (PD) is a strong predictor of ecosystem processes, even stronger than species richness per se This has, however, never been extended to species-rich forests and host-parasitoid interactions. We used cavity-nesting Hymenoptera and their parasitoids collected in a subtropical forest as a model system to test whether hosts, parasitoids, and their interactions are influenced by tree PD and a comprehensive set of environmental variables, including tree species richness. Parasitism rate and parasitoid abundance were positively correlated with tree PD. All variables describing parasitoids decreased with elevation, and were, except parasitism rate, dependent on host abundance. Quantitative descriptors of host-parasitoid networks were independent of the environment. Our study indicates that host-parasitoid interactions in species-rich forests are related to the PD of the tree community, which influences parasitism rates through parasitoid abundance. We show that effects of tree community PD are much stronger than effects of tree species richness, can cascade to high trophic levels, and promote trophic interactions. As during habitat modification phylogenetic information is usually lost non-randomly, even species-rich habitats may not be able to continuously provide the ecosystem process parasitism if the evolutionarily most distinct plant lineages vanish. PMID:27383815

  6. Collective defence portfolios of ant hosts shift with social parasite pressure

    PubMed Central

    Jongepier, Evelien; Kleeberg, Isabelle; Job, Sylwester; Foitzik, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    Host defences become increasingly costly as parasites breach successive lines of defence. Because selection favours hosts that successfully resist parasitism at the lowest possible cost, escalating coevolutionary arms races are likely to drive host defence portfolios towards ever more expensive strategies. We investigated the interplay between host defence portfolios and social parasite pressure by comparing 17 populations of two Temnothorax ant species. When successful, collective aggression not only prevents parasitation but also spares host colonies the cost of searching for and moving to a new nest site. However, once parasites breach the host's nest defence, host colonies should resort to flight as the more beneficial resistance strategy. We show that under low parasite pressure, host colonies more likely responded to an intruding Protomognathus americanus slavemaker with collective aggression, which prevented the slavemaker from escaping and potentially recruiting nest-mates. However, as parasite pressure increased, ant colonies of both host species became more likely to flee rather than to fight. We conclude that host defence portfolios shift consistently with social parasite pressure, which is in accordance with the degeneration of frontline defences and the evolution of subsequent anti-parasite strategies often invoked in hosts of brood parasites. PMID:25100690

  7. Inferring host range dynamics from comparative data: the protozoan parasites of new world monkeys.

    PubMed

    Waxman, David; Weinert, Lucy A; Welch, John J

    2014-07-01

    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

  8. Different meal, same flavor: cospeciation and host switching of haemosporidian parasites in some non-passerine birds

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24957563

  9. Superinfection reconciles host-parasite association and cross-species transmission.

    PubMed

    Haven, James; Park, Andrew William

    2013-12-01

    Parasites are either dedicated to a narrow host range, or capable of exploiting a wide host range. Understanding how host ranges are determined is very important for public health, as well as wildlife, plant, livestock and agricultural diseases. Our current understanding of host-parasite associations hinges on co-evolution, which assumes evolved host preferences (host specialization) of the parasite. Despite the explanatory power of this framework, we have only a vague understanding of why many parasites routinely cross the host species' barrier. Here we introduce a simple model demonstrating how superinfection (in a heterogeneous community) can promote host-parasite association. Strikingly, the model illustrates that strong host-parasite association occurs in the absence of host specialization, while still permitting cross-species transmission. For decades, host specialization has been foundational in explaining the maintenance of distinct parasites/strains in host species. We argue that host specializations may be exaggerated, and can occur as a byproduct (not necessarily the cause) of host-parasite associations. PMID:24161558

  10. Targeting Protein-Protein Interactions for Parasite Control

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Christina M.; Fischer, Kerstin; Abubucker, Sahar; Wang, Zhengyuan; Martin, John; Jiang, Daojun; Magliano, Marc; Rosso, Marie-Noëlle; Li, Ben-Wen; Fischer, Peter U.; Mitreva, Makedonka

    2011-01-01

    Finding new drug targets for pathogenic infections would be of great utility for humanity, as there is a large need to develop new drugs to fight infections due to the developing resistance and side effects of current treatments. Current drug targets for pathogen infections involve only a single protein. However, proteins rarely act in isolation, and the majority of biological processes occur via interactions with other proteins, so protein-protein interactions (PPIs) offer a realm of unexplored potential drug targets and are thought to be the next-generation of drug targets. Parasitic worms were chosen for this study because they have deleterious effects on human health, livestock, and plants, costing society billions of dollars annually and many sequenced genomes are available. In this study, we present a computational approach that utilizes whole genomes of 6 parasitic and 1 free-living worm species and 2 hosts. The species were placed in orthologous groups, then binned in species-specific ortholgous groups. Proteins that are essential and conserved among species that span a phyla are of greatest value, as they provide foundations for developing broad-control strategies. Two PPI databases were used to find PPIs within the species specific bins. PPIs with unique helminth proteins and helminth proteins with unique features relative to the host, such as indels, were prioritized as drug targets. The PPIs were scored based on RNAi phenotype and homology to the PDB (Protein DataBank). EST data for the various life stages, GO annotation, and druggability were also taken into consideration. Several PPIs emerged from this study as potential drug targets. A few interactions were supported by co-localization of expression in M. incognita (plant parasite) and B. malayi (H. sapiens parasite), which have extremely different modes of parasitism. As more genomes of pathogens are sequenced and PPI databases expanded, this methodology will become increasingly applicable. PMID

  11. Host-Parasite Interactions in Chagas Disease: Genetically Unidentical Isolates of a Single Trypanosoma cruzi Strain Identified In Vitro via LSSP-PCR

    PubMed Central

    Nogueira-Paiva, Nívia Carolina; Vieira, Paula Melo de Abreu; Oliveri, Larissa Maris Rezende; Fonseca, Kátia da Silva; Pound-Lana, Gwenaelle; de Oliveira, Maykon Tavares; de Lana, Marta; Veloso, Vanja Maria; Reis, Alexandre Barbosa; Carneiro, Cláudia Martins

    2015-01-01

    The present study aims at establishing whether the diversity in pathogenesis within a genetically diverse host population infected with a single polyclonal strain of Trypanosoma cruzi is due to selection of specific subpopulations within the strain. For this purpose we infected Swiss mice, a genetically diverse population, with the polyclonal strain of Trypanosoma cruzi Berenice-78 and characterized via LSSP-PCR the kinetoplast DNA of subpopulations isolated from blood samples collected from the animals at various times after inoculation (3, 6 and 12 months after inoculation). We examined the biological behavior of the isolates in acellular medium and in vitro profiles of infectivity in Vero cell medium. We compared the characteristics of the isolates with the inoculating strain and with another strain, Berenice 62, isolated from the same patient 16 years earlier. We found that one of the isolates had intermediate behavior in comparison with Berenice-78 and Berenice-62 and a significantly different genetic profile by LSSP-PCR in comparison with the inoculating strain. We hereby demonstrate that genetically distinct Trypanosoma cruzi isolates may be obtained upon experimental murine infection with a single polyclonal Trypanosoma cruzi strain. PMID:26359864

  12. Existence of solutions for a host-parasite model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milner, Fabio Augusto; Patton, Curtis Allan

    2001-12-01

    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.

  13. Molecular tracking of individual host use in the Shiny Cowbird - a generalist brood parasite.

    PubMed

    de la Colina, Ma Alicia; Hauber, Mark E; Strausberger, Bill M; Reboreda, Juan Carlos; Mahler, Bettina

    2016-07-01

    Generalist parasites exploit multiple host species at the population level, but the individual parasite's strategy may be either itself a generalist or a specialist pattern of host species use. Here, we studied the relationship between host availability and host use in the individual parasitism patterns of the Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis, a generalist avian obligate brood parasite that parasitizes an extreme range of hosts. Using five microsatellite markers and an 1120-bp fragment of the mtDNA control region, we reconstructed full-sibling groups from 359 cowbird eggs and chicks found in nests of the two most frequent hosts in our study area, the Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus and the House Wren Troglodytes aedon. We were able to infer the laying behavior of 17 different females a posteriori and found that they were mostly faithful to a particular laying area and host species along the entire reproductive season and did not avoid using previously parasitized nests (multiple parasitism) even when other nests were available for parasitism. Moreover, we found females using the same host nest more than once (repeated parasitism), which had not been previously reported for this species. We also found few females parasitizing more than one host species. The use of an alternative host was not related to the main hosts' nest availability. Overall, female shiny cowbirds use a spatially structured and host species specific approach for parasitism, but they do so nonexclusively, resulting in both detectable levels of multiple parasitism and generalism at the level of individual parasites. PMID:27547305

  14. Genetic, ecological and geographic covariables explaining host range and specificity of a microsporidian parasite.

    PubMed

    Lange, Benjamin; Kaufmann, Andrea Patricia; Ebert, Dieter

    2015-11-01

    Parasites often have a smaller geographic distribution than their hosts. Common garden infection trials can untangle the role that historical contingencies, ecological conditions and the genetic constitution of local host populations play in limiting parasite geographic range; however, infection trials usually overestimate the range of hosts in which a parasite could naturally persist. This study overcomes that problem by using multigeneration, long-term persistence experiments. We study the microsporidian parasite Hamiltosporidium tvaerminnensis in monoclonal populations of Daphnia magna from 43 widely spread sites. The parasite persisted well in hosts collected from its natural geographic range, but demonstrated long-term persistence in only a few host genotypes outside this range. Genetic distance between hosts from the parasite's origin site and newly tested host populations correlated negatively with parasite persistence. Furthermore, the parasite persisted only in host populations from habitats with a high likelihood of drying up in summer, although we excluded environmental variation in our experiments. Together, our results suggest that host genetic factors play the dominant role in explaining the limited geographic range of parasites and that these genetic differences covary with geographic distance and the habitat type the host is adapted to. PMID:26147623

  15. Recurrent evolution of host-specialized races in a globally distributed parasite

    PubMed Central

    McCoy, Karen D; Chapuis, Elodie; Tirard, Claire; Boulinier, Thierry; Michalakis, Yannis; Bohec, Céline Le; Maho, Yvon Le; Gauthier-Clerc, Michel

    2005-01-01

    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. PMID:16243689

  16. Effects of shortened host life span on the evolution of parasite life history and virulence in a microbial host-parasite system

    PubMed Central

    Nidelet, Thibault; Koella, Jacob C; Kaltz, Oliver

    2009-01-01

    Background Ecological factors play an important role in the evolution of parasite exploitation strategies. A common prediction is that, as shorter host life span reduces future opportunities of transmission, parasites compensate with an evolutionary shift towards earlier transmission. They may grow more rapidly within the host, have a shorter latency time and, consequently, be more virulent. Thus, increased extrinsic (i.e., not caused by the parasite) host mortality leads to the evolution of more virulent parasites. To test these predictions, we performed a serial transfer experiment, using the protozoan Paramecium caudatum and its bacterial parasite Holospora undulata. We simulated variation in host life span by killing hosts after 11 (early killing) or 14 (late killing) days post inoculation; after killing, parasite transmission stages were collected and used for a new infection cycle. Results After 13 cycles (≈ 300 generations), parasites from the early-killing treatment were less infectious, but had shorter latency time and higher virulence than those from the late-killing treatment. Overall, shorter latency time was associated with higher parasite loads and thus presumably with more rapid within-host replication. Conclusion The analysis of the means of the two treatments is thus consistent with theory, and suggests that evolution is constrained by trade-offs between virulence, transmission and within-host growth. In contrast, we found little evidence for such trade-offs across parasite selection lines within treatments; thus, to some extent, these traits may evolve independently. This study illustrates how environmental variation (experienced by the host) can lead to the evolution of distinct parasite strategies. PMID:19320981

  17. The Role of Host Traits, Season and Group Size on Parasite Burdens in a Cooperative Mammal

    PubMed Central

    Viljoen, Hermien; Bennett, Nigel C.; Ueckermann, Edward A.; Lutermann, Heike

    2011-01-01

    The distribution of parasites among hosts is often characterised by a high degree of heterogeneity with a small number of hosts harbouring the majority of parasites. Such patterns of aggregation have been linked to variation in host exposure and susceptibility as well as parasite traits and environmental factors. Host exposure and susceptibility may differ with sexes, reproductive effort and group size. Furthermore, environmental factors may affect both the host and parasite directly and contribute to temporal heterogeneities in parasite loads. We investigated the contributions of host and parasite traits as well as season on parasite loads in highveld mole-rats (Cryptomys hottentotus pretoriae). This cooperative breeder exhibits a reproductive division of labour and animals live in colonies of varying sizes that procreate seasonally. Mole-rats were parasitised by lice, mites, cestodes and nematodes with mites (Androlaelaps sp.) and cestodes (Mathevotaenia sp.) being the dominant ecto- and endoparasites, respectively. Sex and reproductive status contributed little to the observed parasite prevalence and abundances possibly as a result of the shared burrow system. Clear seasonal patterns of parasite prevalence and abundance emerged with peaks in summer for mites and in winter for cestodes. Group size correlated negatively with mite abundance while it had no effect on cestode burdens and group membership affected infestation with both parasites. We propose that the mode of transmission as well as social factors constrain parasite propagation generating parasite patterns deviating from those commonly predicted. PMID:22069481

  18. Egg color variation, but not egg rejection behavior, changes in a cuckoo host breeding in the absence of brood parasitism

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Canchao; Liu, Yang; Zeng, Lijin; Liang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Interactions between parasitic cuckoos and their songbird hosts form a classical reciprocal “arms race,” and are an excellent model for understanding the process of coevolution. Changes in host egg coloration via the evolution of interclutch variation in egg color or intraclutch consistency in egg color are hypothesized counter adaptations that facilitate egg recognition and thus limit brood parasitism. Whether these antiparasitism strategies are maintained when the selective pressure of parasitism is relaxed remains debated. However, introduced species provide unique opportunities for testing the direction and extent of natural selection on phenotypic trait maintenance and variation. Here, we investigated egg rejection behavior and egg color polymorphism in the red-billed leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea), a common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) host, in a population introduced to Hawaii 100 years ago (breeding without cuckoos) and a native population in China (breeding with cuckoos). We found that egg rejection ability was equally strong in both the native and the introduced populations, but levels of interclutch variation and intraclutch consistency in egg color in the native population were higher than in the introduced population. This suggests that egg rejection behavior in hosts can be maintained in the absence of brood parasitism and that egg appearance is maintained by natural selection as a counter adaptation to brood parasitism. This study provides rare evidence that host antiparasitism strategies can change under parasite-relaxed conditions and reduced selection pressure. PMID:25360264

  19. Egg color variation, but not egg rejection behavior, changes in a cuckoo host breeding in the absence of brood parasitism.

    PubMed

    Yang, Canchao; Liu, Yang; Zeng, Lijin; Liang, Wei

    2014-06-01

    Interactions between parasitic cuckoos and their songbird hosts form a classical reciprocal "arms race," and are an excellent model for understanding the process of coevolution. Changes in host egg coloration via the evolution of interclutch variation in egg color or intraclutch consistency in egg color are hypothesized counter adaptations that facilitate egg recognition and thus limit brood parasitism. Whether these antiparasitism strategies are maintained when the selective pressure of parasitism is relaxed remains debated. However, introduced species provide unique opportunities for testing the direction and extent of natural selection on phenotypic trait maintenance and variation. Here, we investigated egg rejection behavior and egg color polymorphism in the red-billed leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea), a common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) host, in a population introduced to Hawaii 100 years ago (breeding without cuckoos) and a native population in China (breeding with cuckoos). We found that egg rejection ability was equally strong in both the native and the introduced populations, but levels of interclutch variation and intraclutch consistency in egg color in the native population were higher than in the introduced population. This suggests that egg rejection behavior in hosts can be maintained in the absence of brood parasitism and that egg appearance is maintained by natural selection as a counter adaptation to brood parasitism. This study provides rare evidence that host antiparasitism strategies can change under parasite-relaxed conditions and reduced selection pressure. PMID:25360264

  20. Host associations and evolutionary relationships of avian blood parasites from West Africa

    PubMed Central

    Beadell, Jon S.; Covas, Rita; Gebhard, Christina; Ishtiaq, Farah; Melo, Martim; Schmidt, Brian K.; Perkins, Susan L.; Graves, Gary R.; Fleischer, Robert C.

    2009-01-01

    The host specificity of blood parasites recovered from a survey of 527 birds in Cameroon and Gabon was examined at several levels within an evolutionary framework. Unique mitochondrial lineages of Haemoproteus were recovered from an average of 1.3 host species (maximum = 3) and 1.2 host families (maximum = 3) while lineages of Plasmodium were recovered from an average of 2.5 species (maximum = 27) and 1.6 families (maximum = 9). Averaged within genera, lineages of both Plasmodium and Haemoproteus were constrained in their host distribution relative to random expectations. However, while several individual lineages within both genera exhibited significant host constraint, host breadth varied widely among related lineages, particularly within the genus Plasmodium. Several lineages of Plasmodium exhibited extreme generalist host-parasitism strategies while other lineages appeared to have been constrained to certain host families over recent evolutionary history. Sequence data from two nuclear genes recovered from a limited sample of Plasmodium parasites indicated that, at the resolution of this study, inferences regarding host breadth were unlikely to be grossly affected by the use of parasite mitochondrial lineages as a proxy for biological species. The use of divergent host-parasitism strategies among closely related parasite lineages suggests that host range is a relatively labile character. Since host specificity may also influence parasite virulence, these results argue for considering the impact of haematozoa on avian hosts on a lineage-specific basis. PMID:18713636

  1. Protozoa lectins and their role in host-pathogen interactions.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ram Sarup; Walia, Amandeep Kaur; Kanwar, Jagat Rakesh

    2016-01-01

    Lectins are proteins/glycoproteins of non-immune origin that agglutinate red blood cells, lymphocytes, fibroblasts, etc., and bind reversibly to carbohydrates present on the apposing cells. They have at least two carbohydrate binding sites and their binding can be inhibited by one or more carbohydrates. Owing to carbohydrate binding specificity of lectins, they mediate cell-cell interactions and play role in protozoan adhesion and host cell cytotoxicity, thus are central to the pathogenic property of the parasite. Several parasitic protozoa possess lectins which mediate parasite adherence to host cells based on their carbohydrate specificities. These interactions could be exploited for development of novel therapeutics, targeting the adherence and thus helpful in eradicating wide spread of protozoan diseases. The current review highlights the present state knowledge with regard to protozoal lectins with an emphasis on their haemagglutination activity, carbohydrate specificity, characteristics and also their role in pathogenesis notably as adhesion molecules, thereby aiding the pathogen in disease establishment. PMID:27268207

  2. Spread of an introduced parasite across the Hawaiian archipelago independent of its introduced host

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Gagne, Roderick B.; Hogan, J. Derek; McIntyre, Peter B.; Hain, Ernie F.; Gilliam, James F.; Pracheil, Brenda M.; Blum, Michael J.

    2014-11-11

    1. Co-introductions of non-native parasites with non-native hosts can be a major driver of disease emergence in native species, but the conditions that promote the establishment and spread of nonnative parasites remain poorly understood. Here, we characterise the infection of a native host species by a non-native parasite relative to the distribution and density of the original non-native host species and a suite of organismal and environmental factors that have been associated with parasitism, but not commonly considered within a single system. 2. We examined the native Hawaiian goby Awaous stamineus across 23 catchments on five islands for infection bymore » the non-native nematode parasite Camallanus cotti. We used model selection to test whether parasite infection was associated with the genetic diversity, size and population density of native hosts, the distribution and density of non-native hosts, land use and water quality. 3. We found that the distribution of non-native C. cotti parasites has become decoupled from the non-native hosts that were primary vectors of introduction to the Hawaiian Islands. Although no single intrinsic or extrinsic factor was identified that best explains parasitism of A. stamineus by C. cotti, native host size, population density and water quality were consistently identified as influencing parasite intensity and prevalence. 4. The introduction of non-native species can indirectly influence native species through infection of co-introduced parasites. Here, we show that the effects of enemy addition can extend beyond the range of non-native hosts through the independent spread of non-native parasites. This suggests that control of non-native hosts is not sufficient to halt the spread of introduced parasites. Furthermore, designing importation regulations to prevent host parasite co-introductions can promote native species conservation, even in remote areas that may not seem susceptible to human influence.« less

  3. In vitro parasite-monocyte interactions in human leishmaniasis: effect of enzyme treatments on attachment.

    PubMed Central

    Wyler, D J; Suzuki, K

    1983-01-01

    Essential to the pathogenesis of leishmaniasis is the ability of Leishmania spp. to attach to mononuclear phagocyte surfaces before entering this host cell which they parasitize. We have investigated the attachment phase of infection in vitro by quantitating the percent of human peripheral blood monocytes pretreated with cytochalasin (to prevent parasite entry) to which tissue-derived L. tropica amastigotes will attach during coincubation at 37 degrees C in serum-free medium. We determined that pretreatment of parasites with trypsin, chymotrypsin, Pronase, and neuraminidase reduced attachment. In contrast, parasites treated with beta-galactosidase had an enhanced ability to attach to host cells. Treatment of monocytes with chymotrypsin and Pronase, but not with trypsin or neuraminidase, reduced attachment of untreated amastigotes. We propose that in vitro amastigote attachment under serum-free conditions depends on the interaction of protein determinants on the surface of both parasite and host cell. Images PMID:6413414

  4. Host–parasite genotypic interactions in the honey bee: the dynamics of diversity

    PubMed Central

    Evison, Sophie E F; Fazio, Geraldine; Chappell, Paula; Foley, Kirsten; Jensen, Annette B; Hughes, William O H

    2013-01-01

    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

  5. Inflammation and oxidative stress in vertebrate host-parasite systems.

    PubMed

    Sorci, Gabriele; Faivre, Bruno

    2009-01-12

    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. PMID:18930878

  6. Parasite prevalence corresponds to host life history in a diverse assemblage of afrotropical birds and haemosporidian parasites.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Holly L; Hochachka, Wesley M; Engel, Joshua I; Bell, Jeffrey A; Tkach, Vasyl V; Bates, John M; Hackett, Shannon J; Weckstein, Jason D

    2015-01-01

    Avian host life history traits have been hypothesized to predict rates of infection by haemosporidian parasites. Using molecular techniques, we tested this hypothesis for parasites from three haemosporidian genera (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon) collected from a diverse sampling of birds in northern Malawi. We found that host life history traits were significantly associated with parasitism rates by all three parasite genera. Nest type and nest location predicted infection probability for all three parasite genera, whereas flocking behavior is an important predictor of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infection and habitat is an important predictor of Leucocytozoon infection. Parasite prevalence was 79.1% across all individuals sampled, higher than that reported for comparable studies from any other region of the world. Parasite diversity was also exceptionally high, with 248 parasite cytochrome b lineages identified from 152 host species. A large proportion of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasite DNA sequences identified in this study represent new, previously undocumented lineages (n = 201; 81% of total identified) based on BLAST queries against the avian malaria database, MalAvi. PMID:25853491

  7. Parasite Prevalence Corresponds to Host Life History in a Diverse Assemblage of Afrotropical Birds and Haemosporidian Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, Holly L.; Hochachka, Wesley M.; Engel, Joshua I.; Bell, Jeffrey A.; Tkach, Vasyl V.; Bates, John M.; Hackett, Shannon J.; Weckstein, Jason D.

    2015-01-01

    Avian host life history traits have been hypothesized to predict rates of infection by haemosporidian parasites. Using molecular techniques, we tested this hypothesis for parasites from three haemosporidian genera (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon) collected from a diverse sampling of birds in northern Malawi. We found that host life history traits were significantly associated with parasitism rates by all three parasite genera. Nest type and nest location predicted infection probability for all three parasite genera, whereas flocking behavior is an important predictor of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infection and habitat is an important predictor of Leucocytozoon infection. Parasite prevalence was 79.1% across all individuals sampled, higher than that reported for comparable studies from any other region of the world. Parasite diversity was also exceptionally high, with 248 parasite cytochrome b lineages identified from 152 host species. A large proportion of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasite DNA sequences identified in this study represent new, previously undocumented lineages (n = 201; 81% of total identified) based on BLAST queries against the avian malaria database, MalAvi. PMID:25853491

  8. Specific developmental pathways underlie host specificity in the parasitic plant Orobanche

    PubMed Central

    Hiscock, Simon

    2010-01-01

    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

  9. Specific developmental pathways underlie host specificity in the parasitic plant Orobanche.

    PubMed

    Thorogood, Chris; Hiscock, Simon

    2010-03-01

    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

  10. Host Plant Use by Competing Acacia-Ants: Mutualists Monopolize While Parasites Share Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Kautz, Stefanie; Ballhorn, Daniel J.; Kroiss, Johannes; Pauls, Steffen U.; Moreau, Corrie S.; Eilmus, Sascha; Strohm, Erhard; Heil, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Protective ant-plant mutualisms that are exploited by non-defending parasitic ants represent prominent model systems for ecology and evolutionary biology. The mutualist Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus is an obligate plant-ant and fully depends on acacias for nesting space and food. The parasite Pseudomyrmex gracilis facultatively nests on acacias and uses host-derived food rewards but also external food sources. Integrative analyses of genetic microsatellite data, cuticular hydrocarbons and behavioral assays showed that an individual acacia might be inhabited by the workers of several P. gracilis queens, whereas one P. ferrugineus colony monopolizes one or more host trees. Despite these differences in social organization, neither of the species exhibited aggressive behavior among conspecific workers sharing a tree regardless of their relatedness. This lack of aggression corresponds to the high similarity of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles among ants living on the same tree. Host sharing by unrelated colonies, or the presence of several queens in a single colony are discussed as strategies by which parasite colonies could achieve the observed social organization. We argue that in ecological terms, the non-aggressive behavior of non-sibling P. gracilis workers — regardless of the route to achieve this social structure — enables this species to efficiently occupy and exploit a host plant. By contrast, single large and long-lived colonies of the mutualist P. ferrugineus monopolize individual host plants and defend them aggressively against invaders from other trees. Our findings highlight the necessity for using several methods in combination to fully understand how differing life history strategies affect social organization in ants. PMID:22662191

  11. Indirect effects of parasitism: costs of infection to other individuals can be greater than direct costs borne by the host

    PubMed Central

    Granroth-Wilding, Hanna M. V.; Burthe, Sarah J.; Lewis, Sue; Herborn, Katherine A.; Takahashi, Emi A.; Daunt, Francis; Cunningham, Emma J. A.

