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Sample records for host parasite interactions

  1. Olfaction shapes host-parasite interactions in parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Dillman, Adler R; Guillermin, Manon L; Lee, Joon Ha; Kim, Brian; Sternberg, Paul W; Hallem, Elissa A

    2012-08-28

    Many parasitic nematodes actively seek out hosts in which to complete their lifecycles. Olfaction is thought to play an important role in the host-seeking process, with parasites following a chemical trail toward host-associated odors. However, little is known about the olfactory cues that attract parasitic nematodes to hosts or the behavioral responses these cues elicit. Moreover, what little is known focuses on easily obtainable laboratory hosts rather than on natural or other ecologically relevant hosts. Here we investigate the olfactory responses of six diverse species of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) to seven ecologically relevant potential invertebrate hosts, including one known natural host and other potential hosts collected from the environment. We show that EPNs respond differentially to the odor blends emitted by live potential hosts as well as to individual host-derived odorants. In addition, we show that EPNs use the universal host cue CO(2) as well as host-specific odorants for host location, but the relative importance of CO(2) versus host-specific odorants varies for different parasite-host combinations and for different host-seeking behaviors. We also identified host-derived odorants by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and found that many of these odorants stimulate host-seeking behaviors in a species-specific manner. Taken together, our results demonstrate that parasitic nematodes have evolved specialized olfactory systems that likely contribute to appropriate host selection. PMID:22851767

  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 propose here is important and relevant to understand the proximate basis of parasite strategies, to predict their evolutionary dynamics and potentially to prevent therapeutic failures. PMID:26026593

  3. 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

  4. Diet quality determines interspecific parasite interactions in host populations

    PubMed Central

    Lange, Benjamin; Reuter, Max; Ebert, Dieter; Muylaert, Koenraad; Decaestecker, Ellen

    2014-01-01

    The widespread occurrence of multiple infections and the often vast range of nutritional resources for their hosts allow that interspecific parasite interactions in natural host populations might be determined by host diet quality. Nevertheless, the role of diet quality with respect to multispecies parasite interactions on host population level is not clear. We here tested the effect of host population diet quality on the parasite community in an experimental study using Daphnia populations. We studied the effect of diet quality on Daphnia population demography and the interactions in multispecies parasite infections of this freshwater crustacean host. The results of our experiment show that the fitness of a low-virulent microsporidian parasite decreased in low, but not in high-host-diet quality conditions. Interestingly, infections with the microsporidium protected Daphnia populations against a more virulent bacterial parasite. The observed interspecific parasite interactions are discussed with respect to the role of diet quality-dependent changes in host fecundity. This study reflects that exploitation competition in multispecies parasite infections is environmentally dependent, more in particular it shows that diet quality affects interspecific parasite competition within a single host and that this can be mediated by host population-level effects. PMID:25247066

  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. Host-parasite interactions: an intimate epigenetic relationship.

    PubMed

    Cheeseman, Kevin; Weitzman, Jonathan B

    2015-08-01

    The epigenetics of host-pathogen interactions is emerging as an interesting angle from which to study how parasites have evolved sophisticated strategies to manipulate host gene transcription and protein expression. In this review, we discuss the application of an operational framework to investigate the host cell signalling pathways that are induced by intracellular parasites and the epigenomic consequences in the host nucleus. To illustrate this conceptual approach, we have focused on examples from two eukaryotic intracellular parasites of the apicomplexa phylum: Theileria and Toxoplasma. We review recent findings on intracellular parasitism strategies for hijacking host nuclear functions and discuss how we might think of the parasite and its proteome as an intracellular epigenator. PMID:26096716

  7. 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).

  8. Host-parasite interactions between whiteflies and their parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Gelman, Dale B; Gerling, Dan; Blackburn, Michael B; Hu, Jing S

    2005-12-01

    There is relatively little information available concerning the physiological and biochemical interactions between whiteflies and their parasitoids. In this report, we describe interactions between aphelinid parasitoids and their aleyrodid hosts that we have observed in four host-parasite systems: Bemisia tabaci/Encarsia formosa, Trialeurodes vaporariorum/E. formosa, B. tabaci/Eretmocerus mundus, and T. lauri/Encarsia scapeata. In the absence of reported polydnavirus and teratocytes, these parasitoids probably inject and/or produce compounds that interfere with the host immune response and also manipulate host development to suit their own needs. In addition, parasitoids must coordinate their own development with that of their host. Although eggs are deposited under all four instars of B. tabaci, Eretmocerus larvae only penetrate 4th instar B. tabaci nymphs. A pre-penetrating E. mundus first instar was capable of inducing permanent developmental arrest in its host, and upon penetration stimulated its host to produce a capsule (epidermal in origin) in which the parasitoid larva developed. T. vaporariorum and B. tabaci parasitized by E. formosa initiated adult development, and, on occasion, produced abnormal adult wings and eyes. In these systems, the site of parasitoid oviposition depended on the host species, occurring within or pressing into the ventral ganglion in T. vaporariorum and at various locations in B. tabaci. E. formosa's final larval molt is cued by the initiation of adult development in its host. In the T. lauri-E. scapeata system, both the host whitefly and the female parasitoid diapause during most of the year, i.e., from June until the middle of February (T. lauri) or from May until the end of December (E. scapeata). It appears that the growth and development of the insects are directed by the appearance of new, young foliage on Arbutus andrachne, the host tree. When adult female parasitoids emerged in the spring, they laid unfertilized male-producing eggs in whiteflies containing a female parasitoid [autoparasitism (development of male larvae utilizing female parasitoid immatures for nutrition)]. Upon hatching, these male larvae did not diapause, but initiated development, and the adult males that emerged several weeks later mated with available females to produce the next generation of parasitoid females. Thus, the interactions that exist between whiteflies and their parasitoids are complex and can be quite diverse in the various host-parasitoid systems. PMID:16304614

  9. Host-Parasite Interaction: Parasite-Derived and -Induced Proteases That Degrade Human Extracellular Matrix

    PubMed Central

    Piña-Vázquez, Carolina; Reyes-López, Magda; Ortíz-Estrada, Guillermo; de la Garza, Mireya; Serrano-Luna, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Parasitic protozoa are among the most important pathogens worldwide. Diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis, amoebiasis, giardiasis, trichomoniasis, and trypanosomiasis affect millions of people. Humans are constantly threatened by infections caused by these pathogens. Parasites engage a plethora of surface and secreted molecules to attach to and enter mammalian cells. The secretion of lytic enzymes by parasites into host organs mediates critical interactions because of the invasion and destruction of interstitial tissues, enabling parasite migration to other sites within the hosts. Extracellular matrix is a complex, cross-linked structure that holds cells together in an organized assembly and that forms the basement membrane lining (basal lamina). The extracellular matrix represents a major barrier to parasites. Therefore, the evolution of mechanisms for connective-tissue degradation may be of great importance for parasite survival. Recent advances have been achieved in our understanding of the biochemistry and molecular biology of proteases from parasitic protozoa. The focus of this paper is to discuss the role of protozoan parasitic proteases in the degradation of host ECM proteins and the participation of these molecules as virulence factors. We divide the paper into two sections, extracellular and intracellular protozoa. PMID:22792442

  10. Reaction norms of host immunity, host fitness and parasite performance in a mouse - intestinal nematode interaction.

    PubMed

    Lippens, Cédric; Guivier, Emmanuel; Faivre, Bruno; Sorci, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    The outcome of the encounter between a host and a parasite depends on the synergistic effects of the genetics of the two partners and the environment (sensulato) where the interaction takes place. Reaction norms can depict how host and parasite traits vary across environmental ranges for different genotypes. Here, we performed a large scale experiment where three strains of laboratory mice (SJL, BALB/c and CBA) were infected with four doses of the intestinal nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus. An increasing infective dose can be considered as a proxy for the environment-dependent risk incontracting the infection. We looked at the fitness traits of hosts and parasites, and assessed the underlying immunological functions likely to affect the observed pattern of resistance/susceptibility/tolerance. We found that the infective dose had a strong effect on both host fitness and parasite performance. Interestingly, for most traits, host genotypes did not rank consistently across the increasing infective doses and according to the expected pattern of strain-specific resistance/susceptibility/tolerance. Analyses of cytokine production allowed better understanding of the mechanistic basis underlying variations in fitness-linked traits. The infective dose affected the shape of the reaction norms of the cytokines IL-4, IL-10 and IL-6. Dose-dependent variation in cytokine production explained, moreover, the strain-specific pattern of infection cost, host resistance and parasite performance. As long as the infective dose increased, there was a marked shift towards a pro-inflammatory status in the SJL strain of mice that was positively correlated with cost of the infection and parasite performance. Overall, our study strongly suggests that the notion of host resistance is labile and depends on the environmental conditions where the interaction takes place. Moreover, integrating information on fitness-linked traits and the underlying mechanisms seems essential for a better understanding of host and parasite adaptations across variable environments. PMID:26627846

  11. Aggregation of Infective Stages of Parasites as an Adaptation and Its Implications for the Study of Parasite-Host Interactions.

    PubMed

    Morrill, André; Forbes, Mark R

    2016-02-01

    The causes and consequences of aggregation among conspecifics have received much attention. For infecting macroparasites, causes include variation among hosts in susceptibility and whether infective stages are aggregated in the environment. Here, we link these two phenomena and explore whether aggregation of infective stages in the environment is adaptive to parasites encountering host condition-linked defenses and what effect such aggregations have for parasite-host interactions. Using simulation models, we show that parasite fitness is increased by aggregates attacking a host, particularly when investment into defenses is high. The fitness benefit of aggregation remains despite inclusion of factors that should curb the benefits of aggregation, namely, mortality of low-condition hosts (those hosts expected to be most susceptible to parasitism) and costs of high coinfection. For sample sizes common in studies, aggregation of infective stages reduces the likelihood of detecting host condition-parasitism relations, even when host condition is the only other factor in models affecting parasitism. Thus, it is not surprising that the expected inverse relations between host condition and parasitism, commonly a premise in studies of parasite-host interactions, are inconsistently found. An understanding of how parasites encounter hosts is thus needed for developing theory for parasite-host ecological and evolutionary interactions. PMID:26807749

  12. 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 have been found to co-evolve. The stressful effect of the phage causes development of bacteria resistant to this phage, then a mutant phage capable of lysing these bacteria evolves, etc.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Genetic variation changes the interactions between the parasitic plant-ecosystem engineer Rhinanthus and its hosts

    PubMed Central

    Rowntree, Jennifer K.; Cameron, Duncan D.; Preziosi, Richard F.

    2011-01-01

    Within-species genetic variation is a potent factor influencing between-species interactions and community-level structure. Species of the hemi-parasitic plant genus Rhinanthus act as ecosystem engineers, significantly altering above- and below-ground community structure in grasslands. Here, we show the importance of genotypic variation within a single host species (barley—Hordeum vulgare), and population-level variation among two species of parasite (Rhinanthus minor and Rhinanthus angustifolius) on the outcome of parasite infection for both partners. We measured host fitness (number of seeds) and calculated parasite virulence as the difference in seed set between infected and uninfected hosts (the inverse of host tolerance). Virulence was determined by genetic variation within the host species and among the parasite species, but R. angustifolius was consistently more virulent than R. minor. The most tolerant host had the lowest inherent fitness and did not gain a fitness advantage over other infected hosts. We measured parasite size as a proxy for transmission ability (ability to infect further hosts) and host resistance. Parasite size depended on the specific combination of host genotype, parasite species and parasite population, and no species was consistently larger. We demonstrate that the outcome of infection by Rhinanthus depends not only on the host species, but also on the underlying genetics of both host and parasite. Thus, genetic variations within host and parasite are probably essential components of the ecosystem-altering effects of Rhinanthus. PMID:21444312

  19. Spatial structures in a simple model of population dynamics for parasite-host interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, J. J.; Skinner, B.; Breecher, N.; Schmittmann, B.; Zia, R. K. P.

    2015-08-01

    Spatial patterning can be crucially important for understanding the behavior of interacting populations. Here we investigate a simple model of parasite and host populations in which parasites are random walkers that must come into contact with a host in order to reproduce. We focus on the spatial arrangement of parasites around a single host, and we derive using analytics and numerical simulations the necessary conditions placed on the parasite fecundity and lifetime for the population's long-term survival. We also show that the parasite population can be pushed to extinction by a large drift velocity, but, counterintuitively, a small drift velocity generally increases the parasite population.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. Genes involved in host–parasite interactions can be revealed by their correlated expression

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Adam James; Berriman, Matthew

    2013-01-01

    Molecular interactions between a parasite and its host are key to the ability of the parasite to enter the host and persist. Our understanding of the genes and proteins involved in these interactions is limited. To better understand these processes it would be advantageous to have a range of methods to predict pairs of genes involved in such interactions. Correlated gene expression profiles can be used to identify molecular interactions within a species. Here we have extended the concept to different species, showing that genes with correlated expression are more likely to encode proteins, which directly or indirectly participate in host–parasite interaction. We go on to examine our predictions of molecular interactions between the malaria parasite and both its mammalian host and insect vector. Our approach could be applied to study any interaction between species, for example, between a host and its parasites or pathogens, but also symbiotic and commensal pairings. PMID:23275547

  3. Genotype-specific interactions and the trade-off between host and parasite fitness

    PubMed Central

    Salvaudon, Lucie; Héraudet, Virginie; Shykoff, Jacqui A

    2007-01-01

    Background Evolution of parasite traits is inextricably linked to their hosts. For instance one common definition of parasite virulence is the reduction in host fitness due to infection. Thus, traits of infection must be viewed in both protagonists and may be under shared genetic and physiological control. We investigated these questions on the oomycete Hyaloperonospora arabidopsis (= parasitica), a natural pathogen of the Brassicaceae Arabidopsis thaliana. Results We performed a controlled cross inoculation experiment confronting six lines of the host plant with seven strains of the parasite in order to evaluate genetic variation for phenotypic traits of infection among hosts, parasites, and distinct combinations. Parasite infection intensity and transmission were highly variable among parasite strains and host lines but depended also on the interaction between particular genotypes of the protagonists, and genetic variation for the infection phenotype of parasites from natural populations was found even at a small spatial scale within population. Furthermore, increased parasite fitness led to a significant decrease in host fitness only on a single host line (Gb), although a trade-off between these two traits was expected because host and parasite share the same resource pool for their respective reproduction. We propose that different levels of compatibility dependent on genotype by genotype interactions might lead to different amounts of resources available for host and parasite reproduction. This variation in compatibility could thus mask the expected negative relationship between host and parasite fitness, as the total resource pool would not be constant. Conclusion These results highlight the importance of host variation in the determination of parasite fitness traits. This kind of interaction may in turn decouple the relationship between parasite transmission and its negative effect on host fitness, altering theoretical predictions of parasite evolution. PMID:17919316

  4. 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.

  5. Host-parasite genetic interactions and virulence-transmission relationships in natural populations of monarch butterflies.

    PubMed

    de Roode, Jacobus C; Altizer, Sonia

    2010-02-01

    Evolutionary models predict that parasite virulence (parasite-induced host mortality) can evolve as a consequence of natural selection operating on between-host parasite transmission. Two major assumptions are that virulence and transmission are genetically related and that the relative virulence and transmission of parasite genotypes remain similar across host genotypes. We conducted a cross-infection experiment using monarch butterflies and their protozoan parasites from two populations in eastern and western North America. We tested each of 10 host family lines against each of 18 parasite genotypes and measured virulence (host life span) and parasite transmission potential (spore load). Consistent with virulence evolution theory, we found a positive relationship between virulence and transmission across parasite genotypes. However, the absolute values of virulence and transmission differed among host family lines, as did the rank order of parasite clones along the virulence-transmission relationship. Population-level analyses showed that parasites from western North America caused higher infection levels and virulence, but there was no evidence of local adaptation of parasites on sympatric hosts. Collectively, our results suggest that host genotypes can affect the strength and direction of selection on virulence in natural populations, and that predicting virulence evolution may require building genotype-specific interactions into simpler trade-off models. PMID:19796153

  6. 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.

  7. The Common Swift Louse Fly, Crataerina pallida: An Ideal Species for Studying Host-Parasite Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Mark D.; Rotherham, Ian D.

    2010-01-01

    Little is known of the life-history of many parasitic species. This hinders a full understanding of host-parasitic interactions. The common swift louse fly, Crataerina pallida Latreille (Diptera: Hippoboscidae), an obligate haematophagous parasite of the Common Swift, Apus apus Linnaeus 1758, is one such species. No detrimental effect of its parasitism upon the host has been found. This may be because too little is known about C. pallida ecology, and therefore detrimental effects are also unknown. This is a review of what is known about the life-history of this parasite, with the aim of promoting understanding of its ecology. New, previously unreported observations about C. pallida made from personal observations at a nesting swift colony are described. Unanswered questions are highlighted, which may aid understanding of this host-parasite system. C. pallida may prove a suitable model species for the study of other host-parasite relationships. PMID:21268705

  8. 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

  9. Functional paradox in host-pathogen interaction dictates the fate of parasites.

    PubMed

    Dey, Ranadhir; Khan, Srijit; Pahari, Sushmita; Srivastava, Neetu; Jadhav, Meenakshi; Saha, Bhaskar

    2007-08-01

    The interactions between the protozoan parasite Leishmania and host macrophages are complex and involve several paradoxical functions that are meant for protection of the host but exploited by the parasite for its survival. The initial interaction of the parasite surface molecules with the host-cell receptors plays a major role in the final outcome of the disease state. While the interactions between macrophages and a virulent strain of Leishmania trigger a cascade of cell-signaling events leading to immunosuppression, the interaction with an avirulent strain triggers host-protective immune effector functions. Thus, an incisive study on Leishmania-macrophage interactions reveals functional paradoxes that highlight the concept of 'relativity in parasite virulence'. Using Leishmania infection as a model, we propose that virulence of a pathogen and the resistance (or susceptibility) of a host to the pathogen are relative properties that equate to combinatorial functions of several sets of molecular processes. PMID:17683278

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Significance of Cuscutain, a cysteine protease from Cuscuta reflexa, in host-parasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Plant infestation with parasitic weeds like Cuscuta reflexa induces morphological as well as biochemical changes in the host and the parasite. These modifications could be caused by a change in protein or gene activity. Using a comparative macroarray approach Cuscuta genes specifically upregulated at the host attachment site were identified. Results One of the infestation specific Cuscuta genes encodes a cysteine protease. The protein and its intrinsic inhibitory peptide were heterologously expressed, purified and biochemically characterized. The haustoria specific enzyme was named cuscutain in accordance with similar proteins from other plants, e.g. papaya. The role of cuscutain and its inhibitor during the host parasite interaction was studied by external application of an inhibitor suspension, which induced a significant reduction of successful infection events. Conclusions The study provides new information about molecular events during the parasitic plant - host interaction. Inhibition of cuscutain cysteine proteinase could provide means for antagonizing parasitic plants. PMID:20964874

  15. 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

  16. Growth factors and chemotactic factors from parasitic helminths: molecular evidence for roles in host-parasite interactions versus parasite development.

    PubMed

    Freitas, Tori C; Pearce, Edward J

    2010-06-01

    For decades molecular helminthologists have been interested in identifying proteins expressed by the parasite that have roles in modulating the host immune response. In some cases, the aim was targeting parasite-derived orthologues of mammalian cytokines and growth factors known to have functions in immune modulation. In others, novel proteins without homology to mammalian cytokines were isolated by investigating effects of purified worm extracts on various immunological processes. Often, the role parasite-derived growth factors play in worm development was ignored. Here, we review growth factors and chemotactic factors expressed by parasitic helminths and discuss their recognised and potential roles in immunomodulation and/or parasite development. PMID:20359480

  17. Exploring the role of biogenic amines in schistosome host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Paula

    2015-09-01

    Biogenic amines (BAs) are important neurotransmitters of the schistosome nervous system, but their role in the host-parasite interaction is poorly understood. Recent findings suggest that BAs may play an important role in the interaction with the snail intermediate host. This new evidence adds an important piece of information to our understanding of this complex system. PMID:26254959

  18. 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

  19. Possible Roles of Ectophosphatases in Host-Parasite Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Marta T.; Lopes, Angela H.; Meyer-Fernandes, José Roberto

    2011-01-01

    The interaction and survival of pathogens in hostile environments and in confrontation with host immune responses are important mechanisms for the establishment of infection. Ectophosphatases are enzymes localized at the plasma membrane of cells, and their active sites face the external medium rather than the cytoplasm. Once activated, these enzymes are able to hydrolyze phosphorylated substrates in the extracellular milieu. Several studies demonstrated the presence of surface-located ecto-phosphatases in a vast number of pathogenic organisms, including bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. Little is known about the role of ecto-phosphatases in host-pathogen interactions. The present paper provides an overview of recent findings related to the virulence induced by these surface molecules in protozoa and fungi. PMID:21603194

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. 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

  3. Interactions between environmental stressors: the influence of salinity on host-parasite interactions between Daphnia magna and Pasteuria ramosa.

    PubMed

    Hall, Matthew D; Vettiger, Andrea; Ebert, Dieter

    2013-04-01

    Interactions between environmental stressors play an important role in shaping the health of an organism. This is particularly true in terms of the prevalence and severity of infectious disease, as stressors in combination will not always act to simply decrease the immune function of a host, but may instead interact to compound or even oppose the influence of parasitism on the health of an organism. Here, we explore the impact of environmental stress on host-parasite interactions using the water flea Daphnia magna and it is obligate parasite Pasteuria ramosa. Utilising an ecologically relevant stressor, we focus on the combined effect of salinity and P. ramosa on the fecundity and survival of the host, as well as on patterns of infectivity and the proliferation of the parasite. We show that in the absence of the parasite, host fecundity and survival was highest in the low salinity treatments. Once a parasite was introduced into the environment, however, salinity and parasitism acted antagonistically to influence both host survival and fecundity, and these patterns of disease were unrelated to infection rates or parasite spore loads. By summarising the form of interactions found in the broader Daphnia literature, we highlight how the combined effect of stress and parasitism will vary with the type of stressor, the trait used to describe the health of Daphnia and the host-parasite combination under observation. Our results highlight how the context-dependent nature of interactions between stress and parasitism inevitably complicates the link between environmental factors and the prevalence and severity of disease. PMID:23001624

  4. A proteomics view of programmed cell death mechanisms during host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Cuervo, Patricia; Fernandes, Nilma; de Jesus, Jose Batista

    2011-12-10

    Protozoan parasites are responsible for an impressive disease burden in developing and less-developed countries. The development of vaccines and effective new therapies for dealing with these organisms are among the main gaps to be filled in the control of protozoan parasite diseases. Programmed cell death (PCD) pathways have gained attention in recent years because they comprise complex signalling pathways that can be explored for therapeutic developments. In addition, high-resolution proteomics approaches offer the opportunity to determine protein patterns associated with either cell survival or cell death. This review will focus on proteomics studies of PCD mechanisms during host-protozoan parasite interactions. PMID:21843666

  5. Host-parasite interactions and the evolution of non-random mating

    PubMed Central

    Greenspoon, Philip B.; M’Gonigle, Leithen K.

    2014-01-01

    Some species mate non-randomly with respect to alleles underlying immunity. One hypothesis proposes that this is advantageous because non-random mating can lead to offspring with superior parasite resistance. We investigate this hypothesis, generalizing previous models in four ways: First, rather than only examine invasibility of modifiers of non-random mating, we identify evolutionarily stable strategies. Second, we study co-evolution of both haploid and diploid hosts and parasites. Third, we allow for maternal parasite transmission. Fourth, we allow for many alleles at the interaction-locus. We find that evolutionarily stable rates of assortative or disassortative mating are usually near zero or one. However, for one case, whose assumptions most closely match the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) system, intermediate rates of disassortative mating can evolve. Across all cases, with haploid hosts, evolution proceeds towards complete disassortative mating, whereas with diploid hosts either assortative or disassortative mating can evolve. Evolution of non-random mating is much less affected by the ploidy of parasites. For the MHC case, maternal transmission of parasites, because it creates an advantage to producing offspring that differ from their parents, leads to higher evolutionarily stable rates of disassortative mating. Lastly, with more alleles at the interaction-locus, disassortative mating evolves to higher levels. PMID:25314225

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

    PubMed

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    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

  11. 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 complex relationships between diseases and cultivated and natural molluscan populations. Further, in some instances the enhancement or restoration of valued ecosystem services may be contingent on management of molluscan disease. The application of newly emerging molecular tools and remote sensing techniques to the study of molluscan disease will be important in identifying how changes at varying spatial and temporal scales with global change are modifying host-parasite systems. PMID:26341124

  12. One day is enough: rapid and specific host–parasite interactions in a stickleback-trematode system

    PubMed Central

    Rauch, Gisep; Kalbe, Martin; Reusch, Thorsten B.H

    2006-01-01

    Red Queen models of host–parasite coevolution are based on genotype by genotype host–parasite interactions. Such interactions require a genotype specific host defence and, simultaneously, a genotype specific parasite infectivity. Specificity is defined here as defence or infection ability successful against only a subset of genotypes of the same species. A specific defence depends on detectable genotypic variation on the parasite side and on a host defence mechanism that differentiates between parasite genotypes. In vertebrates, the MHC-based adaptive immune system can provide such a defence mechanism, but it needs at least several days to get fully mounted. In contrast, the innate immune system is immediately ready. The trematode parasite species used here reaches the immunologically protected eye lens of its three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) host within 24?h. Thus, it disappears too fast for the fully mounted MHC-based adaptive immune system. In a complete cross-infection experiment using five fish-families and five parasite-clones, we found for the first time fish-family by parasite-clone interactions in vertebrates, although the parasite was only exposed to the immune system for maximally one day. Such interactions require a fast genotype specific defence, suggesting the importance of other defence mechanisms than the too slow, fully mounted adaptive immune system in vertebrates. PMID:17148409

  13. 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

  14. Host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions in the evolution of obligate plant parasitism.

    PubMed

    Kemen, Ariane C; Agler, Matthew T; Kemen, Eric

    2015-06-01

    Research on obligate biotrophic plant parasites, which reproduce only on living hosts, has revealed a broad diversity of filamentous microbes that have independently acquired complex morphological structures, such as haustoria. Genome studies have also demonstrated a concerted loss of genes for metabolism and lytic enzymes, and gain of diversity of genes coding for effectors involved in host defense suppression. So far, these traits converge in all known obligate biotrophic parasites, but unexpected genome plasticity remains. This plasticity is manifested as transposable element (TE)-driven increases in genome size, observed to be associated with the diversification of virulence genes under selection pressure. Genome expansion could result from the governing of the pathogen response to ecological selection pressures, such as host or nutrient availability, or to microbial interactions, such as competition, hyperparasitism and beneficial cooperations. Expansion is balanced by alternating sexual and asexual cycles, as well as selfing and outcrossing, which operate to control transposon activity in populations. In turn, the prevalence of these balancing mechanisms seems to be correlated with external biotic factors, suggesting a complex, interconnected evolutionary network in host-pathogen-microbe interactions. Therefore, the next phase of obligate biotrophic pathogen research will need to uncover how this network, including multitrophic interactions, shapes the evolution and diversity of pathogens. PMID:25622918

  15. 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 intervals may bias findings. PMID:24391725

  16. Large, rapidly evolving gene families are at the forefront of host-parasite interactions in Apicomplexa.

    PubMed

    Reid, Adam J

    2015-02-01

    The Apicomplexa is a phylum of parasitic protozoa, which includes the malaria parasite Plasmodium, amongst other species that can devastate human and animal health. The past decade has seen the release of genome sequences for many of the most important apicomplexan species, providing an excellent basis for improving our understanding of their biology. One of the key features of each genome is a unique set of large, variant gene families. Although closely related species share the same families, even different types of malaria parasite have distinct families. In some species they tend to be found at the ends of chromosomes, which may facilitate aspects of gene expression regulation and generation of sequence diversity. In others they are scattered apparently randomly across chromosomes. For some families there is evidence they are involved in antigenic variation, immune regulation and immune evasion. For others there are no known functions. Even where function is unknown these families are most often predicted to be exposed to the host, contain much sequence diversity and evolve rapidly. Based on these properties it is clear that they are at the forefront of host-parasite interactions. In this review I compare and contrast the genomic context, gene structure, gene expression, protein localization and function of these families across different species. PMID:25257746

  17. Roles of Trypanosoma cruzi calreticulin in parasite-host interactions and in tumor growth.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Galia; Valck, Carolina; Aguilar, Lorena; Kemmerling, Ulrike; López-Muñoz, Rodrigo; Cabrera, Gonzalo; Morello, Antonio; Ferreira, Jorge; Maya, Juan Diego; Galanti, Norbel; Ferreira, Arturo

    2012-10-01

    In Latin America, there are about 10-12 million people infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas' disease, one of the most important neglected tropical parasitism. Identification of molecular targets, specific for the aggressor or host cells or both, may be useful in the development of pharmacological and/or immunological therapeutic tools. Classic efforts in Chagas' disease explore those strategies. Although the immune system frequently controls parasite aggressions, sterile immunity is seldom achieved and chronic interactions are thus established. However, laboratory-modified immunologic probes aimed at selected parasite targets, may be more effective than their unmodified counterparts. Calreticulin (CRT) from vertebrates is a calcium binding protein, present mainly in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where it directs the conformation of proteins and controls calcium levels. We have isolated, gene-cloned, expressed and characterized T. cruzi calreticulin (TcCRT). Upon infection, the parasite can translocate this molecule from the ER to the surface, where it inhibits both the classical and lectin complement pathways. Moreover, by virtue of its capacity to bind and inactivate first complement component C1, it promotes parasite infectivity. These two related properties reside in the central domain of this molecule. A different domain, amino terminal, binds to endothelial cells, thus inhibiting their angiogenic capacity. Since tumor growth depends, to a large extent on angiogenesis, their growth is also inhibited. PMID:22673211

  18. 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

  19. Synergistic parasite-pathogen interactions mediated by host immunity can drive the collapse of honeybee colonies.

    PubMed

    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-?B. The centrality of NF-?B 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Méthot, Pierre-Olivier; Alizon, Samuel

    2014-01-01

    Until quite recently and since the late 19(th) 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Insights into the Trypanosome-Host Interactions Revealed through Transcriptomic Analysis of Parasitized Tsetse Fly Salivary Glands

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xin; Savage, Amy F.; Regmi, Sandesh; e Silva, Thiago Luiz Alves; O'Neill, Michelle; Aksoy, Serap

    2014-01-01

    The agents of sleeping sickness disease, Trypanosoma brucei complex parasites, are transmitted to mammalian hosts through the bite of an infected tsetse. Information on tsetse-trypanosome interactions in the salivary gland (SG) tissue, and on mammalian infective metacyclic (MC) parasites present in the SG, is sparse. We performed RNA-seq analyses from uninfected and T. b. brucei infected SGs of Glossina morsitans morsitans. Comparison of the SG transcriptomes to a whole body fly transcriptome revealed that only 2.7% of the contigs are differentially expressed during SG infection, and that only 263 contigs (0.6%) are preferentially expressed in the SGs (SG-enriched). The expression of only 37 contigs (0.08%) and 27 SG-enriched contigs (10%) were suppressed in infected SG. These suppressed contigs accounted for over 55% of the SG transcriptome, and included the most abundant putative secreted proteins with anti-hemostatic functions present in saliva. In contrast, expression of putative host proteins associated with immunity, stress, cell division and tissue remodeling were enriched in infected SG suggesting that parasite infections induce host immune and stress response(s) that likely results in tissue renewal. We also performed RNA-seq analysis from mouse blood infected with the same parasite strain, and compared the transcriptome of bloodstream form (BSF) cells with that of parasites obtained from the infected SG. Over 30% of parasite transcripts are differentially regulated between the two stages, and reflect parasite adaptations to varying host nutritional and immune ecology. These differences are associated with the switch from an amino acid based metabolism in the SG to one based on glucose utilization in the blood, and with surface coat modifications that enable parasite survival in the different hosts. This study provides a foundation on the molecular aspects of the trypanosome dialogue with its tsetse and mammalian hosts, necessary for future functional investigations. PMID:24763140

  11. Forest fragmentation, the decline of an endangered primate, and changes in host-parasite interactions relative to an unfragmented forest.

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Thomas R; Chapman, Colin A

    2008-03-01

    Forest fragmentation may alter host-parasite interactions in ways that contribute to host population declines. We tested this prediction by examining parasite infections and the abundance of infective helminths in 20 forest fragments and in unfragmented forest in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Over 4 years, the endangered red colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus) declined by 20% in fragments, whereas the black-and-white colobus (Colobus guereza) in fragments and populations of both colobines in unfragmented forest remained relatively stable. Seven nematodes (Strongyloides fulleborni, Strongyloides stercoralis, Oesophagostomum sp., an unidentified strongyle, Trichuris sp., Ascaris sp., and Colobenterobius sp.), one cestode (Bertiella sp.), and three protozoans (Entamoeba coli, Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, and Giardia sp.) were detected. Infection prevalence and the magnitude of multiple infections were greater for red colobus in fragmented than in unfragmented forest, but these parameters did not differ between forests for black-and-white colobus. Infective-stage colobus parasites occurred at higher densities in fragmented compared with unfragmented forest, demonstrating greater infection risk for fragmented populations. There was little evidence that the nature of the infection was related to the size of the fragment, the density of the host, or the nature of the infection in the other colobine, despite the fact that many of the parasites are considered generalists. This study suggests that forest fragmentation can alter host-parasite dynamics and demonstrates that such changes can correspond with changes in host population size in forest fragments. PMID:17879941

  12. 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

  13. Trichomonas vaginalis and Tritrichomonas foetus: interaction with fibroblasts and muscle cells - new insights into parasite-mediated host cell cytotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Vilela, Ricardo Chaves; Benchimol, Marlene

    2012-09-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis and Tritrichomonas foetus are parasitic, flagellated protists that inhabit the urogenital tract of humans and bovines, respectively. T. vaginalis causes the most prevalent non-viral sexually transmitted disease worldwide and has been associated with an increased risk for human immunodeficiency virus-1 infection in humans. Infections by T. foetus cause significant losses to the beef industry worldwide due to infertility and spontaneous abortion in cows. Several studies have shown a close association between trichomonads and the epithelium of the urogenital tract. However, little is known concerning the interaction of trichomonads with cells from deeper tissues, such as fibroblasts and muscle cells. Published parasite-host cell interaction studies have reported contradictory results regarding the ability of T. foetus and T. vaginalis to interact with and damage cells of different tissues. In this study, parasite-host cell interactions were examined by culturing primary human fibroblasts obtained from abdominal biopsies performed during plastic surgeries with trichomonads. In addition, mouse 3T3 fibroblasts, primary chick embryo myogenic cells and L6 muscle cells were also used as models of target cells. The parasite-host cell cultures were processed for scanning and transmission electron microscopy and were tested for cell viability and cell death. JC-1 staining, which measures mitochondrial membrane potential, was used to determine whether the parasites induced target cell damage. Terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP nick end labelling staining was used as an indicator of chromatin damage. The colorimetric crystal violet assay was performed to ana-lyse the cytotoxicity induced by the parasite. The results showed that T. foetus and T. vaginalis adhered to and were cytotoxic to both fibroblasts and muscle cells, indicating that trichomonas infection of the connective and muscle tissues is likely to occur; such infections could cause serious risks to the infected host. PMID:22990959

  14. Stage-Regulated GFP Expression in Trypanosoma cruzi: Applications from Host-Parasite Interactions to Drug Screening

    PubMed Central

    Pontello Rampazzo, Rita de Cássia; Lourenço, Édio Elígio; Fidêncio, Nilson José; Manhaes, Lauro; Probst, Christian Macagnan; Ávila, Andréa Rodrigues; Fragoso, Stenio Perdigão

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiological agent of Chagas disease, an illness that affects about 10 million people, mostly in South America, for which there is no effective treatment or vaccine. In this context, transgenic parasites expressing reporter genes are interesting tools for investigating parasite biology and host-parasite interactions, with a view to developing new strategies for disease prevention and treatment. We describe here the construction of a stably transfected fluorescent T. cruzi clone in which the GFP gene is integrated into the chromosome carrying the ribosomal cistron in T. cruzi Dm28c. This fluorescent T. cruzi produces detectable amounts of GFP only at replicative stages (epimastigote and amastigote), consistent with the larger amounts of GFP mRNA detected in these forms than in the non replicative trypomastigote stages. The fluorescence signal was also strongly correlated with the total number of parasites in T. cruzi cultures, providing a simple and rapid means of determining the growth inhibitory dose of anti-T.cruzi drugs in epimastigotes, by fluorometric microplate screening, and in amastigotes, by the flow cytometric quantification of T. cruzi-infected Vero cells. This fluorescent T. cruzi clone is, thus, an interesting tool for unbiased detection of the proliferating stages of the parasite, with multiple applications in the genetic analysis of T. cruzi, including analyses of host-parasite interactions, gene expression regulation and drug development. PMID:23840703

  15. Role of cyclooxygenase-2 in Trypanosoma cruzi survival in the early stages of parasite host-cell interaction.

    PubMed

    Moraes, Karen C M; Diniz, Lívia F; Bahia, Maria Terezinha

    2015-04-01

    Chagas disease, caused by the intracellular protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, is a serious health problem in Latin America. During this parasitic infection, the heart is one of the major organs affected. The pathogenesis of tissue remodelling, particularly regarding cardiomyocyte behaviour after parasite infection and the molecular mechanisms that occur immediately following parasite entry into host cells are not yet completely understood. When cells are infected with T. cruzi, they develop an inflammatory response, in which cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) catalyses rate-limiting steps in the arachidonic acid pathway. However, how the parasite interaction modulates COX-2 activity is poorly understood. In this study, the H9c2 cell line was used as our model and we investigated cellular and biochemical aspects during the initial 48 h of parasitic infection. Oscillatory activity of COX-2 was observed, which correlated with the control of the pro-inflammatory environment in infected cells. Interestingly, subcellular trafficking was also verified, correlated with the control of Cox-2 mRNA or the activated COX-2 protein in cells, which is directly connected with the assemble of stress granules structures. Our collective findings suggest that in the very early stage of the T. cruzi-host cell interaction, the parasite is able to modulate the cellular metabolism in order to survives. PMID:25946241

  16. Getting what is served? Feeding ecology influencing parasite-host interactions in invasive round goby Neogobius melanostomus.

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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

  18. 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. These results demonstrate the complex nature of pesticide effects on trematode infections and indicate that trematodes can affect their first- and second-intermediate hosts differently under different pesticide concentrations. Our work has broad implications for parasite transmission and conservation and provides a testable mechanism for understanding trematode population declines in contaminated wetlands. PMID:26762862

  19. 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

  20. Calcium signaling during the plant-plant interaction of parasitic Cuscuta reflexa with its hosts.

    PubMed

    Albert, Markus; Kaiser, Bettina; van der Krol, Sander; Kaldenhoff, Ralf

    2010-09-01

    The plant parasite Cuscuta reflexa induces various responses in compatible and incompatible host plants. The visual reactions of both types of host plants including obvious morphological changes require the recognition of Cuscuta ssp. A consequently initiated signaling cascade is triggered which leads to a tolerance of the infection or, in the case of some incompatible host plants, to resistance. Calcium (Ca(2+)) release is the major second messenger during signal transduction. Therefore, we have studied Ca(2+) spiking in tomato and tobacco during infection with C. reflexa. In our recently published study Ca(2+) signals were monitored as bioluminescence in aequorin-expressing tomato plants after the onset of C. reflexa infestation. Signals at the attachment sites were observed from 30 to 48 h after infection. In an assay with leaf disks of aequorin-expressing tomato which were treated with different C. reflexa plant extracts it turned out that the substance that induced Ca(2+) release in the host plant was closely linked to the parasite's haustoria. PMID:20818172

  1. Calcium signaling during the plant-plant interaction of parasitic Cuscuta reflexa with its hosts

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Bettina; van der Krol, Sander; Kaldenhoff, Ralf

    2010-01-01

    The plant parasite Cuscuta reflexa induces various responses in compatible and incompatible host plants. The visual reactions of both types of host plants including obvious morphological changes require the recognition of Cuscuta ssp. A consequently initiated signaling cascade is triggered which leads to a tolerance of the infection or, in the case of some incompatible host plants, to resistance. Calcium (Ca2+) release is the major second messenger during signal transduction. Therefore, we have studied Ca2+ spiking in tomato and tobacco during infection with C. reflexa. In our recently published study1 Ca2+ signals were monitored as bioluminescence in aequorin-expressing tomato plants after the onset of C. reflexa infestation. Signals at the attachment sites were observed from 30 to 48 h after infection. In an assay with leaf disks of aequorin-expressing tomato which were treated with different C. reflexa plant extracts it turned out that the substance that induced Ca2+ release in the host plant was closely linked to the parasite's haustoria. PMID:20818172

  2. Outcomes of Brood Parasite–Host Interactions Mediated by Egg Matching: Common Cuckoos Cuculus canorus versus Fringilla Finches

    PubMed Central

    Vikan, Johan Reinert; Fossøy, Frode; Huhta, Esa; Moksnes, Arne; Røskaft, Eivin; Stokke, Bård Gunnar

    2011-01-01

    Background Antagonistic species often interact via matching of phenotypes, and interactions between brood parasitic common cuckoos (Cuculus canorus) and their hosts constitute classic examples. The outcome of a parasitic event is often determined by the match between host and cuckoo eggs, giving rise to potentially strong associations between fitness and egg phenotype. Yet, empirical efforts aiming to document and understand the resulting evolutionary outcomes are in short supply. Methods/Principal Findings We used avian color space models to analyze patterns of egg color variation within and between the cuckoo and two closely related hosts, the nomadic brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) and the site fidelic chaffinch (F. coelebs). We found that there is pronounced opportunity for disruptive selection on brambling egg coloration. The corresponding cuckoo host race has evolved egg colors that maximize fitness in both sympatric and allopatric brambling populations. By contrast, the chaffinch has a more bimodal egg color distribution consistent with the evolutionary direction predicted for the brambling. Whereas the brambling and its cuckoo host race show little geographical variation in their egg color distributions, the chaffinch's distribution becomes increasingly dissimilar to the brambling's distribution towards the core area of the brambling cuckoo host race. Conclusion High rates of brambling gene flow is likely to cool down coevolutionary hot spots by cancelling out the selection imposed by a patchily distributed cuckoo host race, thereby promoting a matching equilibrium. By contrast, the site fidelic chaffinch is more likely to respond to selection from adapting cuckoos, resulting in a markedly more bimodal egg color distribution. The geographic variation in the chaffinch's egg color distribution could reflect a historical gradient in parasitism pressure. Finally, marked cuckoo egg polymorphisms are unlikely to evolve in these systems unless the hosts evolve even more exquisite egg recognition capabilities than currently possessed. PMID:21559400

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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, non-invasive methods for obtaining quantita...

  6. A data integration approach to predict host-pathogen protein-protein interactions: application to recognize protein interactions between human and a malarial parasite.

    PubMed

    Krishnadev, Oruganty; Srinivasan, Narayanaswamy

    2008-01-01

    Lack of large-scale efforts aimed at recognizing interactions between host and pathogens limits our understanding of many diseases. We present a simple and generally applicable bioinformatics approach for the analysis of possible interactions between the proteins of a parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, and human host. In the first step, the physically compatible interactions between the parasite and human proteins are recognized using homology detection. This dataset of putative in vitro interactions is combined with large-scale datasets of expression and sub-cellular localization. This integrated approach reduces drastically the number of false positives and hence can be used for generating testable hypotheses. We could recognize known interactions previously suggested in the literature. We also propose new predictions which involve interactions of some of the parasite proteins of yet unknown function. The method described is generally applicable to any host-pathogen pair and can thus be of general value to studies of host-pathogen protein-protein interactions. PMID:19032159

  7. Fossil Crustaceans as Parasites and Hosts.

    PubMed

    Klompmaker, Adiël A; Boxshall, Geoff A

    2015-01-01

    Numerous crustacean lineages have independently moved into parasitism as a mode of life. In modern marine ecosystems, parasitic crustaceans use representatives from many metazoan phyla as hosts. Crustaceans also serve as hosts to a rich diversity of parasites, including other crustaceans. Here, we show that the fossil record of such parasitic interactions is sparse, with only 11 examples, one dating back to the Cambrian. This may be due to the limited preservation potential and small size of parasites, as well as to problems with ascribing traces to parasitism with certainty, and to a lack of targeted research. Although the confirmed stratigraphic ranges are limited for nearly every example, evidence of parasitism related to crustaceans has become increasingly more complete for isopod-induced swellings in decapods so that quantitative analyses can be carried out. Little attention has yet been paid to the origin of parasitism in deep time, but insight can be generated by integrating data on fossils with molecular studies on modern parasites. In addition, there are other traces left by parasites that could fossilize, but have not yet been recognized in the fossil record. PMID:26597069

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Bursaphelenchus xylophilus: opportunities in comparative genomics and molecular host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Jones, John T; Moens, Maurice; Mota, Manuel; Li, Hongmei; Kikuchi, Taisei

    2008-05-01

    Most Bursaphelenchus species are fungal feeding nematodes that colonize dead or dying trees. However, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, the pine wood nematode, is also a pathogen of trees and is the causal agent of pine wilt disease. B. xylophilus is native to North America and here it causes little damage to trees. Where it is introduced to new regions it causes huge damage. The most severely affected areas are found in the Far East but more recently B. xylophilus has been introduced into Portugal and the potential for damage here is also high. As incidence and severity of pine wilt disease are linked to temperature we suggest that climate change is likely to exacerbate the problems caused by B. xylophilus and, in addition, will extend (northwards in Europe) the range in which pine wilt disease can occur. Here we review what is currently known about the interactions of B. xylophilus with its hosts, including recent developments in our understanding of the molecular biology of pathogenicity in the nematode. We also examine the potential developments that could be made by more widespread use of genomics tools to understand interactions between B. xylophilus, bacterial pathogens that have been implicated in disease and host trees. PMID:18705876

  12. Multitrophic interaction facilitates parasite–host relationship between an invasive beetle and the honey bee

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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

  13. 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

  14. When parasites disagree: Evidence for parasite-induced sabotage of host manipulation

    PubMed Central

    Hafer, Nina; Milinski, Manfred

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. Host plant species affects virulence in monarch butterfly parasites.

    PubMed

    de Roode, Jacobus C; Pedersen, Amy B; Hunter, Mark D; Altizer, Sonia

    2008-01-01

    1. Studies have considered how intrinsic host and parasite properties determine parasite virulence, but have largely ignored the role of extrinsic ecological factors in its expression. 2. We studied how parasite genotype and host plant species interact to determine virulence of the protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (McLaughlin & Myers 1970) in the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus L. We infected monarch larvae with one of four parasite genotypes and reared them on two milkweed species that differed in their levels of cardenolides: toxic chemicals involved in predator defence. 3. Parasite infection, replication and virulence were affected strongly by host plant species. While uninfected monarchs lived equally long on both plant species, infected monarchs suffered a greater reduction in their life spans (55% vs. 30%) on the low-cardenolide vs. the high-cardenolide host plant. These life span differences resulted from different levels of parasite replication in monarchs reared on the two plant species. 4. The virulence rank order of parasite genotypes was unaffected by host plant species, suggesting that host plant species affected parasite genotypes similarly, rather than through complex plant species-parasite genotype interactions. 5. Our results demonstrate that host ecology importantly affects parasite virulence, with implications for host-parasite dynamics in natural populations. PMID:18177332

  16. Schistosoma mansoni: the ultrastructure of larval morphogenesis in Biomphalaria glabrata and of associated host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Pan, S C

    1996-08-01

    An electron microscopic study has been carried out to describe the transformation of the miracidium of S. mansoni into the mother sporocysts in the susceptible B. glabrata and the associated host-parasite interactions. The miracidium enters the snail host without morphological alterations. Within 3 hr after entering, all the ciliary epidermal plates of the miracidium are discarded. A new tegument is quickly formed by 5 hr postinfection by the expansion of epidermal ridges. The rapid formation of the new tegument reflects the participation of membrane-bound vesicles in the ridge cytons. The membranes of these vesicles become the new tegument membranes with the discharge of their electron-dense contents into the snail tissues. The vesicular contents discharged into the tissues apparently prevent snail amoebocytes (phagocytes) from attachment to the parasite tegument and thus prevent their interference with the further development of the postmiracidium. If a postmiracidium fails to mobilize membrane-bound vesicles in the formation of tegument, the parasite becomes surrounded by closely attached concentric layers of fibroblasts formed by amoebocytes and histiocytes within 24 hr. The membrane-bound vesicles are present in small numbers in the ridge cytons of the miracidium and become numerous in the postmiracidium stage and with many migrate to the ridges through connecting bridges within 24 hr. By 3 days postinfection when extensive microvilli have formed on the tegument the vesicles have disappeared and are replaced by mitochondria, ribosomes and complex carbohydrate particles. Many fibroblasts in the snail connective tissues have phagocytic capacities and are regarded as snail tissue histiocytes or fixed amoebocytes that eventually may become hypertrophic and detached. PMID:9086392

  17. Missing links: testing the completeness of host-parasite checklists.

    PubMed

    Poulin, Robert; Besson, Anne A; Morin, Mathieu B; Randhawa, Haseeb S

    2016-01-01

    Host-parasite checklists are essential resources in ecological parasitology, and are regularly used as sources of data in comparative studies of parasite species richness across host species, or of host specificity among parasite species. However, checklists are only useful datasets if they are relatively complete, that is, close to capturing all host-parasite associations occurring in a particular region. Here, we use three approaches to assess the completeness of 25 checklists of metazoan parasites in vertebrate hosts from various geographic regions. First, treating checklists as interaction networks between a set of parasite species and a set of host species, we identify networks with a greater connectance (proportion of realized host-parasite associations) than expected for their size. Second, assuming that the cumulative rise over time in the number of known host-parasite associations in a region tends toward an asymptote as their discovery progresses, we attempt to extrapolate the estimated total number of existing associations. Third, we test for a positive correlation between the number of published reports mentioning an association and the time since its first record, which is expected because observing and reporting host-parasite associations are frequency-dependent processes. Overall, no checklist fared well in all three tests, and only three of 25 passed two of the tests. These results suggest that most checklists, despite being useful syntheses of regional host-parasite associations, cannot be used as reliable sources of data for comparative analyses. PMID:26549369

  18. Host social behavior and parasitic infection: A multifactorial approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ezenwa, V.O.

    2004-01-01

    I examined associations between several components of host social organization, including group size and gregariousness, group stability, territoriality and social class, and gastrointestinal parasite load in African bovids. At an intraspecific level, group size was positively correlated with parasite prevalence, but only when the parasite was relatively host specific and only among host species living in stable groups. Social class was also an important predictor of infection rates. Among gazelles, territorial males had higher parasite intensities than did either bachelor males or females and juveniles, suggesting that highly territorial individuals may be either more exposed or more susceptible to parasites. Associations among territoriality, grouping, and parasitism were also found across taxa. Territorial host genera were more likely to be infected with strongyle nematodes than were nonterritorial hosts, and gregarious hosts were more infected than were solitary hosts. Analyses also revealed that gregariousness and territoriality had an interactive effect on individual parasite richness, whereby hosts with both traits harbored significantly more parasite groups than did hosts with only one or neither trait. Overall, study results indicate that multiple features of host social behavior influence infection risk and suggest that synergism between traits also has important effects on host parasite load.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Exploring a Parasite-Host Model with Monte Carlo Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breecher, Nyles; Dong, Jiajia

    2011-03-01

    We explore parasite-host interactions, a less investigated subset of the well-established predator-prey model. In particular, it is not well known how the numerous parameters of the system affect its characteristics. Parasite-host systems rely on their spatial interaction, as a parasite must make physical contact with the host to reproduce. Using C++ to program a Monte Carlo simulation, we study how the speed and type of movement of the host affect the spatial and temporal distribution of the parasites. By drawing on mean-field theoretics, we find the exact solution for the parasite distribution with a stationary host at the center and analyze the distributions for a moving host. The findings of the study provide rich behavior of a non-equilibrium system and bring insights to pest-control and, on a larger scale, epidemics spreading.

  2. Fundamental Factors Determining the Nature of Parasite Aggregation in Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Gourbière, Sébastien; Morand, Serge; Waxman, David

    2015-01-01

    The distribution of parasites in hosts is typically aggregated: a few hosts harbour many parasites, while the remainder of hosts are virtually parasite free. The origin of this almost universal pattern is central to our understanding of host-parasite interactions; it affects many facets of their ecology and evolution. Despite this, the standard statistical framework used to characterize parasite aggregation does not describe the processes generating such a pattern. In this work, we have developed a mathematical framework for the distribution of parasites in hosts, starting from a simple statistical description in terms of two fundamental processes: the exposure of hosts to parasites and the infection success of parasites. This description allows the level of aggregation of parasites in hosts to be related to the random variation in these two processes and to true host heterogeneity. We show that random variation can generate an aggregated distribution and that the common view, that encounters and success are two equivalent filters, applies to the average parasite burden under neutral assumptions but it does not apply to the variance of the parasite burden, and it is not true when heterogeneity between hosts is incorporated in the model. We find that aggregation decreases linearly with the number of encounters, but it depends non-linearly on parasite success. We also find additional terms in the variance of the parasite burden which contribute to the actual level of aggregation in specific biological systems. We have derived the formal expressions of these contributions, and these provide new opportunities to analyse empirical data and tackle the complexity of the origin of aggregation in various host-parasite associations. PMID:25689685

  3. Parasites gained: alien parasites switching to native hosts.

    PubMed

    El-Rashidy, Hoda H; Boxshall, Geoff A

    2009-12-01

    Three parasitic copepods new to the well-studied Mediterranean fauna are reported. Two of them, Mitrapus oblongus (Pillai, 1964) and Clavellisa ilishae Pillai, 1962, are of Indo-Pacific origin and are considered here to have co-invaded the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal on Erythrean (Red Sea) immigrant hosts. Both are reported here from native Mediterranean clupeid fish hosts; this is the first evidence of host switching of any metazoan parasites from Erythrean immigrants to native fish hosts. The third parasite, Nothobomolochus fradei Marques, 1965, was previously known from the Gulf of Guinea and the Arabian Gulf. Possible explanations of its presence on clupeid hosts in Egyptian waters off Alexandria are discussed. The parasite utilizes an Erythrean immigrant clupeid and a native Mediterranean species as hosts. This account provides evidence of parasite and host faunal mixing on an unexpected scale. PMID:19642811

  4. Evolution of host specificity in monogeneans parasitizing African cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The patterns and processes linked to the host specificity of parasites represent one of the central themes in the study of host-parasite interactions. We investigated the evolution and determinants of host specificity in gill monogeneans of Cichlidogyrus and Scutogyrus species parasitizing African freshwater fish of Cichlidae. Methods We analyzed (1) the link between host specificity and parasite phylogeny, (2) potential morphometric correlates of host specificity (i.e. parasite body size and the morphometrics of the attachment apparatus), and (3) potential determinants of host specificity following the hypothesis of ecological specialization and the hypothesis of specialization on predictable resources (i.e. host body size and longevity were considered as measures of host predictability), and (4) the role of brooding behavior of cichlids in Cichlidogyrus and Scutogyrus diversification. Results No significant relationships were found between host specificity and phylogeny of Cichlidogyrus and Scutogyrus species. The mapping of host specificity onto the parasite phylogenetic tree revealed that an intermediate specialist parasitizing congeneric cichlid hosts represents the ancestral state for the Cichlidogyrus/Scutogyrus group. Only a weak relationship was found between the morphometry of the parasites’ attachment apparatus and host specificity. Our study did not support the specialization on predictable resources or ecological specialization hypotheses. Nevertheless, host specificity was significantly related to fish phylogeny and form of parental care. Conclusions Our results confirm that host specificity is not a derived condition for Cichlidogyrus/Scutogyrus parasites and may reflect other than historical constraints. Attachment apparatus morphometry reflects only partially (if at all) parasite adaptation to the host species, probably because of the morphological similarity of rapidly evolved cichlids (analyzed in our study). However, we showed that parental care behavior of cichlids may play an important role linked to host specificity of Cichlidogyrus/Scutogyrus parasites. PMID:24529542

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Within-Host Speciation of Malaria Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Tris, Javier; Hellgren, Olof; Križanauskien?, Asta; Waldenström, Jonas; Secondi, Jean; Bonneaud, Camille; Fjeldså, Jon; Hasselquist, Dennis; Bensch, Staffan

    2007-01-01

    Background Sympatric speciation—the divergence of populations into new species in absence of geographic barriers to hybridization—is the most debated mode of diversification of life forms. Parasitic organisms are prominent models for sympatric speciation, because they may colonise new hosts within the same geographic area and diverge through host specialization. However, it has been argued that this mode of parasite divergence is not strict sympatric speciation, because host shifts likely cause the sudden effective isolation of parasites, particularly if these are transmitted by vectors and therefore cannot select their hosts. Strict sympatric speciation would involve parasite lineages diverging within a single host species, without any population subdivision. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we report a case of extraordinary divergence of sympatric, ecologically distinct, and reproductively isolated malaria parasites within a single avian host species, which apparently occurred without historical or extant subdivision of parasite or host populations. Conclusions/Significance This discovery of within-host speciation changes our current view on the diversification potential of malaria parasites, because neither geographic isolation of host populations nor colonization of new host species are any longer necessary conditions to the formation of new parasite species. PMID:17311104

  8. Host–parasite behavioral interactions in a recently introduced, whooping crane population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, Richard S.; McKann, Patrick C.; Gray, Brian R.; Putnam, Michael S.