    2015-01-01

    Parasitic infection has a direct physiological cost to hosts but may also alter how hosts interact with other individuals in their environment. Such indirect effects may alter both host fitness and the fitness of other individuals in the host's social network, yet the relative impact of direct and indirect effects of infection are rarely quantified. During reproduction, a host's social environment includes family members who may be in conflict over resource allocation. In such situations, infection may alter how resources are allocated, thereby redistributing the costs of parasitism between individuals. Here, we experimentally reduce parasite burdens of parent and/or nestling European shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) infected with Contracaecum nematodes in a factorial design, then simultaneously measure the impact of an individual's infection on all family members. We found no direct effect of infection on parent or offspring traits but indirect effects were detected in all group members, with both immediate effects (mass change and survival) and longer-term effects (timing of parents’ subsequent breeding). Our results show that parasite infection can have a major impact on individuals other than the host, suggesting that the effect of parasites on population processes may be greater than previously thought. PMID:26156765

  12. Indirect effects of parasitism: costs of infection to other individuals can be greater than direct costs borne by the host.

    PubMed

    Granroth-Wilding, Hanna M V; Burthe, Sarah J; Lewis, Sue; Herborn, Katherine A; Takahashi, Emi A; Daunt, Francis; Cunningham, Emma J A

    2015-07-22

    Parasitic infection has a direct physiological cost to hosts but may also alter how hosts interact with other individuals in their environment. Such indirect effects may alter both host fitness and the fitness of other individuals in the host's social network, yet the relative impact of direct and indirect effects of infection are rarely quantified. During reproduction, a host's social environment includes family members who may be in conflict over resource allocation. In such situations, infection may alter how resources are allocated, thereby redistributing the costs of parasitism between individuals. Here, we experimentally reduce parasite burdens of parent and/or nestling European shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) infected with Contracaecum nematodes in a factorial design, then simultaneously measure the impact of an individual's infection on all family members. We found no direct effect of infection on parent or offspring traits but indirect effects were detected in all group members, with both immediate effects (mass change and survival) and longer-term effects (timing of parents' subsequent breeding). Our results show that parasite infection can have a major impact on individuals other than the host, suggesting that the effect of parasites on population processes may be greater than previously thought. PMID:26156765

  13. A Trypanosoma brucei Kinesin Heavy Chain Promotes Parasite Growth by Triggering Host Arginase Activity

    PubMed Central

    De Muylder, Géraldine; Daulouède, Sylvie; Lecordier, Laurence; Uzureau, Pierrick; Morias, Yannick; Van Den Abbeele, Jan; Caljon, Guy; Hérin, Michel; Holzmuller, Philippe; Semballa, Silla; Courtois, Pierrette; Vanhamme, Luc; Stijlemans, Benoît; De Baetselier, Patrick; Barrett, Michael P.; Barlow, Jillian L.; McKenzie, Andrew N. J.; Barron, Luke; Wynn, Thomas A.; Beschin, Alain; Vincendeau, Philippe; Pays, Etienne

    2013-01-01

    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-4Rα-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. PMID:24204274

  14. Leishmania-encoded orthologs of macrophage migration inhibitory factor regulate host immunity to promote parasite persistence.

    PubMed

    Holowka, Thomas; Castilho, Tiago M; Garcia, Alvaro Baeza; Sun, Tiffany; McMahon-Pratt, Diane; Bucala, Richard

    2016-06-01

    Leishmania major encodes 2 orthologs of the cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), whose functions in parasite growth or in the host-parasite interaction are unknown. To determine the importance of Leishmania-encoded MIF, both LmMIF genes were removed to produce an mif(-/-) strain of L. major This mutant strain replicated normally in vitro but had a 2-fold increased susceptibility to clearance by macrophages. Mice infected with mif(-/-) L. major, when compared to the wild-type strain, also showed a 3-fold reduction in parasite burden. Microarray and functional analyses revealed a reduced ability of mif(-/-) L. major to activate antigen-presenting cells, resulting in a 2-fold reduction in T-cell priming. In addition, there was a reduction in inflammation and effector CD4 T-cell formation in mif(-/-) L. major-infected mice when compared to mice infected with wild-type L. major Notably, effector CD4 T cells that developed during infection with mif(-/-) L. major demonstrated statistically significant differences in markers of functional exhaustion, including increased expression of IFN-γ and IL-7R, reduced expression of programmed death-1, and decreased apoptosis. These data support a role for LmMIF in promoting parasite persistence by manipulating the host response to increase the exhaustion and depletion of protective CD4 T cells.-Holowka, T., Castilho, T. M., Baeza Garcia, A., Sun, T., McMahon-Pratt, D., Bucala, R. Leishmania-encoded orthologs of macrophage migration inhibitory factor regulate host immunity to promote parasite persistence. PMID:26956417

  15. Born in an Alien Nest : How Do Social Parasite Male Offspring Escape from Host Aggression?

    PubMed Central

    Lhomme, Patrick; Ayasse, Manfred; Valterová, Irena; Lecocq, Thomas; Rasmont, Pierre

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23028441

  16. Galectin-11: A novel host mediator targeting specific stages of the gastrointestinal nematode parasite, Haemonchus contortus.

    PubMed

    Preston, S J M; Beddoe, T; Walkden-Brown, S; Meeusen, E; Piedrafita, D

    2015-10-01

    Galectin-11 is released from epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract, specifically following infection with gastrointestinal parasites including the highly pathogenic nematode, Haemonchus contortus. The function(s) of galectin-11 are currently unknown but seem to be associated with the development of immunity by the host. The aim of the present study was to examine the interaction of galectin-11 with the different parasitic life cycle stages of H. contortus and determine any effects on parasite development. The results of this study showed that galectin-11 binds to the surface of the L4 and adult stages of the parasite but not to the exsheathed L3 stage. In addition, at a lower concentration, binding to the L4 was specifically localised to the pharynx region. Subsequent in vitro assays demonstrated significant inhibition of larval growth and development in the presence of recombinant galectin-11. These results indicate, to our knowledge for the first time, a functional role for galectin-11 in gastrointestinal nematode infection of ruminants and a mechanism of action of galectin-11, targeting the development and growth of the L4 and possibly the adult parasite stage. PMID:26215057

  17. Apical membrane antigen 1 mediates apicomplexan parasite attachment but is dispensable for host cell invasion

    PubMed Central

    Bargieri, Daniel Y.; Andenmatten, Nicole; Lagal, Vanessa; Thiberge, Sabine; Whitelaw, Jamie A.; Tardieux, Isabelle; Meissner, Markus; Ménard, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites invade host cells by forming a ring-like junction with the cell surface and actively sliding through the junction inside an intracellular vacuole. Apical membrane antigen 1 is conserved in apicomplexans and a long-standing malaria vaccine candidate. It is considered to have multiple important roles during host cell penetration, primarily in structuring the junction by interacting with the rhoptry neck 2 protein and transducing the force generated by the parasite motor during internalization. Here, we generate Plasmodium sporozoites and merozoites and Toxoplasma tachyzoites lacking apical membrane antigen 1, and find that the latter two are impaired in host cell attachment but the three display normal host cell penetration through the junction. Therefore, apical membrane antigen 1, rather than an essential invasin, is a dispensable adhesin of apicomplexan zoites. These genetic data have implications on the use of apical membrane antigen 1 or the apical membrane antigen 1–rhoptry neck 2 interaction as targets of intervention strategies against malaria or other diseases caused by apicomplexans. PMID:24108241

  18. Heterogeneous Host Susceptibility Enhances Prevalence of Mixed-Genotype Micro-Parasite Infections

    PubMed Central

    Vlak, Just M.; Zwart, Mark P.

    2011-01-01

    Dose response in micro-parasite infections is usually shallower than predicted by the independent action model, which assumes that each infectious unit has a probability of infection that is independent of the presence of other infectious units. Moreover, the prevalence of mixed-genotype infections was greater than predicted by this model. No probabilistic infection model has been proposed to account for the higher prevalence of mixed-genotype infections. We use model selection within a set of four alternative models to explain high prevalence of mixed-genotype infections in combination with a shallow dose response. These models contrast dependent versus independent action of micro-parasite infectious units, and homogeneous versus heterogeneous host susceptibility. We specifically consider a situation in which genome differences between genotypes are minimal, and highly unlikely to result in genotype-genotype interactions. Data on dose response and mixed-genotype infection prevalence were collected by challenging fifth instar Spodoptera exigua larvae with two genotypes of Autographa californica multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV), differing only in a 100 bp PCR marker sequence. We show that an independent action model that includes heterogeneity in host susceptibility can explain both the shallow dose response and the high prevalence of mixed-genotype infections. Theoretical results indicate that variation in host susceptibility is inextricably linked to increased prevalence of mixed-genotype infections. We have shown, to our knowledge for the first time, how heterogeneity in host susceptibility affects mixed-genotype infection prevalence. No evidence was found that virions operate dependently. While it has been recognized that heterogeneity in host susceptibility must be included in models of micro-parasite transmission and epidemiology to account for dose response, here we show that heterogeneity in susceptibility is also a fundamental principle explaining

  19. Geographic variation in parasitism rates of two sympatric cuckoo hosts in China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Can-Chao; Li, Dong-Lai; Wang, Long-Wu; Liang, Guo-Xian; Zhang, Zheng-Wang; Liang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Rates of brood parasitism vary extensively among host species and populations of a single host species. In this study, we documented and compared parasitism rates of two sympatric hosts, the Oriental Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus orientalis) and the Reed Parrotbill (Paradoxornis heudei), in three populations in China. We found that the Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is the only parasite using both the Oriental Reed Warbler and Reed Parrotbill as hosts, with a parasitism rate of 22.4%-34.3% and 0%-4.6%, respectively. The multiple parasitism rates were positively correlated with local parasitism rates across three geographic populations of Oriental Reed Warbler, which implies that higher pressure of parasitism lead to higher multiple parasitism rate. Furthermore, only one phenotype of cuckoo eggs was found in the nests of these two host species. Our results lead to two conclusions: (1) The Oriental Reed Warbler should be considered the major host of Common Cuckoo in our study sites; and (2) obligate parasitism on Oriental Reed Warbler by Common Cuckoo is specialized but flexible to some extent, i.e., using Reed Parrotbill as a secondary host. Further studies focusing on egg recognition and rejection behaviour of these two host species should be conducted to test our predictions. PMID:24470456

  20. USE OF MEDICAGO TRUNCATULA TO MODEL THE INTERACTION BETWEEN PLANT-PARASITIC NEMATODES AND LEGUMES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We are using Medicago truncatula as a model plant for examination of the interaction between plant-parasitic nematodes and legumes. One objective of this work is to identify and characterize genes from the plant that are involved in the host response to nematodes or in host resistance. Using bioinfo...

  1. Host immunity shapes the impact of climate changes on the dynamics of parasite infections.

    PubMed

    Mignatti, Andrea; Boag, Brian; Cattadori, Isabella M

    2016-03-15

    Global climate change is predicted to alter the distribution and dynamics of soil-transmitted helminth infections, and yet host immunity can also influence the impact of warming on host-parasite interactions and mitigate the long-term effects. We used time-series data from two helminth species of a natural herbivore and investigated the contribution of climate change and immunity on the long-term and seasonal dynamics of infection. We provide evidence that climate warming increases the availability of infective stages of both helminth species and the proportional increase in the intensity of infection for the helminth not regulated by immunity. In contrast, there is no significant long-term positive trend in the intensity for the immune-controlled helminth, as immunity reduces the net outcome of climate on parasite dynamics. Even so, hosts experienced higher infections of this helminth at an earlier age during critical months in the warmer years. Immunity can alleviate the expected long-term effect of climate on parasite infections but can also shift the seasonal peak of infection toward the younger individuals. PMID:26884194

  2. Co-invaders: The effects of alien parasites on native hosts

    PubMed Central

    Lymbery, Alan J.; Morine, Mikayla; Kanani, Hosna Gholipour; Beatty, Stephen J.; Morgan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    We define co-introduced parasites as those which have been transported with an alien host to a new locality, outside of their natural range, and co-invading parasites as those which have been co-introduced and then spread to new, native hosts. Of 98 published studies of co-introductions, over 50% of hosts were freshwater fishes and 49% of parasites were helminths. Although we would expect parasites with simple, direct life cycles to be much more likely to be introduced and establish in a new locality, a substantial proportion (36%) of co-introductions were of parasites with an indirect life cycle. Seventy-eight per cent of co-introduced parasites were found in native host species and can therefore be classed as co-invaders. Host switching was equally common among parasites with direct and indirect life cycles. The magnitude of the threat posed to native species by co-invaders will depend, among other things, on parasite virulence. In 16 cases where co-introduced parasites have switched to native hosts and information was available on relative virulence, 14 (85%) were more virulent in native hosts than in the co-introduced alien host. We argue that this does not necessarily support the naïve host theory that co-invading parasites will have greater pathogenic effects in native hosts with which they have no coevolutionary history, but may instead be a consequence of the greater likelihood for parasites with lower virulence in their natural host to be co-introduced. PMID:25180161

  3. Habitat fragmentation alters the properties of a host-parasite network: rodents and their helminths in South-East Asia.

    PubMed

    Bordes, Frédéric; Morand, Serge; Pilosof, Shai; Claude, Julien; Krasnov, Boris R; Cosson, Jean-François; Chaval, Yannick; Ribas, Alexis; Chaisiri, Kittipong; Blasdell, Kim; Herbreteau, Vincent; Dupuy, Stéphane; Tran, Annelise

    2015-09-01

    1. While the effects of deforestation and habitat fragmentation on parasite prevalence or richness are well investigated, host-parasite networks are still understudied despite their importance in understanding the mechanisms of these major disturbances. Because fragmentation may negatively impact species occupancy, abundance and co-occurrence, we predict a link between spatiotemporal changes in habitat and the architecture of host-parasite networks. 2. For this, we used an extensive data set on 16 rodent species and 29 helminth species from seven localities of South-East Asia. We analysed the effects of rapid deforestation on connectance and modularity of helminth-parasite networks. We estimated both the degree of fragmentation and the rate of deforestation through the development of land uses and their changes through the last 20 to 30 years in order to take into account the dynamics of habitat fragmentation in our statistical analyses. 3. We found that rapid fragmentation does not affect helminth species richness per se but impacts host-parasite interactions as the rodent-helminth network becomes less connected and more modular. 4. Our results suggest that parasite sharing among host species may become more difficult to maintain with the increase of habitat disturbance. PMID:25777342

  4. Spatial covariation of local abundance among different parasite species: the effect of shared hosts.

    PubMed

    Lagrue, C; Poulin, R

    2015-10-01

    Within any parasite species, abundance varies spatially, reaching higher values in certain localities than in others, presumably reflecting the local availability of host resources or the local suitability of habitat characteristics for free-living stages. In the absence of strong interactions between two species of helminths with complex life cycles, we might predict that the degree to which their abundances covary spatially is determined by their common resource requirements, i.e. how many host species they share throughout their life cycles. We test this prediction using five trematode species, all with a typical three-host cycle, from multiple lake sampling sites in New Zealand's South Island: Stegodexamene anguillae, Telogaster opisthorchis, Coitocaecum parvum, Maritrema poulini, and an Apatemon sp. Pairs of species from this set of five share the same host species at either one, two, or all three life cycle stages. Our results show that when two trematode species share the same host species at all three life stages, they show positive spatial covariation in abundance (of metacercarial and adult stages) across localities. When they share hosts at two life stages, they show positive spatial covariation in abundance in some cases but not others. Finally, if two trematode species share only one host species, at a single life stage, their abundances do not covary spatially. These findings indicate that the extent of resource sharing between parasite species can drive the spatial match-mismatch between their abundances, and thus influence their coevolutionary dynamics and the degree to which host populations suffer from additive or synergistic effects of multiple infections. PMID:26113509

  5. Pathological and Ecological Host Consequences of Infection by an Introduced Fish Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Britton, J. Robert; Pegg, Josephine; Williams, Chris F.

    2011-01-01

    The infection consequences of the introduced cestode fish parasite Bothriocephalus acheilognathi were studied in a cohort of wild, young-of-the-year common carp Cyprinus carpio that lacked co-evolution with the parasite. Within the cohort, parasite prevalence was 42% and parasite burdens were up to 12% body weight. Pathological changes within the intestinal tract of parasitized carp included distension of the gut wall, epithelial compression and degeneration, pressure necrosis and varied inflammatory changes. These were most pronounced in regions containing the largest proportion of mature proglottids. Although the body lengths of parasitized and non-parasitized fish were not significantly different, parasitized fish were of lower body condition and reduced weight compared to non-parasitized conspecifics. Stable isotope analysis (δ15N and δ13C) revealed trophic impacts associated with infection, particularly for δ15N where values for parasitized fish were significantly reduced as their parasite burden increased. In a controlled aquarium environment where the fish were fed ad libitum on an identical food source, there was no significant difference in values of δ15N and δ13C between parasitized and non-parasitized fish. The growth consequences remained, however, with parasitized fish growing significantly slower than non-parasitized fish, with their feeding rate (items s−1) also significantly lower. Thus, infection by an introduced parasite had multiple pathological, ecological and trophic impacts on a host with no experience of the parasite. PMID:22022606

  6. Competence of hosts and complex foraging behavior are two cornerstones in the dynamics of trophically transmitted parasites.

    PubMed

    Baudrot, Virgile; Perasso, Antoine; Fritsch, Clémentine; Raoul, Francis

    2016-05-21

    Multi-host trophically transmitted parasite (TTP) is a common life cycle where prey and predators are respectively intermediate and definitive hosts of the parasite. In these systems, the foraging response of the predator toward variations in prey community composition underlies the dynamic of the parasite. Therefore, modeling epidemiological dynamic of infectious diseases considering ecological predator-prey interactions is essential to understand the spreading of parasites in ecosystems. However, two important weaknesses of previous TTP models including feeding interaction can be pointed out: (i) the choice of a linear density-dependent contact rate is faintly realistic as it supposes an unlimited ingestion rate with an increase of prey density and (ii) considering only one host prey species prevents the study of host biodiversity effect due to change in the prey community composition where species have different competences to be infected and to transmit the parasite. This article attempts to address the dynamics of parasite in a context of multiple intermediate hosts differentiated by their competences and of complex foraging behavior of the predator. We present and analyze a deterministic one predator-two prey model, which is then used to explore the transmission cycle of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis. This study examines the foraging condition for the co-existence of the prey, and then, based on the computation of the threshold measure of disease risk, R0, we show that the pattern of feeding interactions changes the relationship between disease risk and prey community composition. Finally, we disentangle the mechanism leading to the counter-intuitive observation of a decrease of disease risk while the population density of intermediate hosts increases. PMID:26992573

  7. Immune modulation by helminth parasites of ruminants: implications for vaccine development and host immune competence

    PubMed Central

    McNeilly, Tom N.; Nisbet, Alasdair J.

    2014-01-01

    Parasitic helminths reside in immunologically-exposed extracellular locations within their hosts, yet they are capable of surviving for extended periods. To enable this survival, these parasites have developed complex and multifaceted mechanisms to subvert or suppress host immunity. This review summarises current knowledge of immune modulation by helminth parasites of ruminants and the parasite-derived molecules involved in driving this modulation. Such immunomodulatory molecules have considerable promise as vaccine targets, as neutralisation of their function is predicted to enhance anti-parasite immunity and, as such, current knowledge in this area is presented herein. Furthermore, we summarise current evidence that, as well as affecting parasite-specific immunity, immune modulation by these parasites may also affect the ability of ruminant hosts to control concurrent diseases or mount effective responses to vaccination. PMID:25292481

  8. Cysticercus fasciolaris infection induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in rat liver: a strategy for host-parasite cross talk.

    PubMed

    Giri, Bikash Ranjan; Roy, Bishnupada

    2016-07-01

    Parasitic helminths have developed various strategies to induce or inhibit apoptosis in the cells of their host, thereby modulating the host's immune response and aiding dissemination to the host. Cysticercus fasciolaris, the larval form of Taenia taeniaeformis, parasitized different intermediate hosts like rats, rabbits, etc. and is cosmopolitan in distribution. In the present study, we have investigated host-parasite interactions and the resulting effect of C. fasciolaris in the liver of rat. Histology of the infected livers showed dilation and damages of hepatic cells near the parasite. Infected liver cells showed an increase in DNA fragmentation and chromatin condensation compared to the normal liver. Acridine orange and ethidium bromide dual staining revealed the presence of apoptotic cells in the infected liver. The decline in the mitochondrial membrane potential in the infected liver suggested that the observed apoptosis is mitochondria mediated. Occurrence of an elevated level of active executioner caspases 3/7 in the infected rat liver further confirms the occurrence of apoptosis. Different antioxidant enzymes were also evaluated and revealed a notable decline in the level of glutathione and glutathione-S-transferase activity leading to the augmented generation of reactive oxygen species. Results of the present study revealed that C. fasciolaris infection leads to apoptosis in the liver of rats which may be a surviving strategy for the parasitic larvae. PMID:26987645

  9. Trophic Relationships between the Parasitic Plant Species Phelipanche ramosa (L.) and Different Hosts Depending on Host Phenological Stage and Host Growth Rate.

    PubMed

    Moreau, Delphine; Gibot-Leclerc, Stéphanie; Girardin, Annette; Pointurier, Olivia; Reibel, Carole; Strbik, Florence; Fernández-Aparicio, Mónica; Colbach, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    Phelipanche ramosa (L.) Pomel (branched broomrape) is a holoparasitic plant that reproduces on crops and also on weeds, which contributes to increase the parasite seed bank in fields. This parasite extracts all its nutrients at the host's expense so that host-parasite trophic relationships are crucial to determine host and parasite growth. This study quantified the intensity with which P. ramosa draws assimilates from its host and analyzed whether it varied with host species, host phenological stage and host growth rate. A greenhouse experiment was conducted on three host species: the crop species Brassica napus (L.) (oilseed rape) and two weed species, Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik. and Geranium dissectum (L.). Plants were grown with or without P. ramosa and under three light levels to modulate host growth rate. The proportion of host biomass loss due to parasitism by P. ramosa differed between host species (at host fructification, biomass loss ranged from 34 to 84%). B. napus and C. bursa-pastoris displayed a similar response to P. ramosa, probably because they belong to the same botanical family. The sensitivity to P. ramosa in each host species could be related to the precocity of P. ramosa development on them. Host compartments could be ranked as a function of their sensitivity to parasitism, with the reproductive compartment being the most severely affected, followed by stems and roots. The proportion of biomass allocated to leaves was not reduced by parasitism. The proportion of pathosystem biomass allocated to the parasite depended on host species. It generally increased with host stage progression but was constant across light induced-host growth rate, showing that P. ramosa adapts its growth to host biomass production. The rank order of host species in terms of sink strength differed from that in terms of host sensitivity. Finally, for B. napus, the biomass of individual parasite shoots decreased with increasing their number per host plant

  10. The Host Targeting motif in exported Plasmodium proteins is cleaved in the parasite endoplasmic reticulum

    PubMed Central

    Osborne, Andrew R.; Speicher, Kaye D.; Tamez, Pamela A.; Bhattacharjee, Souvik; Speicher, David W.; Haldar, Kasturi

    2010-01-01

    During the blood stage of its lifecycle, the malaria parasite resides and replicates inside a membrane vacuole within its host cell, the human erythrocyte. The parasite exports many proteins across the vacuole membrane and into the host cell cytoplasm. Most exported proteins are characterized by the presence of a Host Targeting (HT) motif, also referred to as a Plasmodium Export Element (PEXEL), which corresponds to the consensus sequence RxLxE/D/Q. During export the HT motif is cleaved by an unknown protease. Here, we generate parasite lines expressing HT motif containing proteins that are localized to different compartments within the parasite or host cell. We find that the HT motif in a protein that is retained in the parasite endoplasmic reticulum, is cleaved and N-acetylated as efficiently as a protein that is exported. This shows that cleavage of the HT motif occurs early in the secretory pathway, in the parasite endoplasmic reticulum. PMID:20117149

  11. The mechanics of malaria parasite invasion of the human erythrocyte - towards a reassessment of the host cell contribution.

    PubMed

    Koch, Marion; Baum, Jake

    2016-03-01

    Despite decades of research, we still know little about the mechanics of Plasmodium host cell invasion. Fundamentally, while the essential or non-essential nature of different parasite proteins is becoming clearer, their actual function and how each comes together to govern invasion are poorly understood. Furthermore, in recent years an emerging world view is shifting focus away from the parasite actin-myosin motor being the sole force responsible for entry to an appreciation of host cell dynamics and forces and their contribution to the process. In this review, we discuss merozoite invasion of the erythrocyte, focusing on the complex set of pre-invasion events and how these might prime the red cell to facilitate invasion. While traditionally parasite interactions at this stage have been viewed simplistically as mediating adhesion only, recent work makes it apparent that by interacting with a number of host receptors and signalling pathways, combined with secretion of parasite-derived lipid material, that the merozoite may initiate cytoskeletal re-arrangements and biophysical changes in the erythrocyte that greatly reduce energy barriers for entry. Seen in this light Plasmodium invasion may well turn out to be a balance between host and parasite forces, much like that of other pathogen infection mechanisms. PMID:26663815

  12. Bizarre interactions and endgames: entomopathogenic fungi and their arthropod hosts.

    PubMed

    Roy, H E; Steinkraus, D C; Eilenberg, J; Hajek, A E; Pell, J K

    2006-01-01

    Invertebrate pathogens and their hosts are taxonomically diverse. Despite this, there is one unifying concept relevant to all such parasitic associations: Both pathogen and host adapt to maximize their own reproductive output and ultimate fitness. The strategies adopted by pathogens and hosts to achieve this goal are almost as diverse as the organisms themselves, but studies examining such relationships have traditionally concentrated only on aspects of host physiology. Here we review examples of host-altered behavior and consider these within a broad ecological and evolutionary context. Research on pathogen-induced and host-mediated behavioral changes demonstrates the range of altered behaviors exhibited by invertebrates including behaviorally induced fever, elevation seeking, reduced or increased activity, reduced response to semiochemicals, and changes in reproductive behavior. These interactions are sometimes quite bizarre, intricate, and of great scientific interest. PMID:16332215

  13. Role of porcine serum haptoglobin in the host-parasite relationship of Taenia solium cysticercosis.

    PubMed

    Navarrete-Perea, José; Toledano-Magaña, Yanis; De la Torre, Patricia; Sciutto, Edda; Bobes, Raúl José; Soberón, Xavier; Laclette, Juan Pedro

    2016-06-01

    Human and porcine cysticercosis is a parasitic disease caused by the larval stage (cysts) of the tapeworm Taenia solium. Cysts may live in several host tissues such as skeletal muscle or brain. We have previously described the presence of host haptoglobin (Hp) and hemoglobin (Hb) in different protein extracts of the T. solium cysts. Here, we report the binding of host Hp and Hb to a number of cyst proteins, evaluated through measuring electrophoretic and light absorbance changes. In the sera obtained from 18 cysticercotic pigs, Hp-Hb complexes were abundant, whereas free Hp was undetectable. In contrast, in the sera from non 18 cysticercotic pigs, Hp-Hb and free Hp were found. In the soluble protein fraction of cysts tissue, free Hp was detected showing a considerable Hb-binding ability, whereas in the vesicular fluid, Hp is mainly bound to Hb. Interestingly, assays carried out with the insoluble fraction of T. solium cysts tissue, showed binding of Hp and Hp-Hb in a saturable way, suggesting the existence of specific interactions. Our results suggested that the parasite can take advantage of the uptaken host Hp and Hb, either free or in complexes, as a source of iron or as a way to modulate the inflammatory response surrounding the T. solium cysts. PMID:27234210

  14. Host-parasite relationships in flatfish (Pleuronectiformes)--the relative importance of host biology, ecology and phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Marques, J F; Santos, M J; Teixeira, C M; Batista, M I; Cabral, H N

    2011-01-01

    The extent to which host biology, ecology and phylogeny determine the diversity of macroparasite assemblages has been investigated in recent years in several taxa, including fish. However, consensus has not been reached probably as a result of data being collected from different sources, different temporal scales or host and parasite biogeography and phylogeny having greater influence than expected. The present study evaluates the relative importance of 27 biological, ecological and phylogenetic characteristics of 14 flatfish species on the diversity of their ecto- and endoparasite assemblages, comprising a total of 53 taxa. Redundancy analyses were applied to the mean abundance of each parasite taxa infecting each host and to the richness, taxonomic distinctness and variance in taxonomic distinctness calculated for each assemblage within each host. Only a few host characteristics contributed significantly to the observed patterns: host distribution was more important in determining the type and mean abundance of ectoparasites present in an assemblage, whereas diversity of these assemblages were mainly related to the host's maximum size. Endoparasite mean abundance and diversity were mostly influenced by the number of food items ingested and by the presence of Crustacea and Polychaeta in the diet. However, the sympatric occurrence of related hosts also played an important role in the diversity values found in macroparasite assemblages. Results showed that a host characteristic has different importance according to the host-parasite relationship being examined, suggesting an important role for host-parasite co-evolution on the diversity of extant macroparasite assemblages. PMID:20819241

  15. Host cell deformability is linked to transmission in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22417683

  16. Trophic Relationships between the Parasitic Plant Species Phelipanche ramosa (L.) and Different Hosts Depending on Host Phenological Stage and Host Growth Rate

    PubMed Central

    Moreau, Delphine; Gibot-Leclerc, Stéphanie; Girardin, Annette; Pointurier, Olivia; Reibel, Carole; Strbik, Florence; Fernández-Aparicio, Mónica; Colbach, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    Phelipanche ramosa (L.) Pomel (branched broomrape) is a holoparasitic plant that reproduces on crops and also on weeds, which contributes to increase the parasite seed bank in fields. This parasite extracts all its nutrients at the host’s expense so that host–parasite trophic relationships are crucial to determine host and parasite growth. This study quantified the intensity with which P. ramosa draws assimilates from its host and analyzed whether it varied with host species, host phenological stage and host growth rate. A greenhouse experiment was conducted on three host species: the crop species Brassica napus (L.) (oilseed rape) and two weed species, Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik. and Geranium dissectum (L.). Plants were grown with or without P. ramosa and under three light levels to modulate host growth rate. The proportion of host biomass loss due to parasitism by P. ramosa differed between host species (at host fructification, biomass loss ranged from 34 to 84%). B. napus and C. bursa-pastoris displayed a similar response to P. ramosa, probably because they belong to the same botanical family. The sensitivity to P. ramosa in each host species could be related to the precocity of P. ramosa development on them. Host compartments could be ranked as a function of their sensitivity to parasitism, with the reproductive compartment being the most severely affected, followed by stems and roots. The proportion of biomass allocated to leaves was not reduced by parasitism. The proportion of pathosystem biomass allocated to the parasite depended on host species. It generally increased with host stage progression but was constant across light induced-host growth rate, showing that P. ramosa adapts its growth to host biomass production. The rank order of host species in terms of sink strength differed from that in terms of host sensitivity. Finally, for B. napus, the biomass of individual parasite shoots decreased with increasing their number per host plant

  17. Spatial variation in gender-biased parasitism: host-related, parasite-related and environment-related effects.

    PubMed

    Krasnov, Boris R; Matthee, Sonja

    2010-09-01

    The gender-biased pattern of parasite infestation has been shown to be a complicated phenomenon that cannot be explained by a single mechanism but rather involves several different mechanisms. We asked what are the factors that affect the manifestation and extent of gender-biased parasitism and studied the relationship between parasite-related (mean abundance, mean species richness and total species richness of all parasites), host-related (rodent density and proportion of reproductive males and females both separately and together) and environment-related (mean daily maximal and minimal temperatures, rainfall and relative humidity) factors and the magnitude of gender-biased infestation of a South African rodent Rhabdomys pumilio by ixodid ticks, gamasid mites, lice and fleas. We found that spatial variation in gender differences in parasite infestation was affected by parasite-, host- and environment-related factors, although the set of factors affecting gender differences in infestation differed among higher taxa of ectoparasites. Gender differences in infestation by fleas and lice were affected mainly by parasite-related factors, whereas gender differences in infestation by ticks and, in part, by mites were affected mainly by host-related and environmental factors. In addition, spatial variation in most measures of gender difference in mite infestation remained unexplained. PMID:20550754

  18. Alternative mechanisms of increased eggshell hardness of avian brood parasites relative to host species

    PubMed Central

    Igic, Branislav; Braganza, Kim; Hyland, Margaret M.; Silyn-Roberts, Heather; Cassey, Phillip; Grim, Tomas; Rutila, Jarkko; Moskát, Csaba; Hauber, Mark E.

    2011-01-01

    Obligate brood parasitic birds lay their eggs in nests of other species and parasite eggs typically have evolved greater structural strength relative to host eggs. Increased mechanical strength of the parasite eggshell is an adaptation that can interfere with puncture ejection behaviours of discriminating hosts. We investigated whether hardness of eggshells is related to differences between physical and chemical traits from three different races of the parasitic common cuckoo Cuculus canorus, and their respective hosts. Using tools developed for materials science, we discovered a novel correlate of increased strength of parasite eggs: the common cuckoo's egg exhibits a greater microhardness, especially in the inner region of the shell matrix, relative to its host and sympatric non-host species. We then tested predictions of four potential mechanisms of shell strength: (i) increased relative thickness overall, (ii) greater proportion of the structurally harder shell layers, (iii) higher concentration of inorganic components in the shell matrix, and (iv) elevated deposition of a high density compound, MgCO3, in the shell matrix. We confirmed support only for hypothesis (i). Eggshell characteristics did not differ between parasite eggs sampled from different host nests in distant geographical sites, suggesting an evolutionarily shared microstructural mechanism of stronger parasite eggshells across diverse host-races of brood parasitic cuckoos. PMID:21561966

  19. Alternative mechanisms of increased eggshell hardness of avian brood parasites relative to host species.

    PubMed

    Igic, Branislav; Braganza, Kim; Hyland, Margaret M; Silyn-Roberts, Heather; Cassey, Phillip; Grim, Tomas; Rutila, Jarkko; Moskát, Csaba; Hauber, Mark E

    2011-11-01

    Obligate brood parasitic birds lay their eggs in nests of other species and parasite eggs typically have evolved greater structural strength relative to host eggs. Increased mechanical strength of the parasite eggshell is an adaptation that can interfere with puncture ejection behaviours of discriminating hosts. We investigated whether hardness of eggshells is related to differences between physical and chemical traits from three different races of the parasitic common cuckoo Cuculus canorus, and their respective hosts. Using tools developed for materials science, we discovered a novel correlate of increased strength of parasite eggs: the common cuckoo's egg exhibits a greater microhardness, especially in the inner region of the shell matrix, relative to its host and sympatric non-host species. We then tested predictions of four potential mechanisms of shell strength: (i) increased relative thickness overall, (ii) greater proportion of the structurally harder shell layers, (iii) higher concentration of inorganic components in the shell matrix, and (iv) elevated deposition of a high density compound, MgCO(3), in the shell matrix. We confirmed support only for hypothesis (i). Eggshell characteristics did not differ between parasite eggs sampled from different host nests in distant geographical sites, suggesting an evolutionarily shared microstructural mechanism of stronger parasite eggshells across diverse host-races of brood parasitic cuckoos. PMID:21561966

  20. The parasite's long arm: a tapeworm parasite induces behavioural changes in uninfected group members of its social host.

    PubMed

    Beros, Sara; Jongepier, Evelien; Hagemeier, Felizitas; Foitzik, Susanne

    2015-11-22

    Parasites can induce alterations in host phenotypes in order to enhance their own survival and transmission. Parasites of social insects might not only benefit from altering their individual hosts, but also from inducing changes in uninfected group members. Temnothorax nylanderi ant workers infected with the tapeworm Anomotaenia brevis are known to be chemically distinct from nest-mates and do not contribute to colony fitness, but are tolerated in their colonies and well cared for. Here, we investigated how tapeworm- infected workers affect colony aggression by manipulating their presence in ant colonies and analysing whether their absence or presence resulted in behavioural alterations in their nest-mates. We report a parasite-induced shift in colony aggression, shown by lower aggression of uninfected nest-mates from parasitized colonies towards conspecifics, potentially explaining the tolerance towards infected ants. We also demonstrate that tapeworm-infected workers showed a reduced flight response and higher survival, while their presence caused a decrease in survival of uninfected nest-mates. This anomalous behaviour of infected ants, coupled with their increased survival, could facilitate the parasites' transmission to its definitive hosts, woodpeckers. We conclude that parasites exploiting individuals that are part of a society not only induce phenotypic changes within their individual hosts, but in uninfected group members as well. PMID:26582019

  1. Host genotype and age have no effect on rejection of parasitic eggs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Procházka, Petr; Konvičková-Patzenhauerová, Hana; Požgayová, Milica; Trnka, Alfréd; Jelínek, Václav; Honza, Marcel

    2014-05-01

    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.

  2. Host genotype and age have no effect on rejection of parasitic eggs.

    PubMed

    Procházka, Petr; Konvičková-Patzenhauerová, Hana; Požgayová, Milica; Trnka, Alfréd; Jelínek, Václav; Honza, Marcel

    2014-05-01

    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

  3. Global analysis of a simple parasite-host model with homoclinic orbits.

    PubMed

    Li, Jianquan; Xiao, Yanni; Yang, Yali

    2012-10-01

    In this paper, a simple parasite-host model proposed by Ebert et al.(2000) is reconsidered. The basic epidemiological reproduction number of parasite infection (R0) and the basic demographic reproduction number of infected hosts (R1) are given. The global dynamics of the model is completely investigated, and the existence of heteroclinic and homoclinic orbits is theoretically proved, which implies that the outbreak of parasite infection may happen. The thresholds determining the host extinction in the presence of parasite infection and variation in the equilibrium level of the infected hosts with R0 are found. The effects of R0 and R1 on dynamics of the model are considered and we show that the equilibrium level of the infected host may not be monotone with respect to R0. In particular, it is found that full loss of fecundity of infected hosts may lead to appearance of the singular case. PMID:23311421

  4. Host-Parasite Biology of Thripinema fuscum (Tylenchida: Allantonematidae) and Frankliniella fusca (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)

    PubMed Central

    Sims, Kelly; Funderburk, Joe; Boucias, Drion

    2005-01-01

    Thripinema fuscum is a natural enemy of Frankliniella fusca in peanut. Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the reproductive biology of T. fuscum as affected by gender and stage of development of the host and to determine the effects of parasitism on host longevity, fecundity, and mortality. The adult females of F. fusca were the most readily parasitized (P < 0.001) in the laboratory experiments followed by the second instars, the first instars, and the adult males. One generation of T. fuscum developed within the parasitized larvae and adults, with the males and females emerging only during the adult stage of the host. Parasitism did not cause mortality of the host. Parasitism affected male longevity (P < 0.001) but not female longevity. The adult female thrips that were parasitized as first or second instars did not lay eggs, and the adult females stopped laying eggs within 3 days of being parasitized. The female-to-male sex ratio of T. fuscum emerging from parasitized male and female F. fusca was 22 and 18 to 1, respectively. More T. fuscum emerged from female hosts than from male hosts (P < 0.001). More emerged from hosts parasitized as larvae compared with hosts parasitized as adults (P < 0.05). The intrinsic capacity of increase of T. fuscum ranged between 0.29 and 0.37 when parasitizing the adult males and females and between 0.18 and 0.21 when parasitizing the larval males and females. Percent parasitism of F. fusca was estimated in peanut fields. The flowers were the primary site for aggregation of the adults of F. fusca and for the free-living females of T. fuscum to parasitize new hosts. As under laboratory conditions, field parasitism of adult males was less than parasitism of adult females in 2001 and 2002 (P < 0.01 and 0.001, respectively). Our study indicates that T. fuscum is a potential biological control agent capable of suppressing F. fusca populations in peanut. PMID:19262837

  5. Habitat heterogeneity drives the host-diversity-begets-parasite-diversity relationship: evidence from experimental and field studies.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Pieter T J; Wood, Chelsea L; Joseph, Maxwell B; Preston, Daniel L; Haas, Sarah E; Springer, Yuri P

    2016-07-01

    Despite a century of research into the factors that generate and maintain biodiversity, we know remarkably little about the drivers of parasite diversity. To identify the mechanisms governing parasite diversity, we combined surveys of 8100 amphibian hosts with an outdoor experiment that tested theory developed for free-living species. Our analyses revealed that parasite diversity increased consistently with host diversity due to habitat (i.e. host) heterogeneity, with secondary contributions from parasite colonisation and host abundance. Results of the experiment, in which host diversity was manipulated while parasite colonisation and host abundance were fixed, further reinforced this conclusion. Finally, the coefficient of host diversity on parasite diversity increased with spatial grain, which was driven by differences in their species-area curves: while host richness quickly saturated, parasite richness continued to increase with neighbourhood size. These results offer mechanistic insights into drivers of parasite diversity and provide a hierarchical framework for multi-scale disease research. PMID:27147106

  6. Host-parasite relationships as determinants of heavy metal concentrations in perch (Perca fluviatilis) and its intestinal parasite infection.

    PubMed

    Brázová, Tímea; Hanzelová, Vladimíra; Miklisová, Dana; Šalamún, Peter; Vidal-Martínez, Víctor M

    2015-12-01

    The concentrations of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn and their bioconcentration factors (BCFs) were determined in two intestinal parasites, an acanthocephalan, Acanthocephalus lucii, a tapeworm, Proteocephalus percae, present in the same host, the European perch (Perca fluviatilis, L.), in the heavily polluted Ružín reservoir in eastern Slovakia. The bioaccumulation of heavy metals in the fish organs and parasites was studied for acanthocephalan and tapeworm monoinfections or mixed infections by the two parasites and for the size of their parasitic infrapopulations. Bioconcentration factors (c[parasite]/c[muscle tissue]) showed that the concentrations of As, Ni, Pb and Zn were higher in mixed infections than in monoinfections. Negative correlations between heavy metal concentrations in perch organs and the parasites were found. For example, higher concentrations of Ni and Zn in both parasite species corresponded with lower metal concentrations in perch and hard roe. Likewise, significant negative relationships between metal concentrations in fish organs and number of parasites were noticed with lower levels of Pb in fish harbouring higher numbers of tapeworms. Similarly, in both parasite species the concentrations of some essential elements (Cr, Mn) were lower at high infection intensities compared to low intensities. Our study revealed that the differential concentration of heavy metals in perch organs was affected by the type of infection (mono- or mixed-infection), and needs to be considered in field ecotoxicological and parasitological studies as a potentially important factor influencing the pollutant concentrations in fish. PMID:26432028

  7. Resource limitation alters the consequences of co-infection for both hosts and parasites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Most animals are concurrently infected with multiple parasites and live in environments with fluctuating resource availability. Compelling evidence from humans, laboratory model systems, and wildlife suggests that interactions among co-infecting parasites can influence disease dynamics, individual h...

  8. Expression of parasite genetic variation changes over the course of infection: implications of within-host dynamics for the evolution of virulence

    PubMed Central

    Clerc, Melanie; Ebert, Dieter; Hall, Matthew D.

    2015-01-01

    How infectious disease agents interact with their host changes during the course of infection and can alter the expression of disease-related traits. Yet by measuring parasite life-history traits at one or few moments during infection, studies have overlooked the impact of variable parasite growth trajectories on disease evolution. Here we show that infection-age-specific estimates of host and parasite fitness components can reveal new insight into the evolution of parasites. We do so by characterizing the within-host dynamics over an entire infection period for five genotypes of the castrating bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa infecting the crustacean Daphnia magna. Our results reveal that genetic variation for parasite-induced gigantism, host castration and parasite spore loads increases with the age of infection. Driving these patterns appears to be variation in how well the parasite maintains control of host reproduction late in the infection process. We discuss the evolutionary consequences of this finding with regard to natural selection acting on different ages of infection and the mechanism underlying the maintenance of castration efficiency. Our results highlight how elucidating within-host dynamics can shed light on the selective forces that shape infection strategies and the evolution of virulence. PMID:25761710

  9. Distance decay of similarity among parasite communities of three marine invertebrate hosts.

    PubMed

    Thieltges, David W; Ferguson, MacNeill A D; Jones, Cathy S; Krakau, Manuela; de Montaudouin, Xavier; Noble, Leslie R; Reise, Karsten; Poulin, Robert

    2009-05-01

    The similarity in species composition between two communities generally decays as a function of increasing distance between them. Parasite communities in vertebrate definitive hosts follow this pattern but the respective relationship in intermediate invertebrate hosts of parasites with complex life cycles is unknown. In intermediate hosts, parasite communities are affected not only by the varying vagility of their definitive hosts (dispersing infective propagules) but also by the necessary coincidence of all their hosts in environmentally suitable localities. As intermediate hosts often hardly move they do not contribute to parasite dispersal. Hence, their parasite assemblages may decrease faster in similarity with increasing distance than those in highly mobile vertebrate definitive hosts. We use published field survey data to investigate distance decay of similarity in trematode communities from three prominent coastal molluscs of the Eastern North-Atlantic: the gastropods Littorina littorea and Hydrobia ulvae, and the bivalve Cerastoderma edule. We found that the similarity of trematode communities in all three hosts decayed with distance, independently of local sampling effort, and whether or not the parasites used the mollusc as first or second intermediate host in their life cycle. In H. ulvae, the halving distance (i.e. the distance that halves the similarity from its initial similarity at 1 km distance) for the trematode species using birds as definitive hosts was approximately two to three times larger than for species using fish. The initial similarities (estimated at 1 km distance) among trematode communities were relatively higher, whereas mean halving distances were lower, compared to published values for parasite communities in vertebrate hosts. We conclude that the vagility of definitive hosts accounts for a high similarity at the local scale, while the strong decay of similarity across regions is a consequence of the low probability that all

  10. Experimental evidence for chick discrimination without recognition in a brood parasite host

    PubMed Central

    Grim, Tomáš

    2006-01-01

    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. PMID:17164201

  11. The mechanics of malaria parasite invasion of the human erythrocyte – towards a reassessment of the host cell contribution

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Marion

    2016-01-01

    Summary Despite decades of research, we still know little about the mechanics of Plasmodium host cell invasion. Fundamentally, while the essential or non‐essential nature of different parasite proteins is becoming clearer, their actual function and how each comes together to govern invasion are poorly understood. Furthermore, in recent years an emerging world view is shifting focus away from the parasite actin–myosin motor being the sole force responsible for entry to an appreciation of host cell dynamics and forces and their contribution to the process. In this review, we discuss merozoite invasion of the erythrocyte, focusing on the complex set of pre‐invasion events and how these might prime the red cell to facilitate invasion. While traditionally parasite interactions at this stage have been viewed simplistically as mediating adhesion only, recent work makes it apparent that by interacting with a number of host receptors and signalling pathways, combined with secretion of parasite‐derived lipid material, that the merozoite may initiate cytoskeletal re‐arrangements and biophysical changes in the erythrocyte that greatly reduce energy barriers for entry. Seen in this light Plasmodium invasion may well turn out to be a balance between host and parasite forces, much like that of other pathogen infection mechanisms. PMID:26663815

  12. Parasitic aphrodisiacs: manipulation of the hosts' behavioral defenses by sexually transmitted parasites.

    PubMed

    Adamo, Shelley A

    2014-07-01

    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

  13. Catoessa boscii (Crustacea, Isopoda, Cymothoidae) parasitic on Carangoides malabaricus (Pisces, Carangidae) from India. Taxonomy and host-parasite relationships.

    PubMed

    Trilles, Jean-Paul; Ravichandran, Samuthirapandian; Rameshkumar, Ganapathy

    2012-06-01

    Catoessa boscii (Bleeker, 1857) (Crustacea, Isopoda, Cymothoidae), is redescribed according to the type specimen observed by Schioedte and Meinert (1884) extant in the Rijksmuseum von Natuurlijke Historie, Leiden (RMNH) and from many additional specimens recently collected in India from Carangoides malabaricus (Pisces, Carangidae). This study allows an updating of the diagnosis of the genus Catoessa and of the species Catoessa boscii. Some parasite-host relationships were studied during the year. Prevalence and sex ratio of parasites varied according to the month, and the sex and size of hosts. PMID:22807055

  14. Life history determines genetic structure and evolutionary potential of host–parasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Luke G.; Thrall, Peter H.; Burdon, Jeremy J.; Linde, Celeste C.