    2015-01-01

    The whooping crane Grus americana has a long conservation history, but despite multiple attempts across North America, introduction success is lacking. Recently introduced, captively reared whooping cranes have had periods of poor reproductive performance in central Wisconsin that sometimes coincided with black fly (Diptera: Simuliidae) emergences. Sandhill crane Grus canadensis reproductive performance in central Wisconsin is approximately double that of whooping cranes. We used comfort behaviors as a measure of black fly harassment to infer whether behavioral differences existed between nesting sandhill cranes and nesting whooping cranes and between successful and unsuccessful whooping crane pairs. To further explore the interaction between black flies and incubating whooping cranes, we examined differences in behaviors between incubating birds and their off-nest mates. Compared to their off-nest mates, incubating whooping cranes exhibited elevated comfort behaviors, suggesting a bird at a nest may experience greater harassment from black flies. Sandhill cranes had elevated head-flicks over whooping cranes. Whooping cranes exhibited more head-rubs than sandhill cranes, and successful whooping crane pairs had elevated head-rubs over pairs that deserted their nests. Behavioral differences between sandhill cranes and whooping cranes as well as differences in reproductive performance, could be explained by exposure to local breeding conditions. Whereas sandhill cranes have nested in the area for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, whooping cranes were only recently introduced to the area. Behavioral differences between the species as well as those between successful and unsuccessful whooping crane pairs could also be explained by the effect of captive exposure, which could affect all whooping crane introductions.

  9. (macro-) Evolutionary ecology of parasite diversity: From determinants of parasite species richness to host diversification

    PubMed Central

    Morand, Serge

    2015-01-01

    The present review summarized the factors or determinants that may explain parasite diversity among host species and the consequences of this parasite diversity on the evolution of host-life history traits. As host–parasite interactions are asymmetrical exploited–exploiter relationships, ecological and epidemiological theories produce hypotheses to find the potential determinants of parasite species richness, while life-history theory helps for testing potential consequences on parasite diversity on the evolution of hosts. This review referred only to studies that have specifically controlled or took into account phylogenetic information illustrated with parasites of mammals. Several points needing more investigation were identified with a special emphasis to develop the metabolic theory of epidemiology. PMID:25830109

  10. Plant Host Finding by Parasitic Plants

    PubMed Central

    Mescher, Mark C; Runyon, Justin B

    2006-01-01

    Plants release airborne chemicals that can convey ecologically relevant information to other organisms. These plant volatiles are known to mediate a large array of, often complex, interactions between plants and insects. It has been suggested that plant volatiles may have similar importance in mediating interactions among plant species, but there are few well-documented examples of plant-to-plant communication via volatiles, and the ecological significance of such interactions has been much debated. To date, nearly all studies of volatile-mediated interactions among plant species have focused on the reception of herbivore-induced volatiles by neighboring plants. We recently documented volatile effects in another system, demonstrating that the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona uses volatile cues to locate its hosts. This finding may broaden the discussion regarding plant-to-plant communication, and suggests that new classes of volatile-meditated interactions among plant species await discovery. PMID:19704627

  11. Thiacloprid-Nosema ceranae interactions in honey bees: host survivorship but not parasite reproduction is dependent on pesticide dose.

    PubMed

    Retschnig, Gina; Neumann, Peter; Williams, Geoffrey R

    2014-05-01

    Interactions between stressors contribute to the recently reported increase in losses of honey bee colonies. Here we demonstrated that a synergistic effect on mortality by the low toxic, commonly used neonicotinoid thiacloprid and the nearly ubiquitous gut parasite Nosemaceranae is dependent on the pesticide dose. Furthermore, thiacloprid had a negative influence on N.ceranae reproduction. Our results highlight that interactions among honey bee health stressors can be dynamic and should be studied across a broader range of combinations. PMID:24594300

  12. 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

  13. Host population bottlenecks drive parasite extinction during antagonistic coevolution.

    PubMed

    Hesse, Elze; Buckling, Angus

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Antigenic variation and the within-host dynamics of parasites.

    PubMed Central

    Antia, R; Nowak, M A; Anderson, R M

    1996-01-01

    Many parasites exhibit antigenic variation within their hosts. We use mathematical models to investigate the dynamical interaction between an antigenically varying parasite and the host's immune system. The models incorporate antigenic variation in the parasite population and the generation of immune responses directed against (i) antigens specific to individual parasite variants and (ii) antigens common to all the parasite variants. Analysis of the models allows us to evaluate the relative importance of variant-specific and cross-reactive immune responses in controlling the parasite. Early in the course of infection within the host, when parasite diversity is below a defined threshold value (the value is determined by the biological properties of the parasite and of the host's immune response), the variant-specific immune responses are predominant. Later, when the parasite diversity is high, the cross-reactive immune response is largely responsible for controlling the parasitemia. It is argued that increasing antigenic diversity leads to a switch from variant-specific to cross-reactive immune responses. These simple models mimic various features of observed infections recorded in the experimental literature, including an initial peak in parasitemia, a long and variable duration of infection with fluctuating parasitemia that ends with either the clearance of the parasite or persistent infection. PMID:8577773

  15. Analysis of the transcriptome of adult Dictyocaulus filaria and comparison with Dictyocaulus viviparus, with a focus on molecules involved in host-parasite interactions?

    PubMed Central

    Mangiola, Stefano; Young, Neil D.; Sternberg, Paul W.; Strube, Christina; Korhonen, Pasi K.; Mitreva, Makedonka; Scheerlinck, Jean-Pierre; Hofmann, Andreas; Jex, Aaron R.; Gasser, Robin B.

    2014-01-01

    Parasitic nematodes cause diseases of major economic importance in animals. Key representatives are species of Dictyocaulus (= lungworms), which cause bronchitis (= dictyocaulosis, commonly known as “husk”) and have a major adverse impact on the health of livestock. In spite of their economic importance, very little is known about the immunomolecular biology of these parasites. Here, we conducted a comprehensive investigation of the adult transcriptome of Dictyocaulus filaria of small ruminants and compared it with that of Dictyocaulus viviparus of bovids. We then identified a subset of highly transcribed molecules inferred to be linked to host-parasite interactions, including cathepsin B peptidases, fatty-acid and/or retinol-binding proteins, ?-galactoside-binding galectins, secreted protein 6 precursors, macrophage migration inhibitory factors, glutathione peroxidases, a transthyretin-like protein and a type 2-like cystatin. We then studied homologs of D. filaria type 2-like cystatin encoded in D. viviparus and 24 other nematodes representing seven distinct taxonomic orders, with a particular focus on their proposed role in immunomodulation and/or metabolism. Taken together, the present study provides new insights into nematode-host interactions. The findings lay the foundation for future experimental studies and could have implications for designing new interventions against lungworms and other parasitic nematodes. The future characterization of the genomes of Dictyocaulus spp. should underpin these endeavors. PMID:24487001

  16. Experimental coevolution: rapid local adaptation by parasites depends on host mating system

    PubMed Central

    Parrish, Raymond C.; Gelarden, Ian A.; Allen, Michael B.; Lively, Curtis M.

    2014-01-01

    Host-parasite interactions can drive rapid, reciprocal genetic changes (coevolution), provided both hosts and parasites have high heritabilities for resistance/infectivity. Similarly, the host’s mating system should also affect the rate of coevolutionary change in host-parasite interactions. Using experimental coevolution, we determined the effect of obligate outcrossing verses partial self-fertilization (mixed mating) on the rate of evolutionary change in a nematode host (Caenorhabditis elegans) and its bacterial parasite (Serratia marcescens). Bacterial populations were derived from a common ancestor. We measured the effects of host mating system on host adaptation to the parasite. We then determined the extent of parasite adaptation to their local host populations. Obligately outcrossing hosts exhibited more rapid adaptation to parasites than did mixed mating hosts. In addition, most of the parasites became adapted to infecting their “local” hosts; but parasites from obligately outcrossing hosts showed a greater level of local adaptation. These results suggest that host populations evolved along separate trajectories, and that outcrossing host populations diverged further than partially selfing populations. Finally, parasites “tracking” outcrossing host populations diverged further than parasites tracking the partially selfing host populations. These results show that the evolutionary trajectories of both hosts and parasites can be shaped by the host’s mating system. PMID:25061681

  17. 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 presented here have several potential translational medicine aspects, specifically related with the capacity of antibody fragments to inhibit the C1q/CRT interactions and thus T. cruzi infectivity. PMID:23991234

  18. Development of Some Larval Nematodes in Experimental and Natural Animal Hosts: An Insight into Development of Pathological Lesions vis-a-vis Host-Parasite Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Chowdhury, N.; Sood, N. K.; Lal, Shyam; Gupta, Kuldip; Singla, L. D.

    2013-01-01

    Infective third-stage larvae of three spiruroid nematodes, Ascarops strongylina and Physocephalus sexalatus of pigs and Spirocerca lupi of dogs, were recovered from 14 species of coprophagous beetles belonging to 4 different genera. These larvae were fed to rabbits and/or guinea pigs to study their development in these experimental hosts. Larvae of A. strongylina reached the adult stage in all rabbits and one guinea pig. The adult worms recovered in these hosts were 40% and 4%, respectively, and became diminutive in comparison to their natural hosts. The larvae of P. sexalatus became reencysted in the gastric wall of rabbits inducing marked pathological changes. The infective larvae of S. lupi became reencapsulated in the stomach wall of the rabbit and also showed development in the aortic wall. Adults of Toxocara canis of dog, collected from 5 different regions of the Indian subcontinent, varied significantly in size. The mouse passage of infective larvae of one of these types led to the recovery of the adults from the experimental dogs that were smaller in size and caused severe pathology in natural experimental hosts. Developmental effects shown in experimental hosts and host specificity are of value in understanding the evolution of nematode parasitism. PMID:24453801

  19. 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.

  20. Functional genomics of a generalist parasitic plant: Laser microdissection of host-parasite interface reveals host-specific patterns of parasite gene expression

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Orobanchaceae is the only plant family with members representing the full range of parasitic lifestyles plus a free-living lineage sister to all parasitic lineages, Lindenbergia. A generalist member of this family, and an important parasitic plant model, Triphysaria versicolor regularly feeds upon a wide range of host plants. Here, we compare de novo assembled transcriptomes generated from laser micro-dissected tissues at the host-parasite interface to uncover details of the largely uncharacterized interaction between parasitic plants and their hosts. Results The interaction of Triphysaria with the distantly related hosts Zea mays and Medicago truncatula reveals dramatic host-specific gene expression patterns. Relative to above ground tissues, gene families are disproportionally represented at the interface including enrichment for transcription factors and genes of unknown function. Quantitative Real-Time PCR of a T. versicolor ?-expansin shows strong differential (120x) upregulation in response to the monocot host Z. mays; a result that is concordant with our read count estimates. Pathogenesis-related proteins, other cell wall modifying enzymes, and orthologs of genes with unknown function (annotated as such in sequenced plant genomes) are among the parasite genes highly expressed by T. versicolor at the parasite-host interface. Conclusions Laser capture microdissection makes it possible to sample the small region of cells at the epicenter of parasite host interactions. The results of our analysis suggest that T. versicolor’s generalist strategy involves a reliance on overlapping but distinct gene sets, depending upon the host plant it is parasitizing. The massive upregulation of a T. versicolor ?-expansin is suggestive of a mechanism for parasite success on grass hosts. In this preliminary study of the interface transcriptomes, we have shown that T. versicolor, and the Orobanchaceae in general, provide excellent opportunities for the characterization of plant genes with unknown functions. PMID:23302495

  1. Host Centrality in Food Web Networks Determines Parasite Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Tavis K.; Sukhdeo, Michael V. K.

    2011-01-01

    Background Parasites significantly alter topological metrics describing food web structure, yet few studies have explored the relationship between food web topology and parasite diversity. Methods/Principal Findings This study uses quantitative metrics describing network structure to investigate the relationship between the topology of the host food web and parasite diversity. Food webs were constructed for four restored brackish marshes that vary in species diversity, time post restoration and levels of parasitism. Our results show that the topology of the food web in each brackish marsh is highly nested, with clusters of generalists forming a distinct modular structure. The most consistent predictors of parasite diversity within a host were: trophic generality, and eigenvector centrality. These metrics indicate that parasites preferentially colonise host species that are highly connected, and within modules of tightly interacting species in the food web network. Conclusions/Significance These results suggest that highly connected free-living species within the food web may represent stable trophic relationships that allow for the persistence of complex parasite life cycles. Our data demonstrate that the structure of host food webs can have a significant effect on the establishment of parasites, and on the potential for evolution of complex parasite life cycles. PMID:22046360

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. The helminth parasite proteome at the host-parasite interface - Informing diagnosis and control.

    PubMed

    van der Ree, Anna M; Mutapi, Francisca

    2015-10-01

    Helminth parasites are a significant health burden for humans in the developing world and also cause substantial economic losses in livestock production across the world. The combined lack of vaccines for the major human and veterinary helminth parasites in addition to the development of drug resistance to anthelmintics in sheep and cattle mean that controlling helminth infection and pathology remains a challenge. However, recent high throughput technological advances mean that screening for potential drug and vaccine candidates is now easier than in previous decades. A better understanding of the host-parasite interactions occurring during infection and pathology and identifying pathways that can be therapeutically targeted for more effective and 'evolution proof' interventions is now required. This review highlights some of the advances that have been made in understanding the host-parasite interface in helminth infections using studies of the temporal expression of parasite proteins, i.e. the parasite proteome, and discuss areas for potential future research and translation. PMID:26116863

  6. Genetic variation in a host-parasite association: potential for coevolution and frequency-dependent selection.

    PubMed

    Carius, H J; Little, T J; Ebert, D

    2001-06-01

    Models of host-parasite coevolution assume the presence of genetic variation for host resistance and parasite infectivity, as well as genotype-specific interactions. We used the freshwater crustacean Daphnia magna and its bacterial microparasite Pasteuria ramosa to study genetic variation for host susceptibility and parasite infectivity within each of two populations. We sought to answer the following questions: Do host clones differ in their susceptibility to parasite isolates? Do parasite isolates differ in their ability to infect different host clones? Are there host clone-parasite isolate interactions? The analysis revealed considerable variation in both host resistance and parasite infectivity. There were significant host clone-parasite isolate interactions, such that there was no single host clone that was superior to all other clones in the resistance to every parasite isolate. Likewise, there was no parasite isolate that was superior to all other isolates in infectivity to every host clone. This form of host clone-parasite isolate interaction indicates the potential for coevolution based on frequency-dependent selection. Infection success of original host clone-parasite isolate combinations (i.e., those combinations that were isolated together) was significantly higher than infection success of novel host clone-parasite isolate combinations (i.e., those combinations that were created in the laboratory). This finding is consistent with the idea that parasites track specific host genotypes under natural conditions. In addition, correspondence analysis revealed that some host clones, although distinguishable with neutral genetic markers, were susceptible to the same set of parasite isolates and thus probably shared resistance genes. PMID:11475049

  7. Host genetics and parasitic infections.

    PubMed

    Mangano, V D; Modiano, D

    2014-12-01

    Parasites still impose a high death and disability burden on human populations, and are therefore likely to act as selective factors for genetic adaptations. Genetic epidemiological investigation of parasitic diseases is aimed at disentangling the mechanisms underlying immunity and pathogenesis by looking for associations or linkages between loci and susceptibility phenotypes. Until recently, most studies used a candidate gene approach and were relatively underpowered, with few attempts at replicating findings in different populations. However, in the last 5 years, genome-wide and/or multicentre studies have been conducted for severe malaria, visceral leishmaniasis, and cardiac Chagas disease, providing some novel important insights. Furthermore, studies of helminth infections have repeatedly shown the involvement of common loci in regulating susceptibility to distinct diseases such as schistosomiasis, ascariasis, trichuriasis, and onchocherciasis. As more studies are conducted, evidence is increasing that at least some of the identified susceptibility loci are shared not only among parasitic diseases but also with immunological disorders such as allergy or autoimmune disease, suggesting that parasites may have played a role in driving the evolution of the immune system. PMID:25273270

  8. Evans Blue Staining Reveals Vascular Leakage Associated with Focal Areas of Host-Parasite Interaction in Brains of Pigs Infected with Taenia solium

    PubMed Central

    Paredes, Adriana; Cangalaya, Carla; Rivera, Andrea; Gonzalez, Armando E.; Mahanty, Siddhartha; Garcia, Hector H.; Nash, Theodore E.

    2014-01-01

    Cysticidal drug treatment of viable Taenia solium brain parenchymal cysts leads to an acute pericystic host inflammatory response and blood brain barrier breakdown (BBB), commonly resulting in seizures. Naturally infected pigs, untreated or treated one time with praziquantel were sacrificed at 48 hr and 120 hr following the injection of Evans blue (EB) to assess the effect of treatment on larval parasites and surrounding tissue. Examination of harvested non encapsulated muscle cysts unexpectedly revealed one or more small, focal round region(s) of Evans blue dye infiltration (REBI) on the surface of otherwise non dye-stained muscle cysts. Histopathological analysis of REBI revealed focal areas of eosinophil-rich inflammatory infiltrates that migrated from the capsule into the tegument and internal structures of the parasite. In addition some encapsulated brain cysts, in which the presence of REBI could not be directly assessed, showed histopathology identical to that of the REBI. Muscle cysts with REBI were more frequent in pigs that had received praziquantel (6.6% of 3736 cysts; n = 6 pigs) than in those that were untreated (0.2% of 3172 cysts; n = 2 pigs). Similar results were found in the brain, where 20.7% of 29 cysts showed histopathology identical to muscle REBI cysts in praziquantel-treated pigs compared to the 4.3% of 47 cysts in untreated pigs. Closer examination of REBI infiltrates showed that EB was taken up only by eosinophils, a major component of the cellular infiltrates, which likely explains persistence of EB in the REBI. REBI likely represent early damaging host responses to T. solium cysts and highlight the focal nature of this initial host response and the importance of eosinophils at sites of host-parasite interaction. These findings suggest new avenues for immunomodulation to reduce inflammatory side effects of anthelmintic therapy. PMID:24915533

  9. In vitro modeling of host-parasite interactions: the 'subgingival' biofilm challenge of primary human epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Microbial biofilms are known to cause an increasing number of chronic inflammatory and infectious conditions. A classical example is chronic periodontal disease, a condition initiated by the subgingival dental plaque biofilm on gingival epithelial tissues. We describe here a new model that permits the examination of interactions between the bacterial biofilm and host cells in general. We use primary human gingival epithelial cells (HGEC) and an in vitro grown biofilm, comprising nine frequently studied and representative subgingival plaque bacteria. Results We describe the growth of a mature 'subgingival' in vitro biofilm, its composition during development, its ability to adapt to aerobic conditions and how we expose in vitro a HGEC monolayer to this biofilm. Challenging the host derived HGEC with the biofilm invoked apoptosis in the epithelial cells, triggered release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and in parallel induced rapid degradation of the cytokines by biofilm-generated enzymes. Conclusion We developed an experimental in vitro model to study processes taking place in the gingival crevice during the initiation of inflammation. The new model takes into account that the microbial challenge derives from a biofilm community and not from planktonically cultured bacterial strains. It will facilitate easily the introduction of additional host cells such as neutrophils for future biofilm:host cell challenge studies. Our methodology may generate particular interest, as it should be widely applicable to other biofilm-related chronic inflammatory diseases. PMID:20043840

  10. The evolutionary dynamics of variant antigen genes in Babesia reveal a history of genomic innovation underlying host-parasite interaction.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Andrew P; Otto, Thomas D; Darby, Alistair; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Xia, Dong; Echaide, Ignacio Eduardo; Farber, Marisa; Gahlot, Sunayna; Gamble, John; Gupta, Dinesh; Gupta, Yask; Jackson, Louise; Malandrin, Laurence; Malas, Tareq B; Moussa, Ehab; Nair, Mridul; Reid, Adam J; Sanders, Mandy; Sharma, Jyotsna; Tracey, Alan; Quail, Mike A; Weir, William; Wastling, Jonathan M; Hall, Neil; Willadsen, Peter; Lingelbach, Klaus; Shiels, Brian; Tait, Andy; Berriman, Matt; Allred, David R; Pain, Arnab

    2014-06-01

    Babesia spp. are tick-borne, intraerythrocytic hemoparasites that use antigenic variation to resist host immunity, through sequential modification of the parasite-derived variant erythrocyte surface antigen (VESA) expressed on the infected red blood cell surface. We identified the genomic processes driving antigenic diversity in genes encoding VESA (ves1) through comparative analysis within and between three Babesia species, (B. bigemina, B. divergens and B. bovis). Ves1 structure diverges rapidly after speciation, notably through the evolution of shortened forms (ves2) from 5' ends of canonical ves1 genes. Phylogenetic analyses show that ves1 genes are transposed between loci routinely, whereas ves2 genes are not. Similarly, analysis of sequence mosaicism shows that recombination drives variation in ves1 sequences, but less so for ves2, indicating the adoption of different mechanisms for variation of the two families. Proteomic analysis of the B. bigemina PR isolate shows that two dominant VESA1 proteins are expressed in the population, whereas numerous VESA2 proteins are co-expressed, consistent with differential transcriptional regulation of each family. Hence, VESA2 proteins are abundant and previously unrecognized elements of Babesia biology, with evolutionary dynamics consistently different to those of VESA1, suggesting that their functions are distinct. PMID:24799432

  11. The evolutionary dynamics of variant antigen genes in Babesia reveal a history of genomic innovation underlying host–parasite interaction

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Andrew P.; Otto, Thomas D.; Darby, Alistair; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Xia, Dong; Echaide, Ignacio Eduardo; Farber, Marisa; Gahlot, Sunayna; Gamble, John; Gupta, Dinesh; Gupta, Yask; Jackson, Louise; Malandrin, Laurence; Malas, Tareq B.; Moussa, Ehab; Nair, Mridul; Reid, Adam J.; Sanders, Mandy; Sharma, Jyotsna; Tracey, Alan; Quail, Mike A.; Weir, William; Wastling, Jonathan M.; Hall, Neil; Willadsen, Peter; Lingelbach, Klaus; Shiels, Brian; Tait, Andy; Berriman, Matt; Allred, David R.; Pain, Arnab

    2014-01-01

    Babesia spp. are tick-borne, intraerythrocytic hemoparasites that use antigenic variation to resist host immunity, through sequential modification of the parasite-derived variant erythrocyte surface antigen (VESA) expressed on the infected red blood cell surface. We identified the genomic processes driving antigenic diversity in genes encoding VESA (ves1) through comparative analysis within and between three Babesia species, (B. bigemina, B. divergens and B. bovis). Ves1 structure diverges rapidly after speciation, notably through the evolution of shortened forms (ves2) from 5? ends of canonical ves1 genes. Phylogenetic analyses show that ves1 genes are transposed between loci routinely, whereas ves2 genes are not. Similarly, analysis of sequence mosaicism shows that recombination drives variation in ves1 sequences, but less so for ves2, indicating the adoption of different mechanisms for variation of the two families. Proteomic analysis of the B. bigemina PR isolate shows that two dominant VESA1 proteins are expressed in the population, whereas numerous VESA2 proteins are co-expressed, consistent with differential transcriptional regulation of each family. Hence, VESA2 proteins are abundant and previously unrecognized elements of Babesia biology, with evolutionary dynamics consistently different to those of VESA1, suggesting that their functions are distinct. PMID:24799432

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

    PubMed

    Valigurová, Andrea; Jirk?, 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

  13. Variation for host range within and among populations of the parasitic plant Striga hermonthica

    PubMed Central

    Huang, K; Whitlock, R; Press, M C; Scholes, J D

    2012-01-01

    Striga hermonthica is an angiosperm parasite that causes substantial damage to a wide variety of cereal crop species, and to the livelihoods of subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. The broad host range of this parasite makes it a fascinating model for the study of host–parasite interactions, and suggests that effective long-term control strategies for the parasite will require an understanding of the potential for host range adaptation in parasite populations. We used a controlled experiment to test the extent to which the success or failure of S. hermonthica parasites to develop on a particular host cultivar (host resistance/compatibility) depends upon the identity of interacting host genotypes and parasite populations. We also tested the hypothesis that there is a genetic component to host range within individual S. hermonthica populations, using three rice cultivars with known, contrasting abilities to resist infection. The developmental success of S. hermonthica parasites growing on different rice-host cultivars (genotypes) depended significantly on a parasite population by host–genotype interaction. Genetic analysis using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers revealed that a small subset of AFLP markers showed ‘outlier' genetic differentiation among sub-populations of S. hermonthica attached to different host cultivars. We suggest that, this indicates a genetic component to host range within populations of S. hermonthica, and that a detailed understanding of the genomic loci involved will be crucial in understanding host–parasite specificity and in breeding crop cultivars with broad spectrum resistance to S. hermonthica. PMID:21731054

  14. Hymenolepis diminuta infections in tenebrionid beetles as a model system for ecological interactions between helminth parasites and terrestrial intermediate hosts: a review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Shostak, Allen W

    2014-02-01

    The cestode Hymenolepis diminuta (Cyclophyllidea) uses a variety of insects as its intermediate host, where ingestion of eggs results in development in the hemocoel of a cysticercoid that is infective to a rat definitive host. Species in 2 genera, Tenebrio and Tribolium (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) have been used extensively as laboratory intermediate hosts. This review examines experimental studies on ecological aspects of the relationship between H. diminuta and tenebrionid beetles, including the acquisition and establishment of the parasite, host effects on the parasite, and parasite effects on the host. A meta-analysis of infection results from the literature revealed strong relationships across host species and strains between (1) prevalence and intensity of infection, (2) efficiency of cysticercoid production and exposure conditions, and (3) variance in abundance or intensity of infection relative to their respective means. The underlying mechanisms producing these patterns remain elusive. Comparative studies are infrequent, and the use of divergent methodologies hampers comparisons among studies. In spite of these problems, there is much to recommend this as a terrestrial host-parasite model system. It represents those relationships in which mostly minor, but occasionally major, responses to parasitic infection occur, and in which host genetics and environmental conditions can serve as modifying factors. Moreover, this is a tractable experimental system, and is backed by an extensive literature on host biology. PMID:23952690

  15. Host dispersal as the driver of parasite genetic structure: a paradigm lost?

    PubMed

    Mazé-Guilmo, Elise; Blanchet, Simon; McCoy, Karen D; Loot, Géraldine

    2016-03-01

    Understanding traits influencing the distribution of genetic diversity has major ecological and evolutionary implications for host-parasite interactions. The genetic structure of parasites is expected to conform to that of their hosts, because host dispersal is generally assumed to drive parasite dispersal. Here, we used a meta-analysis to test this paradigm and determine whether traits related to host dispersal correctly predict the spatial co-distribution of host and parasite genetic variation. We compiled data from empirical work on local adaptation and host-parasite population genetic structure from a wide range of taxonomic groups. We found that genetic differentiation was significantly lower in parasites than in hosts, suggesting that dispersal may often be higher for parasites. A significant correlation in the pairwise genetic differentiation of hosts and parasites was evident, but surprisingly weak. These results were largely explained by parasite reproductive mode, the proportion of free-living stages in the parasite life cycle and the geographical extent of the study; variables related to host dispersal were poor predictors of genetic patterns. Our results do not dispel the paradigm that parasite population genetic structure depends on host dispersal. Rather, we highlight that alternative factors are also important in driving the co-distribution of host and parasite genetic variation. PMID:26843399

  16. The interaction of the novel 30C02 cyst nematode effector protein with a plant ?-1,3-endoglucanase may suppress host defence to promote parasitism

    PubMed Central

    Hamamouch, Noureddine; Hewezi, Tarek; Baum, Thomas J.; Mitchum, Melissa G.; Hussey, Richard S.; Vodkin, Lila O.; Davis, Eric L.