    2009-01-01

    Measures of population genetic structure and diversity of disease-causing organisms are commonly used to draw inferences regarding their evolutionary history and potential to generate new variation in traits that determine interactions with their hosts. Parasite species exhibit a range of population structures and life-history strategies, including different transmission modes, life-cycle complexity, off-host survival mechanisms and dispersal ability. These are important determinants of the frequency and predictability of interactions with host species. Yet the complex causal relationships between spatial structure, life history and the evolutionary dynamics of parasite populations are not well understood. We demonstrate that a clear picture of the evolutionary potential of parasitic organisms and their demographic and evolutionary histories can only come from understanding the role of life history and spatial structure in influencing population dynamics and epidemiological patterns. PMID:18947899

  15. Do malaria parasites manipulate the escape behaviour of their avian hosts? An experimental study.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Longoria, Luz; Møller, Anders P; Balbontín, Javier; de Lope, Florentino; Marzal, Alfonso

    2015-12-01

    Escape behaviour is the behaviour that birds and other animals display when already caught by a predator. An individual exhibiting higher intensity of such anti-predator behaviour could have greater probabilities of escape from predators. Parasites are known to affect different aspects of host behaviour to increase their own fitness. Vector-transmitted parasites such as malaria parasites should gain by manipulating their hosts to enhance the probability of transmission. Several studies have shown that malaria parasites can manipulate their vectors leading to increased transmission success. However, little is known about whether malaria parasites can manipulate escape behaviour of their avian hosts thereby increasing the spread of the parasite. Here we used an experimental approach to explore if Plasmodium relictum can manipulate the escape behaviour of one of its most common avian hosts, the house sparrow Passer domesticus. We experimentally tested whether malaria parasites manipulate the escape behaviour of their avian host. We showed a decrease in the intensity of biting and tonic immobility after removal of infection with anti-malaria medication compared to pre-experimental behaviour. These outcomes suggest that infected sparrows performed more intense escape behaviour, which would increase the likelihood of individuals escaping from predators, but also benefit the parasite by increasing its transmission opportunities. PMID:26337268

  16. The immunology of parasite infections in immunocompromised hosts

    PubMed Central

    Evering, T.; Weiss, L. M.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:17042927

  17. Spread of an introduced parasite across the Hawaiian archipelago independent of its introduced host

    SciTech Connect

    Gagne, Roderick B.; Hogan, J. Derek; McIntyre, Peter B.; Hain, Ernie F.; Gilliam, James F.; Pracheil, Brenda M.; Blum, Michael J.

    2014-11-11

    1. Co-introductions of non-native parasites with non-native hosts can be a major driver of disease emergence in native species, but the conditions that promote the establishment and spread of nonnative parasites remain poorly understood. Here, we characterise the infection of a native host species by a non-native parasite relative to the distribution and density of the original non-native host species and a suite of organismal and environmental factors that have been associated with parasitism, but not commonly considered within a single system. 2. We examined the native Hawaiian goby Awaous stamineus across 23 catchments on five islands for infection by the non-native nematode parasite Camallanus cotti. We used model selection to test whether parasite infection was associated with the genetic diversity, size and population density of native hosts, the distribution and density of non-native hosts, land use and water quality. 3. We found that the distribution of non-native C. cotti parasites has become decoupled from the non-native hosts that were primary vectors of introduction to the Hawaiian Islands. Although no single intrinsic or extrinsic factor was identified that best explains parasitism of A. stamineus by C. cotti, native host size, population density and water quality were consistently identified as influencing parasite intensity and prevalence. 4. The introduction of non-native species can indirectly influence native species through infection of co-introduced parasites. Here, we show that the effects of enemy addition can extend beyond the range of non-native hosts through the independent spread of non-native parasites. This suggests that control of non-native hosts is not sufficient to halt the spread of introduced parasites. Furthermore, designing importation regulations to prevent host parasite co-introductions can promote native species conservation, even in remote areas that may not seem susceptible to human

  18. Numerical study of a three-state host-parasite system on the square lattice.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Takehisa; Konno, Norio; Masuda, Naoki

    2011-04-01

    We numerically study the phase diagram of a three-state host-parasite model on the square lattice motivated by population biology. The model is an extension of the contact process, and the three states correspond to an empty site, a host, and a parasite. We determine the phase diagram of the model by scaling analysis. In agreement with previous results, three phases are identified: the phase in which both hosts and parasites are extinct (S(0)), the phase in which hosts survive but parasites are extinct (S(01)), and the phase in which both hosts and parasites survive (S(012)). We argue that both the S(0)-S(01) and S(01)-S(012) boundaries belong to the directed percolation class. In this model, it has been suggested that an excessively large reproduction rate of parasites paradoxically extinguishes hosts and parasites and results in S(0). We show that this paradoxical extinction is a finite size effect; the corresponding parameter region is likely to disappear in the limit of infinite system size. PMID:21599235

  19. Sequestration and metabolism of host cell arginine by the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Cobbold, Simon A; Llinás, Manuel; Kirk, Kiaran

    2016-06-01

    Human erythrocytes have an active nitric oxide synthase, which converts arginine into citrulline and nitric oxide (NO). NO serves several important functions, including the maintenance of normal erythrocyte deformability, thereby ensuring efficient passage of the red blood cell through narrow microcapillaries. Here, we show that following invasion by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum the arginine pool in the host erythrocyte compartment is sequestered and metabolized by the parasite. Arginine from the extracellular medium enters the infected cell via endogenous host cell transporters and is taken up by the intracellular parasite by a high-affinity cationic amino acid transporter at the parasite surface. Within the parasite arginine is metabolized into citrulline and ornithine. The uptake and metabolism of arginine by the parasite deprive the erythrocyte of the substrate required for NO production and may contribute to the decreased deformability of infected erythrocytes. PMID:26633083

  20. A Transcriptomic Analysis of Echinococcus granulosus Larval Stages: Implications for Parasite Biology and Host Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Parkinson, John; Wasmuth, James D.; Salinas, Gustavo; Bizarro, Cristiano V.; Sanford, Chris; Berriman, Matthew; Ferreira, Henrique B.; Zaha, Arnaldo; Blaxter, Mark L.; Maizels, Rick M.; Fernández, Cecilia

    2012-01-01

    Background The cestode Echinococcus granulosus - the agent of cystic echinococcosis, a zoonosis affecting humans and domestic animals worldwide - is an excellent model for the study of host-parasite cross-talk that interfaces with two mammalian hosts. To develop the molecular analysis of these interactions, we carried out an EST survey of E. granulosus larval stages. We report the salient features of this study with a focus on genes reflecting physiological adaptations of different parasite stages. Methodology/Principal Findings We generated ∼10,000 ESTs from two sets of full-length enriched libraries (derived from oligo-capped and trans-spliced cDNAs) prepared with three parasite materials: hydatid cyst wall, larval worms (protoscoleces), and pepsin/H+-activated protoscoleces. The ESTs were clustered into 2700 distinct gene products. In the context of the biology of E. granulosus, our analyses reveal: (i) a diverse group of abundant long non-protein coding transcripts showing homology to a middle repetitive element (EgBRep) that could either be active molecular species or represent precursors of small RNAs (like piRNAs); (ii) an up-regulation of fermentative pathways in the tissue of the cyst wall; (iii) highly expressed thiol- and selenol-dependent antioxidant enzyme targets of thioredoxin glutathione reductase, the functional hub of redox metabolism in parasitic flatworms; (iv) candidate apomucins for the external layer of the tissue-dwelling hydatid cyst, a mucin-rich structure that is critical for survival in the intermediate host; (v) a set of tetraspanins, a protein family that appears to have expanded in the cestode lineage; and (vi) a set of platyhelminth-specific gene products that may offer targets for novel pan-platyhelminth drug development. Conclusions/Significance This survey has greatly increased the quality and the quantity of the molecular information on E. granulosus and constitutes a valuable resource for gene prediction on the parasite genome

  1. The ecological success of a social parasite increases with manipulation of collective host behaviour.

    PubMed

    Jongepier, E; Kleeberg, I; Foitzik, S

    2015-12-01

    Many parasites alter the behaviour of their host to their own advantage, yet hosts often vary in their susceptibility to manipulation. The ecological and evolutionary implications of such variation can be profound, as resistant host populations may suffer lower parasite pressures than those susceptible to manipulation. To test this prediction, we assessed parasite-induced aggressive behaviours across 16 populations of two Temnothorax ant species, many of which harbour the slavemaker ant Protomognathus americanus. This social parasite uses its Dufour's gland secretions to manipulate its hosts into attacking nestmates, which may deter defenders away from itself during invasion. We indeed find that colonies that were manipulated into attacking their Dufour-treated nestmates were less aggressive towards the slavemaker than those that did not show slavemaker-induced nestmate attack. Slavemakers benefited from altering their hosts' aggression, as both the likelihood that slavemakers survived host encounters and slavemaker prevalence in ant communities increased with slavemaker-induced nestmate attack. Finally, we show that Temnothorax longispinosus colonies were more susceptible to manipulation than Temnothorax curvispinosus colonies. This explains why T. curvispinosus colonies responded with more aggression towards invading slavemakers, why they were less likely to let slavemakers escape and why they were less frequently parasitized by the slavemaker than T. longispinosus. Our findings highlight that large-scale geographic variation in resistance to manipulation can have important implications for the prevalence and host preference of parasites. PMID:26299653

  2. On the equivalence of host local adaptation and parasite maladaptation: an experimental test.

    PubMed

    Lemoine, Mélissa; Doligez, Blandine; Richner, Heinz

    2012-02-01

    In spatiotemporally varying environments, host-parasite coevolution may lead to either host or parasite local adaptation. Using reciprocal infestations over 11 pairs of plots, we tested local adaptation in the hen flea and its main host, the great tit. Flea reproductive success (number of adults at host fledging) was lower on host individuals from the same plot compared with foreign hosts (from another plot), revealing flea local maladaptation. Host reproductive success (number of fledged young) for nests infested by foreign fleas was lower compared with the reproductive success of controls, with an intermediate success for nests infested by local fleas. This suggests host local adaptation although the absence of local adaptation could not be excluded. However, fledglings were heavier and larger when reared with foreign fleas than when reared with local fleas, which could also indicate host local maladaptation if the fitness gain in offspring size offsets the potential cost in offspring number. Our results therefore challenge the traditional view that parasite local maladaptation is equivalent to host local adaptation. The differences in fledgling morphology between nests infested with local fleas and those with foreign fleas suggest that flea origin affects host resource allocation strategy between nestling growth and defense against parasites. Therefore, determining the mechanisms that underlie these local adaptation patterns requires the identification of the relevant fitness measures and life-history trade-offs in both species. PMID:22218315

  3. Food plant derived disease tolerance and resistance in a natural butterfly-plant-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Sternberg, Eleanore D; Lefèvre, Thierry; Li, James; de Castillejo, Carlos Lopez Fernandez; Li, Hui; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2012-11-01

    Organisms can protect themselves against parasite-induced fitness costs through resistance or tolerance. Resistance includes mechanisms that prevent infection or limit parasite growth while tolerance alleviates the fitness costs from parasitism without limiting infection. Although tolerance and resistance affect host-parasite coevolution in fundamentally different ways, tolerance has often been ignored in animal-parasite systems. Where it has been studied, tolerance has been assumed to be a genetic mechanism, unaffected by the host environment. Here we studied the effects of host ecology on tolerance and resistance to infection by rearing monarch butterflies on 12 different species of milkweed food plants and infecting them with a naturally occurring protozoan parasite. Our results show that monarch butterflies experience different levels of tolerance to parasitism depending on the species of milkweed that they feed on, with some species providing over twofold greater tolerance than other milkweed species. Resistance was also affected by milkweed species, but there was no relationship between milkweed-conferred resistance and tolerance. Chemical analysis suggests that infected monarchs obtain highest fitness when reared on milkweeds with an intermediate concentration, diversity, and polarity of toxic secondary plant chemicals known as cardenolides. Our results demonstrate that environmental factors-such as interacting species in ecological food webs-are important drivers of disease tolerance. PMID:23106703

  4. Genotypic variation in host response to infection affects parasite reproductive rate.

    PubMed

    Tavalire, Hannah F; Blouin, Michael S; Steinauer, Michelle L

    2016-02-01

    Parasite fitness is largely influenced by a variation in host response due to the host's genetic background. Here we investigated the impact of host genotype on pathogen success in the snail vector of its castrating parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. We infected five inbred lines of Biomphalaria glabrata with two infection doses and followed their growth, reproductive output and parasite production throughout the course of infection. There was no difference in resistance to infection among inbred lines, but lines varied in their responses to infection and the numbers of parasites produced. Snails did not compensate for castration by increasing their fecundity during the early phase of infection (fecundity compensation). However, some lines were able to delay parasite shedding for up to 30 weeks, thus prolonging reproduction before the onset of castration. Here we propose this strategy as a novel defense against castrating pathogens in snails. Gigantism, a predicted outcome of castration due to energy reallocation, occurred early in infection (<15 weeks) and was not universal among the snail lines. Lines that did not show gigantism were also characterised by a high parasite production rate and low survivorship, perhaps indicating energy reallocation into parasite production and costly immune defense. We observed no differences in total parasite production among lines throughout the entire course of infection, although lines differed in their parasite reproductive rate. The average rate of parasite production varied among lines from 1300 to 2450 cercariae within a single 2h shedding period, resulting in a total production of 6981-29,509 cercariae over the lifetime of a single snail. Regardless of genetic background, snail size was a strong predictor of parasite reproduction: each millimetre increase in snail size at the time of the first shed resulted in up to 3500 more cercariae over the lifetime of the snail. The results of this study provide a detailed picture of

  5. Mixed-host aggregations and helminth parasite sharing in an East African wildlife-livestock system.

    PubMed

    VanderWaal, Kimberly; Omondi, George Paul; Obanda, Vincent

    2014-09-15

    Parasitic infections transmitted between livestock and wildlife pose a significant risk to wildlife conservation efforts and constrain livestock productivity in tropical regions of the world. Gastrointestinal helminths are among the most ubiquitous parasites, and many parasites within this taxon can readily infect a wide range of host species. Factors shaping bidirectional transmission of parasites in wildlife-livestock systems are understudied. In this study, we investigate the prevalence and diversity of helminth infections in an East African community of wild and domestic ungulates. We also identify pairs of host species between which transmission may be possible based on shared parasite taxa, and explore the role of multi-host aggregations in shaping patterns of parasite sharing. Helminth taxa detected included Trichostrongylus, Trichuris, Paramphistomum, Skrjabinema, Strongyloides, Strongylus spp., and other strongyle-type nematodes. We found that nearly 50% of individuals harbored at least one species of helminth, but certain species, such as zebra and impala, exhibited higher prevalence than others. High canopy feeders, like giraffe, had lower prevalence than hosts feeding at medium and low foraging heights. For helminths, patterns of parasite sharing likely emerge from shared space use, which is mediated in part by mixed-species aggregations. The frequency with which host species associated together in mixed-species aggregations was positively correlated with the number of parasite taxa shared. We suggest that variation among species in their tendency to form mixed-species aggregations creates heterogeneity in transmission opportunities, and consequently, parasite sharing across ungulate species. These results enhance our understanding of the role of spatiotemporal relationships among host species in shaping parasite communities in mixed wildlife-livestock grazing systems. PMID:25086496

  6. Within-host Competition Does Not Select for Virulence in Malaria Parasites; Studies with Plasmodium yoelii

    PubMed Central

    Abkallo, Hussein M.; Tangena, Julie-Anne; Tang, Jianxia; Kobayashi, Nobuyuki; Inoue, Megumi; Zoungrana, Augustin; Colegrave, Nick; Culleton, Richard

    2015-01-01

    In endemic areas with high transmission intensities, malaria infections are very often composed of multiple genetically distinct strains of malaria parasites. It has been hypothesised that this leads to intra-host competition, in which parasite strains compete for resources such as space and nutrients. This competition may have repercussions for the host, the parasite, and the vector in terms of disease severity, vector fitness, and parasite transmission potential and fitness. It has also been argued that within-host competition could lead to selection for more virulent parasites. Here we use the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii to assess the consequences of mixed strain infections on disease severity and parasite fitness. Three isogenic strains with dramatically different growth rates (and hence virulence) were maintained in mice in single infections or in mixed strain infections with a genetically distinct strain. We compared the virulence (defined as harm to the mammalian host) of mixed strain infections with that of single infections, and assessed whether competition impacted on parasite fitness, assessed by transmission potential. We found that mixed infections were associated with a higher degree of disease severity and a prolonged infection time. In the mixed infections, the strain with the slower growth rate was often responsible for the competitive exclusion of the faster growing strain, presumably through host immune-mediated mechanisms. Importantly, and in contrast to previous work conducted with Plasmodium chabaudi, we found no correlation between parasite virulence and transmission potential to mosquitoes, suggesting that within-host competition would not drive the evolution of parasite virulence in P. yoelii. PMID:25658331

  7. Microbe–Host Interactions are Positively and Negatively Regulated by Galectin–Glycan Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Baum, Linda G.; Garner, Omai B.; Schaefer, Katrin; Lee, Benhur

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24995007

  8. Host response to cuckoo song is predicted by the future risk of brood parasitism

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Risk assessment occurs over different temporal and spatial scales and is selected for when individuals show an adaptive response to a threat. Here, we test if birds respond to the threat of brood parasitism using the acoustical cues of brood parasites in the absence of visual stimuli. We broadcast the playback of song of three brood parasites (Chalcites cuckoo species) and a sympatric non-parasite (striated thornbill, Acanthiza lineata) in the territories of superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) during the peak breeding period and opportunistic breeding period. The three cuckoo species differ in brood parasite prevalence and the probability of detection by the host, which we used to rank the risk of parasitism (high risk, moderate risk, low risk). Results Host birds showed the strongest response to the threat of cuckoo parasitism in accordance with the risk of parasitism. Resident wrens had many alarm calls and close and rapid approach to the playback speaker that was broadcasting song of the high risk brood parasite (Horsfield’s bronze-cuckoo, C. basalis) across the year (peak and opportunistic breeding period), some response to the moderate risk brood parasite (shining bronze-cuckoo, C. lucidus) during the peak breeding period, and the weakest response to the low risk brood parasite (little bronze-cuckoo, C. minutillus). Playback of the familiar control stimulus in wren territories evoked the least response. Conclusion Host response to the threat of cuckoo parasitism was assessed using vocal cues of the cuckoo and was predicted by the risk of future parasitism. PMID:23692969

  9. COMPLEX HOST-PARASITE SYSTEMS IN MARTES: IMPLICATIONS FOR CONSERVATION BIOLOGY OF ENDEMIC FAUNAS.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Complex assemblages of hosts and parasites reveal insights about biogeography and ecology and inform us about processes which serve to structure faunal diversity and the biosphere in space and time. Exploring aspects of parasite diversity among martens (species of Martes) and other mustelids reveal...

  10. The review of "The Oestrid Flies: Biology, host-parasite relationships, impact and management"

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Oestrid flies are a diverse group of parasitic insects whose larval forms are adapted for a parasitic life-style. Their armament of spines and mouth hooks, enables their migration within host tissues and provides for beastly images as depicted on the front cover of the book and within the text....

  11. Parasitism overrides herbivore identity allowing hyperparasitoids to locate their parasitoid host using herbivore-induced plant volatiles.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Feng; Broekgaarden, Colette; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Vosman, Ben; Dicke, Marcel; Poelman, Erik H

    2015-06-01

    Foraging success of predators profoundly depends on reliable and detectable cues indicating the presence of their often inconspicuous prey. Carnivorous insects rely on chemical cues to optimize foraging efficiency. Hyperparasitoids that lay their eggs in the larvae or pupae of parasitic wasps may find their parasitoid hosts developing in different herbivores. They can use herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) to locate parasitized caterpillars. Because different herbivore species induce different HIPV emission from plants, hyperparasitoids may have to deal with large variation in volatile information that indicates host presence. In this study, we used an ecogenomics approach to first address whether parasitized caterpillars of two herbivore species (Pieris rapae and P. brassicae) induce similar transcriptional and metabolomic responses in wild Brassica oleracea plants and, second, whether hyperparasitoids Lysibia nana are able to discriminate between these induced plant responses to locate their parasitoid host in different herbivores under both laboratory and field conditions. Our study revealed that both herbivore identity and parasitism affect plant transcriptional and metabolic responses to herbivory. We also found that hyperparasitoids are able to respond to HIPVs released by wild B. oleracea under both laboratory and field conditions. In addition, we observed stronger attraction of hyperparasitoids to HIPVs when plants were infested with parasitized caterpillars. However, hyperparasitoids were equally attracted to plants infested by either herbivore species. Our results indicate that parasitism plays a major role in HIPV-mediated plant-hyperparasitoid interactions. Furthermore, these findings also indicate that plant trait-mediated indirect interaction networks play important roles in community-wide species interactions. PMID:25789566

  12. Involvement of the Cytokine MIF in the Snail Host Immune Response to the Parasite Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Baeza Garcia, Alvaro; Pierce, Raymond J.; Gourbal, Benjamin; Werkmeister, Elisabeth; Colinet, Dominique; Reichhart, Jean-Marc; Dissous, Colette; Coustau, Christine

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20886098

  13. A walk on the tundra: Host–parasite interactions in an extreme environment

    PubMed Central

    Kutz, Susan J.; Hoberg, Eric P.; Molnár, Péter K.; Dobson, Andy; Verocai, Guilherme G.

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is occurring very rapidly in the Arctic, and the processes that have taken millions of years to evolve in this very extreme environment are now changing on timescales as short as decades. These changes are dramatic, subtle and non-linear. In this article, we discuss the evolving insights into host–parasite interactions for wild ungulate species, specifically, muskoxen and caribou, in the North American Arctic. These interactions occur in an environment that is characterized by extremes in temperature, high seasonality, and low host species abundance and diversity. We believe that lessons learned in this system can guide wildlife management and conservation throughout the Arctic, and can also be generalized to more broadly understand host–parasite interactions elsewhere. We specifically examine the impacts of climate change on host–parasite interactions and focus on: (I) the direct temperature effects on parasites; (II) the importance of considering the intricacies of host and parasite ecology for anticipating climate change impacts; and (III) the effect of shifting ecological barriers and corridors. Insights gained from studying the history and ecology of host–parasite systems in the Arctic will be central to understanding the role that climate change is playing in these more complex systems. PMID:25180164

  14. Hosts of avian brood parasites have evolved egg signatures with elevated information content

    PubMed Central

    Caves, Eleanor M.; Stevens, Martin; Iversen, Edwin S.; Spottiswoode, Claire N.

    2015-01-01

    Hosts of brood-parasitic birds must distinguish their own eggs from parasitic mimics, or pay the cost of mistakenly raising a foreign chick. Egg discrimination is easier when different host females of the same species each lay visually distinctive eggs (egg ‘signatures’), which helps to foil mimicry by parasites. Here, we ask whether brood parasitism is associated with lower levels of correlation between different egg traits in hosts, making individual host signatures more distinctive and informative. We used entropy as an index of the potential information content encoded by nine aspects of colour, pattern and luminance of eggs of different species in two African bird families (Cisticolidae parasitized by cuckoo finches Anomalospiza imberbis, and Ploceidae by diederik cuckoos Chrysococcyx caprius). Parasitized species showed consistently higher entropy in egg traits than did related, unparasitized species. Decomposing entropy into two variation components revealed that this was mainly driven by parasitized species having lower levels of correlation between different egg traits, rather than higher overall levels of variation in each individual egg trait. This suggests that irrespective of the constraints that might operate on individual egg traits, hosts can further improve their defensive ‘signatures' by arranging suites of egg traits into unpredictable combinations. PMID:26085586

  15. Hosts of avian brood parasites have evolved egg signatures with elevated information content.

    PubMed

    Caves, Eleanor M; Stevens, Martin; Iversen, Edwin S; Spottiswoode, Claire N

    2015-07-01

    Hosts of brood-parasitic birds must distinguish their own eggs from parasitic mimics, or pay the cost of mistakenly raising a foreign chick. Egg discrimination is easier when different host females of the same species each lay visually distinctive eggs (egg 'signatures'), which helps to foil mimicry by parasites. Here, we ask whether brood parasitism is associated with lower levels of correlation between different egg traits in hosts, making individual host signatures more distinctive and informative. We used entropy as an index of the potential information content encoded by nine aspects of colour, pattern and luminance of eggs of different species in two African bird families (Cisticolidae parasitized by cuckoo finches Anomalospiza imberbis, and Ploceidae by diederik cuckoos Chrysococcyx caprius). Parasitized species showed consistently higher entropy in egg traits than did related, unparasitized species. Decomposing entropy into two variation components revealed that this was mainly driven by parasitized species having lower levels of correlation between different egg traits, rather than higher overall levels of variation in each individual egg trait. This suggests that irrespective of the constraints that might operate on individual egg traits, hosts can further improve their defensive 'signatures' by arranging suites of egg traits into unpredictable combinations. PMID:26085586

  16. Exploring the host parasitism of the migratory plant-parasitic nematode Ditylenchus destuctor by expressed sequence tags analysis.

    PubMed

    Peng, Huan; Gao, Bing-li; Kong, Ling-an; Yu, Qing; Huang, Wen-kun; He, Xu-feng; Long, Hai-bo; Peng, De-liang

    2013-01-01

    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

  17. Exploring the Host Parasitism of the Migratory Plant-Parasitic Nematode Ditylenchus destuctor by Expressed Sequence Tags Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Huan; Gao, Bing-li; Kong, Ling-an; Yu, Qing; Huang, Wen-kun; He, Xu-feng; Long, Hai-bo; Peng, De-liang

    2013-01-01

    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

  18. Epigenetics: A New Model for Intracellular Parasite-Host Cell Regulation.

    PubMed

    Robert McMaster, W; Morrison, Charlotte J; Kobor, Michael S

    2016-07-01

    Intracellular protozoan parasites are an extremely important class of pathogens that cause a spectrum of diseases in human and animal hosts. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that protozoan parasites, like other prokaryotic and viral pathogens, manipulate host cells via epigenetic modifications of the host genome that alter transcription and corresponding signaling pathways. In light of these data, we examine the role of epigenetics in downregulation of host macrophages by Leishmania that could potentially lead to a permanent state of inactivation, thus favoring pathogen survival and disease progression. PMID:27142564

  19. Host egg age of Leptoglossus occidentalis (Heteroptera, Coreidae) and parasitism by Gryon pennsylvanicum (Hymenoptera, Platygastridae).