    2012-01-01

    Phytoparasitic nematodes secrete an array of effector proteins to modify selected recipient plant cells into elaborate and essential feeding sites. The biological function of the novel 30C02 effector protein of the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, was studied using Arabidopsis thaliana as host and the beet cyst nematode, Heterodera schachtii, which contains a homologue of the 30C02 gene. Expression of Hg30C02 in Arabidopsis did not affect plant growth and development but increased plant susceptibility to infection by H. schachtii. The 30C02 protein interacted with a specific (AT4G16260) host plant ?-1,3-endoglucanase in both yeast and plant cells, possibly to interfere with its role as a plant pathogenesis-related protein. Interestingly, the peak expression of 30C02 in the nematode and peak expression of At4g16260 in plant roots coincided at around 3–5 d after root infection by the nematode, after which the relative expression of At4g16260 declined significantly. An Arabidopsis At4g16260 T-DNA mutant showed increased susceptibility to cyst nematode infection, and plants that overexpressed At4g16260 were reduced in nematode susceptibility, suggesting a potential role of host ?-1,3-endoglucanase in the defence response against H. schachtii infection. Arabidopsis plants that expressed dsRNA and its processed small interfering RNA complementary to the Hg30C02 sequence were not phenotypically different from non-transformed plants, but they exhibited a strong RNA interference-mediated resistance to infection by H. schachtii. The collective results suggest that, as with other pathogens, active suppression of host defence is a critical component for successful parasitism by nematodes and a vulnerable target to disrupt the parasitic cycle. PMID:22442414

  17. 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.

  18. Cytotoxicity of quahog parasite unknown (QPX) toward hard clam ( Mercenaria mercenaria) haemocytes and interactions between different pathogen isolates and host strains.

    PubMed

    Perrigault, Mickael; Allam, Bassem

    2009-09-01

    The ability of pathogens to neutralize host defence mechanisms represents a fundamental requisite in the successful establishment of an infection. Host-pathogen interactions between quahog parasite unknown (QPX) and its hard clam host are poorly understood. Our prior in vivo investigations have shown that different QPX isolates display varying levels of pathogenicity toward clams. Similarly, field investigations and laboratory transmission studies revealed some variations in the susceptibility of different hard clam stocks to QPX infection. An in vitro approach was developed in this study to evaluate the toxicity of QPX cells and extracellular products toward haemocytes using a neutral red uptake assay. Results demonstrated that QPX produces virulence factors that are cytotoxic to M. mercenaria haemocytes. This cytotoxicity appears to be induced by clam factors, suggesting that it may play an important role in supporting QPX infection and proliferation within the host. Moreover, application of this technique to different QPX isolates and clam broodstocks indicates variations of QPX cytotoxicity in agreement with previous in vivo experiments, strengthening the existence of different QPX strains. PMID:19627636

  19. Cytotoxicity of quahog parasite unknown (QPX) toward hard clam ( Mercenaria mercenaria) haemocytes and interactions between different pathogen isolates and host strains.

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

    Perrigault M; Allam B

    2009-09-01

    The ability of pathogens to neutralize host defence mechanisms represents a fundamental requisite in the successful establishment of an infection. Host-pathogen interactions between quahog parasite unknown (QPX) and its hard clam host are poorly understood. Our prior in vivo investigations have shown that different QPX isolates display varying levels of pathogenicity toward clams. Similarly, field investigations and laboratory transmission studies revealed some variations in the susceptibility of different hard clam stocks to QPX infection. An in vitro approach was developed in this study to evaluate the toxicity of QPX cells and extracellular products toward haemocytes using a neutral red uptake assay. Results demonstrated that QPX produces virulence factors that are cytotoxic to M. mercenaria haemocytes. This cytotoxicity appears to be induced by clam factors, suggesting that it may play an important role in supporting QPX infection and proliferation within the host. Moreover, application of this technique to different QPX isolates and clam broodstocks indicates variations of QPX cytotoxicity in agreement with previous in vivo experiments, strengthening the existence of different QPX strains.

  20. The scaling of total parasite biomass with host body mass.

    PubMed

    Poulin, Robert; George-Nascimento, Mario

    2007-03-01

    The selective pressure exerted by parasites on their hosts will to a large extent be influenced by the abundance or biomass of parasites supported by the hosts. Predicting how much parasite biomass can be supported by host individuals or populations should be straightforward: ultimately, parasite biomass must be controlled by resource supply, which is a direct function of host metabolism. Using comparative data sets on the biomass of metazoan parasites in vertebrate hosts, we determined how parasite biomass scales with host body mass. If the rate at which host resources are converted into parasite biomass is the same as that at which host resources are channelled toward host growth, then on a log-log plot parasite biomass should increase with host mass with a slope of 0.75 when corrected for operating temperature. Average parasite biomass per host scaled with host body mass at a lower rate than expected (across 131 vertebrate species, slope=0.54); this was true independently of phylogenetic influences and also within the major vertebrate groups separately. Since most host individuals in a population harbour a parasite load well below that allowed by their metabolic rate, because of the stochastic nature of infection, it is maximum parasite biomass, and not average biomass, that is predicted to scale with metabolic rate among host species. We found that maximum parasite biomass scaled isometrically (i.e., slope=1) with host body mass. Thus, larger host species can potentially support the same parasite biomass per gram of host tissues as small host species. The relationship found between maximum parasite biomass and host body mass, with its slope greater than 0.75, suggests that parasites are not like host tissues: they are able to appropriate more host resources than expected from metabolically derived host growth rates. PMID:17196596

  1. 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, population, and host factors.

  2. 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

  3. Host and parasite diversity jointly control disease risk in complex communities

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Pieter T. J.; Preston, Daniel L.; Hoverman, Jason T.; LaFonte, Bryan E.

    2013-01-01

    Host–parasite interactions are embedded within complex communities composed of multiple host species and a cryptic assemblage of other parasites. To date, however, surprisingly few studies have explored the joint effects of host and parasite richness on disease risk, despite growing interest in the diversity–disease relationship. Here, we combined field surveys and mechanistic experiments to test how transmission of the virulent trematode Ribeiroia ondatrae was affected by the diversity of both amphibian hosts and coinfecting parasites. Within natural wetlands, host and parasite species richness correlated positively, consistent with theoretical predictions. Among sites that supported Ribeiroia, however, host and parasite richness interacted to negatively affect Ribeiroia transmission between its snail and amphibian hosts, particularly in species-poor assemblages. In laboratory and outdoor experiments designed to decouple the relative contributions of host and parasite diversity, increases in host richness decreased Ribeiroia infection by 11–65%. Host richness also tended to decrease total infections by other parasite species (four of six instances), such that more diverse host assemblages exhibited ∼40% fewer infections overall. Importantly, parasite richness further reduced both per capita and total Ribeiroia infection by 15–20%, possibly owing to intrahost competition among coinfecting species. These findings provide evidence that parasitic and free-living diversity jointly regulate disease risk, help to resolve apparent contradictions in the diversity–disease relationship, and emphasize the challenges of integrating research on coinfection and host heterogeneity to develop a community ecology-based approach to infectious diseases. PMID:24082092

  4. The potential for arms race and Red Queen coevolution in a protist host–parasite system

    PubMed Central

    Råberg, Lars; Alacid, Elisabet; Garces, Esther; Figueroa, Rosa

    2014-01-01

    The dynamics and consequences of host–parasite coevolution depend on the nature of host genotype-by-parasite genotype interactions (G × G) for host and parasite fitness. G × G with crossing reaction norms can yield cyclic dynamics of allele frequencies (“Red Queen” dynamics) while G × G where the variance among host genotypes differs between parasite genotypes results in selective sweeps (“arms race” dynamics). Here, we investigate the relative potential for arms race and Red Queen coevolution in a protist host–parasite system, the dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum and its parasite Parvilucifera sinerae. We challenged nine different clones of A. minutum with 10 clones of P. sinerae in a fully factorial design and measured infection success and host and parasite fitness. Each host genotype was successfully infected by four to ten of the parasite genotypes. There were strong G × Gs for infection success, as well as both host and parasite fitness. About three quarters of the G × G variance components for host and parasite fitness were due to crossing reaction norms. There were no general costs of resistance or infectivity. We conclude that there is high potential for Red Queen dynamics in this host–parasite system. PMID:25558368

  5. Host–Parasite interactions in Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar: what have we learned from their genomes?

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, I W; Weedall, G D; Hall, N

    2012-01-01

    Invasive amoebiasis caused by Entamoeba histolytica is a major global health problem. Virulence is a rare outcome of infection, occurring in fewer than 1 in 10 infections. Not all strains of the parasite are equally virulent, and understanding the mechanisms and causes of virulence is an important goal of Entamoeba research. The sequencing of the genome of E. histolytica and the related avirulent species Entamoeba dispar has allowed whole-genome-scale analyses of genetic divergence and differential gene expression to be undertaken. These studies have helped elucidate mechanisms of virulence and identified genes differentially expressed in virulent and avirulent parasites. Here, we review the current status of the E. histolytica and E. dispar genomes and the findings of a number of genome-scale studies comparing parasites of different virulence. PMID:21810102

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-09-01

    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

  8. Ecological impacts of the microsporidian parasite Pleistophora mulleri on its freshwater amphipod host Gammarus duebeni celticus.

    PubMed

    Fielding, N J; MacNeil, C; Robinson, N; Dick, J T A; Elwood, R W; Terry, R S; Ruiz, Z; Dunn, A M

    2005-09-01

    The microsporidian parasite, Pleistophora mulleri, infects the abdominal muscle of the freshwater amphipod Gammarus duebeni celticus. We recently showed that P. mulleri infection was associated with G. d. celticus hosts being more vulnerable to predation by the invasive amphipod Gammarus pulex. Parasitized G. d. celticus also had a reduced ability to prey upon other co-occurring amphipods. We suggested the parasite may have pervasive influences on host ecology and behaviour. Here, we examine the association between P. mulleri parasitism and parameters influencing individual host fitness, behaviour and interspecific interactions. We also investigate the relationship between parasite prevalence and host population structure in the field. In our G. d. celticus study population, P. mulleri prevalence was strongly seasonal, ranging from 8.5% in summer to 44.9% in winter. The relative abundance of hosts with the heaviest parasite burden increased during summer, which coincided with high host mortality, suggesting that parasitism may regulate host abundance to some degree. Females were more likely to be parasitized than males and parasitized males were paired with smaller females than unparasitized males. Parasitism was associated with reduction in the host's activity level and reduced both its predation on the isopod Asellus aquaticus and aggression towards precopula pairs of the invasive G. pulex. We discuss the pervasive influence of this parasite on the ecology of its host. PMID:16178354

  9. Synchronization of host-parasite cycles by means of diapause: host influence and parasite response to involuntary host shifting.

    PubMed

    Calero-Torralbo, M A; Valera, F

    2008-09-01

    Many parasites require synchronization of their infective phases with the appearance of susceptible host individuals and, for many species, diapause is one of the mechanisms contributing to such coincidence. A variety of ecological factors, like changes in host temperature produced by involuntary host shifting (substitution of the usual host by an infrequent one), can modify host-parasite synchronization of diapausing ectoparasites of endothermic species. To understand the influence of host shifting on the mechanisms of parasite synchronization, we conducted experiments using the system formed by the ectoparasitic fly Carnus hemapterus and its avian hosts. We simulated the occurrence of the usual host and natural cases of host shifting by exposing overwintering carnid pupae from Bee-eater nests (Merops apiaster) to the earlier incubation periods of two Carnus host species that frequently reoccupy Bee-eater nests. Pupae exposed to host shifting treatments advanced the mean date of emergence and produced an earlier and faster rate of emergence in comparison with pupae exposed both to the control (absence of any host) and Bee-eater treatments. The effect was more evident for the treatment resembling the host with the most dissimilar phenology to the one of the usual host. Our results show that host temperature is an environmental cue used by this nest-dwelling haematophagous ectoparasite and reveal that Carnus hemapterus has some potential to react to involuntary host shifting by means of plasticity in the termination of diapause. PMID:18752706

  10. Parasite abundance and diversity in mammals: correlates with host ecology.

    PubMed Central

    Watve, M G; Sukumar, R

    1995-01-01

    Fecally dispersed parasites of 12 wild mammal species in Mudumalai Sanctuary, southern India, were studied. Fecal propagule densities and parasite diversity measures were correlated with host ecological variables. Host species with higher predatory pressure had lower parasite loads and parasite diversity. Host body weight, home range, population density, gregariousness, and diet did not show predicted effects on parasite loads. Measures of alpha diversity were positively correlated with parasite abundance and were negatively correlated with beta diversity. Based on these data, hypotheses regarding determinants of parasite community are discussed. PMID:7568049

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Modelling Parasite Transmission in a Grazing System: The Importance of Host Behaviour and Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Fox, Naomi J.; Marion, Glenn; Davidson, Ross S.; White, Piran C. L.; Hutchings, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Parasitic helminths present one of the most pervasive challenges to grazing herbivores. Many macro-parasite transmission models focus on host physiological defence strategies, omitting more complex interactions between hosts and their environments. This work represents the first model that integrates both the behavioural and physiological elements of gastro-intestinal nematode transmission dynamics in a managed grazing system. A spatially explicit, individual-based, stochastic model is developed, that incorporates both the hosts’ immunological responses to parasitism, and key grazing behaviours including faecal avoidance. The results demonstrate that grazing behaviour affects both the timing and intensity of parasite outbreaks, through generating spatial heterogeneity in parasite risk and nutritional resources, and changing the timing of exposure to the parasites’ free-living stages. The influence of grazing behaviour varies with the host-parasite combination, dependent on the development times of different parasite species and variations in host immune response. Our outputs include the counterintuitive finding that under certain conditions perceived parasite avoidance behaviours (faecal avoidance) can increase parasite risk, for certain host-parasite combinations. Through incorporating the two-way interaction between infection dynamics and grazing behaviour, the potential benefits of parasite-induced anorexia are also demonstrated. Hosts with phenotypic plasticity in grazing behaviour, that make grazing decisions dependent on current parasite burden, can reduce infection with minimal loss of intake over the grazing season. This paper explores how both host behaviours and immunity influence macro-parasite transmission in a spatially and temporally heterogeneous environment. The magnitude and timing of parasite outbreaks is influenced by host immunity and behaviour, and the interactions between them; the incorporation of both regulatory processes is required to fully understand transmission dynamics. Understanding of both physiological and behavioural defence strategies will aid the development of novel approaches for control. PMID:24223133

  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. Coevolution in Action: Disruptive Selection on Egg Colour in an Avian Brood Parasite and Its Host

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Yan; Shi, Suhua; Takasu, Fugo; Møller, Anders P.; Antonov, Anton; Fossøy, Frode; Moksnes, Arne; Røskaft, Eivin; Stokke, Bård G.

    2010-01-01

    Background Trait polymorphism can evolve as a consequence of frequency-dependent selection. Coevolutionary interactions between hosts and parasites may lead to selection on both to evolve extreme phenotypes deviating from the norm, through disruptive selection. Methodology/Principal finding Here, we show through detailed field studies and experimental procedures that the ashy-throated parrotbill (Paradoxornis alphonsianus) and its avian brood parasite, the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), have both evolved egg polymorphism manifested in discrete immaculate white, pale blue, and blue egg phenotypes within a single population. In this host-parasite system the most common egg colours were white and blue, with no significant difference in parasitism rates between hosts laying eggs of either colour. Furthermore, selection on parasites for countering the evolution of host egg types appears to be strong, since ashy-throated parrotbills have evolved rejection abilities for even partially mimetic eggs. Conclusions/Significance The parrotbill-cuckoo system constitutes a clear outcome of disruptive selection on both host and parasite egg phenotypes driven by coevolution, due to the cost of parasitism in the host and by host defences in the parasite. The present study is to our knowledge the first to report the influence of disruptive selection on evolution of discrete phenotypes in both parasite and host traits in an avian brood parasitism system. PMID:20520815

  16. No evidence for specificity between host and parasite genotypes in experimental Strongyloides ratti (Nematoda) infections.

    PubMed

    Paterson, S

    2005-12-01

    A key requirement for several theories involving the evolution of sex and sexual selection is a specificity between host and parasite genotypes, i.e. the resistance of particular host genotypes to particular parasite genotypes and the infectivity of particular parasite genotypes for particular host genotypes. Determining the scope and nature of any such specificity is also of applied relevance, since any specificity for different parasite genotypes to infect particular host genotypes may affect the level of protection afforded by vaccination, the efficacy of selective breeding of livestock for parasite resistance and the long-term evolution of parasite populations in response to these control measures. Whereas we have some evidence for the role of specificity between host and pathogen genotypes in viral and bacterial infections, its role in macroparasitic infections is seldom considered. The first empirical test of this specificity for a vertebrate-nematode system is provided here using clonal lines of parasite and inbred and congenic strains of rat that differ either across the genome or only at the major histocompatibility complex. Although significant differences between the resistance of host genotypes to infection and between the fitness of different parasite genotypes are found, there is no evidence for an interaction between host and parasite genotypes. It is concluded that a specificity between host and parasite genotypes is unlikely in this system. PMID:16197947

  17. Why do parasitized hosts look different? Resolving the "chicken-egg" dilemma.

    PubMed

    Blanchet, Simon; Méjean, Lionel; Bourque, Jean-François; Lek, Sovan; Thomas, Frédéric; Marcogliese, David J; Dodson, Julian J; Loot, Géraldine

    2009-05-01

    Phenotypic differences between infected and non-infected hosts are often assumed to be the consequence of parasite infection. However, pre-existing differences in hosts' phenotypes may promote differential susceptibility to infection. The phenotypic variability observed within the host population may therefore be a cause rather than a consequence of infection. In this study, we aimed at disentangling the causes and the consequences of parasite infection by calculating the value of a phenotypic trait (i.e., the growth rate) of the hosts both before and after infection occurred. That procedure was applied to two natural systems of host-parasite interactions. In the first system, the infection level of an ectoparasite (Tracheliastes polycolpus) decreases the growth rate of its fish host (the rostrum dace, Leuciscus leuciscus). Reciprocally, this same phenotypic trait before infection modulated the future level of host sensitivity to the direct pathogenic effect of the parasite, namely the level of fin degradation. In the second model, causes and consequences linked the growth rate of the fish host (the rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax) and the level of endoparasite infection (Proteocephalus tetrastomus). Indeed, the host's growth rate before infection determined the number of parasites later in life, and the parasite biovolume then decreased the host's growth rate of heavily infected hosts. We demonstrated that reciprocal effects between host phenotypes and parasite infection can occur simultaneously in the wild, and that the observed variation in the host phenotype population was not necessarily a consequence of parasite infection. Disentangling the causality of host-parasite interactions should contribute substantially to evaluating the role of parasites in ecological and evolutionary processes. PMID:19189131

  18. The evolution of reduced antagonism-A role for host-parasite coevolution.

    PubMed

    Gibson, A K; Stoy, K S; Gelarden, I A; Penley, M J; Lively, C M; Morran, L T

    2015-11-01

    Why do some host-parasite interactions become less antagonistic over evolutionary time? Vertical transmission can select for reduced antagonism. Vertical transmission also promotes coevolution between hosts and parasites. Therefore, we hypothesized that coevolution itself may underlie transitions to reduced antagonism. To test the coevolution hypothesis, we selected for reduced antagonism between the host Caenorhabditis elegans and its parasite Serratia marcescens. This parasite is horizontally transmitted, which allowed us to study coevolution independently of vertical transmission. After 20 generations, we observed a response to selection when coevolution was possible: reduced antagonism evolved in the copassaged treatment. Reduced antagonism, however, did not evolve when hosts or parasites were independently selected without coevolution. In addition, we found strong local adaptation for reduced antagonism between replicate host/parasite lines in the copassaged treatment. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that coevolution was critical to the rapid evolution of reduced antagonism. PMID:26420682

  19. Species formation by host shifting in avian malaria parasites

    PubMed Central

    Ricklefs, Robert E.; Outlaw, Diana C.; Svensson-Coelho, Maria; Medeiros, Matthew C. I.; Ellis, Vincenzo A.; Latta, Steven

    2014-01-01

    The malaria parasites (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) of birds are believed to have diversified across the avian host phylogeny well after the origin of most major host lineages. Although many symbionts with direct transmission codiversify with their hosts, mechanisms of species formation in vector-borne parasites, including the role of host shifting, are poorly understood. Here, we examine the hosts of sister lineages in a phylogeny of 181 putative species of malaria parasites of New World terrestrial birds to determine the role of shifts between host taxa in the formation of new parasite species. We find that host shifting, often across host genera and families, is the rule. Sympatric speciation by host shifting would require local reproductive isolation as a prerequisite to divergent selection, but this mechanism is not supported by the generalized host-biting behavior of most vectors of avian malaria parasites. Instead, the geographic distribution of individual parasite lineages in diverse hosts suggests that species formation is predominantly allopatric and involves host expansion followed by local host–pathogen coevolution and secondary sympatry, resulting in local shifting of parasite lineages across hosts. PMID:25271324

  20. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Host Longevity and Parasite Species Richness in Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Natalie; Kamilar, Jason M.; Nunn, Charles L.

    2012-01-01

    Hosts and parasites co-evolve, with each lineage exerting selective pressures on the other. Thus, parasites may influence host life-history characteristics, such as longevity, and simultaneously host life-history may influence parasite diversity. If parasite burden causes increased mortality, we expect a negative association between host longevity and parasite species richness. Alternatively, if long-lived species represent a more stable environment for parasite establishment, host longevity and parasite species richness may show a positive association. We tested these two opposing predictions in carnivores, primates and terrestrial ungulates using phylogenetic comparative methods and controlling for the potentially confounding effects of sampling effort and body mass. We also tested whether increased host longevity is associated with increased immunity, using white blood cell counts as a proxy for immune investment. Our analyses revealed weak relationships between parasite species richness and longevity. We found a significant negative relationship between longevity and parasite species richness for ungulates, but no significant associations in carnivores or primates. We also found no evidence for a relationship between immune investment and host longevity in any of our three groups. Our results suggest that greater parasite burden is linked to higher host mortality in ungulates. Thus, shorter-lived ungulates may be more vulnerable to disease outbreaks, which has implications for ungulate conservation, and may be applicable to other short-lived mammals. PMID:22879916

  5. 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 overview on the genes related with the immune system on R. decussatus transcriptome is also reported. PMID:24168212

  6. Spatial structure, host heterogeneity and parasite virulence: implications for vaccine-driven evolution.

    PubMed

    Zurita-Gutiérrez, Yazmín Hananí; Lion, Sébastien

    2015-08-01

    Natural host-parasite interactions exhibit considerable variation in host quality, with profound consequences for disease ecology and evolution. For instance, treatments (such as vaccination) may select for more transmissible or virulent strains. Previous theory has addressed the ecological and evolutionary impact of host heterogeneity under the assumption that hosts and parasites disperse globally. Here, we investigate the joint effects of host heterogeneity and local dispersal on the evolution of parasite life-history traits. We first formalise a general theoretical framework combining variation in host quality and spatial structure. We then apply this model to the specific problem of parasite evolution following vaccination. We show that, depending on the type of vaccine, spatial structure may select for higher or lower virulence compared to the predictions of non-spatial theory. We discuss the implications of our results for disease management, and their broader fundamental relevance for other causes of host heterogeneity in nature. PMID:26052783

  7. 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 parasitism.

  8. On Genetic Specificity in Symbiont-Mediated Host-Parasite Coevolution

    PubMed Central

    Kwiatkowski, Marek; Engelstädter, Jan; Vorburger, Christoph

    2012-01-01

    Existing theory of host-parasite interactions has identified the genetic specificity of interaction as a key variable affecting the outcome of coevolution. The Matching Alleles (MA) and Gene For Gene (GFG) models have been extensively studied as the canonical examples of specific and non-specific interaction. The generality of these models has recently been challenged by uncovering real-world host-parasite systems exhibiting specificity patterns that fit neither MA nor GFG, and by the discovery of symbiotic bacteria protecting insect hosts against parasites. In the present paper we address both challenges, simulating a large number of non-canonical models of host-parasite interactions that explicitly incorporate symbiont-based host resistance. To assess the genetic specialisation in these hybrid models, we develop a quantitative index of specificity applicable to any coevolutionary model based on a fitness matrix. We find qualitative and quantitative effects of host-parasite and symbiont-parasite specificities on genotype frequency dynamics, allele survival, and mean host and parasite fitnesses. PMID:22956894

  9. Host partitioning by parasites in an intertidal crustacean community.

    PubMed

    Koehler, Anson V; Poulin, Robert

    2010-10-01

    Patterns of host use by parasites throughout a guild community of intermediate hosts can depend on several biological and ecological factors, including physiology, morphology, immunology, and behavior. We looked at parasite transmission in the intertidal crustacean community of Lower Portobello Bay, Dunedin, New Zealand, with the intent of: (1) mapping the flow of parasites throughout the major crustacean species, (2) identifying hosts that play the most important transmission role for each parasite, and (3) assessing the impact of parasitism on host populations. The most prevalent parasites found in 14 species of crustaceans (635 specimens) examined were the trematodes Maritrema novaezealandensis and Microphallus sp., the acanthocephalans Profilicollis spp., the nematode Ascarophis sp., and an acuariid nematode. Decapods were compatible hosts for M. novaezealandensis, while other crustaceans demonstrated lower host suitability as shown by high levels of melanized and immature parasite stages. Carapace thickness, gill morphology, and breathing style may contribute to the differential infection success of M. novaezealandensis and Microphallus sp. in the decapod species. Parasite-induced host mortality appears likely with M. novaezealandensis in the crabs Austrohelice crassa, Halicarcinus varius, Hemigrapsus sexdentatus, and Macrophthalmus hirtipes, and also with Microphallus sp. in A. crassa. Overall, the different parasite species make different use of available crustacean intermediate hosts and possibly contribute to intertidal community structure. PMID:20950092

  10. 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 implications of these findings for food web dynamics and disease ecology are discussed. PMID:24929136

  11. Host nutrition alters the variance in parasite transmission potential

    PubMed Central

    Vale, Pedro F.; Choisy, Marc; Little, Tom J.