    PubMed

    Peverieri, Giuseppino Sabbatini; Furlan, Paola; Benassai, Daniele; Caradonna, Sarah; Strong, Ward B; Roversi, Pio Federico

    2013-04-01

    Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann (Heteroptera, Coreidae) is native to Western North America and is a serious pest for seed production of conifers. The pest was accidentally introduced into Europe in the 1990s. Since then, seed loss has been recorded in Pinus pinea (L.) forests, with a negative impact on the commercial production of pine nuts. Classical biological control of this pest in P. pinea stands is an attractive proposition. Previous work showed that the egg-parasitoid Gryon pennsylvanicum (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera, Platygastridae) had promising life history traits in laboratory studies using L. occidentalis eggs as host. In the present work, the effect of host egg age on parasitization rate was evaluated in the laboratory, using choice and no-choice tests. Host eggs ranged in age from < 24 h to within a day of hatching. Results showed that parasitization rate, juvenile survival rate, sex ratio, and longevity of female G. pennsylvanicum were not significantly affected by the age of the host eggs. However, egg-parasitoid development time was longer in older host eggs, and females were smaller than those that developed in younger host eggs. Parasitization behaviors (drumming, oviposition, and marking) were not affected by the age of the host. G. pennsylvanicum females tended to parasitize all available host eggs within a cluster before moving to a new cluster, without displaying a preferences for host egg age. The ability to exploit host eggs of any age class improves the prospect of successful classical biological control using this egg-parasitoid. PMID:23786048

  20. Do Native Parasitic Plants Cause More Damage to Exotic Invasive Hosts Than Native Non-Invasive Hosts? An Implication for Biocontrol

    PubMed Central

    Li, Junmin; Jin, Zexin; Song, Wenjing

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22493703

  1. Body size and meta-community structure: the allometric scaling of parasitic worm communities in their mammalian hosts.

    PubMed

    DE Leo, Giulio A; Dobson, Andrew P; Gatto, Marino

    2016-06-01

    In this paper we derive from first principles the expected body sizes of the parasite communities that can coexist in a mammal of given body size. We use a mixture of mathematical models and known allometric relationships to examine whether host and parasite life histories constrain the diversity of parasite species that can coexist in the population of any host species. The model consists of one differential equation for each parasite species and a single density-dependent nonlinear equation for the affected host under the assumption of exploitation competition. We derive threshold conditions for the coexistence and competitive exclusion of parasite species using invasion criteria and stability analysis of the resulting equilibria. These results are then used to evaluate the range of parasites species that can invade and establish in a target host and identify the 'optimal' size of a parasite species for a host of a given body size; 'optimal' is defined as the body size of a parasite species that cannot be outcompeted by any other parasite species. The expected distributions of parasites body sizes in hosts of different sizes are then compared with those observed in empirical studies. Our analysis predicts the relative abundance of parasites of different size that establish in the host and suggests that increasing the ratio of parasite body size to host body size above a minimum threshold increases the persistence of the parasite population. PMID:27001526

  2. Are parasite richness and abundance linked to prey species richness and individual feeding preferences in fish hosts?

    PubMed

    Cirtwill, Alyssa R; Stouffer, Daniel B; Poulin, Robert; Lagrue, Clément

    2016-01-01

    Variations in levels of parasitism among individuals in a population of hosts underpin the importance of parasites as an evolutionary or ecological force. Factors influencing parasite richness (number of parasite species) and load (abundance and biomass) at the individual host level ultimately form the basis of parasite infection patterns. In fish, diet range (number of prey taxa consumed) and prey selectivity (proportion of a particular prey taxon in the diet) have been shown to influence parasite infection levels. However, fish diet is most often characterized at the species or fish population level, thus ignoring variation among conspecific individuals and its potential effects on infection patterns among individuals. Here, we examined parasite infections and stomach contents of New Zealand freshwater fish at the individual level. We tested for potential links between the richness, abundance and biomass of helminth parasites and the diet range and prey selectivity of individual fish hosts. There was no obvious link between individual fish host diet and helminth infection levels. Our results were consistent across multiple fish host and parasite species and contrast with those of earlier studies in which fish diet and parasite infection were linked, hinting at a true disconnect between host diet and measures of parasite infections in our study systems. This absence of relationship between host diet and infection levels may be due to the relatively low richness of freshwater helminth parasites in New Zealand and high host-parasite specificity. PMID:26573385

  3. An experimental conflict of interest between parasites reveals the mechanism of host manipulation

    PubMed Central

    Milinski, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Parasites can increase their host’s predation susceptibility. It is a long-standing puzzle, whether this is caused by host manipulation, an evolved strategy of the parasite, or by side effects due to, for example, the parasite consuming energy from its host thereby changing the host’s trade-off between avoiding predation and foraging toward foraging. Here, we use sequential infection of three-spined sticklebacks with the cestode Schistocephalus solidus so that parasites have a conflict of interest over the direction of host manipulation. With true manipulation, the not yet infective parasite should reduce rather than enhance risk taking because predation would be fatal for its fitness; if host behavior is changed by a side effect, the 2 parasites would add their increase of predation risk because both drain energy. Our results support the latter hypothesis. In an additional experiment, we tested both infected and uninfected fish either starved or satiated. True host manipulation should act independently of the fish’s hunger status and continue when energy drain is balanced through satiation. Starvation and satiation affect the risk averseness of infected sticklebacks similarly to that of uninfected starved and satiated ones. Increased energy drain rather than active host manipulation dominates behavioral changes of S. solidus-infected sticklebacks. PMID:27004014

  4. A Bacterial Parasite Effector Mediates Insect Vector Attraction in Host Plants Independently of Developmental Changes.

    PubMed

    Orlovskis, Zigmunds; Hogenhout, Saskia A

    2016-01-01

    Parasites can take over their hosts and trigger dramatic changes in host appearance and behavior that are typically interpreted as extended phenotypes that promote parasite survival and fitness. For example, Toxoplasma gondii is thought to manipulate the behaviors of infected rodents to aid transmission to cats and parasitic trematodes of the genus Ribeiroia alter limb development in their amphibian hosts to facilitate predation of the latter by birds. Plant parasites and pathogens also reprogram host development and morphology. However, whereas some parasite-induced morphological alterations may have a direct benefit to the fitness of the parasite and may therefore be adaptive, other host alterations may be side effects of parasite infections having no adaptive effects on parasite fitness. Phytoplasma parasites of plants often induce the development of leaf-like flowers (phyllody) in their host plants, and we previously found that the phytoplasma effector SAP54 generates these leaf-like flowers via the degradation of plant MADS-box transcription factors (MTFs), which regulate all major aspects of development in plants. Leafhoppers prefer to reproduce on phytoplasma-infected and SAP54-trangenic plants leading to the hypothesis that leafhopper vectors are attracted to plants with leaf-like flowers. Surprisingly, here we show that leafhopper attraction occurs independently of the presence of leaf-like flowers. First, the leafhoppers were also attracted to SAP54 transgenic plants without leaf-like flowers and to single leaves of these plants. Moreover, leafhoppers were not attracted to leaf-like flowers of MTF-mutant plants without the presence of SAP54. Thus, the primary role of SAP54 is to attract leafhopper vectors, which spread the phytoplasmas, and the generation of leaf-like flowers may be secondary or a side effect of the SAP54-mediated degradation of MTFs. PMID:27446117

  5. A Bacterial Parasite Effector Mediates Insect Vector Attraction in Host Plants Independently of Developmental Changes

    PubMed Central

    Orlovskis, Zigmunds; Hogenhout, Saskia A.

    2016-01-01

    Parasites can take over their hosts and trigger dramatic changes in host appearance and behavior that are typically interpreted as extended phenotypes that promote parasite survival and fitness. For example, Toxoplasma gondii is thought to manipulate the behaviors of infected rodents to aid transmission to cats and parasitic trematodes of the genus Ribeiroia alter limb development in their amphibian hosts to facilitate predation of the latter by birds. Plant parasites and pathogens also reprogram host development and morphology. However, whereas some parasite-induced morphological alterations may have a direct benefit to the fitness of the parasite and may therefore be adaptive, other host alterations may be side effects of parasite infections having no adaptive effects on parasite fitness. Phytoplasma parasites of plants often induce the development of leaf-like flowers (phyllody) in their host plants, and we previously found that the phytoplasma effector SAP54 generates these leaf-like flowers via the degradation of plant MADS-box transcription factors (MTFs), which regulate all major aspects of development in plants. Leafhoppers prefer to reproduce on phytoplasma-infected and SAP54-trangenic plants leading to the hypothesis that leafhopper vectors are attracted to plants with leaf-like flowers. Surprisingly, here we show that leafhopper attraction occurs independently of the presence of leaf-like flowers. First, the leafhoppers were also attracted to SAP54 transgenic plants without leaf-like flowers and to single leaves of these plants. Moreover, leafhoppers were not attracted to leaf-like flowers of MTF-mutant plants without the presence of SAP54. Thus, the primary role of SAP54 is to attract leafhopper vectors, which spread the phytoplasmas, and the generation of leaf-like flowers may be secondary or a side effect of the SAP54-mediated degradation of MTFs. PMID:27446117

  6. Host selection and parasite infection in Aedes taeniorhynchus, endemic disease vector in the Galápagos Islands.

    PubMed

    Bataille, Arnaud; Fournié, Guillaume; Cruz, Marilyn; Cedeño, Virna; Parker, Patricia G; Cunningham, Andrew A; Goodman, Simon J

    2012-12-01

    Host selection in blood-sucking arthropods has important evolutionary and ecological implications for the transmission dynamics, distribution and host-specificity of the parasites they transmit. The black salt-marsh mosquito (Aedes taeniorhynchus Wiedemann) is distributed throughout tropical to temperate coastal zones in the Americas, and continental populations are primarily mammalphilic. It is the only indigenous mosquito in the Galápagos Islands, having colonised the archipelago around 200,000 years ago, potentially adapting its host selection, and in the process, altering the dynamics of vector mediated pathogen interactions in the archipelago. Here, we use blood-meal analysis and PCR-based parasite screening approach to determine the blood-feeding patterns of A. taeniorhynchus in the Galápagos Islands and identify potential parasite transmission with which this mosquito could be involved. Our results show that A. taeniorhynchus feeds equally on mammals and reptiles, and only one avian sample was observed in 190 successful PCR amplifications from blood meals. However, we detected endemic filarial worms and Haemoproteus parasites known to infect various Galápagos bird species in mosquito thoraces, suggesting that feeding on birds must occur at low frequency, and that A. taeniorhynchus may play a role in maintaining some avian vector-borne pathogens, although more work is needed to explore this possibility. We also isolated three different DNA sequences corresponding to hemogregarine parasites of the genus Hepatozoon from mosquito and iguana blood samples, suggesting that more than one species of Hepatozoon parasites are present in Galápagos. Phylogenetic analysis of Hepatozoon 18sRNA sequences indicates that A. taeniorhynchus may have facilitated a recent breakdown in host-species association of formerly isolated Hepatozoon spp. infecting the reptile populations in the Galápagos Islands. PMID:22921730

  7. PAK in pathogen-host interactions

    PubMed Central

    Semblat, Jean-Philippe; Doerig, Christian

    2012-01-01

    Eukaryotic, prokaryotic and viral pathogens are known to interfere with signaling pathways of their host to promote their own survival and proliferation. Here, we present selected examples of modulation of PAK activity in human cells by both intracellular and extracellular pathogens, focusing on one eukaryotic pathogen, the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, two Gram-negative bacteria (Helicobacter pylori and Pseudomonas aeruginosa), and two viruses belonging to distinct groups, the lentivirus HIV and the orthomyxovirus Influenza virus A. PMID:23125952

  8. Ecomorphology and disease: cryptic effects of parasitism on host habitat use, thermoregulation, and predator avoidance.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Brett A; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2011-03-01

    Parasites can cause dramatic changes in the phenotypes of their hosts, sometimes leading to a higher probability of predation and parasite transmission. Because an organism's morphology directly affects its locomotion, even subtle changes in key morphological traits may affect survival and behavior. However, despite the ubiquity of parasites in natural communities, few studies have incorporated parasites into ecomorphological research. Here, we evaluated the effects of parasite-induced changes in host phenotype on the habitat use, thermal biology, and simulated predator-escape ability of Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla) in natural environments. Frogs with parasite-induced limb malformations were more likely to use ground microhabitats relative to vertical refugia and selected less-angled perches closer to the ground in comparison with normal frogs. Although both groups had similar levels of infection, malformed frogs used warmer microhabitats, which resulted in higher body temperatures. Likely as a result of their morphological abnormalities, malformed frogs allowed a simulated predator to approach closer before escaping and escaped shorter distances relative to normal frogs. These data indicate that parasite-induced morphological changes can significantly alter host behavior and habitat use, highlighting the importance of incorporating the ubiquitous, albeit cryptic, role of parasites into ecomorphological research. PMID:21608461

  9. A parasitic nematode releases cytokinin that controls cell division and orchestrates feeding site formation in host plants

    PubMed Central

    Siddique, Shahid; Radakovic, Zoran S.; De La Torre, Carola M.; Chronis, Demosthenis; Novák, Ondřej; Ramireddy, Eswarayya; Holbein, Julia; Matera, Christiane; Hütten, Marion; Gutbrod, Philipp; Anjam, Muhammad Shahzad; Rozanska, Elzbieta; Habash, Samer; Elashry, Abdelnaser; Sobczak, Miroslaw; Kakimoto, Tatsuo; Strnad, Miroslav; Schmülling, Thomas; Mitchum, Melissa G.; Grundler, Florian M. W.

    2015-01-01

    Sedentary plant-parasitic cyst nematodes are biotrophs that cause significant losses in agriculture. Parasitism is based on modifications of host root cells that lead to the formation of a hypermetabolic feeding site (a syncytium) from which nematodes withdraw nutrients. The host cell cycle is activated in an initial cell selected by the nematode for feeding, followed by activation of neighboring cells and subsequent expansion of feeding site through fusion of hundreds of cells. It is generally assumed that nematodes manipulate production and signaling of the plant hormone cytokinin to activate cell division. In fact, nematodes have been shown to produce cytokinin in vitro; however, whether the hormone is secreted into host plants and plays a role in parasitism remained unknown. Here, we analyzed the spatiotemporal activation of cytokinin signaling during interaction between the cyst nematode, Heterodera schachtii, and Arabidopsis using cytokinin-responsive promoter:reporter lines. Our results showed that cytokinin signaling is activated not only in the syncytium but also in neighboring cells to be incorporated into syncytium. An analysis of nematode infection on mutants that are deficient in cytokinin or cytokinin signaling revealed a significant decrease in susceptibility of these plants to nematodes. Further, we identified a cytokinin-synthesizing isopentenyltransferase gene in H. schachtii and show that silencing of this gene in nematodes leads to a significant decrease in virulence due to a reduced expansion of feeding sites. Our findings demonstrate the ability of a plant-parasitic nematode to synthesize a functional plant hormone to manipulate the host system and establish a long-term parasitic interaction. PMID:26417108

  10. Genome sequencing of chimpanzee malaria parasites reveals possible pathways of adaptation to human hosts.

    PubMed

    Otto, Thomas D; Rayner, Julian C; Böhme, Ulrike; Pain, Arnab; Spottiswoode, Natasha; Sanders, Mandy; Quail, Michael; Ollomo, Benjamin; Renaud, François; Thomas, Alan W; Prugnolle, Franck; Conway, David J; Newbold, Chris; Berriman, Matthew

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum causes most human malaria deaths, having prehistorically evolved from parasites of African Great Apes. Here we explore the genomic basis of P. falciparum adaptation to human hosts by fully sequencing the genome of the closely related chimpanzee parasite species P. reichenowi, and obtaining partial sequence data from a more distantly related chimpanzee parasite (P. gaboni). The close relationship between P. reichenowi and P. falciparum is emphasized by almost complete conservation of genomic synteny, but against this strikingly conserved background we observe major differences at loci involved in erythrocyte invasion. The organization of most virulence-associated multigene families, including the hypervariable var genes, is broadly conserved, but P. falciparum has a smaller subset of rif and stevor genes whose products are expressed on the infected erythrocyte surface. Genome-wide analysis identifies other loci under recent positive selection, but a limited number of changes at the host-parasite interface may have mediated host switching. PMID:25203297

  11. Competition, virulence, host body mass and the diversification of macro-parasites

    PubMed Central

    Rascalou, Guilhem; Gourbière, Sébastien

    2014-01-01

    Adaptive speciation has been much debated in recent years, with a strong emphasis on how competition can lead to the diversification of ecological and sexual traits. Surprisingly, little attention has been paid to this evolutionary process to explain intrahost diversification of parasites. We expanded the theory of competitive speciation to look at the effect of key features of the parasite lifestyle, namely fragmentation, aggregation and virulence, on the conditions and rate of sympatric speciation under the standard ‘pleiotropic scenario’. The conditions for competitive speciation were found similar to those for non-parasite species, but not the rate of diversification. Adaptive evolution proceeds faster in highly fragmented parasite populations and for weakly aggregated and virulent parasites. Combining these theoretical results with standard empirical allometric relationships, we showed that parasite diversification can be faster in host species of intermediate body mass. The increase in parasite load with body mass, indeed, fuels evolution by increasing mutants production, but because of the deleterious effect of virulence, it simultaneously weakens selection for resource specialization. Those two antagonistic effects lead to optimal parasite burden and host body mass for diversification. Data on the diversity of fishes' gills parasites were found consistent with the existence of such optimum. PMID:24522783

  12. Host sex-specific parasites in a functionally dioecious fig: a preference way of adaptation to their hosts

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qi; Jiang, Zi-Feng; Wang, Ning-xin; Niu, Li-ming; Li, Zi; Huang, Da-Wei

    2013-01-01

    Host–parasites interaction is a common phenomenon in nature. Diffusive coevolution might maintain stable cooperation in a fig–fig wasps system, in which the exploiter might diversify their genotype, phenotype, or behavior as a result of competition with pollinator, whereas the figs change flower syconia, fruits thickness, and syconia structure. In functionally dioecious Ficus auriculata, male figs and female figs contain two types of florets on separate plant, and share high similarities in outside morphology. Apocryptophagus (Sycophaginae, Chalcidoidea, Hymenoptera) is one of few groups of nonpollinating fig wasps that can reproduce within both male and female figs. On the basis of the morphology and DNA barcoding, evidence from partial sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I and nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2, we found that there are two nonsibling Apocryptophagus species living on male and female F. auriculata figs, respectively. We estimated that these two species diverged about 19.2 million years ago. Our study suggests that the host shift from Ficus variegate or Ficus prostrata fig species to male figs is a preference way for Apocryptophagus wasps to adapt to the separation of sexual function in diecious figs. Furthermore, to escape the disadvantage or sanction impact of the host, the exploiter Apocryptophagus wasps can preferably adapt to exploiting each sex of the figs, by changing their oviposition, niche shift, and habitat. PMID:24101987

  13. In planta processing and glycosylation of a nematode CLAVATA3/ENDOSPERM SURROUNDING REGION-like effector and its interaction with a host CLAVATA2-like receptor to promote parasitism.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shiyan; Lang, Ping; Chronis, Demosthenis; Zhang, Sheng; De Jong, Walter S; Mitchum, Melissa G; Wang, Xiaohong

    2015-01-01

    Like other biotrophic plant pathogens, plant-parasitic nematodes secrete effector proteins into host cells to facilitate infection. Effector proteins that mimic plant CLAVATA3/ENDOSPERM SURROUNDING REGION-related (CLE) proteins have been identified in several cyst nematodes, including the potato cyst nematode (PCN); however, the mechanistic details of this cross-kingdom mimicry are poorly understood. Plant CLEs are posttranslationally modified and proteolytically processed to function as bioactive ligands critical to various aspects of plant development. Using ectopic expression coupled with nanoliquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis, we show that the in planta mature form of proGrCLE1, a multidomain CLE effector secreted by PCN during infection, is a 12-amino acid arabinosylated glycopeptide (named GrCLE1-1Hyp4,7g) with striking structural similarity to mature plant CLE peptides. This glycopeptide is more resistant to hydrolytic degradation and binds with higher affinity to a CLAVATA2-like receptor (StCLV2) from potato (Solanum tuberosum) than its nonglycosylated forms. We further show that StCLV2 is highly up-regulated at nematode infection sites and that transgenic potatoes with reduced StCLV2 expression are less susceptible to PCN infection, indicating that interference of the CLV2-mediated signaling pathway confers nematode resistance in crop plants. These results strongly suggest that phytonematodes have evolved to utilize host cellular posttranslational modification and processing machinery for the activation of CLE effectors following secretion into plant cells and highlight the significance of arabinosylation in regulating nematode CLE effector activity. Our finding also provides evidence that multidomain CLEs are modified and processed similarly to single-domain CLEs, adding new insight into CLE maturation in plants. PMID:25416475

  14. Do-or-die life cycles and diverse post-infection resistance mechanisms limit the evolution of parasite host ranges.

    PubMed

    Sieber, Michael; Gudelj, Ivana

    2014-04-01

    In light of the dynamic nature of parasite host ranges and documented potential for rapid host shifts, the observed high host specificity of most parasites remains an ecological paradox. Different variants of host-use trade-offs have become a mainstay of theoretical explanations of the prevalence of host specialism, but empirical evidence for such trade-offs is rare. We propose an alternative theory based on basic features of the parasite life cycle: host selection and subsequent intrahost replication. We introduce a new concept of effective burst size that accounts for the fact that successful host selection does not guarantee intrahost replication. Our theory makes a general prediction that a parasite will expand its host range if its effective burst size is positive. An in silico model of bacteria-phage coevolution verifies our predictions and demonstrates that the tendency for relatively narrow host ranges in parasites can be explained even in the absence of trade-offs. PMID:24495077

  15. The Monogenean Parasite Fauna of Cichlids: A Potential Tool for Host Biogeography

    PubMed Central

    Pariselle, Antoine; Boeger, Walter A.; Snoeks, Jos; Bilong Bilong, Charles F.; Morand, Serge; Vanhove, Maarten P. M.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21869935

  16. Parasite transfer from crustacean to fish hosts in the Lübeck Bight, SW Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zander, C. D.; Groenewold, S.; Strohbach, U.

    1994-03-01

    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.

  17. Bipteria vetusta n. sp. – an old parasite in an old host: tracing the origin of myxosporean parasitism in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kodádková, Alena; Bartošová-Sojková, Pavla; Holzer, Astrid S; Fiala, Ivan

    2015-03-01

    Myxosporea (Myxozoa), a group of parasitic Cnidaria, use mostly bony fishes (Teleostei) as intermediate hosts; however, they can also parasitize other vertebrates such as cartilaginous fish (Chondrichthyes). Molecular data of myxosporeans from sharks and rays (Elasmobranchii) revealed these parasites to be one of the most basal representatives in the myxosporean phylogenetic tree, suggesting their ancient evolutionary history. A new myxosporean species, Bipteria vetusta n. sp., was found in the gall bladder of rabbit fish, Chimaera monstrosa (Holocephali; Chondrichthyes), and ssrDNA-based phylogeny revealed its basal position within the marine myxosporean lineage. Molecular dating based on ssrDNA analysis suggested the origin of a stem lineage leading to the marine myxosporean lineage at the time of the origin of Chondrichthyes in the Silurian era. The two common lineages of Myxozoa, Myxosporea and Malacosporea, were estimated to have split from their common ancestor in the Cambrian era. Tracing the history of evolution of the "vertebrate host type" character in the context of molecular dating showed that cartilaginous fish represented an ancestral state for all myxosporeans. Teleosts were very likely subsequently parasitized by myxozoans four times, independently. Myxosporean radiation and diversification appear to correlate with intermediate host evolution. The first intermediate hosts of myxosporeans were cartilaginous fish. When bony fish evolved and radiated, myxosporeans switched and adapted to bony fish, and subsequently greatly diversified in this new host niche. We believe that the present study is the first attempt at molecular dating of myxozoan evolution based on an old myxosporean species – a living myxosporean fossil. PMID:25659495

  18. Sex Allocation in Relation to Host Races in the Brood-Parasitic Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)

    PubMed Central

    Fossøy, Frode; Moksnes, Arne; Røskaft, Eivin; Antonov, Anton; Dyrcz, Andrzej; Moskat, Csaba; Ranke, Peter S.; Rutila, Jarkko; Vikan, Johan R.; Stokke, Bård G.