    2013-01-01

    The environmental conditions experienced by hosts are known to affect their mean parasite transmission potential. How different conditions may affect the variance of transmission potential has received less attention, but is an important question for disease management, especially if specific ecological contexts are more likely to foster a few extremely infectious hosts. Using the obligate-killing bacterium Pasteuria ramosa and its crustacean host Daphnia magna, we analysed how host nutrition affected the variance of individual parasite loads, and, therefore, transmission potential. Under low food, individual parasite loads showed similar mean and variance, following a Poisson distribution. By contrast, among well-nourished hosts, parasite loads were right-skewed and overdispersed, following a negative binomial distribution. Abundant food may, therefore, yield individuals causing potentially more transmission than the population average. Measuring both the mean and variance of individual parasite loads in controlled experimental infections may offer a useful way of revealing risk factors for potential highly infectious hosts. PMID:23407498

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Spatial structure mitigates fitness costs in host-parasite coevolution.

    PubMed

    Ashby, Ben; Gupta, Sunetra; Buckling, Angus

    2014-03-01

    The extent of population mixing is known to influence the coevolutionary outcomes of many host and parasite traits, including the evolution of generalism (the ability to resist or infect a broad range of genotypes). While the segregation of populations into interconnected demes has been shown to influence the evolution of generalism, the role of local interactions between individuals is unclear. Here, we combine an individual-based model of microbial communities with a well-established framework of genetic specificity that matches empirical observations of bacterium-phage interactions. We find the evolution of generalism in well-mixed populations to be highly sensitive to the severity of associated fitness costs, but the constraining effect of costs on the evolution of generalism is lessened in spatially structured populations. The contrasting outcomes between the two environments can be explained by different scales of competition (i.e., global vs. local). These findings suggest that local interactions may have important effects on the evolution of generalism in host-parasite interactions, particularly in the presence of high fitness costs. PMID:24561607

  15. 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

  16. Disentangling the influence of parasite genotype, host genotype and maternal environment on different stages of bacterial infection in Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Hall, Matthew D; Ebert, Dieter

    2012-08-22

    Individuals naturally vary in the severity of infectious disease when exposed to a parasite. Dissecting this variation into genetic and environmental components can reveal whether or not this variation depends on the host genotype, parasite genotype or a range of environmental conditions. Complicating this task, however, is that the symptoms of disease result from the combined effect of a series of events, from the initial encounter between a host and parasite, through to the activation of the host immune system and the exploitation of host resources. Here, we use the crustacean Daphnia magna and its parasite Pasteuria ramosa to show how disentangling genetic and environmental factors at different stages of infection improves our understanding of the processes shaping infectious disease. Using compatible host-parasite combinations, we experimentally exclude variation in the ability of a parasite to penetrate the host, from measures of parasite clearance, the reduction in host fecundity and the proliferation of the parasite. We show how parasite resistance consists of two components that vary in environmental sensitivity, how the maternal environment influences all measured aspects of the within-host infection process and how host-parasite interactions following the penetration of the parasite into the host have a distinct temporal component. PMID:22593109

  17. 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

  18. Malaria parasite liver stages render host hepatocytes susceptible to mitochondria-initiated apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Kaushansky, A; Metzger, P G; Douglass, A N; Mikolajczak, S A; Lakshmanan, V; Kain, H S; Kappe, S HI

    2013-01-01

    Intracellular eukaryotic parasites and their host cells constitute complex, coevolved cellular interaction systems that frequently cause disease. Among them, Plasmodium parasites cause a significant health burden in humans, killing up to one million people annually. To succeed in the mammalian host after transmission by mosquitoes, Plasmodium parasites must complete intracellular replication within hepatocytes and then release new infectious forms into the blood. Using Plasmodium yoelii rodent malaria parasites, we show that some liver stage (LS)-infected hepatocytes undergo apoptosis without external triggers, but the majority of infected cells do not, and can also resist Fas-mediated apoptosis. In contrast, apoptosis is dramatically increased in hepatocytes infected with attenuated parasites. Furthermore, we find that blocking total or mitochondria-initiated host cell apoptosis increases LS parasite burden in mice, suggesting that an anti-apoptotic host environment fosters parasite survival. Strikingly, although LS infection confers strong resistance to extrinsic host hepatocyte apoptosis, infected hepatocytes lose their ability to resist apoptosis when anti-apoptotic mitochondrial proteins are inhibited. This is demonstrated by our finding that B-cell lymphoma 2 family inhibitors preferentially induce apoptosis in LS-infected hepatocytes and significantly reduce LS parasite burden in mice. Thus, targeting critical points of susceptibility in the LS-infected host cell might provide new avenues for malaria prophylaxis. PMID:23928701

  19. 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

  20. Suppression of Host Photosynthesis by the Parasitic Plant Rhinanthus minor

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Duncan D.; Geniez, Jean-Michelle; Seel, Wendy E.; Irving, Louis J.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims Parasitism is well understood to have wide-ranging deleterious effects on host performance in species thus far characterized. Photosynthetic performance reductions have been noted in the Striga–Zea mays association; however, no such information exists for facultative hemiparasitic plants and their hosts, nor are the effects of host species understood. Methods Chlorophyll fluorimetry was used to study the effects of parasitism by the hemiparasite Rhinanthus minor on the grass Phleum bertolinii and the forb Plantago lanceolata, and the effects of host species on the photosynthetic apparatus of R. minor. Key Results Parasitism by Rhinanthus led to a significant decrease in the host, and total (host + parasite) biomass in Phleum; however, in Plantago, no significant repression of growth was noted. Maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) was reduced in parasitized Plantago, relative to control plants, but not in Phleum. Fv/Fm was significantly lower in R. minor parasitizing Phleum than Plantago, suggesting Phleum to be a superior host to Plantago for R. minor. Steady-state quantum yield (?PSII) was significantly depressed in parasitized Phleum, but only at low irradiances in Plantago. ?PSII was very low for R. minor grown on Plantago, but not Phleum. Conclusions Shown here is the first evidence of the suppression of host photosynthesis by a facultative hemiparasitic plant, which has significant effects on total biomass production. Host identity is a significant factor in parasite success, with the forb Plantago lanceolata exhibiting apparent chemical as well as previously identified physical defences to parasitism. It is proposed that the electron transport rate (as denoted by ?PSII) represents the limiting factor for biomass accumulation in this system, and that Plantago is able to suppress the growth of Rhinanthus by suppressing the electron transport rate. PMID:18211886

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. The costs of avian brood parasitism explain variation in egg rejection behaviour in hosts.

    PubMed

    Medina, Iliana; Langmore, Naomi E

    2015-07-01

    Many bird species can reject foreign eggs from their nests. This behaviour is thought to have evolved in response to brood parasites, birds that lay their eggs in the nest of other species. However, not all hosts of brood parasites evict parasitic eggs. In this study, we collate data from egg rejection experiments on 198 species, and perform comparative analyses to understand the conditions under which egg rejection evolves. We found evidence, we believe for the first time in a large-scale comparative analysis, that (i) non-current host species have rejection rates as high as current hosts, (ii) egg rejection is more likely to evolve when the parasite is relatively large compared with its host and (iii) egg rejection is more likely to evolve when the parasite chick evicts all the host eggs from the nest, such as in cuckoos. Our results suggest that the interactions between brood parasites and their hosts have driven the evolution of egg rejection and that variation in the costs inflicted by parasites is fundamental to explaining why only some host species evolve egg rejection. PMID:26156128

  4. Distinct Lineages of Schistocephalus Parasites in Threespine and Ninespine Stickleback Hosts Revealed by DNA Sequence Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Nishimura, Nicole; Heins, David C.; Andersen, Ryan O.; Barber, Iain; Cresko, William A.

    2011-01-01

    Parasitic interactions are often part of complex networks of interspecific relationships that have evolved in biological communities. Despite many years of work on the evolution of parasitism, the likelihood that sister taxa of parasites can co-evolve with their hosts to specifically infect two related lineages, even when those hosts occur sympatrically, is still unclear. Furthermore, when these specific interactions occur, the molecular and physiological basis of this specificity is still largely unknown. The presence of these specific parasitic relationships can now be tested using molecular markers such as DNA sequence variation. Here we test for specific parasitic relationships in an emerging host-parasite model, the stickleback-Schistocephalus system. Threespine and ninespine stickleback fish are intermediate hosts for Schistocephalus cestode parasites that are phenotypically very similar and have nearly identical life cycles through plankton, stickleback, and avian hosts. We analyzed over 2000 base pairs of COX1 and NADH1 mitochondrial DNA sequences in 48 Schistocephalus individuals collected from threespine and ninespine stickleback hosts from disparate geographic regions distributed across the Northern Hemisphere. Our data strongly support the presence of two distinct clades of Schistocephalus, each of which exclusively infects either threespine or ninespine stickleback. These clades most likely represent different species that diverged soon after the speciation of their stickleback hosts. In addition, genetic structuring exists among Schistocephalus taken from threespine stickleback hosts from Alaska, Oregon and Wales, although it is much less than the divergence between hosts. Our findings emphasize that biological communities may be even more complex than they first appear, and beg the question of what are the ecological, physiological, and genetic factors that maintain the specificity of the Schistocephalus parasites and their stickleback hosts. PMID:21811623

  5. Co-extinction in a host-parasite network: identifying key hosts for network stability

    PubMed Central

    Dallas, Tad; Cornelius, Emily

    2015-01-01

    Parasites comprise a substantial portion of total biodiversity. Ultimately, this means that host extinction could result in many secondary extinctions of obligate parasites and potentially alter host-parasite network structure. Here, we examined a highly resolved fish-parasite network to determine key hosts responsible for maintaining parasite diversity and network structure (quantified here as nestedness and modularity). We evaluated four possible host extinction orders and compared the resulting co-extinction dynamics to random extinction simulations; including host removal based on estimated extinction risk, parasite species richness and host level contributions to nestedness and modularity. We found that all extinction orders, except the one based on realistic extinction risk, resulted in faster declines in parasite diversity and network structure relative to random biodiversity loss. Further, we determined species-level contributions to network structure were best predicted by parasite species richness and host family. Taken together, we demonstrate that a small proportion of hosts contribute substantially to network structure and that removal of these hosts results in rapid declines in parasite diversity and network structure. As network stability can potentially be inferred through measures of network structure, our findings may provide insight into species traits that confer stability. PMID:26278333

  6. [Ecological and Biochemical Aspects of Parasite-Host Interactions in Transformed Aquatic Bodies: A Case Study of the Cestode Triaenophorus nodulosus and Its Host, the Northern Pike Esox lucius].

    PubMed

    Vysotskaya, R U; Krupnova, M Yu; Ieshko, E P; Anikieva, L V; Lebedeva, D I

    2015-01-01

    The lysosomal enzyme activities of the cestode Triaenophorus nodulosus and its host, the pike, in-aquatic bodies with different degrees of technogenic transformation (Northern Karelia, Russia) have been studied. As has been shown, iron-ore waste causes an increase in the acid phosphatase, nuclease, and beta-galactosidase activities of the host and a decrease in its beta-glucosidase and cathepsin D activities. As a rule, the changes in the same cestode enzyme activities are the opposite. With a decrease in the technogenic load, most of the studied characteristics display the trend of approaching the corresponding values observed in a clean lake. It is assumed that the host plays a leading role in the biochemical adaptation of the parasite and its host to mineral environmental pollution. PMID:26349236

  7. Disruption of a host-parasite system following the introduction of an exotic host species.

    PubMed

    Telfer, S; Bown, K J; Sekules, R; Begon, M; Hayden, T; Birtles, R

    2005-06-01

    The potential of biological invasions to threaten native ecosystems is well recognized. Here we describe how an introduced species impacts on native host-parasite dynamics by acting as an alternative host. By sampling sites across an invasion front in Ireland, we quantified the influence of the introduced bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) on the epidemiology of infections caused by flea-transmitted haemoparasites of the genus Bartonella in native wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus). Bartonella infections were detected on either side of the front but occurred exclusively in wood mice, despite being highly prevalent in both rodent species elsewhere in Europe. Bank vole introduction has, however, affected the wood mouse-Bartonella interaction, with the infection prevalence of both Bartonella birtlesii and Bartonella taylorii declining significantly with increasing bank vole density. Whilst flea prevalence in wood mice increases with wood mouse density in areas without bank voles, no such relationship is detected in invaded areas. The results are consistent with the dilution effect hypothesis. This predicts that for vector-transmitted parasites, the presence of less competent host species may reduce infection prevalence in the principal host. In addition we found a negative relationship between B. birtlesii and B. taylorii prevalences, indicating that these two microparasites may compete within hosts. PMID:15977903

  8. 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

  9. Parasite interactions in natural populations: insights from longitudinal data.

    PubMed

    Telfer, S; Birtles, R; Bennett, M; Lambin, X; Paterson, S; Begon, M

    2008-06-01

    The physiological and immunological state of an animal can be influenced by current infections and infection history. Consequently, both ongoing and previous infections can affect host susceptibility to another parasite, the biology of the subsequent infection (e.g. infection length) and the impact of infection on host morbidity (pathology). In natural populations, most animals will be infected by a succession of different parasites throughout the course of their lives, with probably frequent concomitant infections. The relative timing of different infections experienced by a host (i.e. the sequence of infection events), and the effects on factors such as host susceptibility and host survival, can only be derived from longitudinal data on individual hosts. Here we review some of the evidence for the impact of co-infection on host susceptibility, infection biology and pathology focusing on insights obtained from both longitudinal studies in humans and experiments that explicitly consider the sequence of infection. We then consider the challenges posed by longitudinal infection data collected from natural populations of animals. We illustrate their usefulness using our data of microparasite infections associated with field vole (Microtus agrestis) populations to examine impacts on susceptibility and infection length. Our primary aim is to describe an analytical approach that can be used on such data to identify interactions among the parasites. The preliminary analyses presented here indicate both synergistic and antagonistic interactions between microparasites within this community and emphasise that such interactions could have significant impacts on host-parasite fitness and dynamics. PMID:18474121

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. The immunological balance between host and parasite in malaria.

    PubMed

    Deroost, Katrien; Pham, Thao-Thy; Opdenakker, Ghislain; Van den Steen, Philippe E

    2016-03-01

    Coevolution of humans and malaria parasites has generated an intricate balance between the immune system of the host and virulence factors of the parasite, equilibrating maximal parasite transmission with limited host damage. Focusing on the blood stage of the disease, we discuss how the balance between anti-parasite immunity versus immunomodulatory and evasion mechanisms of the parasite may result in parasite clearance or chronic infection without major symptoms, whereas imbalances characterized by excessive parasite growth, exaggerated immune reactions or a combination of both cause severe pathology and death, which is detrimental for both parasite and host. A thorough understanding of the immunological balance of malaria and its relation to other physiological balances in the body is of crucial importance for developing effective interventions to reduce malaria-related morbidity and to diminish fatal outcomes due to severe complications. Therefore, we discuss in this review the detailed mechanisms of anti-malarial immunity, parasite virulence factors including immune evasion mechanisms and pathogenesis. Furthermore, we propose a comprehensive classification of malaria complications according to the different types of imbalances. PMID:26657789

  13. 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:19251714

  14. Host preference of an introduced 'generalist' parasite for a non-native host.

    PubMed

    Frankel, Victor M; Hendry, Andrew P; Rolshausen, Gregor; Torchin, Mark E

    2015-09-01

    Parasites can invade new ecosystems if they are introduced with their native hosts or if they successfully infect and colonise new hosts upon arrival. Here, we ask to what extent an introduced parasite demonstrates specialisation among novel host species. Infection surveys across three field sites in Gatun Lake, Panama, revealed that the invasive peacock bass, Cichla monoculus, was more commonly infected by the introduced trematode parasite Centrocestus formosanus than were three other common cichlid fishes. Laboratory infection experiments were conducted to determine whether parasitism might be driven by differential encounter/exposure to parasites or by differential infection susceptibility/preference across different host species. These experiments were performed by controlling for parasite exposure in single host (compatibility) experiments and in mixed host (preference) experiments. In all cases, the peacock bass exhibited higher infection rates with viable metacercariae relative to the other potential fish hosts. Our experiments thus support that an introduced generalist parasite shows apparent specialisation on a specific novel host. Further studies are needed to determine whether these patterns of specialisation are the result of local adaptation following invasion by the parasite. PMID:26056736

  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. EFFECTS OF EPISTASIS ON INFECTIVITY RANGE DURING HOST-PARASITE COEVOLUTION

    PubMed Central

    Ashby, Ben; Gupta, Sunetra; Buckling, Angus

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how parasites adapt to changes in host resistance is crucial to evolutionary epidemiology. Experimental studies have demonstrated that parasites are more capable of adapting to gradual, rather than sudden changes in host phenotype, as the latter may require multiple mutations that are unlikely to arise simultaneously. A key, but as yet unexplored factor is precisely how interactions between mutations (epistasis) affect parasite evolution. Here, we investigate this phenomenon in the context of infectivity range, where parasites may experience selection to infect broader sets of genotypes. When epistasis is strongly positive, we find that parasites are unlikely to evolve broader infectivity ranges if hosts exhibit sudden, rather than gradual changes in phenotype, in close agreement with empirical observations. This is due to a low probability of fixing multiple mutations that individually confer no immediate advantage. When epistasis is weaker, parasites are more likely to evolve broader infectivity ranges if hosts make sudden changes in phenotype, which can be explained by a balance between mutation supply and selection. Thus, we demonstrate that both the rate of phenotypic change in hosts and the form of epistasis between mutations in parasites are crucial in shaping the evolution of infectivity range. PMID:24957848

  18. Diversity and patterns of interaction of an anuran-parasite network in a neotropical wetland.

    PubMed

    Campião, K M; Ribas, A; Tavares, L E R

    2015-12-01

    We describe the diversity and structure of a host-parasite network of 11 anuran species and their helminth parasites in the Pantanal wetland, Brazil. Specifically, we investigate how the heterogeneous use of space by hosts changes parasite community diversity, and how the local pool of parasites exploits sympatric host species of different habits. We examined 229 anuran specimens, interacting with 32 helminth parasite taxa. Mixed effect models indicated the influence of anuran body size, but not habit, as a determinant of parasite species richness. Variation in parasite taxonomic diversity, however, was not significantly correlated with host size or habit. Parasite community composition was not correlated with host phylogeny, indicating no strong effect of the evolutionary relationships among anurans on the similarities in their parasite communities. Host-parasite network showed a nested and non-modular pattern of interaction, which is probably a result of the low host specificity observed for most helminths in this study. Overall, we found host body size was important in determining parasite community richness, whereas low parasite specificity was important to network structure. PMID:26442794

  19. Ambient fauna impairs parasite transmission in a marine parasite-host system.

    PubMed

    Thieltges, D W; Bordalo, M D; Hernández, A Caballero; Prinz, K; Jensen, K T

    2008-08-01

    To understand possible factors controlling transmission of trematode larvae between first and second intermediate hosts we examined the impact of ambient fauna on parasite transmission in a marine intertidal parasite-host association. Cockle hosts (Cerastoderma edule) kept together with selected co-occurring macrozoobenthic species in mesocosms acquired a lower parasite load compared to cockles kept alone, when targeted by cercariae of the trematode Himasthla elongata. The reduction of parasite load in the cockles differed between the 7 macrozoobenthic species tested and was between 35 and 91%. Three different types of reduction could be distinguished: (1) predators (Carcinus maenas, Crangon crangon) actively preying upon cercariae, (2) non-host filter feeders (Crepidula fornicata, Mya arenaria, Crassostrea gigas) filtering cercariae but not becoming infected and (3) alternative hosts (Mytilus edulis, Macoma balthica) becoming infected by the cercariae and thus distracting cercariae from the target hosts. In addition, interference competition may occur in the form of disturbance of cockles by ambient organisms resulting in lower filtration rates and subsequently lower parasite loads. Our results suggest that the species composition and relative abundance of the ambient fauna of parasite-host systems play an important role in controlling trematode transmission rates in benthic marine systems. PMID:18561867

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Below-ground abiotic and biotic heterogeneity shapes above-ground infection outcomes and spatial divergence in a host-parasite interaction.

    PubMed

    Tack, Ayco J M; Laine, Anna-Liisa; Burdon, Jeremy J; Bissett, Andrew; Thrall, Peter H

    2015-09-01

    We investigated the impact of below-ground and above-ground environmental heterogeneity on the ecology and evolution of a natural plant-pathogen interaction. We combined field measurements and a reciprocal inoculation experiment to investigate the potential for natural variation in abiotic and biotic factors to mediate infection outcomes in the association between the fungal pathogen Melampsora lini and its wild flax host, Linum marginale, where pathogen strains and plant lines originated from two ecologically distinct habitat types that occur in close proximity ('bog' and 'hill'). The two habitat types differed strikingly in soil moisture and soil microbiota. Infection outcomes for different host-pathogen combinations were strongly affected by the habitat of origin of the plant lines and pathogen strains, the soil environment and their interactions. Our results suggested that tradeoffs play a key role in explaining the evolutionary divergence in interaction traits among the two habitat types. Overall, we demonstrate that soil heterogeneity, by mediating infection outcomes and evolutionary divergence, can contribute to the maintenance of variation in resistance and pathogenicity within a natural host-pathogen metapopulation. PMID:25872137

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Testing for local host-parasite adaptation: an experiment with Gyrodactylus ectoparasites and guppy hosts.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Jvostov, Felipe; Hendry, Andrew P; Fussmann, Gregor F; Scott, Marilyn E

    2015-05-01

    Hosts and parasites are in a perpetual co-evolutionary "arms race". Due to their short generation time and large reproductive output, parasites are commonly believed to be ahead in this race, although increasing evidence exists that parasites are not always ahead in the arms race - in part owing to evolutionary lineage and recent ecological history. We assess local adaptation of hosts and parasites, and determine whether adaptation was influenced by ecological or evolutionary history, using full reciprocal cross-infections of four Gyrodactylus ectoparasite populations and their four guppy (Poecilia reticulata) host populations in Trinidad. To consider effects of evolutionary lineage and recent ecology, these four populations were collected from two different river drainages (Marianne and Aripo) and two different predation environments (high and low). The highest infection levels were obtained when parasites from the Aripo lineage infected guppies from the Marianne lineage, indicating a higher infectivity, virulence and/or reproductive success of the Aripo parasites. Aripo lineage guppies were also better able to limit Gyrodactylus population growth than guppies from the Marianne River, indicating their strong "resistance" to Gyrodactylus regardless of the source of the parasite. Predation environment had no detectable influence on host-parasite population dynamics of sympatric or allopatric combinations. The much stronger effect of evolutionary lineage (i.e., river) than recent ecological history (i.e., predation) emphasises its importance in driving co-evolutionary dynamics, and should be explored further in future studies on local host-parasite adaptation. PMID:25770861

  6. Corticosterone levels in host and parasite nestlings: is brood parasitism a hormonal stressor?

    PubMed

    Ibáñez-Álamo, Juan Diego; De Neve, Liesbeth; Roldán, María; Rodríguez, Juan; Trouvé, Colette; Chastel, Olivier; Soler, Manuel

    2012-04-01

    Parasite chicks from non-evictor species usually try to monopolize host parental care, thereby increasing considerably the level of food competition in the nest. Here, we propose that brood parasitism is an important stressor for host and parasite nestlings and explore this hypothesis in the non-evictor great spotted cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) and its main hosts, the same-sized black-billed magpie (Pica pica) and the larger carrion crow (Corvus corone). We experimentally created 3-nestling broods of different brood compositions (only cuckoo chicks, only host chicks, or cuckoo and host chicks together) and measured baseline corticosterone levels of nestlings along their developmental period (early, middle and late). We found that brood parasitism increased corticosterone levels in magpie nestlings in the mid and late nestling period compared to those raised in unparasitized nests. Interestingly, carrion crow nestlings from parasitized nests only increased their corticosterone levels in the mid nestling period, when the competition for food with the cuckoo nestling was highest. Our results suggest that brood parasitism could be a potential physiological stressor for host nestlings, especially during the developmental stages where food requirements are highest. Conversely, cuckoo nestlings could be physiologically adapted to high competition levels since they did not show significant differences in corticosterone levels in relation to brood composition. PMID:22366505

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. COTTON HOST-MICROBE INTERACTIONS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Herein discuss the beneficial cotton-microbe interactions, especially as they relate to control of cotton pests, and disease interactions in which specificity of interactions, influence of environment, mechanisms of parasitism and pathogenesis, responses to pathogens, and consequences of disease are...

  11. Gone with the flow: current velocities mediate parasitic infestation of an aquatic host.

    PubMed

    Samsing, Francisca; Solstorm, David; Oppedal, Frode; Solstorm, Frida; Dempster, Tim

    2015-07-01

    Host-parasite interactions are moderated by the environmental conditions of the interaction medium (e.g. air or water). Encounter rate and the time available for a parasite to make physical contact with a host are both influenced by fluid dynamics, yet how they interact is poorly known. Here, we tested whether current velocities altered the initial attachment and post-settlement survival of an ecto-parasitic copepod (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) on Atlantic salmon. Current velocities strongly influenced attachment; infestation levels were 2.5 and 1.3 times higher in moderate than high and low velocity currents, respectively, while current velocities did not affect post-settlement survival. An interplay between a reduced host-parasite encounter rate in a low velocity current and reduced contact time in a high velocity current likely explains this result. Initial parasite attachment position was influenced by an interaction between current velocity and swimming behaviour, likely due to different fin positioning by fish in flows of different velocities. Our results imply that rapid swimming by salmon migrating out of coastal waters, usually described as adaptive against predation, could also be adaptive against parasitism. Infestation rates were also highest at the typical swimming speed of farmed salmon in coastal fish farms, which may be a hitherto unrecognised factor contributing to L. salmonis epidemics. PMID:25917926

  12. Specific nature of Trichomonas vaginalis parasitism of host cell surfaces.

    PubMed Central

    Alderete, J F; Garza, G E

    1985-01-01

    The adherence of Trichomonas vaginalis NYH 286 to host cells was evaluated by using monolayer cultures of HeLa and HEp-2 epithelial cells and human fibroblast cell lines. Saturation of sites on HeLa cells was achieved, yielding a maximal T. vaginalis NYH 286-to-cell ratio of two. The ability of radiolabeled NYH 286 to compete with unlabeled trichomonads for attachment and the time, temperature, and pH-dependent nature of host cell parasitism reinforced the idea of specific parasite-cell associations. Other trichomonal isolates (JH31A, RU375, and JHHR) were also found to adhere to cell monolayers, albeit to different degrees, and all isolates produced maximal contact-dependent HeLa cell cytotoxicity. The avirulent trichomonad, Trichomonas tenax, did not adhere to cell monolayers and did not cause host cell damage. Interestingly, parasite cytadherence was greater with HeLa and HEp-2 epithelial cells than with fibroblast cells. In addition, cytotoxicity with fibroblast cells never exceeded 20% of the level of cell killing observed for epithelial cells. Elucidation of properties of the pathogenic human trichomonads that allowed for host cell surface parasitism was also attempted. Treatment of motile T. vaginalis NYH 286 with trypsin diminished cell parasitism. Incubation of trypsinized organisms in growth medium allowed for regeneration of trichomonal adherence, and cycloheximide inhibited the regeneration of attachment. Organisms poisoned with metronidazole or iodoacetate failed to attach to host cells, and adherent trichomonads exposed to metronidazole or iodoacetate were readily released from parasitized cells. Coincubation experiments with polycationic proteins and sugars and pretreatment of parasites or cells with neuraminidase or periodate had no effect on host cell parasitism. Colchicine and cytochalasin B, however, did produce some inhibition of adherence to HeLa cells. The data suggest that metabolizing T. vaginalis adheres to host cells via parasite surface proteins in a specific receptor-ligand fashion. Furthermore, parasitism of epithelial cells appears to render this cell type more susceptible than fibroblast cell types to contact-dependent cytotoxicity. Images PMID:3877690

  13. Specific nature of Trichomonas vaginalis parasitism of host cell surfaces.

    PubMed

    Alderete, J F; Garza, G E

    1985-12-01

    The adherence of Trichomonas vaginalis NYH 286 to host cells was evaluated by using monolayer cultures of HeLa and HEp-2 epithelial cells and human fibroblast cell lines. Saturation of sites on HeLa cells was achieved, yielding a maximal T. vaginalis NYH 286-to-cell ratio of two. The ability of radiolabeled NYH 286 to compete with unlabeled trichomonads for attachment and the time, temperature, and pH-dependent nature of host cell parasitism reinforced the idea of specific parasite-cell associations. Other trichomonal isolates (JH31A, RU375, and JHHR) were also found to adhere to cell monolayers, albeit to different degrees, and all isolates produced maximal contact-dependent HeLa cell cytotoxicity. The avirulent trichomonad, Trichomonas tenax, did not adhere to cell monolayers and did not cause host cell damage. Interestingly, parasite cytadherence was greater with HeLa and HEp-2 epithelial cells than with fibroblast cells. In addition, cytotoxicity with fibroblast cells never exceeded 20% of the level of cell killing observed for epithelial cells. Elucidation of properties of the pathogenic human trichomonads that allowed for host cell surface parasitism was also attempted. Treatment of motile T. vaginalis NYH 286 with trypsin diminished cell parasitism. Incubation of trypsinized organisms in growth medium allowed for regeneration of trichomonal adherence, and cycloheximide inhibited the regeneration of attachment. Organisms poisoned with metronidazole or iodoacetate failed to attach to host cells, and adherent trichomonads exposed to metronidazole or iodoacetate were readily released from parasitized cells. Coincubation experiments with polycationic proteins and sugars and pretreatment of parasites or cells with neuraminidase or periodate had no effect on host cell parasitism. Colchicine and cytochalasin B, however, did produce some inhibition of adherence to HeLa cells. The data suggest that metabolizing T. vaginalis adheres to host cells via parasite surface proteins in a specific receptor-ligand fashion. Furthermore, parasitism of epithelial cells appears to render this cell type more susceptible than fibroblast cell types to contact-dependent cytotoxicity. PMID:3877690

  14. Why do malaria parasites increase host erythrocyte permeability?

    PubMed Central

    Desai, Sanjay A.

    2014-01-01

    Malaria parasites increase erythrocyte permeability to diverse solutes including anions, some cations, and organic solutes, as characterized with several independent methods. Over the last decade, patch-clamp studies have determined that the permeability results from one or more ion channels on the infected erythrocyte host membrane. However, the biological role(s) served by these channels, if any, remain controversial. Recent studies implicate the plasmodial surface anion channel (PSAC) and a role in parasite nutrient acquisition. A debated alternative role in remodeling host ion composition for the benefit of the parasite appears to be nonessential. Because both channel activity and the associated clag3 genes are strictly conserved in malaria parasites, channel-mediated permeability is an attractive target for development of new therapies. PMID:24507014

  15. Toxoplasma gondii Relies on Both Host and Parasite Isoprenoids and Can Be Rendered Sensitive to Atorvastatin

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhu-Hong; Ramakrishnan, Srinivasan; Striepen, Boris; Moreno, Silvia N. J.

    2013-01-01

    Intracellular pathogens have complex metabolic interactions with their host cells to ensure a steady supply of energy and anabolic building blocks for rapid growth. Here we use the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii to probe this interaction for isoprenoids, abundant lipidic compounds essential to many cellular processes including signaling, trafficking, energy metabolism, and protein translation. Synthesis of precursors for isoprenoids in Apicomplexa occurs in the apicoplast and is essential. To synthesize longer isoprenoids from these precursors, T. gondii expresses a bifunctional farnesyl diphosphate/geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (TgFPPS). In this work we construct and characterize T. gondii null mutants for this enzyme. Surprisingly, these mutants have only a mild growth phenotype and an isoprenoid composition similar to wild type parasites. However, when extracellular, the loss of the enzyme becomes phenotypically apparent. This strongly suggests that intracellular parasite salvage FPP and/or geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP) from the host. We test this hypothesis using inhibitors of host cell isoprenoid synthesis. Mammals use the mevalonate pathway, which is susceptible to statins. We document strong synergy between statin treatment and pharmacological or genetic interference with the parasite isoprenoid pathway. Mice can be cured with atorvastatin (Lipitor) from a lethal infection with the TgFPPs mutant. We propose a double-hit strategy combining inhibitors of host and parasite pathways as a novel therapeutic approach against Apicomplexan parasites. PMID:24146616

  16. Beyond immunity: quantifying the effects of host anti-parasite behavior on parasite transmission.

    PubMed

    Daly, Elizabeth W; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2011-04-01

    A host's first line of defense in response to the threat of parasitic infection is behavior, yet the efficacy of anti-parasite behaviors in reducing infection are rarely quantified relative to immunological defense mechanisms. Larval amphibians developing in aquatic habitats are at risk of infection from a diverse assemblage of pathogens, some of which cause substantial morbidity and mortality, suggesting that behavioral avoidance and resistance could be significant defensive strategies. To quantify the importance of anti-parasite behaviors in reducing infection, we exposed larval Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla) to pathogenic trematodes (Ribeiroia and Echinostoma) in one of two experimental conditions: behaviorally active (unmanipulated) or behaviorally impaired (anesthetized). By quantifying both the number of successful and unsuccessful parasites, we show that host behavior reduces infection prevalence and intensity for both parasites. Anesthetized hosts were 20-39% more likely to become infected and, when infected, supported 2.8-fold more parasitic cysts. Echinostoma had a 60% lower infection success relative to the more deadly Ribeiroia and was also more vulnerable to behaviorally mediated reductions in transmission. For Ribeiroia, increases in host mass enhanced infection success, consistent with epidemiological theory, but this relationship was eroded among active hosts. Our results underscore the importance of host behavior in mitigating disease risk and suggest that, in some systems, anti-parasite behaviors can be as or more effective than immune-mediated defenses in reducing infection. Considering the severe pathologies induced by these and other pathogens of amphibians, we emphasize the value of a broader understanding of anti-parasite behaviors and how co-occurring stressors affect them. PMID:20857146

  17. Interactions between parasites and microbial communities in the human gut

    PubMed Central

    Berrilli, Federica; Di Cave, David; Cavallero, Serena; D'Amelio, Stefano

    2012-01-01

    The interactions between intestinal microbiota, immune system, and pathogens describe the human gut as a complex ecosystem, where all components play a relevant role in modulating each other and in the maintenance of homeostasis. The balance among the gut microbiota and the human body appear to be crucial for health maintenance. Intestinal parasites, both protozoans and helminths, interact with the microbial community modifying the balance between host and commensal microbiota. On the other hand, gut microbiota represents a relevant factor that may strongly interfere with the pathophysiology of the infections. In addition to the function that gut commensal microbiota may have in the processes that determine the survival and the outcome of many parasitic infections, including the production of nutritive macromolecules, also probiotics can play an important role in reducing the pathogenicity of many parasites. On these bases, there is a growing interest in explaining the rationale on the possible interactions between the microbiota, immune response, inflammatory processes, and intestinal parasites. PMID:23162802

  18. Optimum and maximum host sizes at parasitism for the endoparasitoid Hyposoter didymator (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) differ greatly between two host species.

    PubMed

    Reudler Talsma, J H; Elzinga, J A; Harvey, J A; Biere, A

    2007-10-01

    Host size is considered a reliable indicator of host quality and an important determinant of parasitoid fitness. Koinobiont parasitoids attack hosts that continue feeding and growing during parasitism. In contrast with hemolymph-feeding koinobionts, tissue-feeding koinobionts face not only a minimum host size for successful development but also a maximum host size, because consumption of the entire host is often necessary for successful egression. Here we study interactions between a generalist tissue-feeding larval endoparasitoid, Hyposoter didymator Thunberg (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) and two of its natural hosts, Spodoptera exigua Hübner and Chrysodeixis chalcites Esper (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Larvae of C. chalcites are up to three times larger than corresponding instars of S. exigua and also attain much higher terminal masses before pupation. We hypothesized that the range of host instars suitable for successful parasitism by H. didymator would be much more restricted in the large host C. chalcites than in the smaller S. exigua. To test this hypothesis, we monitored development of H. didymator in all instars of both host species and measured survival, larval development time, and adult body mass of the parasitioid. In contrast with our predictions, C. chalcites was qualitatively superior to S. exigua in terms of the survival of parasitized hosts, the proportion of parasitoids able to complete development, and adult parasitoid size. However, in both hosts, the proportion of mature parasitoid larvae that successfully developed into adults was low at the largest host sizes. Our results suggest that qualitative, as well as quantitative, factors are important in the success of tissue-feeding parasitoids. PMID:18284727

  19. Maintenance of host variation in tolerance to pathogens and parasites.

    PubMed

    Best, A; White, A; Boots, M

    2008-12-30

    Tolerance and resistance provide hosts with two distinct defense strategies against parasitism. In resistance the hosts "fight" the parasite directly, whereas in tolerance the hosts fight the disease by ameliorating the damage that infection causes. There is increasing recognition that the two mechanisms may exhibit very different evolutionary behaviors. Although empirical work has often noted considerable variance in tolerance within hosts, theory has predicted the fixation of tolerance due to positive frequency dependence through a feedback with disease prevalence. Here we reconcile these findings through a series of dynamic game theoretical models. We emphasize that there is a crucial distinction between tolerance to the effects of disease-induced mortality and tolerance to the effect of the disease-induced reductions in fecundity. Only mortality tolerance has a positive effect on parasite fitness, whereas sterility tolerance is neutral and may therefore result in polymorphisms. The nature of the costs to defense and their relationship to trade-offs between resistance and tolerance are crucial in determining the likelihood of variation, whereas the co-evolution of the parasite will not affect diversity. Our findings stress that it is important to measure the effects of different mechanisms on characteristics that affect the epidemiology of the parasite to completely understand the evolutionary dynamics of defense. PMID:19088200

  20. 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

  1. The Genotypic Structure of a Multi-Host Bumblebee Parasite Suggests a Role for Ecological Niche Overlap

    PubMed Central

    Salathé, Rahel M.; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2011-01-01

    The genotypic structure of parasite populations is an important determinant of ecological and evolutionary dynamics of host-parasite interactions with consequences for pest management and disease control. Genotypic structure is especially interesting where multiple hosts co-exist and share parasites. We here analyze the natural genotypic distribution of Crithidia bombi, a trypanosomatid parasite of bumblebees (Bombus spp.), in two ecologically different habitats over a time period of three years. Using an algorithm to reconstruct genotypes in cases of multiple infections, and combining these with directly identified genotypes from single infections, we find a striking diversity of infection for both data sets, with almost all multi-locus genotypes being unique, and are inferring that around half of the total infections are resulting from multiple strains. Our analyses further suggest a mixture of clonality and sexuality in natural populations of this parasite species. Finally, we ask whether parasite genotypes are associated with host species (the phylogenetic hypothesis) or whether ecological factors (niche overlap in flower choice) shape the distribution of parasite genotypes (the ecological hypothesis). Redundancy analysis demonstrates that in the region with relatively high parasite prevalence, both host species identity and niche overlap are equally important factors shaping the distribution of parasite strains, whereas in the region with lower parasite prevalence, niche overlap more strongly contributes to the distribution observed. Overall, our study underlines the importance of ecological factors in shaping the natural dynamics of host-parasite systems. PMID:21853023

  2. Macromolecule exchange in Cuscuta-host plant interactions.

    PubMed

    Kim, Gunjune; Westwood, James H

    2015-08-01

    Cuscuta species (dodders) are parasitic plants that are able to grow on many different host plants and can be destructive to crops. The connections between Cuscuta and its hosts allow movement of not only water and small nutrients, but also macromolecules including mRNA, proteins and viruses. Recent studies show that RNAs move bidirectionally between hosts and parasites and involve a large number of different genes. Although the function of mobile mRNAs has not been demonstrated in this system, small RNAs are also transmitted and a silencing construct expressed in hosts is able to affect expression of the target gene in the parasite. High throughput sequencing of host-parasite associations has the potential to greatly accelerate understanding of this remarkable interaction. PMID:26051214

  3. Estimation of the sequestered parasite load in severe malaria patients using both host and parasite markers.

    PubMed

    Ochola, L B; Marsh, K; Lowe, B; Gal, S; Pluschke, G; Smith, T

    2005-10-01

    The virulence of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is due, in part, to its ability to cytoadhere in deep vascular beds. Our inability to quantify the load of sequestered parasites hampers our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in disease progression and complicates diagnosis. In this study we evaluate potential biochemical markers of sequestered load by comparing them with estimates of the sequestered load from a statistical model fitted to longitudinal patterns of peripheral parasite densities in a series of 22 patients with severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The markers comprised the host factors: haematocrit, circulating host DNA, sTNF-R75 and parasite derived products HRP2, pLDH, pigments and circulating parasite DNA. We investigated the suitability of these markers in determining sequestered loads in patients on quinine treatment. Observed peripheral parasitaemia, plasma levels of sTNF-R75 and circulating parasite DNA were most strongly correlated with estimates of sequestered loads on admission. However the dynamics of both sTNF-R75 and circulating parasite DNA during follow-up were very different from those of the estimated sequestered mass. These analyses suggest that none of the markers gave reliable estimates of the current sequestered load, though they may reflect the history of infection. Longitudinal analyses are needed that allow for the clearance rates of the marker molecules and for variations between hosts in the history of parasitaemia. PMID:16174409

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Parasitism and survival in a damselfly: does host sex matter?

    PubMed Central

    Braune, P.; Rolff, J.

    2001-01-01

    We present experimental data on the survivorship of damselflies infested by parasitic water mites from a population in field cages. In addition, we show correlative laboratory data under simulated severe weather conditions. In the manipulative experiment, parasitized females' individual condition, which was measured as weight at emergence, was an important determinant of survival under field conditions. In contrast, such a relationship did not occur in males and unparasitized females. It was found in the laboratory experiment that water mites as well as weight at emergence both contributed significantly to the reduced survivorship of male and female damselflies. It was concluded that the impact of parasitism depends on environmental conditions and that host sexes differ in their responses to parasitism. This is discussed in the light of immunocompetence in invertebrates. PMID:11375100

  12. Parasitism and survival in a damselfly: does host sex matter?

    PubMed

    Braune, P; Rolff, J

    2001-06-01

    We present experimental data on the survivorship of damselflies infested by parasitic water mites from a population in field cages. In addition, we show correlative laboratory data under simulated severe weather conditions. In the manipulative experiment, parasitized females' individual condition, which was measured as weight at emergence, was an important determinant of survival under field conditions. In contrast, such a relationship did not occur in males and unparasitized females. It was found in the laboratory experiment that water mites as well as weight at emergence both contributed significantly to the reduced survivorship of male and female damselflies. It was concluded that the impact of parasitism depends on environmental conditions and that host sexes differ in their responses to parasitism. This is discussed in the light of immunocompetence in invertebrates. PMID:11375100

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Fürst, Matthias A; Nash, David R

    2010-04-23

    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

  18. Using parasitic trematode larvae to quantify an elusive vertebrate host.

    PubMed

    Byers, James E; Altman, Irit; Grosse, Andrew M; Huspeni, Todd C; Maerz, John C

    2011-02-01

    Digenean trematode parasites require multiple host species to complete their life cycles, and their abundance can often be strongly correlated with the abundance of their host species. Species richness and abundance of parasites in easily sampled host species may yield an accurate estimate of the species richness and abundance of other hosts in a parasite's life cycle that are difficult to survey directly. Accordingly, we investigated whether prevalence and mean abundance of trematodes could be used to estimate the abundance of one of their host species, diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin), which are difficult to sample and are designated as near threatened (by the International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN Red List]) along some U.S. coasts. As an adult the trematode Pleurogonius malaclemys is specific to terrapins. Its larval stages live first inside mud snails (Ilyanassa obsoleta) and are subsequently shed into the environment where they form external metacercarial cysts on hard surfaces such as snail opercula. The life cycle of P. malaclemys is completed when terrapins ingest these cysts. At 12 sites along the coast of Georgia (U.S.A.), we determined the prevalence of internal P. malaclemys larvae in mud snails (proportion of infected snails in a population) and the prevalence and mean abundance of external trematode cysts. We examined whether these data were correlated with terrapin abundance, which we estimated with mark-recapture methods. The abundance of external cysts and salinity explained ?59% of the variability in terrapin abundance. We suggest that dependent linkages between the life stages of multihost parasites make them reliable predictors of host species' abundance, including hosts with abundances that are challenging to quantify directly. PMID:21029163

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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 can provide critical insights into brood parasite-host coevolution. PMID:24834103

  4. 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

  5. A parasitic selfish gene that affects host promiscuity.

    PubMed

    Giraldo-Perez, Paulina; Goddard, Matthew R

    2013-11-01

    Selfish genes demonstrate transmission bias and invade sexual populations despite conferring no benefit to their hosts. While the molecular genetics and evolutionary dynamics of selfish genes are reasonably well characterized, their effects on hosts are not. Homing endonuclease genes (HEGs) are one well-studied family of selfish genes that are assumed to be benign. However, we show that carrying HEGs is costly for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, demonstrating that these genetic elements are not necessarily benign but maybe parasitic. We estimate a selective load of approximately 1-2% in 'natural' niches. The second aspect we examine is the ability of HEGs to affect hosts' sexual behaviour. As all selfish genes critically rely on sex for spread, then any selfish gene correlated with increased host sexuality will enjoy a transmission advantage. While classic parasites are known to manipulate host behaviour, we are not aware of any evidence showing a selfish gene is capable of affecting host promiscuity. The data presented here show a selfish element may increase the propensity of its eukaryote host to undergo sex and along with increased rates of non-Mendelian inheritance, this may counterbalance mitotic selective load and promote spread. Demonstration that selfish genes are correlated with increased promiscuity in eukaryotes connects with ideas suggesting that selfish genes promoted the evolution of sex initially. PMID:24048156

  6. A parasitic selfish gene that affects host promiscuity

    PubMed Central

    Giraldo-Perez, Paulina; Goddard, Matthew R.

    2013-01-01

    Selfish genes demonstrate transmission bias and invade sexual populations despite conferring no benefit to their hosts. While the molecular genetics and evolutionary dynamics of selfish genes are reasonably well characterized, their effects on hosts are not. Homing endonuclease genes (HEGs) are one well-studied family of selfish genes that are assumed to be benign. However, we show that carrying HEGs is costly for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, demonstrating that these genetic elements are not necessarily benign but maybe parasitic. We estimate a selective load of approximately 1–2% in ‘natural’ niches. The second aspect we examine is the ability of HEGs to affect hosts' sexual behaviour. As all selfish genes critically rely on sex for spread, then any selfish gene correlated with increased host sexuality will enjoy a transmission advantage. While classic parasites are known to manipulate host behaviour, we are not aware of any evidence showing a selfish gene is capable of affecting host promiscuity. The data presented here show a selfish element may increase the propensity of its eukaryote host to undergo sex and along with increased rates of non-Mendelian inheritance, this may counterbalance mitotic selective load and promote spread. Demonstration that selfish genes are correlated with increased promiscuity in eukaryotes connects with ideas suggesting that selfish genes promoted the evolution of sex initially. PMID:24048156

  7. Malaria parasites tolerate a broad range of ionic environments and do not require host cation remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Pillai, Ajay D.; Addo, Rachel; Sharma, Paresh; Nguitragool, Wang; Srinivasan, Prakash; Desai, Sanjay A.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Malaria parasites grow within erythrocytes, but are also free in host plasma between cycles of asexual replication. As a result, the parasite is exposed to fluctuating levels of Na+ and K+, ions assumed to serve important roles for the human pathogen, Plasmodium falciparum. We examined these assumptions and the parasite's ionic requirements by establishing continuous culture in novel sucrose-based media. With sucrose as the primary osmoticant and K+ and Cl? as the main extracellular ions, we obtained parasite growth and propagation at rates indistinguishable from those in physiological media. These conditions abolish long-known increases in intracellular Na+ via parasite-induced channels, excluding a requirement for erythrocyte cation remodeling. We also dissected Na+, K+, and Cl? requirements and found that unexpectedly low concentrations of each ion meet the parasite's demands. Surprisingly, growth was not adversely affected by up to 148 mM K+, suggesting that low extracellular K+ is not an essential trigger for erythrocyte invasion. At the same time, merozoite egress and invasion required a threshold ionic strength, suggesting critical electrostatic interactions between macromolecules at these stages. These findings provide insights into transmembrane signaling in malaria and reveal fundamental differences between host and parasite ionic requirements. PMID:23347042

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

    PubMed

    Budischak, Sarah A; Sakamoto, Kaori; Megow, Lindsey C; Cummings, Kelly R; Urban, Joseph F; Ezenwa, Vanessa O

    2015-06-01

    Most animals are concurrently infected with multiple parasite species and live in environments with fluctuating resource availability. Resource limitation can influence host immune responses and the degree of competition between co-infecting parasites, yet its effects on individual health and pathogen transmission have not been studied for co-infected hosts. To test how resource limitation affects immune trade-offs and co-infection outcomes, we conducted a factorial experiment using laboratory mice. Mice were given a standard or low protein diet, dosed with two species of helminths (alone and in combination), and then challenged with a microparasite. Using a community ecology trophic framework, we found that co-infection influenced parasite survival and reproduction via host immunity, but the magnitude and direction of responses depended on resources and the combination of co-infecting parasites. Our findings highlight that resources and their consequence for host defenses are a key context that shapes the magnitude and direction of parasite interactions. PMID:25812832

  9. 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:25932498

  10. 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)

  11. Uncovering Dangerous Cheats: How Do Avian Hosts Recognize Adult Brood Parasites?

    PubMed Central

    Trnka, Alfréd; Prokop, Pavol; Grim, Tomáš

    2012-01-01

    Background Co-evolutionary struggles between dangerous enemies (e.g., brood parasites) and their victims (hosts) lead to the emergence of sophisticated adaptations and counter-adaptations. Salient host tricks to reduce parasitism costs include, as front line defence, adult enemy discrimination. In contrast to the well studied egg stage, investigations addressing the specific cues for adult enemy recognition are rare. Previous studies have suggested barred underparts and yellow eyes may provide cues for the recognition of cuckoos Cuculus canorus by their hosts; however, no study to date has examined the role of the two cues simultaneously under a consistent experimental paradigm. Methodology/Principal Findings We modify and extend previous work using a novel experimental approach – custom-made dummies with various combinations of hypothesized recognition cues. The salient recognition cue turned out to be the yellow eye. Barred underparts, the only trait examined previously, had a statistically significant but small effect on host aggression highlighting the importance of effect size vs. statistical significance. Conclusion Relative importance of eye vs. underpart phenotypes may reflect ecological context of host-parasite interaction: yellow eyes are conspicuous from the typical direction of host arrival (from above), whereas barred underparts are poorly visible (being visually blocked by the upper part of the cuckoo's body). This visual constraint may reduce usefulness of barred underparts as a reliable recognition cue under a typical situation near host nests. We propose a novel hypothesis that recognition cues for enemy detection can vary in a context-dependent manner (e.g., depending on whether the enemy is approached from below or from above). Further we suggest a particular cue can trigger fear reactions (escape) in some hosts/populations whereas the same cue can trigger aggression (attack) in other hosts/populations depending on presence/absence of dangerous enemies that are phenotypically similar to brood parasites and costs and benefits associated with particular host responses. PMID:22624031

  12. A simple model for the within-host dynamics of a protozoan parasite

    PubMed Central

    Klinkenberg, D; Heesterbeek, J.A.P

    2005-01-01

    The dynamics of parasite–host systems can be complicated if the parasite life cycle contains an obligatory environmental stage and if the hosts' immunity increases upon re-infection. The dynamics then greatly depend on the relation between infection history and parasite uptake and excretion of individual hosts. In an effort to better understand such systems, we study Eimeria spp. in chickens as our model. In this paper we take a first step and study the within-host dynamics of Eimeria spp., transmitted through oocysts in the environment, with a mathematical model for the parasite life cycle in discrete time, interacting with a single variable describing the immune response. The model can explain various types of oocyst input–output behaviour as described in previous experiments, in particular the characteristic crowding effect, which causes a decreasing oocyst production with increasing single dose oocyst uptake. Oocyst excretion during constant oocyst uptake (trickle infection) and the immunizing effect of single and trickle infections also appears in accordance with published experiments. The model seems a good description of oocyst input–output behaviour in individual hosts; it provides a solid basis for the study of between-host dynamics, where individuals interact in a common environment, thereby affecting their own and each other's infection pattern. PMID:15817433

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

    PubMed

    Marsolier, J; Perichon, M; DeBarry, J D; Villoutreix, B O; Chluba, J; Lopez, T; Garrido, C; Zhou, X Z; Lu, K P; Fritsch, L; Ait-Si-Ali, S; Mhadhbi, M; Medjkane, S; Weitzman, J B

    2015-04-16

    Infectious agents develop intricate mechanisms to interact with host cell pathways and hijack their genetic and epigenetic machinery to change host cell phenotypic states. Among the Apicomplexa phylum of obligate intracellular parasites, which cause veterinary and human diseases, Theileria is the only genus that transforms its mammalian host cells. Theileria infection of bovine leukocytes induces proliferative and invasive phenotypes associated with activated signalling pathways, notably JNK and AP-1 (ref. 2). The transformed phenotypes are reversed by treatment with the theilericidal drug buparvaquone. We used comparative genomics to identify a homologue of the peptidyl-prolyl isomerase PIN1 in T. annulata (TaPIN1) that 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 and in silico 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 isomerization is thus a conserved mechanism that is important in cancer and is used by Theileria parasites to manipulate host oncogenic signalling. PMID:25624101

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

    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

  15. A Large Repertoire of Parasite Epitopes Matched by a Large Repertoire of Host Immune Receptors in an Invertebrate Host/Parasite Model

    PubMed Central

    Moné, Yves; Gourbal, Benjamin; Duval, David; Du Pasquier, Louis; Kieffer-Jaquinod, Sylvie; Mitta, Guillaume

    2010-01-01

    For many decades, invertebrate immunity was believed to be non-adaptive, poorly specific, relying exclusively on sometimes multiple but germ-line encoded innate receptors and effectors. But recent studies performed in different invertebrate species have shaken this paradigm by providing evidence for various types of somatic adaptations at the level of putative immune receptors leading to an enlarged repertoire of recognition molecules. Fibrinogen Related Proteins (FREPs) from the mollusc Biomphalaria glabrata are an example of these putative immune receptors. They are known to be involved in reactions against trematode parasites. Following not yet well understood somatic mechanisms, the FREP repertoire varies considerably from one snail to another, showing a trend towards an individualization of the putative immune repertoire almost comparable to that described from vertebrate adaptive immune system. Nevertheless, their antigenic targets remain unknown. In this study, we show that a specific set of these highly variable FREPs from B. glabrata forms complexes with similarly highly polymorphic and individually variable mucin molecules from its specific trematode parasite S. mansoni (Schistosoma mansoni Polymorphic Mucins: SmPoMucs). This is the first evidence of the interaction between diversified immune receptors and antigenic variant in an invertebrate host/pathogen model. The same order of magnitude in the diversity of the parasite epitopes and the one of the FREP suggests co-evolutionary dynamics between host and parasite regarding this set of determinants that could explain population features like the compatibility polymorphism observed in B. glabrata/S. mansoni interaction. In addition, we identified a third partner associated with the FREPs/SmPoMucs in the immune complex: a Thioester containing Protein (TEP) belonging to a molecular category that plays a role in phagocytosis or encapsulation following recognition. The presence of this last partner in this immune complex argues in favor of the involvement of the formed complex in parasite recognition and elimination from the host. PMID:20838648

  16. Redox sensing and signaling by malaria parasite in vertebrate host.

    PubMed

    Tripathy, Satyajit; Roy, Somenath

    2015-09-01

    Plasmodium parasites, which is responsible to cause malaria, are also exceedingly receptive to oxidative stress during their intraerythrocytic life stage as they devour haemoglobin inside their food vacuoles and engender toxic haem moieties and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Other than, several studies suggest that the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS) associated with oxidative stress, plays a decisive role in the ripeness of systemic complications caused by malaria. Malaria infection provokes the generation of hydroxyl radicals (OH(•)), which most probably is the main reason for the induction of oxidative stress and apoptosis. In this study, it has been described to understand how redox molecules and NO carry out their diverse functions in both parasites and host. It is very important to understand the chemical reactions that produce those outcomes and how its regulation carried out by parasite during erythrocytic phase. PMID:25740654

  17. Host-based Prophylaxis Successfully Targets Liver Stage Malaria Parasites.

    PubMed

    Douglass, Alyse N; Kain, Heather S; Abdullahi, Marian; Arang, Nadia; Austin, Laura S; Mikolajczak, Sebastian A; Billman, Zachary P; Hume, Jen C C; Murphy, Sean C; Kappe, Stefan H I; Kaushansky, Alexis

    2015-05-01

    Eliminating malaria parasites during the asymptomatic but obligate liver stages (LSs) of infection would stop disease and subsequent transmission. Unfortunately, only a single licensed drug that targets all LSs, Primaquine, is available. Targeting host proteins might significantly expand the repertoire of prophylactic drugs against malaria. Here, we demonstrate that both Bcl-2 inhibitors and P53 agonists dramatically reduce LS burden in a mouse malaria model in vitro and in vivo by altering the activity of key hepatocyte factors on which the parasite relies. Bcl-2 inhibitors act primarily by inducing apoptosis in infected hepatocytes, whereas P53 agonists eliminate parasites in an apoptosis-independent fashion. In combination, Bcl-2 inhibitors and P53 agonists act synergistically to delay, and in some cases completely prevent, the onset of blood stage disease. Both families of drugs are highly effective at doses that do not cause substantial hepatocyte cell death in vitro or liver damage in vivo. P53 agonists and Bcl-2 inhibitors were also effective when administered to humanized mice infected with Plasmodium falciparum. Our data demonstrate that host-based prophylaxis could be developed into an effective intervention strategy that eliminates LS parasites before the onset of clinical disease and thus opens a new avenue to prevent malaria. PMID:25648263

  18. Consistent pattern of local adaptation during an experimental heat wave in a pipefish-trematode host-parasite system.