    2012-01-01

    Sex allocation theory and empirical evidence both suggest that natural selection should favour maternal control of offspring sex ratio in relation to their ability to invest in the offspring. Generalist parasites constitute a particularly interesting group to test this theory as different females commonly utilize different host species showing large variation in provisioning ability. The common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is a generalist brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nest of many different passerine birds, but each female tends to specialize on one particular host species giving rise to highly specialized host races. The different host species show large variation in their ability to invest in the parasitic offspring, presenting an opportunity for female cuckoos to bias offspring sex ratio in relation to host species quality. Here, we investigate host-race specific sex allocation controlling for maternal identity in the common cuckoo. We found no evidence of any significant relationship between host race and sex ratio in one sympatric population harbouring three different host races, or in a total of five geographically separated populations. There was also no significant association between host quality, as determined by species-specific female host body mass, and cuckoo sex ratio. Finally, we found no significant relationship between individual cuckoo maternal quality, as determined by her egg volume, and sex ratio within each host race. We conclude that the generalist brood-parasitic common cuckoo show no significant sex-ratio bias in relation to host race and discuss this finding in light of gene flow and host adaptations. PMID:22615833

  19. Evolution of parasitic life in the ocean: paratenic hosts enhance lateral incorporation.

    PubMed

    Marcogliese, David J

    2007-11-01

    Cumulative evolution has been proposed to explain the high diversity of marine fish parasites. The process is based on the idea that marine parasites, being generalists, are able to follow new food web pathways and colonize novel hosts, subsequently undergoing speciation. Opportunities to colonize new hosts via different food chains might also arise from the ability to use paratenic hosts that maintain or increase transmission. However, caution is advised in the adoption of the term 'cumulative evolution' in evolutionary biology because of historical precedent. This term has previously been applied to the cultural evolution of tool design. PMID:17950668

  20. Recognition of social parasites as nest-mates: adoption of colony-specific host cuticular odours by the paper wasp parasite Polistes sulcifer.

    PubMed Central

    Sledge, M. F.; Dani, F. R.; Cervo, R.; Dapporto, L.; Turillazzi, S.

    2001-01-01

    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. PMID:11674873

  1. Recognition of social parasites as nest-mates: adoption of colony-specific host cuticular odours by the paper wasp parasite Polistes sulcifer.

    PubMed

    Sledge, M F; Dani, F R; Cervo, R; Dapporto, L; Turillazzi, S

    2001-11-01

    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. PMID:11674873

  2. Differential sources of host species heterogeneity influence the transmission and control of multihost parasites

    PubMed Central

    Streicker, Daniel G; Fenton, Andy; Pedersen, Amy B

    2013-01-01

    Controlling parasites that infect multiple host species often requires targeting single species that dominate transmission. Yet, it is rarely recognised that such ‘key hosts’ can arise through disparate mechanisms, potentially requiring different approaches for control. We identify three distinct, but not mutually exclusive, processes that underlie host species heterogeneity: infection prevalence, population abundance and infectiousness. We construct a theoretical framework to isolate the role of each process from ecological data and to explore the outcome of different control approaches. Applying this framework to data on 11 gastrointestinal parasites in small mammal communities across the eastern United States reveals variation not only in the magnitude of transmission asymmetries among host species but also in the processes driving heterogeneity. These differences influence the efficiency by which different control strategies reduce transmission. Identifying and tailoring interventions to a specific type of key host may therefore enable more effective management of multihost parasites. PMID:23714379

  3. Host social rank and parasites: plains zebra (Equus quagga) and intestinal helminths in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Fugazzola, M C; Stancampiano, L

    2012-08-13

    The main aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the social hierarchy of plain zebra, Equus quagga, and the level of parasitism. For the study 141 fecal samples from the same number of animals were collected within the two major populations of E. quagga of Uganda (Lake Mburo Conservation Area and Kidepo Valley National Park). Quantitative (eggs per gram of feces) and qualitative parasite assessment were performed with standard methods. The relationship between parasite burden and individual host features was analyzed using Generalized Linear Models. Strongyles, cestodes, Strongyloides sp. and oxiurids where present in the examined samples. Social rank and age class significantly affect all parasites' abundance with dominant individuals being less parasitized than subordinate individuals, regardless of the parasite groups excluding oxiurids. Sex could not been shown to be related with any of the found parasites. Age was positively related with strongyles and oxiurids abundance and negatively related with cestodes and Strongyloides sp. The main result of the present study was the evidence that social status influences parasite level with dominant zebras shedding less parasite eggs than subordinate ones. Social rank appears, therefore, as an important factor giving rise to parasite aggregation in plain zebras. PMID:22521976

  4. Parasitic Central Nervous System Infections in Immunocompromised Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Melanie; Zunt, Joseph R.

    2009-01-01

    Immunosuppression due to therapy after transplantation or associated with HIV infection increases susceptibility to various central nervous system (CNS) infections. This article discusses how immunosuppression modifies the presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of selected parasitic CNS infections, with a focus on toxoplasmosis, Chagas disease, neurocysticercosis, schistosomiasis, and strongyloidiasis. PMID:15824993

  5. Detecting and quantifying parasite-induced host mortality from intensity data: method comparisons and limitations.

    PubMed

    Wilber, Mark Q; Weinstein, Sara B; Briggs, Cheryl J

    2016-01-01

    Parasites can significantly impact animal populations by changing host behaviour, reproduction and survival. Detecting and quantifying these impacts is critical for understanding disease dynamics and managing wild animal populations. However, for wild hosts infected with macroparasites, it is notoriously difficult to quantify the fatal parasite load and number of animals that have died due to disease. When ethical or logistical constraints prohibit experimental determination of these values, examination of parasite intensity and distribution data may offer an alternative solution. In this study we introduce a novel method for using intensity data to detect and quantify parasite-induced mortality in wildlife populations. We use simulations to show that this method is more reliable than previously proposed methods while providing quantitative estimates of parasite-induced mortality from empirical data that are consistent with previously published qualitative estimates. However this method, and all techniques that estimate parasite-induced mortality from intensity data alone, have several important assumptions that must be scrutinised before applying those to real-world data. Given that these assumptions are met, our method is a new exploratory tool that can help inform more rigorous studies of parasite-induced host mortality. PMID:26475963

  6. A slowly evolving host moves first in symbiotic interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damore, James; Gore, Jeff

    2011-03-01

    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.

  7. Evidence for gene flow in parasitic nematodes between two host species of shrews.

    PubMed

    Brant, Sara V; Ortí, Guillermo

    2003-10-01

    We describe the genetic structure of populations of the intestinal nematode Longistriata caudabullata (Trichostrongyloidea: Heligmosomidae), a common parasite of short-tailed shrews (genus Blarina, Insectivora: Soricidae). Parasites and hosts were collected from a transect across a contact zone between two species of hosts, Blarina brevicauda and B. hylophaga, in central North America. An 800-base pairs (bp) fragment of the ND4 mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) gene was sequenced for 28 worms and a 783-bp fragment of the mtDNA control region was analysed for 16 shrews. Phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA sequences revealed reciprocal monophyly for the shrew species, concordant with morphological diagnosis, and supported the idea that the transect cuts through a secondary contact zone between well-differentiated B. brevicauda and B. hylophaga. In contrast to this pattern, the parasitic nematode mtDNA phylogeny was not subdivided according to host affiliation. Genealogical discordance between parasite and host phylogenies suggests extensive gene flow among parasites across the host species boundary. PMID:12969487

  8. Evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult brood parasitic bird, and generalized defences in its host.

    PubMed

    Feeney, W E; Troscianko, J; Langmore, N E; Spottiswoode, C N

    2015-07-01

    Mimicry of a harmless model (aggressive mimicry) is used by egg, chick and fledgling brood parasites that resemble the host's own eggs, chicks and fledglings. However, aggressive mimicry may also evolve in adult brood parasites, to avoid attack from hosts and/or manipulate their perception of parasitism risk. We tested the hypothesis that female cuckoo finches (Anomalospiza imberbis) are aggressive mimics of female Euplectes weavers, such as the harmless, abundant and sympatric southern red bishop (Euplectes orix). We show that female cuckoo finch plumage colour and pattern more closely resembled those of Euplectes weavers (putative models) than Vidua finches (closest relatives); that their tawny-flanked prinia (Prinia subflava) hosts were equally aggressive towards female cuckoo finches and southern red bishops, and more aggressive to both than to their male counterparts; and that prinias were equally likely to reject an egg after seeing a female cuckoo finch or bishop, and more likely to do so than after seeing a male bishop near their nest. This is, to our knowledge, the first quantitative evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult bird, and suggests that host-parasite coevolution can select for aggressive mimicry by avian brood parasites, and counter-defences by hosts, at all stages of the reproductive cycle. PMID:26063850

  9. Interaction of spirochetes with the host.

    PubMed

    Hindersson, P; Thomas, D; Stamm, L; Penn, C; Norris, S; Joens, L A

    1992-01-01

    The success of an invading organism must depend on several cytoplasmic, surface-associated and secreted factors. The technical difficulties in handling pathogenic spirochetes like Treponema pallidum and Borrelia burgdorferi have made it difficult to define specific factors involved in entry and long-term survival. The problem of defining virulence factors has been attacked by several strategies: T. pallidum secretes a number of immunogenic low molecular mass proteins. The most predominant are of molecular weight 15.5 and 22 kDa. Preliminary data suggest that antibodies against these proteins induce protective immunity in rabbits experimentally infected with T. pallidum. Many potentially important surface-associated antigens of T. pallidum have now been cloned and characterized. Two of these, TpD and TpE, are lipoproteins which exhibit characteristic size heterogeneity. The apparent molecular weight of TpE from T. pallidum and T. pertenue are different. The clinical symptoms in syphilis and yaws are very different, but sequence analysis of TpE has shown that the TpE proteins are indeed very similar in the two strains. This observation makes it unlikely that heterogeneity of TpE can account for the different clinical symptoms of syphilis and yaws. Sequence data for another newly sequenced surface-associated antigen of T. pallidum (molecular weight 41 kDa) indicate that this protein is involved in glucose transport and chemotaxis/motility. Intracellular factors like the molecular chaperonin GroEL have been documented both in treponemes and borreliae. This stress protein is involved in cellular repair processes and folding/assembly of protein subunits. Indirect evidence suggests that GroEL affects the ability of spirochetes to survive in the stressful environment of the infected host. Several lines of evidence suggest that the Osp proteins of Borrelia are important for host/parasite interaction. Further support for this idea has come from studies of a series of

  10. Hijacking of Host Cellular Functions by an Intracellular Parasite, the Microsporidian Anncaliia algerae

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24967735

  11. Hijacking of host cellular functions by an intracellular parasite, the microsporidian Anncaliia algerae.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24967735

  12. Density-dependent host selection in ectoparasites: an application of isodar theory to fleas parasitizing rodents.

    PubMed

    Krasnov, Boris R; Khokhlova, Irina S; Shenbrot, Georgy I

    2003-02-01

    Parasites should make the same decisions that every animal makes regarding fitness reward. They can maximize reproductive success by selection of those habitats that guarantee the greatest fitness output. We consider the host population as a habitat of a parasite population. Consequently, hosts (=habitats) that differ quantitatively or qualitatively will support different numbers of parasites. The nature of habitat selection can be detected by isodars, lines along which habitat selection yields equivalent fitness reward. We applied this approach to study host selection of five fleas, each infesting two desert rodents. Xenopsylla conformis, Xenopsylla ramesis, Nosopsyllus iranus theodori and Stenoponia tripectinata medialis parasitize Gerbillus dasyurus and Meriones crassus. Synosternus cleopatrae pyramidis parasitizes Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi and Gerbillus pyramidum. Three fleas ( X. conformis, X. ramesis and S. c. pyramidis) were able to perceive quantitative (amount of the resource; e.g. organic matter in the nest for flea larvae) and/or qualitative (pattern of resource acquisition; e.g. host defensiveness) differences between hosts. Two other fleas did not perceive between-host differences. X. conformis was a density-dependent host selector that showed sharp selectivity at low density. X. ramesis and S. c. pyramidis were density-independent host selectors with a direct correspondence of density with habitat quality. N. i. theodori and S. t. medialis were non-selectors with no relationship at all between density and host quality. The results of the application of the isodar theory suggest that ectoparasites, like other animals, behave as if they are able to make choices and decisions that favour environments in which their reproductive benefit is maximized. PMID:12647144

  13. Leishmania vaccine development: exploiting the host-vector-parasite interface.

    PubMed

    Reed, S G; Coler, R N; Mondal, D; Kamhawi, S; Valenzuela, J G

    2016-01-01

    Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a disease transmitted by phlebotomine sand flies, fatal if untreated, and with no available human vaccine. In rodents, cellular immunity to Leishmania parasite proteins as well as salivary proteins of the sand fly is associated with protection, making them worthy targets for further exploration as vaccines. This review discusses the notion that a combination vaccine including Leishmania and vector salivary antigens may improve vaccine efficacy by targeting the parasite at its most vulnerable stage just after transmission. Furthermore, we put forward the notion that better modeling of natural transmission is needed to test efficacy of vaccines. For example, the fact that individuals living in endemic areas are exposed to sand fly bites and will mount an immune response to salivary proteins should be considered in pre-clinical and clinical evaluation of leishmaniasis vaccines. Nevertheless, despite remaining obstacles there is good reason to be optimistic that safe and effective vaccines against leishmaniasis can be developed. PMID:26595093

  14. Effects of parasite pressure on parasite mortality and reproductive output in a rodent-flea system: inferring host defense trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Warburton, Elizabeth M; Kam, Michael; Bar-Shira, Enav; Friedman, Aharon; Khokhlova, Irina S; Koren, Lee; Asfur, Mustafa; Geffen, Eli; Kiefer, Daniel; Krasnov, Boris R; Degen, A Allan

    2016-09-01

    Evaluating host resistance via parasite fitness helps place host-parasite relationships within evolutionary and ecological contexts; however, few studies consider both these processes simultaneously. We investigated how different levels of parasite pressure affect parasite mortality and reproductive success in relationship to host defense efforts, using the rodent Gerbillus nanus and the flea Xenopsylla conformis as a host-parasite system. Fifteen immune-naïve male rodents were infested with 20, 50, or 100 fleas for four weeks. During this time number of new imagoes produced per adult flea (our flea reproductive output metric), flea mortality, and change in circulating anti-flea immunoglobulin G (our measure of adaptive immune defense) were monitored. Three hypotheses guided this work: (1) increasing parasite pressure would heighten host defenses; (2) parasite mortality would increase and parasite reproductive output would decrease with increasing investment in host defense; and (3) hosts under high parasite pressure could invest in behavioral and/or immune responses. We predicted that at high infestation levels (a) parasite mortality would increase; (b) flea reproductive output per individual would decrease; and (c) host circulating anti-flea antibody levels would increase. The hypotheses were partially supported. Flea mortality significantly increased and flea reproductive output significantly decreased as flea pressure increased. Host adaptive immune defense did not significantly change with increasing flea pressure. Therefore, we inferred that investment in host behavioral defense, either alone or in combination with density-dependent effects, may be more efficient at increasing flea mortality and decreasing flea reproductive output than antibody production during initial infestation in this system. PMID:27130319

  15. The role of models in translating within-host dynamics to parasite evolution.

    PubMed

    Greischar, Megan A; Reece, Sarah E; Mideo, Nicole

    2016-06-01

    Mathematical modelling provides an effective way to challenge conventional wisdom about parasite evolution and investigate why parasites 'do what they do' within the host. Models can reveal when intuition cannot explain observed patterns, when more complicated biology must be considered, and when experimental and statistical methods are likely to mislead. We describe how models of within-host infection dynamics can refine experimental design, and focus on the case study of malaria to highlight how integration between models and data can guide understanding of parasite fitness in three areas: (1) the adaptive significance of chronic infections; (2) the potential for tradeoffs between virulence and transmission; and (3) the implications of within-vector dynamics. We emphasize that models are often useful when they highlight unexpected patterns in parasite evolution, revealing instead why intuition yields the wrong answer and what combination of theory and data are needed to advance understanding. PMID:26399436

  16. Genome sequencing of chimpanzee malaria parasites reveals possible pathways of adaptation to human hosts

    PubMed Central

    Otto, Thomas D.; Rayner, Julian C.; Böhme, Ulrike; Pain, Arnab; Spottiswoode, Natasha; Sanders, Mandy; Quail, Michael; Ollomo, Benjamin; Renaud, François; Thomas, Alan W.; Prugnolle, Franck; Conway, David J.; Newbold, Chris; Berriman, Matthew

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum causes most human malaria deaths, having prehistorically evolved from parasites of African Great Apes. Here we explore the genomic basis of P. falciparum adaptation to human hosts by fully sequencing the genome of the closely related chimpanzee parasite species P. reichenowi, and obtaining partial sequence data from a more distantly related chimpanzee parasite (P. gaboni). The close relationship between P. reichenowi and P. falciparum is emphasized by almost complete conservation of genomic synteny, but against this strikingly conserved background we observe major differences at loci involved in erythrocyte invasion. The organization of most virulence-associated multigene families, including the hypervariable var genes, is broadly conserved, but P. falciparum has a smaller subset of rif and stevor genes whose products are expressed on the infected erythrocyte surface. Genome-wide analysis identifies other loci under recent positive selection, but a limited number of changes at the host–parasite interface may have mediated host switching. PMID:25203297

  17. A proteomic-based approach for the characterization of some major structural proteins involved in host-parasite relationships from the silkworm parasite Nosema bombycis (Microsporidia).

    PubMed

    Wang, Jian-Yang; Chambon, Christophe; Lu, Chang-De; Huang, Ke-Wei; Vivarès, Christian P; Texier, Catherine

    2007-05-01

    Nosema bombycis is the causative agent of the silkworm Bombyx mori pebrine disease which inflicts severe worldwide economical losses in sericulture. Little is known about host-parasite interactions at the molecular level for this spore-forming obligate intracellular parasite which belongs to the fungi-related Microsporidia phylum. Major microsporidian structural proteins from the spore wall (SW) and the polar tube (PT) are known to be involved in host invasion. We developed a proteomic-based approach to identify few N. bombycis proteins belonging to these cell structures. Protein extraction protocols were optimized and four N. bombycis spore protein extracts were compared by SDS-PAGE and 2-DE to establish complementary proteomic profiles. Three proteins were shown to be located at the parasite SW. Moreover, 17 polyclonal antibodies were raised against major N. bombycis proteins from all extracts, and three spots were shown to correspond to polar tube proteins (PTPs) by immunofluorescent assay and transmission electron microscopy immunocytochemistry on cryosections. Specific patterns for each PTP were obtained by MALDI-TOF-MS and MS/MS. Peptide sequence tags were deduced by de novo sequencing using Peaks Online and DeNovoX, then evaluated by MASCOT and SEQUEST searches. Identification parameters were higher than false-positive hits, strengthening our strategy that could be enlarged to a nongenomic context. PMID:17407187

  18. Lessons from parasitic flatworms about evolution and historical biogeography of their vertebrate hosts.

    PubMed

    Verneau, Olivier; Du Preez, Louis; Badets, Mathieu

    2009-01-01

    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

  19. Stem cell progeny contribute to the schistosome host-parasite interface

    PubMed Central

    Collins, James J; Wendt, George R; Iyer, Harini; Newmark, Phillip A

    2016-01-01

    Schistosomes infect more than 200 million of the world's poorest people. These parasites live in the vasculature, producing eggs that spur a variety of chronic, potentially life-threatening, pathologies exacerbated by the long lifespan of schistosomes, that can thrive in the host for decades. How schistosomes maintain their longevity in this immunologically hostile environment is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that somatic stem cells in Schistosoma mansoni are biased towards generating a population of cells expressing factors associated exclusively with the schistosome host-parasite interface, a structure called the tegument. We show cells expressing these tegumental factors are short-lived and rapidly turned over. We suggest that stem cell-driven renewal of this tegumental lineage represents an important strategy for parasite survival in the context of the host vasculature. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12473.001 PMID:27003592

  20. Global Dynamics of a Parasite-Host Model with Nonlinear Incidence Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Yilei

    The paper is concerned with the effect of a nonlinear incidence rate Sp Iq on dynamical behaviors of a parasite-host model. It is shown that the global attractor of the parasite-host model is an equilibrium if q = 1, which is similar to that of the parasite-host model with a nonlinear incidence rate of the fractional function (SI)/(S+I). However, when q is greater than one, more positive equilibria appear and limit cycles arise from Hopf bifurcations at the positive equilibria for the model with the incidence rate Sp Iq. It reveals that the nonlinear incidence rate of the exponential function Sp Iq for generic p and q can lead to more complicated and richer dynamics than the bilinear incidence rate or the fractional incidence rate for this model.

  1. Stochastic environmental fluctuations drive epidemiology in experimental host-parasite metapopulations.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Alison B; Gonzalez, Andrew; Kaltz, Oliver

    2013-10-22

    Environmental fluctuations are important for parasite spread and persistence. However, the effects of the spatial and temporal structure of environmental fluctuations on host-parasite dynamics are not well understood. Temporal fluctuations can be random but positively autocorrelated, such that the environment is similar to the recent past (red noise), or random and uncorrelated with the past (white noise). We imposed red or white temporal temperature fluctuations on experimental metapopulations of Paramecium caudatum, experiencing an epidemic of the bacterial parasite Holospora undulata. Metapopulations (two subpopulations linked by migration) experienced fluctuations between stressful (5 °C) and permissive (23 °C) conditions following red or white temporal sequences. Spatial variation in temperature fluctuations was implemented by exposing subpopulations to the same (synchronous temperatures) or different (asynchronous temperatures) temporal sequences. Red noise, compared with white noise, enhanced parasite persistence. Despite this, red noise coupled with asynchronous temperatures allowed infected host populations to maintain sizes equivalent to uninfected populations. It is likely that this occurs because subpopulations in permissive conditions rescue declining subpopulations in stressful conditions. We show how patterns of temporal and spatial environmental fluctuations can impact parasite spread and host population abundance. We conclude that accurate prediction of parasite epidemics may require realistic models of environmental noise. PMID:23966645

  2. Interactions Between Trypanosoma cruzi the Chagas Disease Parasite and Naturally Infected Wild Mepraia Vectors of Chile.

    PubMed

    Campos-Soto, Ricardo; Ortiz, Sylvia; Cordova, Ivan; Bruneau, Nicole; Botto-Mahan, Carezza; Solari, Aldo

    2016-03-01

    Chagas disease, which ranks among the world's most neglected diseases, is a chronic, systemic, parasitic infection caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. Mepraia species are the wild vectors of this parasite in Chile. Host-parasite interactions can occur at several levels, such as co-speciation and ecological host fitting, among others. Thus, we are exploring the interactions between T. cruzi circulating in naturally infected Mepraia species in all areas endemic of Chile. We evaluated T. cruzi infection rates of 27 different haplotypes of the wild Mepraia species and identified their parasite genotypes using minicircle PCR amplification and hybridization tests with genotype-specific DNA probes. Infection rates were lower in northern Chile where Mepraia gajardoi circulates (10-35%); in central Chile, Mepraia spinolai is most abundant, and infection rates varied in space and time (0-55%). T. cruzi discrete typing units (DTUs) TcI, TcII, TcV, and Tc VI were detected. Mixed infections with two or more DTUs are frequently found in highly infected insects. T. cruzi DTUs have distinct, but not exclusive, ecological and epidemiological associations with their hosts. T. cruzi infection rates of M. spinolai were higher than in M. gajardoi, but the presence of mixed infection with more than one T. cruzi DTU was the same. The same T. cruzi DTUs (TcI, TcII, TcV, and TcVI) were found circulating in both vector species, even though TcI was not equally distributed. These results suggest that T. cruzi DTUs are not associated with any of the two genetically related vector species nor with the geographic area. The T. cruzi vectors interactions are discussed in terms of old and recent events. By exploring T. cruzi DTUs present in Mepraia haplotypes and species from northern to central Chile, we open the analysis on these invertebrate host-parasite interactions. PMID:26771702

  3. Reassessing the mechanics of parasite motility and host-cell invasion.

    PubMed

    Tardieux, Isabelle; Baum, Jake

    2016-08-29

    The capacity to migrate is fundamental to multicellular and single-celled life. Apicomplexan parasites, an ancient protozoan clade that includes malaria parasites (Plasmodium) and Toxoplasma, achieve remarkable speeds of directional cell movement. This rapidity is achieved via a divergent actomyosin motor system, housed within a narrow compartment that lies underneath the length of the parasite plasma membrane. How this motor functions at a mechanistic level during motility and host cell invasion is a matter of debate. Here, we integrate old and new insights toward refining the current model for the function of this motor with the aim of revitalizing interest in the mechanics of how these deadly pathogens move. PMID:27573462

  4. Macrophage-parasite interaction in the lesions of cutaneous leishmaniasis. An ultrastructural study.

    PubMed Central

    Ridley, M. J.; Wells, C. W.