    PubMed

    Landis, Susanne H; Kalbe, Martin; Reusch, Thorsten B H; Roth, Olivia

    2012-01-01

    Extreme climate events such as heat waves are expected to increase in frequency under global change. As one indirect effect, they can alter magnitude and direction of species interactions, for example those between hosts and parasites. We simulated a summer heat wave to investigate how a changing environment affects the interaction between the broad-nosed pipefish (Syngnathus typhle) as a host and its digenean trematode parasite (Cryptocotyle lingua). In a fully reciprocal laboratory infection experiment, pipefish from three different coastal locations were exposed to sympatric and allopatric trematode cercariae. In order to examine whether an extreme climatic event disrupts patterns of locally adapted host-parasite combinations we measured the parasite's transmission success as well as the host's adaptive and innate immune defence under control and heat wave conditions. Independent of temperature, sympatric cercariae were always more successful than allopatric ones, indicating that parasites are locally adapted to their hosts. Hosts suffered from heat stress as suggested by fewer cells of the adaptive immune system (lymphocytes) compared to the same groups that were kept at 18°C. However, the proportion of the innate immune cells (monocytes) was higher in the 18°C water. Contrary to our expectations, no interaction between host immune defence, parasite infectivity and temperature stress were found, nor did the pattern of local adaptation change due to increased water temperature. Thus, in this host-parasite interaction, the sympatric parasite keeps ahead of the coevolutionary dynamics across sites, even under increasing temperatures as expected under marine global warming. PMID:22303448

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Spatial heterogeneity lowers rather than increases host-parasite specialization.

    PubMed

    Hesse, E; Best, A; Boots, M; Hall, A R; Buckling, A

    2015-09-01

    Abiotic environmental heterogeneity can promote the evolution of diverse resource specialists, which in turn may increase the degree of host-parasite specialization. We coevolved Pseudomonas fluorescens and lytic phage ?2 in spatially structured populations, each consisting of two interconnected subpopulations evolving in the same or different nutrient media (homogeneous and heterogeneous environments, respectively). Counter to the normal expectation, host-parasite specialization was significantly lower in heterogeneous compared with homogeneous environments. This result could not be explained by dispersal homogenizing populations, as this would have resulted in the heterogeneous treatments having levels of specialization equal to or greater than that of the homogeneous environments. We argue that selection for costly generalists is greatest when the coevolving species are exposed to diverse environmental conditions and that this can provide an explanation for our results. A simple coevolutionary model of this process suggests that this can be a general mechanism by which environmental heterogeneity can reduce rather than increase host-parasite specialization. PMID:26135011

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  3. 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

  4. Petromyzon marinus (Petromyzontidae), an unusual host for helminth parasites in western Europe.

    PubMed

    Gérard, Claudia; Verrez-Bagnis, Véronique; Jérôme, Marc; Lasne, Emilien

    2015-04-01

    The sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus, which is among the most phylogenetically ancient vertebrates, is a hematophagous ectoparasite that feeds on vertebrates and is considered vulnerable in Europe but is a pest in the North American Great Lakes. We conducted a literature review of helminth parasites of P. marinus and investigated postmetamorphic lampreys sampled in rivers and northeast Atlantic coastal waters (western France) during spawning migration. Based on the literature review, 16 helminth taxa have been recorded in P. marinus, among them 14 in North America but only 2 in Europe, with no species in common between these areas. Specific parasites are lacking, and helminth parasites recorded in P. marinus are mostly opportunistic and are trophically transmitted to fish hosts with both extremely low prevalence and mean intensity. Thus, P. marinus seems an unusual host that is probably infected through accidental ingestion of parasites by microphagous larvae (ammocoetes) and/or hematophagous postmetamorphs. Our field study supports this hypothesis, since only a single third-stage larva of Anisakis simplex sensu stricto was found in 2 postmetamorphic P. marinus among the 115 individuals dissected. This opportunistic, trophically transmitted, and cosmopolitan nematode species has never been recorded in North American sea lampreys and only once in Galician rivers (southern Europe). Infestation pathways of P. marinus by A. simplex are proposed vis-à-vis the feeding strategy of postmetamorphs and fish host species which potentially harbor anisakid larvae in their musculature. More generally, the complexity of biotic interactions is discussed considering P. marinus both as a host for helminth parasites and as a parasite for hosts such as fish and mammals, which are also potential predators of sea lamprey. PMID:25850404

  5. 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

  6. Trophic Structure in a Seabird Host-Parasite Food Web: Insights from Stable Isotope Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Díaz, Elena; González-Solís, Jacob

    2010-01-01

    Ecological studies on food webs rarely include parasites, partly due to the complexity and dimensionality of host-parasite interaction networks. Multiple co-occurring parasites can show different feeding strategies and thus lead to complex and cryptic trophic relationships, which are often difficult to disentangle by traditional methods. We analyzed stable isotope ratios of C (13C/12C, δ13C) and N (15N/14N, δ15N) of host and ectoparasite tissues to investigate trophic structure in 4 co-occurring ectoparasites: three lice and one flea species, on two closely related and spatially segregated seabird hosts (Calonectris shearwaters). δ13C isotopic signatures confirmed feathers as the main food resource for the three lice species and blood for the flea species. All ectoparasite species showed a significant enrichment in δ15N relatively to the host tissue consumed (discrimination factors ranged from 2 to 5‰ depending on the species). Isotopic differences were consistent across multiple host-ectoparasite locations, despite of some geographic variability in baseline isotopic levels. Our findings illustrate the influence of both ectoparasite and host trophic ecology in the isotopic structuring of the Calonectris ectoparasite community. This study highlights the potential of stable isotope analyses in disentangling the nature and complexity of trophic relationships in symbiotic systems. PMID:20454612

  7. Predators and patterns of within-host growth can mediate both among-host competition and evolution of transmission potential of parasites.

    PubMed

    Auld, Stuart K J R; Hall, Spencer R; Housley Ochs, Jessica; Sebastian, Mathew; Duffy, Meghan A

    2014-08-01

    Parasite prevalence shows tremendous spatiotemporal variation. Theory indicates that this variation might stem from life-history characteristics of parasites and key ecological factors. Here, we illustrate how the interaction of an important predator and the schedule of transmission potential of two parasites can explain parasite abundance. A field survey showed that a noncastrating fungus (Metschnikowia bicuspidata) commonly infected a dominant zooplankton host (Daphnia dentifera), while a castrating bacterial parasite (Pasteuria ramosa) was rare. This result seemed surprising given that the bacterium produces many more infectious propagules (spores) than the fungus upon host death. The fungus's dominance can be explained by the schedule of within-host growth of parasites (i.e., how transmission potential changes over the course of infection) and the release of spores from "sloppy" predators (Chaoborus spp., who consume Daphnia prey whole and then later regurgitate the carapace and parasite spores). In essence, sloppy predators create a niche that the faster-schedule fungus currently occupies. However, a selection experiment showed that the slower-schedule bacterium can evolve into this faster-schedule, predator-mediated niche (but pays a cost in maximal spore yield to do so). Hence, our study shows how parasite life history can interact with predation to strongly influence the ecology, epidemiology, and evolution of infectious disease. PMID:25061679

  8. 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

  9. Parasite diversity declines with host evolutionary distinctiveness: a global analysis of carnivores.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shan; Drake, John M; Gittleman, John L; Altizer, Sonia

    2015-03-01

    Evolutionarily distinctive host lineages might harbor fewer parasite species because they have fewer opportunities for parasite sharing than hosts having extant close relatives, or because diverse parasite assemblages promote host diversification. We evaluate these hypotheses using data from 930 species of parasites reported to infect free-living carnivores. We applied nonparametric richness estimators to estimate parasite diversity among well-sampled carnivore species and assessed how well host evolutionary distinctiveness, relative to other biological and environmental factors, explained variation in estimated parasite diversity. Species richness estimates indicate that the current published literature captures less than 50% of the true parasite diversity for most carnivores. Parasite species richness declined with evolutionary distinctiveness of carnivore hosts (i.e., length of terminal ranches of the phylogeny) and increased with host species body mass and geographic range area. We found no support for the hypothesis that hosts from more diverse lineages support a higher number of generalist parasites, but we did find evidence that parasite assemblages might have driven host lineage diversification through mechanisms linked to sexual selection. Collectively, this work provides strong support for host evolutionary history being an essential predictor of parasite diversity, and offers a simple model for predicting parasite diversity in understudied carnivore species. PMID:25639279

  10. Does interspecies hybridization affect the host specificity of parasites in cyprinid fish?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Host specificity varies among parasite species. Some parasites are strictly host-specific, others show a specificity for congeneric or non-congeneric phylogenetically related host species, whilst some others are non-specific (generalists). Two cyprinids, Cyprinus carpio and Carassius gibelio, plus their respective hybrids were investigated for metazoan parasites. The aim of this study was to analyze whether interspecies hybridization affects host specificity. The different degrees of host specificity within a phylogenetic framework were taken into consideration (i.e. strict specialist, intermediate specialist, and intermediate generalist). Methods Fish were collected during harvesting the pond and identified using meristic traits and molecular markers. Metazoan parasite species were collected. Host specificity of parasites was determined using the following classification: strict specialist, intermediate specialist, intermediate generalist and generalist. Parasite species richness was compared between parental species and their hybrids. The effect of host species on abundance of parasites differing in host specificity was tested. Results Hybrids harbored more different parasite species but their total parasite abundance was lower in comparison with parental species. Interspecies hybridization affected the host specificity of ecto- and endoparasites. Parasite species exhibiting different degrees of host specificity for C. carpio and C. gibelio were also present in hybrids. The abundance of strict specialists of C. carpio was significantly higher in parental species than in hybrids. Intermediate generalists parasitizing C. carpio and C. gibelio as two phylogenetically closely related host species preferentially infected C. gibelio when compared to C. carpio, based on prevalence and maximum intensity of infection. Hybrids were less infected by intermediate generalists when compared to C. gibelio. Conclusions This finding does not support strict co-adaptation between host and parasite genotypes resulting in narrow host specificity, and showed that hybrid genotypes are susceptible to parasites exhibiting host specificity. The immune mechanisms specific to parental species might represent potential mechanisms explaining the low abundance of parasites in C. gibelio x C. carpio hybrids. PMID:23587287

  11. Parasite-induced and parasite development-dependent alteration of the swimming behavior of fish hosts.

    PubMed

    Santos, E G N; Santos, C Portes

    2013-07-01

    Parasites with complex life cycles have the ability to change the behavior of their intermediate host in a way that increases their transmission rate to the next host. However, the level of behavioral changes can vary considerably, depending on the stage of parasite development and parasite intensity. To investigate the influence of such parameters, we evaluated the locomotory activity of the fish Poecilia vivipara prior to experimental infections, 7 days post-infection (dpi) and 14dpi with cercariae of the digenean Ascocotyle (Phagicola) pindoramensis. The locomotory activity was monitored using an image system, Videomex(®), linked to with a video camera able to record the swimming behavior of the fishes. At the end of the experiments, fishes were dissected and all metacercariae from the gills and mesenteries, the specific sites utilized by A. (P.) pindoramensis, were recovered and counted. There was a significant decrease in the swimming behavior of fishes after 14dpi. Similarly, we found a significant correlation between the swimming behavior of the fishes and parasite intensity in both sites of infection. It is surmised that the decrease in locomotory activity of P. vivipara caused by A. (P.) pindoramensis can disturb its predator-prey relationship in natural environment. PMID:23545127

  12. 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

  13. Manipulative parasites may not alter intermediate host distribution but still enhance their transmission: field evidence for increased vulnerability to definitive hosts and non-host predator avoidance.

    PubMed

    Lagrue, C; Güvenatam, A; Bollache, L

    2013-02-01

    Behavioural alterations induced by parasites in their intermediate hosts can spatially structure host populations, possibly resulting in enhanced trophic transmission to definitive hosts. However, such alterations may also increase intermediate host vulnerability to non-host predators. Parasite-induced behavioural alterations may thus vary between parasite species and depend on each parasite definitive host species. We studied the influence of infection with 2 acanthocephalan parasites (Echinorhynchus truttae and Polymorphus minutus) on the distribution of the amphipod Gammarus pulex in the field. Predator presence or absence and predator species, whether suitable definitive host or dead-end predator, had no effect on the micro-distribution of infected or uninfected G. pulex amphipods. Although neither parasite species seem to influence intermediate host distribution, E. truttae infected G. pulex were still significantly more vulnerable to predation by fish (Cottus gobio), the parasite's definitive hosts. In contrast, G. pulex infected with P. minutus, a bird acanthocephalan, did not suffer from increased predation by C. gobio, a predator unsuitable as host for P. minutus. These results suggest that effects of behavioural changes associated with parasite infections might not be detectable until intermediate hosts actually come in contact with predators. However, parasite-induced changes in host spatial distribution may still be adaptive if they drive hosts into areas of high transmission probabilities. PMID:23068018

  14. Imaging of the host/parasite interplay in cutaneous leishmaniasis

    PubMed Central

    Millington, Owain R.; Myburgh, Elmarie; Mottram, Jeremy C.; Alexander, James

    2010-01-01

    An understanding of host–parasite interplay is essential for the development of therapeutics and vaccines. Immunoparasitologists have learned a great deal from ‘conventional’ in vitro and in vivo approaches, but recent developments in imaging technologies have provided us (immunologists and parasitologists) with the ability to ask new and exciting questions about the dynamic nature of the parasite–immune system interface. These studies are providing us with new insights into the mechanisms involved in the initiation of a Leishmania infection and the consequent induction and regulation of the immune response. Here, we review some of the recent developments and discuss how these observations can be further developed to understand the immunology of cutaneous Leishmania infection in vivo. PMID:20501336

  15. The Transforming Parasite Theileria Co-opts Host Cell Mitotic and Central Spindles to Persist in Continuously Dividing Cells

    PubMed Central

    von Schubert, Conrad; Xue, Gongda; Schmuckli-Maurer, Jacqueline; Woods, Kerry L.; Nigg, Erich A.; Dobbelaere, Dirk A. E.

    2010-01-01

    The protozoan parasite Theileria inhabits the host cell cytoplasm and possesses the unique capacity to transform the cells it infects, inducing continuous proliferation and protection against apoptosis. The transforming schizont is a multinucleated syncytium that resides free in the host cell cytoplasm and is strictly intracellular. To maintain transformation, it is crucial that this syncytium is divided over the two daughter cells at each host cell cytokinesis. This process was dissected using different cell cycle synchronization methods in combination with the targeted application of specific inhibitors. We found that Theileria schizonts associate with newly formed host cell microtubules that emanate from the spindle poles, positioning the parasite at the equatorial region of the mitotic cell where host cell chromosomes assemble during metaphase. During anaphase, the schizont interacts closely with host cell central spindle. As part of this process, the schizont recruits a host cell mitotic kinase, Polo-like kinase 1, and we established that parasite association with host cell central spindles requires Polo-like kinase 1 catalytic activity. Blocking the interaction between the schizont and astral as well as central spindle microtubules prevented parasite segregation between the daughter cells during cytokinesis. Our findings provide a striking example of how an intracellular eukaryotic pathogen that evolved ways to induce the uncontrolled proliferation of the cells it infects usurps the host cell mitotic machinery, including Polo-like kinase 1, one of the pivotal mitotic kinases, to ensure its own persistence and survival. PMID:20927361

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Extracellular vesicles from parasitic helminths contain specific excretory/secretory proteins and are internalized in intestinal host cells.

    PubMed

    Marcilla, Antonio; Trelis, María; Cortés, Alba; Sotillo, Javier; Cantalapiedra, Fernando; Minguez, María Teresa; Valero, María Luz; Sánchez del Pino, Manuel Mateo; Muñoz-Antoli, Carla; Toledo, Rafael; Bernal, Dolores

    2012-01-01

    The study of host-parasite interactions has increased considerably in the last decades, with many studies focusing on the identification of parasite molecules (i.e. surface or excretory/secretory proteins (ESP)) as potential targets for new specific treatments and/or diagnostic tools. In parallel, in the last few years there have been significant advances in the field of extracellular vesicles research. Among these vesicles, exosomes of endocytic origin, with a characteristic size ranging from 30-100 nm, carry several atypical secreted proteins in different organisms, including parasitic protozoa. Here, we present experimental evidence for the existence of exosome-like vesicles in parasitic helminths, specifically the trematodes Echinostoma caproni and Fasciola hepatica. These microvesicles are actively released by the parasites and are taken up by host cells. Trematode extracellular vesicles contain most of the proteins previously identified as components of ESP, as confirmed by proteomic, immunogold labeling and electron microscopy studies. In addition to parasitic proteins, we also identify host proteins in these structures. The existence of extracellular vesicles explains the secretion of atypical proteins in trematodes, and the demonstration of their uptake by host cells suggests an important role for these structures in host-parasite communication, as described for other infectious agents. PMID:23029346

  19. An approach to the teaching of host/parasite population modelling.

    PubMed

    Wharton, D A; Webb, G

    1989-07-01

    Computer-aided learning is considered to be useful in the teaching of host/parasite population modelling. The STELLA programme for the Apple Macintosh microcomputer allows dynamic models to be developed by drawing a diagram of the interactions and then defining the relationships between variables in terms of simple mathematics or as graphs. Our experience in using this programme for project-based teaching is described. PMID:2674045

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Previous studies have shown that haemosporidian parasites (Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) and Plasmodium) infecting passerine birds have an evolutionary history of host switching with little cospeciation, in particular at low taxonomic levels (e.g., below the family level), which is suggested as the main speciation mechanism of this group of parasites. Recent studies have characterized diverse clades of haemosporidian parasites (H. (Haemoproteus) and H. (Parahaemoproteus)) infecting non-passerine birds (e.g., Columbiformes, Pelecaniiformes). Here, we explore the cospeciation history of H. (Haemoproteus) and H. (Parahaemoproteus) parasites with their non-passerine hosts. Methods We sequenced the mtDNA cyt b gene of both haemosporidian parasites and their avian non-passerine hosts. We built Bayesian phylogenetic hypotheses and created concensus phylograms that were subsequently used to conduct cospeciation analyses. We used both a global cospeciation test, PACo, and an event-cost algorithm implemented in CoRe-PA. Results The global test suggests that H. (Haemoproteus) and H. (Parahaemoproteus) parasites have a diversification history dominated by cospeciation events particularly at the family level. Host-parasite links from the PACo analysis show that host switching events are common within families (i.e., among genera and among species within genera), and occasionally across different orders (e.g., Columbiformes to Pelecaniiformes). Event-cost analyses show that haemosporidian coevolutionary history is dominated by host switching and some codivergence, but with duplication events also present. Genetic lineages unique to raptor species (e.g., FALC11) commonly switch between Falconiformes and Strigiformes. Conclusions Our results corroborate previous findings that have detected a global cospeciation signal at the family taxonomic level, and they also support a history of frequent switching closer to the tips of the host phylogeny, which seems to be the main diversification mechanism of haemosporidians. Such dynamic host-parasite associations are relevant to the epidemiology of emerging diseases because low parasite host specificity is a prerequisite for the emergence of novel diseases. The evidence on host distributions suggests that haemosporidian parasites have the potential to rapidly develop novel host-associations. This pattern has also been recorded in fish-monogenean interactions, suggesting a general diversification mechanism for parasites when host choice is not restricted by ecological barriers. PMID:24957563

  1. How to invade, replicate, and escape from host organisms. A challenge in defining virulence factors for parasites.

    PubMed

    Schenkman, Sergio; González, Jorge

    2012-12-01

    During millions of years, parasites have been adapting to different environments and hosts. During this time, they have acquired different molecules and peculiar structures, some absent in other living organisms, in order to successfully invade hosts, resist immune attack, and proliferate in the hosts. Nowadays, several genome sequences and a multitude of new information have been generated for many human and animal parasites, opening new possibilities for understanding in detail how they interact with the host and cause disease. Investigations of these molecules and the associated structures, together with their functional roles, are now emerging, providing key advances in understanding pathology that could be used for developing robust strategies to selectively target the parasites without damaging the host. PMID:23092845

  2. Climate change effects on migration phenology may mismatch brood parasitic cuckoos and their hosts

    PubMed Central

    Saino, Nicola; Rubolini, Diego; Lehikoinen, Esa; Sokolov, Leonid V.; Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Ambrosini, Roberto; Boncoraglio, Giuseppe; Møller, Anders P.

    2009-01-01

    Phenological responses to climate change vary among taxa and across trophic levels. This can lead to a mismatch between the life cycles of ecologically interrelated populations (e.g. predators and prey), with negative consequences for population dynamics of some of the interacting species. Here we provide, to our knowledge, the first evidence that climate change might disrupt the association between the life cycles of the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), a migratory brood parasitic bird, and its hosts. We investigated changes in timing of spring arrival of the cuckoo and its hosts throughout Europe over six decades, and found that short-distance, but not long-distance, migratory hosts have advanced their arrival more than the cuckoo. Hence, cuckoos may keep track of phenological changes of long-distance, but not short-distance migrant hosts, with potential consequences for breeding of both cuckoo and hosts. The mismatch to some of the important hosts may contribute to the decline of cuckoo populations and explain some of the observed local changes in parasitism rates of migratory hosts. PMID:19443508

  3. Heritable variation in host tolerance and resistance inferred from a wild host–parasite system

    PubMed Central

    Mazé-Guilmo, Elise; Loot, Géraldine; Páez, David J.; Lefèvre, Thierry; Blanchet, Simon

    2014-01-01

    Hosts have evolved two distinct defence strategies against parasites: resistance (which prevents infection or limit parasite growth) and tolerance (which alleviates the fitness consequences of infection). However, heritable variation in resistance and tolerance and the genetic correlation between these two traits have rarely been characterized in wild host populations. Here, we estimate these parameters for both traits in Leuciscus burdigalensis, a freshwater fish parasitized by Tracheliastes polycolpus. We used a genetic database to construct a full-sib pedigree in a wild L. burdigalensis population. We then used univariate animal models to estimate inclusive heritability (i.e. all forms of genetic and non-genetic inheritance) in resistance and tolerance. Finally, we assessed the genetic correlation between these two traits using a bivariate animal model. We found significant heritability for resistance (H = 17.6%; 95% CI: 7.2–32.2%) and tolerance (H = 18.8%; 95% CI: 4.4–36.1%), whereas we found no evidence for the existence of a genetic correlation between these traits. Furthermore, we confirm that resistance and tolerance are strongly affected by environmental effects. Our results demonstrate that (i) heritable variation exists for parasite resistance and tolerance in wild host populations, and (ii) these traits can evolve independently in populations. PMID:24478295

  4. Competitive interactions between parasitoids provide new insight into host suppression.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hai-Yun; Yang, Nian-Wan; Wan, Fang-Hao

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the dynamics of potential inter- and intraspecific competition in parasitoid communities is crucial in the screening of efficient parasitoid species and for utilization of the best parasitoid species combinations. In this respect, the host-parasitoid systems, Bemisia tabaci and two parasitoids, Eretmocerus hayati (exotic) and Encarsia sophia (existing) were studied under laboratory conditions to investigate whether interference competition between the exotic and existing species occurs as well as the influence of potential interference competition on the suppression of the host B. tabaci. Studies on interspecific-, intraspecific- and self-interference competition in two parasitoid species were conducted under both rich and limited host resource conditions. Results showed that (1) both parasitoid species negatively affect the progeny production of the other under both rich and limited host resource conditions; (2) both parasitoid species interfered intraspecifically on conspecific parasitized hosts when the available hosts are scarce and; 3) the mortality of B. tabaci induced by parasitoids via parasitism, host-feeding or both parasitism and host-feeding together varied among treatments under different host resource conditions, but showed promise for optimizing control strategies. As a result of our current findings, we suggest a need to investigate the interactions between the two parasitoids on continuous generations. PMID:24312394

  5. Competitive Interactions between Parasitoids Provide New Insight into Host Suppression

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Fang-Hao

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the dynamics of potential inter- and intraspecific competition in parasitoid communities is crucial in the screening of efficient parasitoid species and for utilization of the best parasitoid species combinations. In this respect, the host-parasitoid systems, Bemisia tabaci and two parasitoids, Eretmocerus hayati (exotic) and Encarsia sophia (existing) were studied under laboratory conditions to investigate whether interference competition between the exotic and existing species occurs as well as the influence of potential interference competition on the suppression of the host B. tabaci. Studies on interspecific-, intraspecific- and self-interference competition in two parasitoid species were conducted under both rich and limited host resource conditions. Results showed that (1) both parasitoid species negatively affect the progeny production of the other under both rich and limited host resource conditions; (2) both parasitoid species interfered intraspecifically on conspecific parasitized hosts when the available hosts are scarce and; 3) the mortality of B. tabaci induced by parasitoids via parasitism, host-feeding or both parasitism and host-feeding together varied among treatments under different host resource conditions, but showed promise for optimizing control strategies. As a result of our current findings, we suggest a need to investigate the interactions between the two parasitoids on continuous generations. PMID:24312394

  6. 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

  7. Host-parasite coevolutionary dynamics with generalized success/failure infection genetics.

    PubMed

    Engelstädter, Jan

    2015-05-01

    Host-parasite infection genetics can be more complex than envisioned by classic models such as the gene-for-gene or matching-allele models. By means of a mathematical model, I investigate the coevolutionary dynamics arising from a large set of generalized models of infection genetics in which hosts are either fully resistant or fully susceptible to a parasite, depending on the genotype of both individuals. With a single diploid interaction locus in the hosts, many of the infection genetic models produce stable or neutrally stable genotype polymorphisms. However, only a few models, which are all different versions of the matching-allele model, lead to sustained cycles of genotype frequency fluctuations in both interacting species ("Red Queen" dynamics). By contrast, with two diploid interaction loci in the hosts, many infection genetics models that cannot be classified as one of the standard infection genetics models produce Red Queen dynamics. Sexual versus asexual reproduction and, in the former case, the rate of recombination between the interaction loci have a large impact on whether Red Queen dynamics arise from a given infection genetics model. This may have interesting but as yet unexplored implications with respect to the Red Queen hypothesis for the evolution of sex. PMID:25905512

  8. The evolution of virulence when parasites cause host castration and gigantism.

    PubMed

    Ebert, Dieter; Carius, Hans Joachim; Little, Tom; Decaestecker, Ellen

    2004-11-01

    It has been suggested that the harm parasites cause to their hosts is an unavoidable consequence of parasite reproduction with costs not only for the host but also for the parasite. Castrating parasites are thought to minimize their costs by reducing host fecundity, which may minimize the chances of killing both host and parasite prematurely. We conducted a series of experiments to understand the evolution of virulence of a castrating bacterium in the planktonic crustacean Daphnia magna. By manipulating food levels during the infection of D. magna with the bacterium Pasteuria ramosa, we showed that both antagonists are resource-limited and that a negative correlation between host and parasite reproduction exists, indicating resource competition among the antagonists. Pasteuria ramosa also induces enhanced growth of its hosts (gigantism), which we found to be negatively correlated with host fecundity but positively correlated with parasite reproduction. Because infected hosts never recovered from infections, we concluded that gigantism is beneficial only for the parasite. Hosts, however, have evolved counteradaptations. We showed that infected hosts have enhanced reproduction before castration. This shift to earlier reproduction increases overall host fecundity and compromises parasite reproduction. Finally, we showed that this resource conflict is subject to genetic variation among host and parasite genotypes within a population and is therefore likely to be an important force in the coevolution of virulence in this system. A verbal model is presented and suggests that the adaptive value of gigantism is to store host resources, which are liberated after parasitic castration for later use by the growing parasite. This hypothesis assumes that infections are long lasting, that is, that they have a high life expectancy. PMID:15540139

  9. Host and parasite life history interplay to yield divergent population genetic structures in two ectoparasites living on the same bat species.