    1986-01-01

    Localized cutaneous infections with Leishmania, which demonstrate complex host-parasite interactions, were studied ultrastructurally in 16 patients at phases ranging from onset to resolution. In the early lesions the host macrophages were 1) heavily parasitized and vesiculated, 2) undifferentiated, or 3) large and active, with fewer organisms. Progressive activation and epithelioid transformation of incoming monocytes was associated with the elimination of parasites. Killing and degradation appeared to take place simultaneously within the phagolysosome, but lysosomal fusion did not prevent survival into the activated cell stage. Host cell lysis, the alternative mechanism of parasite elimination, was accomplished following contact of the macrophage with plasma cells or its engulfment by a large granular cell. Lysis was either sporadic, proceeding from the periphery, or total in a central mass; and in each case macrophage lysis was preceded by connective tissue damage. The externalized parasites appeared to enhance both the activation and lytic processes, but degraded extracellular organisms were associated with dendritic-like cells more than with macrophages. This needs further study. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 PMID:3963151

  5. Host-Microbe Interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Aixin

    2013-01-01

    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

  6. Cellular and immunological basis of the host-parasite relationship during infection with Neospora caninum.

    PubMed

    Hemphill, A; Vonlaufen, N; Naguleswaran, A

    2006-09-01

    Neospora caninum is an apicomplexan parasite that is closely related to Toxoplasma gondii, the causative agent of toxoplasmosis in humans and domestic animals. However, in contrast to T. gondii, N. caninum represents a major cause of abortion in cattle, pointing towards distinct differences in the biology of these two species. There are 3 distinct key features that represent potential targets for prevention of infection or intervention against disease caused by N. caninum. Firstly, tachyzoites are capable of infecting a large variety of host cells in vitro and in vivo. Secondly, the parasite exploits its ability to respond to alterations in living conditions by converting into another stage (tachyzoite-to-bradyzoite or vice versa). Thirdly, by analogy with T. gondii, this parasite has evolved mechanisms that modulate its host cells according to its own requirements, and these must, especially in the case of the bradyzoite stage, involve mechanisms that ensure long-term survival of not only the parasite but also of the host cell. In order to elucidate the molecular and cellular bases of these important features of N. caninum, cell culture-based approaches and laboratory animal models are being exploited. In this review, we will summarize the current achievements related to host cell and parasite cell biology, and will discuss potential applications for prevention of infection and/or disease by reviewing corresponding work performed in murine laboratory infection models and in cattle. PMID:16753081

  7. The Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum Is Not Dependent on Host Coenzyme A Biosynthesis*

    PubMed Central

    Spry, Christina; Saliba, Kevin J.

    2009-01-01

    Pantothenate, a precursor of the fundamental enzyme cofactor coenzyme A (CoA), is essential for growth of the intraerythrocytic stage of human and avian malaria parasites. Avian malaria parasites have been reported to be incapable of de novo CoA synthesis and instead salvage CoA from the host erythrocyte; hence, pantothenate is required for CoA biosynthesis within the host cell and not the parasite itself. Whether the same is true of the intraerythrocytic stage of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, remained to be established. In this study we investigated the metabolic fate of [14C]pantothenate within uninfected and P. falciparum-infected human erythrocytes. We provide evidence consistent with normal human erythrocytes, unlike rat erythrocytes (which have been reported to possess an incomplete CoA biosynthesis pathway), being capable of CoA biosynthesis from pantothenate. We also show that CoA biosynthesis is substantially higher in P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes and that P. falciparum, unlike its avian counterpart, generates most of the CoA synthesized in the infected erythrocyte, presumably necessitated by insufficient CoA biosynthesis in the host erythrocyte. Our data raise the possibility that malaria parasites rationalize their biosynthetic activity depending on the capacity of their host cell to synthesize the metabolites they require. PMID:19584050

  8. Evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult brood parasitic bird, and generalized defences in its host

    PubMed Central

    Feeney, W. E.; Troscianko, J.; Langmore, N. E.; Spottiswoode, C. N.

    2015-01-01

    Mimicry of a harmless model (aggressive mimicry) is used by egg, chick and fledgling brood parasites that resemble the host's own eggs, chicks and fledglings. However, aggressive mimicry may also evolve in adult brood parasites, to avoid attack from hosts and/or manipulate their perception of parasitism risk. We tested the hypothesis that female cuckoo finches (Anomalospiza imberbis) are aggressive mimics of female Euplectes weavers, such as the harmless, abundant and sympatric southern red bishop (Euplectes orix). We show that female cuckoo finch plumage colour and pattern more closely resembled those of Euplectes weavers (putative models) than Vidua finches (closest relatives); that their tawny-flanked prinia (Prinia subflava) hosts were equally aggressive towards female cuckoo finches and southern red bishops, and more aggressive to both than to their male counterparts; and that prinias were equally likely to reject an egg after seeing a female cuckoo finch or bishop, and more likely to do so than after seeing a male bishop near their nest. This is, to our knowledge, the first quantitative evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult bird, and suggests that host–parasite coevolution can select for aggressive mimicry by avian brood parasites, and counter-defences by hosts, at all stages of the reproductive cycle. PMID:26063850

  9. Parasitic manipulation of hosts' phenotype, or how to make a zombie--an introduction to the symposium.

    PubMed

    Weinersmith, Kelly; Faulkes, Zen

    2014-07-01

    Nearly all animals in nature are infected by at least one parasite, and many of those parasites can significantly change the phenotype of their hosts, often in ways that increase the parasite's likelihood of transmission. Hosts' phenotypic changes are multidimensional, and manipulated traits include behavior, neurotransmission, coloration, morphology, and hormone levels. The field of parasitic manipulation of hosts' phenotype has now accrued many examples of systems where parasites manipulate the phenotypes of their hosts and focus has shifted to answering three main questions. First, through what mechanisms do parasites manipulate the hosts' phenotype? Parasites often induce changes in the hosts' phenotypes that neuroscientists are unable to recreate under laboratory conditions, suggesting that parasites may have much to teach us about links between the brain, immune system, and the expression of phenotype. Second, what are the ecological implications of phenotypic manipulation? Manipulated hosts are often abundant, and changes in their phenotype may have important population, community, and ecosystem-level implications. Finally, how did parasitic manipulation of hosts' phenotype evolve? The selective pressures faced by parasites are extremely complex, often with multiple hosts that are actively resisting infection, both in physiological and evolutionary time-scales. Here, we provide an overview of how the work presented in this special issue contributes to tackling these three main questions. Studies on parasites' manipulation of their hosts' phenotype are undertaken largely by parasitologists, and a major goal of this symposium is to recruit researchers from other fields to the study of these phenomena. Our ability to answer the three questions outlined above would be greatly enhanced by participation from individuals trained in the fields of, for example, neurobiology, physiology, immunology, ecology, evolutionary biology, and invertebrate biology. Conversely

  10. Interactions between Trypanosoma cruzi Secreted Proteins and Host Cell Signaling Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe Costa, Renata; da Silveira, Jose F.; Bahia, Diana

    2016-01-01

    Chagas disease is one of the prevalent neglected tropical diseases, affecting at least 6–7 million individuals in Latin America. It is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted to vertebrate hosts by blood-sucking insects. After infection, the parasite invades and multiplies in the myocardium, leading to acute myocarditis that kills around 5% of untreated individuals. T. cruzi secretes proteins that manipulate multiple host cell signaling pathways to promote host cell invasion. The primary secreted lysosomal peptidase in T. cruzi is cruzipain, which has been shown to modulate the host immune response. Cruzipain hinders macrophage activation during the early stages of infection by interrupting the NF-kB P65 mediated signaling pathway. This allows the parasite to survive and replicate, and may contribute to the spread of infection in acute Chagas disease. Another secreted protein P21, which is expressed in all of the developmental stages of T. cruzi, has been shown to modulate host phagocytosis signaling pathways. The parasite also secretes soluble factors that exert effects on host extracellular matrix, such as proteolytic degradation of collagens. Finally, secreted phospholipase A from T. cruzi contributes to lipid modifications on host cells and concomitantly activates the PKC signaling pathway. Here, we present a brief review of the interaction between secreted proteins from T. cruzi and the host cells, emphasizing the manipulation of host signaling pathways during invasion. PMID:27065960

  11. Parasites as biological tags to assess host population structure: Guidelines, recent genetic advances and comments on a holistic approach☆

    PubMed Central

    Catalano, Sarah R.; Whittington, Ian D.; Donnellan, Stephen C.; Gillanders, Bronwyn M.

    2013-01-01

    We review the use of parasites as biological tags of marine fishes and cephalopods in host population structure studies. The majority of the work published has focused on marine fish and either single parasite species or more recently, whole parasite assemblages, as biological tags. There is representation of host organisms and parasites from a diverse range of taxonomic groups, although focus has primarily been on host species of commercial importance. In contrast, few studies have used parasites as tags to assess cephalopod population structure, even though records of parasites infecting cephalopods are well-documented. Squid species are the only cephalopod hosts for which parasites as biological tags have been applied, with anisakid nematode larvae and metacestodes being the parasite taxa most frequently used. Following a brief insight into the importance of accurate parasite identification, the population studies that have used parasites as biological tags for marine fishes and cephalopods are reviewed, including comments on the dicyemid mesozoans. The advancement of molecular genetic techniques is discussed in regards to the new ways parasite genetic data can be incorporated into population structure studies, alongside host population genetic analyses, followed by an update on the guidelines for selecting a parasite species as a reliable tag candidate. As multiple techniques and methods can be used to assess the population structure of marine organisms (e.g. artificial tags, phenotypic characters, biometrics, life history, genetics, otolith microchemistry and parasitological data), we conclude by commenting on a holistic approach to allow for a deeper insight into population structuring. PMID:25197624

  12. Microsporidian parasites feminise hosts without paramyxean co-infection: support for convergent evolution of parasitic feminisation.

    PubMed

    Ironside, Joseph Edward; Alexander, Jenna

    2015-05-01

    Feminisation of amphipod crustaceans is associated with the presence of at least three microsporidian parasites and one paramyxean parasite, suggesting that the ability to feminise has evolved multiple times in parasites of amphipods. Co-infection by a paramyxean with one of the putative microsporidian feminisers, Dictyocoela duebenum, has inspired the alternative hypothesis that all feminisation of amphipods is caused by paramyxea and that all microsporidian associations with feminisation are due to co-infection with paramyxea (Short et al., 2012). In a population of the amphipod Gammarus duebeni, breeding experiments demonstrate that the microsporidia D. duebenum and Nosema granulosis are associated with feminisation in the absence of paramyxea. Co-infection of the two microsporidia is no more frequent than expected at random and each parasite is associated with feminisation in the absence of the other. These findings support the original hypothesis that the ability to feminise amphipods has evolved in microsporidia on multiple occasions. Additionally, the occurrence of a non-feminising strain of D. duebenum in Gammarus pulex suggests that different strains vary in their feminising ability, even within microsporidian species. The presence or absence of feminising ability in a particular microsporidian strain should not therefore be generalised to the species as a whole. PMID:25747725

  13. The importance of gobies (Gobiidae, Teleostei) as hosts and transmitters of parasites in the SW Baltic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zander, C. D.; Strohbach, U.; Groenewold, S.

    1993-02-01

    The parasite fauna of five goby species (Gobiidae, Teleostei) was investigated in the Baltic Sea during the period 1987 to 1990. 13 parasite species were found in samples from the Lübeck Bight: Bothriocephalus scorpii, Schistocephalus sp. (Cestoda); Cryptocotyle concavum, Cryptocotyle lingua, Podocotyle atomon, Derogenes varicus (Digenea); Hysterothylacium sp. (cf. auctum), Contracaecum sp., Anisakis simplex (Nematoda); Corynosoma sp., Echinorhynchus gadi, Neoechinorhynchus rutili, Pomphorhynchus laevis (Acanthocephala). The number of parasite species were: 10 in the sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus, 8 in the black goby Gobius niger, 7 in the two-spotted goby Gobiusculus flavescens, 6 in the common goby Pomatoschistus microps, and 5 in the painted goby Pomatoschistus pictus. Neoechinorhynchus rutili occurred only in P. minutus, and Corynosoma sp. only in G. niger. The extent to which the gobies were parasitized clearly depended on the respective ways of life and, moreover, on the kind of prey ingested by the hosts. Additionally, the age of the hosts might be important. The highest rate of parasitism, more than 60%, was reached by Hysterothylacium sp. in G. niger and by Cryptocotyle concavum in P. microps. Infestation incidence lay mostly below 40% which means a satellite species status (Holmes, 1991). The number of parasite species was highest in summer; the highest intensities of single parasites occurred in spring ( Podocotyle atomon) or autumn ( Crytocotyle concavum). Bothriocephalus scorpii, Hysterothylacium sp. and Podocotyle infested their juvenile hosts very early, but only Hysterothylacium was accumulated by G. niger during its whole life span, whereas Bothriocephalus persisted also in older gobies in low intensities. The cercariae of Cryptocotyle spp. penetrate actively into their hosts; all the other parasites named were transmitted in larval form by prey organisms which consisted mainly of planktonic and benthic crustaceans. The gobies were final hosts

  14. Immunogenomics approaches to study host innate immunity against intestinal parasites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Poultry products including meat and eggs constitute a major protein source in the American diet and disease-causing pathogens represent major challenges to the poultry industry. More than 95 % of pathogens enter the host through the mucosal surfaces of the respiratory, digestive and reproductive tr...

  15. An Emerging Approach for Parallel Quantification of Intracellular Protozoan Parasites and Host Cell Characterization Using TissueFAXS Cytometry

    PubMed Central

    Schmid, Maximilian; Dufner, Bianca; Dürk, Julius; Bedal, Konstanze; Stricker, Kristina; Prokoph, Lukas Ali; Koch, Christoph; Wege, Anja K.; Zirpel, Henner; van Zandbergen, Ger; Ecker, Rupert; Boghiu, Bogdan; Ritter, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    Characterization of host-pathogen interactions is a fundamental approach in microbiological and immunological oriented disciplines. It is commonly accepted that host cells start to change their phenotype after engulfing pathogens. Techniques such as real time PCR or ELISA were used to characterize the genes encoding proteins that are associated either with pathogen elimination or immune escape mechanisms. Most of such studies were performed in vitro using primary host cells or cell lines. Consequently, the data generated with such approaches reflect the global RNA expression or protein amount recovered from all cells in culture. This is justified when all host cells harbor an equal amount of pathogens under experimental conditions. However, the uptake of pathogens by phagocytic cells is not synchronized. Consequently, there are host cells incorporating different amounts of pathogens that might result in distinct pathogen-induced protein biosynthesis. Therefore, we established a technique able to detect and quantify the number of pathogens in the corresponding host cells using immunofluorescence-based high throughput analysis. Paired with multicolor staining of molecules of interest it is now possible to analyze the infection profile of host cell populations and the corresponding phenotype of the host cells as a result of parasite load. PMID:26488169

  16. Past, present and future of host-parasite co-extinctions.

    PubMed

    Strona, Giovanni

    2015-12-01

    Human induced ecosystem alterations and climate change are expected to drive several species to extinction. In this context, the attention of public opinion, and hence conservationists' efforts, are often targeted towards species having emotional, recreational and/or economical value. This tendency may result in a high number of extinctions happening unnoticed. Among these, many could involve parasites. Several studies have highlighted various reasons why we should care about this, that go far beyond the fact that parasites are amazingly diverse. A growing corpus of evidence suggests that parasites contribute much to ecosystems both in terms of biomass and services, and the seemingly paradoxical idea that a healthy ecosystem is one rich in parasites is becoming key to the whole concept of parasite conservation. Although various articles have covered different aspects of host-parasite co-extinctions, I feel that some important conceptual issues still need to be formally addressed. In this review, I will attempt at clarifying some of them, with the aim of providing researchers with a unifying conceptual framework that could help them designing future studies. In doing this, I will try to draw a more clear distinction between the (co-)evolutionary and the ecological dimensions of co-extinction studies, since the ongoing processes that are putting parasites at risk now operate at a scale that is extremely different from the one that has shaped host-parasite networks throughout million years of co-evolution. Moreover, I will emphasize how the complexity of direct and indirect effects of parasites on ecosystems makes it much challenging to identify the mechanisms possibly leading to co-extinction events, and to predict how such events will affect ecosystems in the long run. PMID:26835251

  17. Effects of Intra- and Interpatch Host Density on Egg Parasitism by Three Species of Trichogramma

    PubMed Central

    Grieshop, Matthew J.; Flinn, Paul W.; Nechols, James R.

    2010-01-01

    Host-foraging responses to different intra- and interpatch densities were used to assess three Trichogramma spp. (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) Trichogramma deion Pinto and Oatman, T. ostriniae Pang and Chen, and T. pretiosum Riley — as potential biological control agents for the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella Hübner (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Single naïve females were allowed 6 h to forage in Plexiglas arenas with four different spatial arrangements of host eggs, nine single-egg patches), nine four-egg patches, 36 single-egg patches, and 36 four-egg patches. No significant differences were found among species in the number of patches parasitized. As expected, all three species parasitized the most eggs in the 36 four-egg patch treatment and the least in the nine single-egg patch treatment. T. deion parasitized significantly more eggs than T. pretiosum on the nine four-egg patches. T. ostriniae parasitized significantly more patches when intrapatch density was greater, regardless of interpatch density. In contrast, T. deion only parasitized more patches at the greater intrapatch density when the interpatch density was low. Patch density had no effect on T. pretiosum. The spatial pattern of parasitism was more aggregated for T. deion and T. ostriniae in the 36 four-egg patches treatment compared to the 36 single-egg patches treatment. Therefore, intrapatch density was more important than interpatch density for T. ostriniae, and potentially for T. deion, but not for T. pretiosum. T. deion may be the best candidate for augmentative biological control because it parasitized either slightly or significantly more eggs than the other two species in all four treatments. Furthermore, the pattern of parasitism by T. deion in the 36 four-egg patches treatment was the most aggregated among the three species, suggesting a more thorough searching pattern. In contrast, T. pretiosum had the least aggregated pattern of parasitism and therefore may have used a more

  18. Molecular parasitism in the Escherichia coli-Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus system: translocation of the matrix protein from the host to the parasite outer membrane.

    PubMed Central

    Guerrini, F; Romano, V; Valenzi, M; Di Giulio, M; Mupo, M R; Sacco, M

    1982-01-01

    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. PMID:6765198

  19. CHEMOTHERAPY, WITHIN-HOST ECOLOGY AND THE FITNESS OF DRUG-RESISTANT MALARIA PARASITES

    PubMed Central

    Huijben, Silvie; Nelson, William A.; Wargo, Andrew R.; Sim, Derek G.; Drew, Damien R.; Read, Andrew F.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:20584075

  20. Reduced erythrocyte susceptibility and increased host clearance of young parasites slows Plasmodium growth in a murine model of severe malaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khoury, David S.; Cromer, Deborah; Best, Shannon E.; James, Kylie R.; Sebina, Ismail; Haque, Ashraful; Davenport, Miles P.

    2015-05-01

    The best correlate of malaria severity in human Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) infection is the total parasite load. Pf-infected humans could control parasite loads by two mechanisms, either decreasing parasite multiplication, or increasing parasite clearance. However, few studies have directly measured these two mechanisms in vivo. Here, we have directly quantified host clearance of parasites during Plasmodium infection in mice. We transferred labelled red blood cells (RBCs) from Plasmodium infected donors into uninfected and infected recipients, and tracked the fate of donor parasites by frequent blood sampling. We then applied age-based mathematical models to characterise parasite clearance in the recipient mice. Our analyses revealed an increased clearance of parasites in infected animals, particularly parasites of a younger developmental stage. However, the major decrease in parasite multiplication in infected mice was not mediated by increased clearance alone, but was accompanied by a significant reduction in the susceptibility of RBCs to parasitisation.

  1. Host-Pathogen Interactions 1

    PubMed Central

    Cervone, Felice; Hahn, Michael G.; De Lorenzo, Giulia; Darvill, Alan; Albersheim, Peter

    1989-01-01

    This paper describes the effect of a plant-derived polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein (PGIP) on the activity of endopolygalacturonases isolated from fungi. PGIP's effect on endopolygalacturonases is to enhance the production of oligogalacturonides that are active as elicitors of phytoalexin (antibiotic) accumulation and other defense reactions in plants. Only oligogalacturonides with a degree of polymerization higher than nine are able to elicit phytoalexin synthesis in soybean cotyledons. In the absence of PGIP, a 1-minute exposure of polygalacturonic acid to endopolygalacturonase resulted in the production of elicitor-active oligogalacturonides. However, the enzyme depolymerized essentially all of the polygalacturonic acid substrate to elicitor-inactive oligogalacturonides within 15 minutes. When the digestion of polygalacturonic acid was carried out with the same amount of enzyme but in the presence of excess PGIP, the rate of production of elicitor-active oligogalacturonides was dramatically altered. The amount of elicitor-active oligogalacturonide steadily increased for 24 hours. It was only after about 48 hours that the enzyme converted the polygalacturonic acid into short, elicitor-inactive oligomers. PGIP is a specific, reversible, saturable, high-affinity receptor for endopolygalacturonase. Formation of the PGIP-endopolygalacturonase complex results in increased concentrations of oligogalacturonides that activate plant defense responses. The interaction of the plant-derived PGIP with fungal endopolygalacturonases may be a mechanism by which plants convert endopolygalacturonase, a factor important for the virulence of pathogens, into a factor that elicits plant defense mechanisms. PMID:16666805

  2. Phylogeographic Triangulation: Using Predator-Prey-Parasite Interactions to Infer Population History from Partial Genetic Information

    PubMed Central

    Barbosa, A. Márcia; Thode, Guillermo; Real, Raimundo; Feliu, Carlos; Vargas, J. Mario

    2012-01-01

    Phylogeographic studies, which infer population history and dispersal movements from intra-specific spatial genetic variation, require expensive and time-consuming analyses that are not always feasible, especially in the case of rare or endangered species. On the other hand, comparative phylogeography of species involved in close biotic interactions may show congruent patterns depending on the specificity of the relationship. Consequently, the phylogeography of a parasite that needs two hosts to complete its life cycle should reflect population history traits of both hosts. Population movements evidenced by the parasite’s phylogeography that are not reflected in the phylogeography of one of these hosts may thus be attributed to the other host. Using the wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and a parasitic tapeworm (Taenia pisiformis) as an example, we propose comparing the phylogeography of easily available organisms such as game species and their specific heteroxenous parasites to infer population movements of definitive host/predator species, independently of performing genetic analyses on the latter. This may be an interesting approach for indirectly studying the history of species whose phylogeography is difficult to analyse directly. PMID:23209834

  3. Host mitochondrial association evolved in the human parasite Toxoplasma gondii via neofunctionalization of a gene duplicate

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In Toxoplasma gondii, an intracellular parasite of humans and other warm-blooded animals, the ability to associate with host mitochondria (HMA) is driven by a locally expanded gene family that encodes multiple mitochondrial association factor 1 (MAF1) proteins. The importance of copy number in the e...

  4. Distinct immunoregulatory properties of macrophage migration inhibitory factors encoded by Eimeria parasites and their chicken host

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a proinflammatory cytokine that plays an important role in host defense against a variety of microorganisms including protozoan parasites. Interestingly, some microbial pathogens also express a MIF-like protein, although its role in disease pathogenesi...

  5. Immune response and host protection of Nile tilapia against parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich) is one of the virulent ciliated parasites and causes heavy economic loss in freshwater fish. Two immunization trials were conducted to evaluate host protection of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus against Ich. Immunizations were done with live theronts or sonicat...

  6. Avian coccidiosis: a disturbed host-parasite relationship to be restored.

    PubMed

    Vermeulen, Arno N

    2004-01-01

    The co-evolution of Eimeria and its host the domestic chicken has resulted in a delicate balance of mutual understanding and respect. This balance has been broken by the complete change of the environment in which the parasite was able to reproduce to such an extent that the host, stressed and weakened by heat, crowding and concurrent infections could not combat the shear numbers of organisms. The use of drugs to control the situation has been shown to only temporarily create relief. Resistance widely developed by the flexible genome of the parasite returned new drugs at a greater speed than they had been developed. Improved hygienic measures, better facility management and good understanding of epidemiology of the parasites spreading and proliferation seem the first and most promising set of tools to control the balance. Reduction of stock density may only provide any relief if this is done at a factor of 10 or higher and this is not a realistic measure in relation to the profit. Free-range chickens are an alternative if only animal welfare is at stake. However, in terms of prevalence of parasitic infections, such as coccidia, helminthes or ectoparasites, chickens do not seem to be better off (Permin et al., 2002). Immunological surveillance and the development of safe, effective and economical vaccines are further refinements that can be used to restore the relationship between parasite and host. Several live vaccines are effective and applied, but certainly have drawbacks in safety and production. New technology such as recombinant vectors together with a better understanding of the cell biology of the parasite from biological and genomic information should provide improved vaccines for the future. The strong genetically determined characteristics involved in the induction and maintenance of a sustainable protective immune response might turn out to be of decisive importance for the success of these strategies. The consequences for the physiology of the parasite

  7. Absolute Quantification of the Host-To-Parasite DNA Ratio in Theileria parva-Infected Lymphocyte Cell Lines

    PubMed Central

    Gotia, Hanzel T.; Munro, James B.; Knowles, Donald P.; Daubenberger, Claudia A.; Bishop, Richard P.; Silva, Joana C.

    2016-01-01

    Theileria parva is a tick-transmitted intracellular apicomplexan pathogen of cattle in sub-Saharan Africa that causes East Coast fever (ECF). ECF is an acute fatal disease that kills over one million cattle annually, imposing a tremendous burden on African small-holder cattle farmers. The pathology and level of T. parva infections in its wildlife host, African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), and in cattle are distinct. We have developed an absolute quantification method based on quantitative PCR (qPCR) in which recombinant plasmids containing single copy genes specific to the parasite (apical membrane antigen 1 gene, ama1) or the host (hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase 1, hprt1) are used as the quantification reference standards. Our study shows that T. parva and bovine cells are present in similar numbers in T. parva-infected lymphocyte cell lines and that consequently, due to its much smaller genome size, T. parva DNA comprises between 0.9% and 3% of the total DNA samples extracted from these lines. This absolute quantification assay of parasite and host genome copy number in a sample provides a simple and reliable method of assessing T. parva load in infected bovine lymphocytes, and is accurate over a wide range of host-to-parasite DNA ratios. Knowledge of the proportion of target DNA in a sample, as enabled by this method, is essential for efficient high-throughput genome sequencing applications for a variety of intracellular pathogens. This assay will also be very useful in future studies of interactions of distinct host-T. parva stocks and to fully characterize the dynamics of ECF infection in the field. PMID:26930209

  8. Absolute Quantification of the Host-To-Parasite DNA Ratio in Theileria parva-Infected Lymphocyte Cell Lines.

    PubMed

    Gotia, Hanzel T; Munro, James B; Knowles, Donald P; Daubenberger, Claudia A; Bishop, Richard P; Silva, Joana C

    2016-01-01

    Theileria parva is a tick-transmitted intracellular apicomplexan pathogen of cattle in sub-Saharan Africa that causes East Coast fever (ECF). ECF is an acute fatal disease that kills over one million cattle annually, imposing a tremendous burden on African small-holder cattle farmers. The pathology and level of T. parva infections in its wildlife host, African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), and in cattle are distinct. We have developed an absolute quantification method based on quantitative PCR (qPCR) in which recombinant plasmids containing single copy genes specific to the parasite (apical membrane antigen 1 gene, ama1) or the host (hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase 1, hprt1) are used as the quantification reference standards. Our study shows that T. parva and bovine cells are present in similar numbers in T. parva-infected lymphocyte cell lines and that consequently, due to its much smaller genome size, T. parva DNA comprises between 0.9% and 3% of the total DNA samples extracted from these lines. This absolute quantification assay of parasite and host genome copy number in a sample provides a simple and reliable method of assessing T. parva load in infected bovine lymphocytes, and is accurate over a wide range of host-to-parasite DNA ratios. Knowledge of the proportion of target DNA in a sample, as enabled by this method, is essential for efficient high-throughput genome sequencing applications for a variety of intracellular pathogens. This assay will also be very useful in future studies of interactions of distinct host-T. parva stocks and to fully characterize the dynamics of ECF infection in the field. PMID:26930209

  9. Host Reticulocytes Provide Metabolic Reservoirs That Can Be Exploited by Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Srivastava, Anubhav; Creek, Darren J.; Evans, Krystal J.; De Souza, David; Schofield, Louis; Müller, Sylke; Barrett, Michael P.; McConville, Malcolm J.; Waters, Andrew P.

    2015-01-01

    Human malaria parasites proliferate in different erythroid cell types during infection. Whilst Plasmodium vivax exhibits a strong preference for immature reticulocytes, the more pathogenic P. falciparum primarily infects mature erythrocytes. In order to assess if these two cell types offer different growth conditions and relate them to parasite preference, we compared the metabolomes of human and rodent reticulocytes with those of their mature erythrocyte counterparts. Reticulocytes were found to have a more complex, enriched metabolic profile than mature erythrocytes and a higher level of metabolic overlap between reticulocyte resident parasite stages and their host cell. This redundancy was assessed by generating a panel of mutants of the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei with defects in intermediary carbon metabolism (ICM) and pyrimidine biosynthesis known to be important for P. falciparum growth and survival in vitro in mature erythrocytes. P. berghei ICM mutants (pbpepc-, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase and pbmdh-, malate dehydrogenase) multiplied in reticulocytes and committed to sexual development like wild type parasites. However, P. berghei pyrimidine biosynthesis mutants (pboprt-, orotate phosphoribosyltransferase and pbompdc-, orotidine 5′-monophosphate decarboxylase) were restricted to growth in the youngest forms of reticulocytes and had a severe slow growth phenotype in part resulting from reduced merozoite production. The pbpepc-, pboprt- and pbompdc- mutants retained virulence in mice implying that malaria parasites can partially salvage pyrimidines but failed to complete differentiation to various stages in mosquitoes. These findings suggest that species-specific differences in Plasmodium host cell tropism result in marked differences in the necessity for parasite intrinsic metabolism. These data have implications for drug design when targeting mature erythrocyte or reticulocyte resident parasites. PMID:26042734

  10. The Global Diversity of Parasitic Isopods Associated with Crustacean Hosts (Isopoda: Bopyroidea and Cryptoniscoidea)

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Jason D.; Boyko, Christopher B.

    2012-01-01

    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

  11. Proteinaceous Molecules Mediating Bifidobacterium-Host Interactions.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Lorena; Delgado, Susana; Ruas-Madiedo, Patricia; Margolles, Abelardo; Sánchez, Borja

    2016-01-01

    Bifidobacteria are commensal microoganisms found in the gastrointestinal tract. Several strains have been attributed beneficial traits at local and systemic levels, through pathogen exclusion or immune modulation, among other benefits. This has promoted a growing industrial and scientific interest in bifidobacteria as probiotic supplements. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating this cross-talk with the human host remain unknown. High-throughput technologies, from functional genomics to transcriptomics, proteomics, and interactomics coupled to the development of both in vitro and in vivo models to study the dynamics of the intestinal microbiota and their effects on host cells, have eased the identification of key molecules in these interactions. Numerous secreted or surface-associated proteins or peptides have been identified as potential mediators of bifidobacteria-host interactions and molecular cross-talk, directly participating in sensing environmental factors, promoting intestinal colonization, or mediating a dialogue with mucosa-associated immune cells. On the other hand, bifidobacteria induce the production of proteins in the intestine, by epithelial or immune cells, and other gut bacteria, which are key elements in orchestrating interactions among bifidobacteria, gut microbiota, and host cells. This review aims to give a comprehensive overview on proteinaceous molecules described and characterized to date, as mediators of the dynamic interplay between bifidobacteria and the human host, providing a framework to identify knowledge gaps and future research needs. PMID:27536282

  12. Proteinaceous Molecules Mediating Bifidobacterium-Host Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz, Lorena; Delgado, Susana; Ruas-Madiedo, Patricia; Margolles, Abelardo; Sánchez, Borja

    2016-01-01

    Bifidobacteria are commensal microoganisms found in the gastrointestinal tract. Several strains have been attributed beneficial traits at local and systemic levels, through pathogen exclusion or immune modulation, among other benefits. This has promoted a growing industrial and scientific interest in bifidobacteria as probiotic supplements. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating this cross-talk with the human host remain unknown. High-throughput technologies, from functional genomics to transcriptomics, proteomics, and interactomics coupled to the development of both in vitro and in vivo models to study the dynamics of the intestinal microbiota and their effects on host cells, have eased the identification of key molecules in these interactions. Numerous secreted or surface-associated proteins or peptides have been identified as potential mediators of bifidobacteria-host interactions and molecular cross-talk, directly participating in sensing environmental factors, promoting intestinal colonization, or mediating a dialogue with mucosa-associated immune cells. On the other hand, bifidobacteria induce the production of proteins in the intestine, by epithelial or immune cells, and other gut bacteria, which are key elements in orchestrating interactions among bifidobacteria, gut microbiota, and host cells. This review aims to give a comprehensive overview on proteinaceous molecules described and characterized to date, as mediators of the dynamic interplay between bifidobacteria and the human host, providing a framework to identify knowledge gaps and future research needs. PMID:27536282

  13. Frequent vocalizing is negatively associated with brood parasitism in a host of the brown-headed cowbird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steckler, Sonya E.; Conway, Courtney J.

    2012-01-01

    Brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) can substantially affect host species' reproductive success. The "host-activity" hypothesis suggests that parasites eavesdrop on conspicuous behaviors to locate and parasitize hosts, and several studies of cowbird hosts support this hypothesis. In contrast, a recent study of the Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) reported a negative association between the host's vocalization rate near the nest and brood parasitism. This contradictory pattern is intriguing because Bell's Vireo is a common cowbird host and vocalizes near and on its nests. We tested a key assumption of the host-activity hypothesis in a different subspecies (V. b. arizonae) to determine whether the contradictory pattern reported in V. b. pusillus is an anomaly or could be generalized to other subspecies. Unparasitized vireos vocalized more frequently than parasitized birds, confirming that the pattern in Bell's Vireos is the opposite of that reported for other cowbird hosts. Nesting stage played a role: unparasitized birds vocalized more than parasitized birds only during the nest-building and incubation stages. Given that vocalization rate and other behaviors change through the breeding season, future tests of the host-activity hypothesis should control for nesting stage. Moreover, future efforts to identify the underlying cause for the association between vocalization rate and probability of parasitism should consider the possibility of reciprocal causal relationships between them. We propose five additional hypotheses to explain why in Bell's Vireo the pattern between these two traits is opposite of what has been reported in other birds.

  14. Local adaptation to parasite selective pressure: comparing three congeneric co-occurring hosts.

    PubMed

    Keogh, Carolyn L; Sanderson, Martha E; Byers, James E

    2016-01-01

    Local adaptation may optimize an organism's investment in defenses in response to the risk of infection by spatially heterogeneous parasites and other natural enemies. However, local adaptation may be constrained if recruitment is decoupled from selective pressure experienced by the parent generation. We predicted that the ability of three intertidal littorinid snail species to defend against trematode parasites would depend on prior levels of population exposure to parasites and on larval dispersal mode, a proxy for population openness. In a common garden experiment, for two snail species with direct development and localized recruitment (Littorina obtusata and Littorina saxatilis), hosts from sites with high trematode infection risk were less susceptible to infection than hosts from low-risk sites. However, this relationship was not apparent for a third host species with broadcast larvae (Littorina littorea), suggesting that broad larval dispersal can impede local adaptation; alternatively, the lack of response in this species could owe to other factors that limited experimental infection in this host. Our findings support that locally recruiting hosts can adapt their defenses to scale with localized infection risk. PMID:26440801

  15. Host-Salmonella interaction: human trials.

    PubMed

    Levine, M M; Tacket, C O; Sztein, M B

    2001-01-01

    Human clinical trials, including experimental challenges of volunteers with pathogenic Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, small phase I and II trials that monitor the immune responses to vaccines, and large-scale controlled field trials that assess vaccine efficacy under conditions of natural challenge, have helped elucidate the interactions between Salmonella typhi and human hosts. PMID:11755415

  16. Probing Pseudomonas syringae host interactions using metatranscriptomics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transcriptome analyses during the interaction of plants and pathogens can be used to provide insights into molecular mechanisms of plant resistance as well as the mechanisms used by bacteria to adapt to hosts and cause disease. We performed a dual in planta RNA-Seq experiment to profile RNA expressi...

  17. Infection deflection: hosts control parasite location with behaviour to improve tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Sears, B. F.; Snyder, P. W.; Rohr, J. R.

    2013-01-01

    Anti-parasite behaviour can reduce parasitic infections, but little is known about how such behaviours affect infection location within the host's body and whether parasite distribution ultimately affects tolerance of infection. To assess these questions, we exposed both anaesthetized (no behaviour) and non-anaesthetized Hyla femoralis tadpoles to plagiorchiid cercariae (larval trematodes), and quantified resistance, tolerance (relationship between mass change and infection intensity) and encystment location. Non-anaesthetized tadpoles had significantly more infections in their tail region than anaesthetized tadpoles, which had the majority of their infections in the head. This pattern indicates that parasites preferred to infect the head, but that hosts shunted infections to the tail when possible. Furthermore, there was a significant effect of encystment location on tolerance, with head-infected tadpoles having poorer tolerance to infection than tail-infected tadpoles. Variance partitioning suggests that, among infected tadpoles, behaviour contributed more to tolerance than resistance. These results suggest that, in addition to using behaviour to resist parasites, H. femoralis tadpoles also use behaviour to enhance infection tolerance by deflecting infections posteriorly, away from their vital sensory organs. These findings highlight the need to assess how widespread and important behaviour is to the tolerance of infections. PMID:23677349

  18. Relative fitness of a generalist parasite on two alternative hosts: a cross-infestation experiment to test host specialization of the hen flea Ceratophyllus gallinae (Schrank).

    PubMed

    Appelgren, A; McCoy, K D; Richner, H; Doligez, B

    2016-05-01

    Host range is a key element of a parasite's ecology and evolution and can vary greatly depending on spatial scale. Generalist parasites frequently show local population structure in relation to alternative sympatric hosts (i.e. host races) and may thus be specialists at local scales. Here, we investigated local population specialization of a common avian nest-based parasite, the hen flea Ceratophyllus gallinae (Schrank), exploiting two abundant host species that share the same breeding sites, the great tit Parus major (Linnaeus) and the collared flycatcher Ficedula albicollis (Temminck). We performed a cross-infestation experiment of fleas between the two host species in two distinct study areas during a single breeding season and recorded the reproductive success of both hosts and parasites. In the following year, hosts were monitored again to assess the long-term impact of cross-infestation. Our results partly support the local specialization hypothesis: in great tit nests, tit fleas caused higher damage to their hosts than flycatcher fleas, and in collared flycatcher nests, flycatcher fleas had a faster larval development rates than tit fleas. However, these results were significant in only one of the two studied areas, suggesting that the location and history of the host population can modulate the specialization process. Caution is therefore called for when interpreting single location studies. More generally, our results emphasize the need to explicitly account for host diversity in order to understand the population ecology and evolutionary trajectory of generalist parasites. PMID:26910399

  19. Ex Vivo Host and Parasite Response to Antileishmanial Drugs and Immunomodulators

    PubMed Central

    McMahon-Pratt, Diane; Saravia, Nancy Gore

    2015-01-01

    Background Therapeutic response in infectious disease involves host as well as microbial determinants. Because the immune and inflammatory response to Leishmania (Viannia) species defines the outcome of infection and efficacy of treatment, immunomodulation is considered a promising therapeutic strategy. However, since Leishmania infection and antileishmanial drugs can themselves modulate drug transport, metabolism and/or immune responses, immunotherapeutic approaches require integrated assessment of host and parasite responses. Methodology To achieve an integrated assessment of current and innovative therapeutic strategies, we determined host and parasite responses to miltefosine and meglumine antimoniate alone and in combination with pentoxifylline or CpG 2006 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of cutaneous leishmaniasis patients. Parasite survival and secretion of TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-10 and IL-13 were evaluated concomitantly in PBMCs infected with Luc-L. (V.) panamensis exposed to meglumine antimoniate (4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 μg SbV/mL) or miltefosine (2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 μM HePC). Concentrations of 4 μM of miltefosine and 8 μg SbV/mL were selected for evaluation in combination with immunomodulators based on the high but partial reduction of parasite burden by these antileishmanial concentrations without affecting cytokine secretion of infected PBMCs. Intracellular parasite survival was determined by luminometry and cytokine secretion measured by ELISA and multiplex assays. Principal Findings Anti- and pro-inflammatory cytokines characteristic of L. (V.) panamensis infection were evaluable concomitantly with viability of Leishmania within monocyte-derived macrophages present in PBMC cultures. Both antileishmanial drugs reduced the parasite load of macrophages; miltefosine also suppressed IL-10 and IL-13 secretion in a dose dependent manner. Pentoxifylline did not affect parasite survival or alter antileishmanial effects of miltefosine or meglumine

  20. Interactive effects of wildfire, forest management, and isolation on amphibian and parasite abundance.

    PubMed

    Hossack, Blake R; Lowe, Winsor H; Honeycutt, R Ken; Parks, Sean A; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-03-01

    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

  1. Antagonistic coevolution with parasites maintains host genetic diversity: an experimental test

    PubMed Central

    Bérénos, Camillo; Wegner, K. Mathias; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Genetic variation in natural populations is a prime prerequisite allowing populations to respond to selection, but is under constant threat from forces that tend to reduce it, such as genetic drift and many types of selection. Haldane emphasized the potential importance of parasites as a driving force of genetic diversity. His theory has been taken for granted ever since, but despite numerous studies showing correlations between genetic diversity and parasitism, Haldane's hypothesis has rarely been tested experimentally for unambiguous support. We experimentally staged antagonistic coevolution between the host Tribolium castaneum and its natural microsporidian parasite, Nosema whitei, to test for the relative importance of two separate evolutionary forces (drift and parasite-induced selection) on the maintenance of genetic variation. Our results demonstrate that coevolution with parasites indeed counteracts drift as coevolving populations had significantly higher levels of heterozygosity and allelic diversity. Genetic drift remained a strong force, strongly reducing genetic variation and increasing genetic differentiation in small populations. To our surprise, differentiation between the evolving populations was smaller when they coevolved with parasites, suggesting parallel balancing selection. Hence, our results experimentally vindicate Haldane's original hypothesis 60 years after its conception. PMID:20685701

  2. The Leishmania major BBSome subunit BBS1 is essential for parasite virulence in the mammalian host

    PubMed Central

    Price, Helen P; Paape, Daniel; Hodgkinson, Michael R; Farrant, Katie; Doehl, Johannes; Stark, Meg; Smith, Deborah F

    2013-01-01

    Summary Bardet–Biedl syndrome (BBS) is a human genetic disorder with a spectrum of symptoms caused by primary cilium dysfunction. The disease is caused by mutations in one of at least 17 identified genes, of which seven encode subunits of the BBSome, a protein complex required for specific trafficking events to and from the primary cilium. The molecular mechanisms associated with BBSome function remain to be fully elucidated. Here, we generated null and complemented mutants of the BBSome subunit BBS1 in the protozoan parasite, Leishmania. In the absence of BBS1, extracellular parasites have no apparent defects in growth, flagellum assembly, motility or differentiation in vitro but there is accumulation of vacuole-like structures close to the flagellar pocket. Infectivity of these parasites for macrophages in vitro is reduced compared with wild-type controls but the null parasites retain the ability to differentiate to the intracellular amastigote stage. However, infectivity of BBS1 null parasites is severely compromised in a BALB/c mouse footpad model. We hypothesize that the absence of BBS1 in Leishmania leads to defects in specific trafficking events that affect parasite persistence in the host. This is the first report of an association between the BBSome complex and pathogen infectivity. PMID:23998526

  3. Naïve hosts of avian brood parasites accept foreign eggs, whereas older hosts fine-tune foreign egg discrimination during laying

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    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 naïve 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) naïve 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. PMID:25024736

  4. Sex-biased differences in the effects of host individual, host population and environmental traits driving tick parasitism in red deer

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz-Fons, Francisco; Acevedo, Pelayo; Sobrino, Raquel; Vicente, Joaquín; Fierro, Yolanda; Fernández-de-Mera, Isabel G.

    2013-01-01

    The interactions between host individual, host population, and environmental factors modulate parasite abundance in a given host population. Since adult exophilic ticks are highly aggregated in red deer (Cervus elaphus) and this ungulate exhibits significant sexual size dimorphism, life history traits and segregation, we hypothesized that tick parasitism on males and hinds would be differentially influenced by each of these factors. To test the hypothesis, ticks from 306 red deer—182 males and 124 females—were collected during 7 years in a red deer population in south-central Spain. By using generalized linear models, with a negative binomial error distribution and a logarithmic link function, we modeled tick abundance on deer with 20 potential predictors. Three models were developed: one for red deer males, another for hinds, and one combining data for males and females and including “sex” as factor. Our rationale was that if tick burdens on males and hinds relate to the explanatory factors in a differential way, it is not possible to precisely and accurately predict the tick burden on one sex using the model fitted on the other sex, or with the model that combines data from both sexes. Our results showed that deer males were the primary target for ticks, the weight of each factor differed between sexes, and each sex specific model was not able to accurately predict burdens on the animals of the other sex. That is, results support for sex-biased differences. The higher weight of host individual and population factors in the model for males show that intrinsic deer factors more strongly explain tick burden than environmental host-seeking tick abundance. In contrast, environmental variables predominated in the models explaining tick burdens in hinds. PMID:23819112

  5. Influence of Hepatozoon parasites on host-seeking and host-choice behaviour of the mosquitoes Culex territans and Culex pipiens☆

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson, Laura V.; Kirk Hillier, N.; Smith, Todd G.

    2012-01-01

    Hepatozoon species are heteroxenous parasites that commonly infect the blood of vertebrates and various organs of arthropods. Despite their ubiquity, little is known about how these parasites affect host phenotype, including whether or not these parasites induce changes in hosts to increase transmission success. The objectives of this research were to investigate influences of the frog blood parasite Hepatozoon clamatae and the snake blood parasite Hepatozoon sipedon on host-seeking and host-choice behaviour of the mosquitoes Culex territans and Culex pipiens, respectively. During development of H. sipedon in C. pipiens, significantly fewer infected mosquitoes fed on uninfected snakes compared to uninfected mosquitoes. When H. sipedon was mature in C. pipiens, the number of infected and uninfected C. pipiens that fed on snakes was not significantly different. Higher numbers of mosquitoes fed on naturally infected snakes and frogs compared to laboratory-reared, uninfected control animals. However, experiments using only laboratory-raised frogs revealed that infection did not significantly affect host choice by C. territans. Behaviour of C. pipiens in the presence of H. sipedon may increase transmission success of the parasite and provide the first evidence of phenotypic changes in the invertebrate host of Hepatozoon parasites. PMID:24533317

  6. Host cell pigmentation in Scenedesmus dimorphus as a beacon for nascent parasite infection.

    PubMed

    Collins, Aaron M; Jones, Howland D T; McBride, Robert C; Behnke, Craig; Timlin, Jerilyn A

    2014-09-01

    Biofuels derived from the mass cultivation of algae represent an emerging industry that aims to partially displace petroleum based fuels. Outdoor, open-pond, and raceway production facilities are attractive options for the mass culture of algae however, this mode of cultivation leaves the algae susceptible to epidemics from a variety of environmental challenges. Infestations can result in complete collapse of the algal populations and destruction of their valuable products making it paramount to understand the host-pathogen relationships of known algal pests in order to develop mitigation strategies. In the present work, we characterize the spatial-temporal response of photosynthetic pigments in Scenedesmus dimorphus to infection from Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum, a destructive endoparasite, with the goal of understanding the potential for early detection of infection via host pigment changes. We employed a hyperspectral confocal fluorescence microscope to quantify these changes in pigmentation with high spatial and spectral resolution during early parasite infection. Carotenoid abundance and autofluorescence increased within the first 24 h of infection while chlorophyll emission remained constant. Changes in host cell photosynthesis and bulk chlorophyll content were found to lag behind parasite replication. The results herein raise the possibility of using host-cell pigment changes as indicators of nascent parasite infection. PMID:24931928

  7. Extreme host specificity by Microdon mutabilis (Diptera: Syrphiae), a social parasite of ants

    PubMed Central

    Elmes, G. W.; Barr, B.; Thomas, J. A.; Clarke, R. T.

    1999-01-01

    Larvae of the syrphid fly Microdon mutabilis are social parasites which live up to two years, feeding on ant brood in nests of Formica lemani ants. We questioned why M. mutabilis is extremely localized when its host is widespread and abundant. Like endoparasitic diseases, social parasites must penetrate formidable defences before 'infecting' their hosts. This occurs during the egg stage of M. mutabilis: females are sedentary and oviposit at F. lemani nest entrances, which workers treat as part of their nest, leaving the thin-shelled eggs vulnerable to attack for 10 to 14 days before hatching. We describe experiments which show a strong maternal effect in M. mutabilis. New-laid eggs had > 95% survival when introduced to the individual ant colony that reared each mother fly or to its close neighbours, but survival declined as a sigmoidal logistic function of distance from the mother nest, with F. lemani colonies from 2 and 30 km away killing 80 and > 99% of eggs, respectively, within 24 h. Attacks on eggs also increased in proportion to the delay before introduction to laboratory nests. We suggest that they may be coated with a mimetic chemical disguise that lasts for three to four days after oviposition. The results indicate extreme local adaptation by an M. mutabilis population not simply to one species of host, but to an individual host population and possibly to local strains or family groups within an F. lemani population. This conclusion is discussed in terms of virulence, transmission and coevolution in parasitic diseases.

  8. Gas Exchange Characteristics of the Sorghum-Striga Host-Parasite Association

    PubMed Central

    Press, Malcolm C.; Tuohy, Janet M.; Stewart, George R.

    1987-01-01

    Gas exchange characteristics are reported for both members of the sorghum-Striga host-parasite association. Both Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth and Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze had transpiration rates considerably in excess of those of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench, cv CSH1). Stomatal conductance in both Striga spp. showed little response to periods of darkness and moderate water stress. Low rates of net CO2 fixation and high rates of dark respiration led to no net daily (24 hours) C gain, and Striga would appear to be reliant on its host for photosynthate. Infection of sorghum plants with either S. hermonthica or S. asiatica reduced host photosynthetic capacity. Infected sorghum plants were also more prone to water stress, but reduced rates of CO2 fixation could not be accounted for in terms of lower stomatal conductance. Lower stomatal conductances were associated with an increase in water use efficiency (WUE) in uninfected sorghum; however, Striga-infected sorghum plants had lower WUE than those of uninfected plants. We suggest that Striga exerts a specific effect on processes affecting C acquisition in sorghum leaves. The water relations of S. hermonthica and S. asiatica are not characteristic of plants growing in semiarid environments and are more likely to reflect the nature of the parasitic life-style. Despite transfer of water and solutes from host to parasite, the reduction in C fixation observed in infected sorghum plants appears to be the major determinant of growth reductions observed in sorghum supporting Striga. PMID:16665527

  9. StyletChip: a microfluidic device for recording host invasion behaviour and feeding of plant parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Hu, Chunxiao; Kearn, James; Urwin, Peter; Lilley, Catherine; O' Connor, Vincent; Holden-Dye, Lindy; Morgan, Hywel

    2014-07-21

    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

  10. Comparative genomics of parasitic silkworm microsporidia reveal an association between genome expansion and host adaptation

    PubMed Central