    PubMed

    van Schaik, J; Dekeukeleire, D; Kerth, G

    2015-05-01

    Host-parasite interactions are ubiquitous in nature. However, how parasite population genetic structure is shaped by the interaction between host and parasite life history remains understudied. Studies comparing multiple parasites infecting a single host can be used to investigate how different parasite life history traits interplay with host behaviour and life history. In this study, we used 10 newly developed microsatellite loci to investigate the genetic structure of a parasitic bat fly (Basilia nana). Its host, the Bechstein's bat (Myotis bechsteinii), has a social system and roosting behaviour that restrict opportunities for parasite transmission. We compared fly genetic structure to that of the host and another parasite, the wing-mite, Spinturnix bechsteini. We found little spatial or temporal genetic structure in B. nana, suggesting a large, stable population with frequent genetic exchange between fly populations from different bat colonies. This contrasts sharply with the genetic structure of the wing-mite, which is highly substructured between the same bat colonies as well as temporally unstable. Our results suggest that although host and parasite life history interact to yield similar transmission patterns in both parasite species, the level of gene flow and eventual spatiotemporal genetic stability is differentially affected. This can be explained by the differences in generation time and winter survival between the flies and wing-mites. Our study thus exemplifies that the population genetic structure of parasites on a single host can vary strongly as a result of how their individual life history characteristics interact with host behaviour and life history traits. PMID:25809613

  10. The avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum causes marked structural changes on the surface of its host erythrocyte

    PubMed Central

    Nagao, Eriko; Arie, Takayuki; Dorward, David W.; Fairhurst, Rick M.; Dvorak, James A.

    2008-01-01

    Using a combination of atomic force, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, we found that avian erythrocytes infected with the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum develop ~60 nm wide and ~430 nm long furrow-like structures on the surface. Furrows begin to appear during the early trophozoite stage of the parasite’s development. They remain constant in size and density during the course of parasite maturation and are uniformly distributed in random orientations over the erythrocyte surface. In addition, the density of furrows is directly proportional to the number of parasites contained within the erythrocyte. These findings suggest that parasite-induced intraerythrocytic processes are involved in modifying the surface of host erythrocytes. These processes may be analogous to those of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum, which induces knob-like protrusions that mediate the pathogenic adherence of parasitized erythrocytes to microvessels. Although P. gallinaceum-infected erythrocytes do not seem to adhere to microvessels in the host chicken, the furrows might be involved in the pathogenesis of P. gallinaceum infections by some other mechanism involving host-pathogen interactions. PMID:18442920

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. A social parasite evolved reproductive isolation from its fungus-growing ant host in sympatry.

    PubMed

    Rabeling, Christian; Schultz, Ted R; Pierce, Naomi E; Bacci, Maurício

    2014-09-01

    Inquiline social parasitic ant species exploit colonies of other ant species mainly by producing sexual offspring that are raised by the host. Ant social parasites and their hosts are often close relatives (Emery's rule), and two main hypotheses compete to explain the parasites' evolutionary origins: (1) the interspecific hypothesis proposes an allopatric speciation scenario for the parasite, whereas (2) the intraspecific hypothesis postulates that the parasite evolves directly from its host in sympatry [1-10]. Evidence in support of the intraspecific hypothesis has been accumulating for ants [3, 5, 7, 9-12], but sympatric speciation remains controversial as a general speciation mechanism for inquiline parasites. Here we use molecular phylogenetics to assess whether the socially parasitic fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus castrator speciated from its host Mycocepurus goeldii in sympatry. Based on differing patterns of relationship in mitochondrial and individual nuclear genes, we conclude that host and parasite occupy a temporal window in which lineage sorting has taken place in the mitochondrial genes but not yet in the nuclear alleles. We infer that the host originated first and that the parasite originated subsequently from a subset of the host species' populations, providing empirical support for the hypothesis that inquiline parasites can evolve reproductive isolation while living sympatrically with their hosts. PMID:25155509

  14. Benefits of fidelity: does host specialization impact nematode parasite life history and fecundity?

    PubMed

    Koprivnikar, J; Randhawa, H S

    2013-04-01

    The range of hosts used by a parasite is influenced by macro-evolutionary processes (host switching, host-parasite co-evolution), as well as 'encounter filters' and 'compatibility filters' at the micro-evolutionary level driven by host/parasite ecology and physiology. Host specialization is hypothesized to result in trade-offs with aspects of parasite life history (e.g. reproductive output), but these have not been well studied. We used previously published data to create models examining general relationships among host specificity and important aspects of life history and reproduction for nematodes parasitizing animals. Our results indicate no general trade-off between host specificity and the average pre-patent period (time to first reproduction), female size, egg size, or fecundity of these nematodes. However, female size was positively related to egg size, fecundity, and pre-patent period. Host compatibility may thus not be the primary determinant of specificity in these parasitic nematodes if there are few apparent trade-offs with reproduction, but rather, the encounter opportunities for new host species at the micro-evolutionary level, and other processes at the macro-evolutionary level (i.e. phylogeny). Because host specificity is recognized as a key factor determining the spread of parasitic diseases understanding factors limiting host use are essential to predict future changes in parasite range and occurrence. PMID:23343907

  15. The Role of Extracellular Vesicles in Modulating the Host Immune Response during Parasitic Infections.

    PubMed

    Montaner, Sergio; Galiano, Alicia; Trelis, María; Martin-Jaular, Lorena; Del Portillo, Hernando A; Bernal, Dolores; Marcilla, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Parasites are the cause of major diseases affecting billions of people. As the inflictions caused by these parasites affect mainly developing countries, they are considered as neglected diseases. These parasitic infections are often chronic and lead to significant immunomodulation of the host immune response by the parasite, which could benefit both the parasite and the host and are the result of millions of years of co-evolution. The description of parasite extracellular vesicles (EVs) in protozoa and helminths suggests that they may play an important role in host-parasite communication. In this review, recent studies on parasitic (protozoa and helminths) EVs are presented and their potential use as novel therapeutical approaches is discussed. PMID:25250031

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Born in an alien nest: how do social parasite male offspring escape from host aggression?

    PubMed

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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 patterns of pathogen genetic diversity among hosts in a population. This principle has potentially wide implications for the monitoring, modeling and management of infectious diseases. PMID:21738463

  4. 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

  5. Impacts of a native parasitic plant on an introduced and a native host species: implications for the control of an invasive weed

    PubMed Central

    Prider, Jane; Watling, Jennifer; Facelli, José M.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims While invasive species may escape from natural enemies in the new range, the establishment of novel biotic interactions with species native to the invaded range can determine their success. Biological control of plant populations can be achieved by manipulation of a species' enemies in the invaded range. Interactions were therefore investigated between a native parasitic plant and an invasive legume in Mediterranean-type woodlands of South Australia. Methods The effects of the native stem parasite, Cassytha pubescens, on the introduced host, Cytisus scoparius, and a co-occurring native host, Leptospermum myrsinoides, were compared. The hypothesis that the parasitic plant would have a greater impact on the introduced host than the native host was tested. In a field study, photosynthesis, growth and survival of hosts and parasite were examined. Key Results As predicted, Cassytha had greater impacts on the introduced host than the native host. Dead Cytisus were associated with dense Cassytha infections but mortality of Leptospermum was not correlated with parasite infection. Cassytha infection reduced the photosynthetic rates of both hosts. Infected Cytisus showed slower recovery of photosystem II efficiency, lower transpiration rates and reduced photosynthetic biomass in comparison with uninfected plants. Parasite photosynthetic rates and growth rates were higher when growing on the introduced host Cytisus, than on Leptospermum. Conclusions Infection by a native parasitic plant had strong negative effects on the physiology and above-ground biomass allocation of an introduced species and was correlated with increased plant mortality. The greater impact of the parasite on the introduced host may be due to either the greater resources that this host provides or increased resistance to infection by the native host. This disparity of effects between introduced host and native host indicates the potential for Cassytha to be exploited as a control tool. PMID:19001426

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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

  8. 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

  9. Effects of Rearing Host Species on the Host-Feeding Capacity and Parasitism of the Whitefly Parasitoid Encarsia formosa

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Peng; Ruan, Changchun; Zang, Liansheng; Wan, Fanghao; Liu, Linzhou

    2014-01-01

    Parasitoids of the Encarsia genus (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) are important biological control agents against whiteflies. Some of the species in this genus not only parasitize their hosts, but also kill them through host feeding. The whitefly parasitoid, Encarsia formosa Gahan, was examined to determine whether the rearing host species affects its subsequent host-feeding capacity and parasitism. E. formosa wasps were reared on Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) and Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) ‘Q’, and their subsequent host-feeding capacity and parasitism of T. vaporariorum and B. tabaci were examined. E. formosa reared on T. vaporariorum were significantly larger in body size than those reared on B. tabaci, but these wasps killed a similar number of whitefly nymphs by host feeding when they attacked the same host species on which they were reared. Regardless of the species on which it was reared, E. formosa fed significantly more on the B. tabaci nymphs than on the T. vaporariorum nymphs. The number of whitefly nymphs parasitized by E. formosa differed between the wasps reared on T. vaporariorum and those reared on B. tabaci depending on which whitefly species was offered as a host. In addition, the wasps reared on T. vaporariorum parasitized significantly more on T. vaporariorum than those reared on B. tabaci. The wasps reared on B. tabaci, however, parasitized similar numbers of whiteflies of both host species. The results indicated that the host-feeding capacity of E. formosa was affected more by the host species attacked than by the rearing host species, but the parasitism was affected by the host species attacked and the rearing host species. Generally, E. formosa reared on T. vaporariorum killed more T. vaporariorum nymphs by parasitism and host feeding than those reared on B. tabaci. Additionally, a similar number of B. tabaci nymphs were killed by parasitism and host feeding regardless of the rearing host species. Currently coexistence of B. tabaci and T. vaporariorum on vegetable crops usually occurs in some areas; our results may provide helpful information on using mass-reared parasitoids against mixed whitefly infestations in biological control programs. PMID:25368062

  10. Effects of rearing host species on the host-feeding capacity and parasitism of the whitefly parasitoid Encarsia formosa.

    PubMed

    Dai, Peng; Ruan, Changchun; Zang, Liansheng; Wan, Fanghao; Liu, Linzhou

    2014-01-01

    Parasitoids of the Encarsia genus (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) are important biological control agents against whiteflies. Some of the species in this genus not only parasitize their hosts, but also kill them through host feeding. The whitefly parasitoid, Encarsia formosa Gahan, was examined to determine whether the rearing host species affects its subsequent host-feeding capacity and parasitism. E. formosa wasps were reared on Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) and Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) 'Q', and their subsequent host-feeding capacity and parasitism of T. vaporariorum and B. tabaci were examined. E. formosa reared on T. vaporariorum were significantly larger in body size than those reared on B. tabaci, but these wasps killed a similar number of whitefly nymphs by host feeding when they attacked the same host species on which they were reared. Regardless of the species on which it was reared, E. formosa fed significantly more on the B. tabaci nymphs than on the T. vaporariorum nymphs. The number of whitefly nymphs parasitized by E. formosa differed between the wasps reared on T. vaporariorum and those reared on B. tabaci depending on which whitefly species was offered as a host. In addition, the wasps reared on T. vaporariorum parasitized significantly more on T. vaporariorum than those reared on B. tabaci. The wasps reared on B. tabaci, however, parasitized similar numbers of whiteflies of both host species. The results indicated that the host-feeding capacity of E. formosa was affected more by the host species attacked than by the rearing host species, but the parasitism was affected by the host species attacked and the rearing host species. Generally, E. formosa reared on T. vaporariorum killed more T. vaporariorum nymphs by parasitism and host feeding than those reared on B. tabaci. Additionally, a similar number of B. tabaci nymphs were killed by parasitism and host feeding regardless of the rearing host species. Currently coexistence of B. tabaci and T. vaporariorum on vegetable crops usually occurs in some areas; our results may provide helpful information on using mass-reared parasitoids against mixed whitefly infestations in biological control programs. PMID:25368062

  11. 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 (?15N and ?13C) revealed trophic impacts associated with infection, particularly for ?15N 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 ?15N and ?13C 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

  12. Host manipulation by parasites in the world of dead-end predators: adaptation to enhance transmission?

    PubMed Central

    Seppälä, Otto; Valtonen, E. Tellervo; Benesh, Daniel P

    2008-01-01

    Trophically transmitted parasites often alter their intermediate host's phenotype, thereby predisposing the hosts to increased predation. This is generally considered a parasite strategy evolved to enhance transmission to the next hosts. However, the adaptive value of host manipulation is not clear as it may be associated with costs, such as increased susceptibility to predators that are unsuitable next hosts for the parasites. We examined the ratio between the benefits and costs of host manipulation for transmission success of Acanthocephalus lucii (Acanthocephala), a parasite that alters the hiding behaviour and pigmentation of its isopod hosts. We experimentally compared the susceptibility of infected and uninfected isopods to predation by perch (Perca fluvialis; definitive host of the parasite) and dragonfly larvae (dead end). We found that the parasite predisposed the isopods to predation by both predators. However, the increased predation vulnerability of the infected isopods was higher towards perch. This suggests that, despite the costs due to non-host predation, host manipulation may still be advantageous for the parasite. PMID:18430644

  13. 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

  14. The Schistosoma japonicum genome reveals features of host-parasite interplay

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yan; Zheng, Huajun; Chen, Xiangyi; Zhang, Lei; Wang, Kai; Guo, Jing; Huang, Zhen; Zhang, Bo; Huang, Wei; Jin, Ke; Tonghai, Dou; Hasegawa, Masami; Wang, Li; Zhang, Yuan; Zhou, Jie; Tao, Lin; Cao, Zhiwei; Li, Yixue; Vinar, Tomas; Brejova, Brona; Brown, Dan; Li, Ming; Miller, David J.; Blair, David; Zhong, Yang; Chen, Zhu; Liu, Feng; Hu, Wei; Wang, Zhi-Qin; Zhang, Qin-Hua; Song, Huai-Dong; Chen, Saijuan; Xu, Xuenian; Xu, Bing; Ju, Zhuan; Cheng, Yu; Brindley, Paul J.; McManus, Donald P.; Feng, Zheng; Han, Ze-Guang; Lu, Gang; Ren, Shuangxi; Wang, Yuezhu; Gu, Wenyi; Kang, Hui; Chen, Jie; Chen, Xiaoyun; Chen, Shuting; Wang, Lijun; Yan, Jie; Wang, Biyun; Lv, Xinyan; Jin, Lei; Wang, Bofei; Pu, Shiyin; Zhang, Xianglin; Zhang, Wei; Hu, Qiuping; Zhu, Genfeng; Wang, Jun; Yu, Jun; Wang, Jian; Yang, Huanmin; Ning, Zemin; Beriman, Matthew; Wei, Chia-Lin; Ruan, Yijun; Zhao, Guoping; Wang, Shengyue

    2013-01-01

    Schistosoma japonicum is a parasitic flatworm that causes human schistosomiasis, a significant cause of morbidity in China and the Philippines. Here we present a draft genomic sequence for the worm, which is the first reported for any flatworm, indeed for the superphylum Lophotrochozoa. The genome provides a global insight into the molecular architecture and host interaction of this complex metazoan pathogen, revealing that it can exploit host nutrients, neuroendocrine hormones and signaling pathways for growth, development and maturation. Having a complex nervous system and a well developed sensory system, S. japonicum can accept stimulation of the corresponding ligands as a physiological response to different environments, such as fresh water or the tissues of its intermediate and mammalian hosts. Numerous proteinases, including cercarial elastase, are implicated in mammalian skin penetration and haemoglobin degradation. The genomic information will serve as a valuable platform to facilitate development of new interventions for schistosomiasis control. PMID:19606140

  15. 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

  16. The host targeting motif in exported Plasmodium proteins is cleaved in the parasite endoplasmic reticulum.

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

    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

  17. Estimates of coextinction risk: how anuran parasites respond to the extinction of their hosts.

    PubMed

    Campião, Karla Magalhães; de Aquino Ribas, Augusto Cesar; Cornell, Stephen J; Begon, Michael; Tavares, Luiz Eduardo Roland

    2015-12-01

    Amphibians are known as the most threatened vertebrate group. One of the outcomes of a species' extinction is the coextinction of its dependents. Here, we estimate the extinction risk of helminth parasites of South America anurans. Parasite coextinction probabilities were modeled, assuming parasite specificity and host vulnerability to extinction as determinants. Parasite species associated with few hosts were the most prone to extinction, and extinction risk varied amongst helminth species of different taxonomic groups and life cycle complexity. Considering host vulnerability in the model decreased the extinction probability of most parasites species. However, parasite specificity and host vulnerability combined to increase the extinction probabilities of 44% of the helminth species reported in a single anuran species. PMID:26432294

  18. 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

  19. Food stoichiometry affects the outcome of Daphnia–parasite interaction

    PubMed Central

    Aalto, Sanni L; Pulkkinen, Katja

    2013-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for growth in consumers. P-limitation and parasite infection comprise one of the most common stressor pairs consumers confront in nature. We conducted a life-table study using a Daphnia–microsporidian parasite model, feeding uninfected or infected Daphnia with either P-sufficient or P-limited algae, and assessed the impact of the two stressors on life-history traits of the host. Both infection and P-limitation negatively affected some life-history traits tested. However, under P-limitation, infected animals had higher juvenile growth rate as compared with uninfected animals. All P-limited individuals died before maturation, regardless of infection. The numbers of spore clusters of the microsporidian parasite did not differ in P-limited or P-sufficient hosts. P-limitation, but not infection, decreased body phosphorus content and ingestion rates of Daphnia tested in separate experiments. As parasite spore production did not suffer even under extreme P-limitation, our results suggest that parasite was less limited by P than the host. We discuss possible interpretations concerning the stoichiometrical demands of parasite and suggest that our results are explained by parasite-driven changes in carbon (C) allocation of the hosts. We conclude that the impact of nutrient starvation and parasite infection on consumers depends not only on the stoichiometric demands of host but also those of the parasite. PMID:23762513

  20. The Role of Extracellular Vesicles in Modulating the Host Immune Response during Parasitic Infections

    PubMed Central

    Montaner, Sergio; Galiano, Alicia; Trelis, María; Martin-Jaular, Lorena; del Portillo, Hernando A.; Bernal, Dolores; Marcilla, Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Parasites are the cause of major diseases affecting billions of people. As the inflictions caused by these parasites affect mainly developing countries, they are considered as neglected diseases. These parasitic infections are often chronic and lead to significant immunomodulation of the host immune response by the parasite, which could benefit both the parasite and the host and are the result of millions of years of co-evolution. The description of parasite extracellular vesicles (EVs) in protozoa and helminths suggests that they may play an important role in host–parasite communication. In this review, recent studies on parasitic (protozoa and helminths) EVs are presented and their potential use as novel therapeutical approaches is discussed. PMID:25250031

  1. Apoptotic-like Leishmania exploit the host´s autophagy machinery to reduce T-cell-mediated parasite elimination

    PubMed Central

    Crauwels, Peter; Bohn, Rebecca; Thomas, Meike; Gottwalt, Stefan; Jäckel, Florian; Krämer, Susi; Bank, Elena; Tenzer, Stefan; Walther, Paul; Bastian, Max; van Zandbergen, Ger

    2015-01-01

    Apoptosis is a well-defined cellular process in which a cell dies, characterized by cell shrinkage and DNA fragmentation. In parasites like Leishmania, the process of apoptosis-like cell death has been described. Moreover upon infection, the apoptotic-like population is essential for disease development, in part by silencing host phagocytes. Nevertheless, the exact mechanism of how apoptosis in unicellular organisms may support infectivity remains unclear. Therefore we investigated the fate of apoptotic-like Leishmania parasites in human host macrophages. Our data showed—in contrast to viable parasites—that apoptotic-like parasites enter an LC3+, autophagy-like compartment. The compartment was found to consist of a single lipid bilayer, typical for LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP). As LAP can provoke anti-inflammatory responses and autophagy modulates antigen presentation, we analyzed how the presence of apoptotic-like parasites affected the adaptive immune response. Macrophages infected with viable Leishmania induced proliferation of CD4+ T-cells, leading to a reduced intracellular parasite survival. Remarkably, the presence of apoptotic-like parasites in the inoculum significantly reduced T-cell proliferation. Chemical induction of autophagy in human monocyte-derived macrophage (hMDM), infected with viable parasites only, had an even stronger proliferation-reducing effect, indicating that host cell autophagy and not parasite viability limits the T-cell response and enhances parasite survival. Concluding, our data suggest that apoptotic-like Leishmania hijack the host cells´ autophagy machinery to reduce T-cell proliferation. Furthermore, the overall population survival is guaranteed, explaining the benefit of apoptosis-like cell death in a single-celled parasite and defining the host autophagy pathway as a potential therapeutic target in treating Leishmaniasis. PMID:25801301

  2. 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

  3. Retaliatory cuckoos and the evolution of host resistance to brood parasites.

    PubMed

    Robert; Sorci; Møller; Hochberg; Pomiankowski; Pagel

    1999-10-01

    We present a dynamic model of the evolution of host resistance to avian brood parasites, when the latter can retaliate against hosts that reject parasitic eggs. In a verbal model, Zahavi (1979, American Naturalist, 113, 157-159) suggested that retaliatory cuckoos might prevent the evolution of host resistance by reducing the reproductive success of rejecter hosts (i.e. by destroying their eggs or nestlings). Here we develop a model based on the association between the great spotted cuckoo, Clamator glandarius, and its main host, the European magpie, Pica pica, because this is the only system that has provided supportive evidence, to date, for the existence of retaliatory behaviour. Our aims were (1) to derive the conditions for invasion of the retaliation strategy in a nonretaliatory parasite population and (2) to investigate the consequences of retaliation for the evolution of host defence. If we assume a cost of discrimination for rejecter hosts in the absence of parasitism, and a cost paid by a retaliator for monitoring nests, our model shows cyclical dynamics. There is no evolutionarily stable strategy, and populations of both hosts and parasites will cycle indefinitely, the period of the cycles depending on mutation and/or migration rate. A stable polymorphism of acceptors and rejecters occurs only when parasites are nonretaliators. The spread of retaliator parasites drives rejecter hosts to extinction. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10512655

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Description, host-specificity, and strain selectivity of the dinoflagellate parasite Parvilucifera sinerae sp. nov. (Perkinsozoa).

    PubMed

    Figueroa, Rosa Isabel; Garcés, Esther; Massana, Ramon; Camp, Jordi

    2008-10-01

    A new species of parasite, Parvilucifera sinerae sp. nov., isolated from a bloom of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum in the harbor of Arenys de Mar (Mediterranean Sea, Spain), is described. This species is morphologically, behaviourally, and genetically (18S rDNA sequence) different from Parvilucifera infectans, until now the only species of the genus Parvilucifera to be genetically analyzed. Sequence analysis of the 18S ribosomal DNA supported P. sinerae as a new species placed within the Perkinsozoa and close to P. infectans. Data on the seasonal occurrence of P. sinerae, its infective rates in natural and laboratory cultures, and intra-species strain-specific resistance are presented. Life-cycle studies in field samples showed that the dinoflagellate resting zygote (resting cyst) was resistant to infection, but the mobile zygote (planozygote) or pellicle stage (temporary cyst) became infected. The effects of light and salinity levels on the growth of P. sinerae were examined, and the results showed that low salinity levels promote both sporangial germination and higher rates of infection. Our findings on this newly described parasite point to a complex host-parasite interaction and provide valuable information that leads to a reconsideration of the biological strategy to control dinoflagellate blooms by means of intentional parasitic infections. PMID:18693068

  8. Hyperdiverse Gene Cluster in Snail Host Conveys Resistance to Human Schistosome Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Tennessen, Jacob A.; Théron, André; Marine, Melanie; Yeh, Jan-Ying; Rognon, Anne; Blouin, Michael S.

    2015-01-01

    Schistosomiasis, a neglected global pandemic, may be curtailed by blocking transmission of the parasite via its intermediate hosts, aquatic snails. Elucidating the genetic basis of snail-schistosome interaction is a key to this strategy. Here we map a natural parasite-resistance polymorphism from a Caribbean population of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata. In independent experimental evolution lines, RAD genotyping shows that the same genomic region responds to selection for resistance to the parasite Schistosoma mansoni. A dominant allele in this region conveys an 8-fold decrease in the odds of infection. Fine-mapping and RNA-Seq characterization reveal a <1Mb region, the Guadeloupe Resistance Complex (GRC), with 15 coding genes. Seven genes are single-pass transmembrane proteins with putative immunological roles, most of which show strikingly high nonsynonymous divergence (5-10%) among alleles. High linkage disequilibrium among three intermediate-frequency (>25%) haplotypes across the GRC, a significantly non-neutral pattern, suggests that balancing selection maintains diversity at the GRC. Thus, the GRC resembles immune gene complexes seen in other taxa and is likely involved in parasite recognition. The GRC is a potential target for controlling transmission of schistosomiasis, including via genetic manipulation of snails. PMID:25775214

  9. Hyperdiverse gene cluster in snail host conveys resistance to human schistosome parasites.

    PubMed

    Tennessen, Jacob A; Théron, André; Marine, Melanie; Yeh, Jan-Ying; Rognon, Anne; Blouin, Michael S

    2015-03-01

    Schistosomiasis, a neglected global pandemic, may be curtailed by blocking transmission of the parasite via its intermediate hosts, aquatic snails. Elucidating the genetic basis of snail-schistosome interaction is a key to this strategy. Here we map a natural parasite-resistance polymorphism from a Caribbean population of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata. In independent experimental evolution lines, RAD genotyping shows that the same genomic region responds to selection for resistance to the parasite Schistosoma mansoni. A dominant allele in this region conveys an 8-fold decrease in the odds of infection. Fine-mapping and RNA-Seq characterization reveal a <1Mb region, the Guadeloupe Resistance Complex (GRC), with 15 coding genes. Seven genes are single-pass transmembrane proteins with putative immunological roles, most of which show strikingly high nonsynonymous divergence (5-10%) among alleles. High linkage disequilibrium among three intermediate-frequency (>25%) haplotypes across the GRC, a significantly non-neutral pattern, suggests that balancing selection maintains diversity at the GRC. Thus, the GRC resembles immune gene complexes seen in other taxa and is likely involved in parasite recognition. The GRC is a potential target for controlling transmission of schistosomiasis, including via genetic manipulation of snails. PMID:25775214

  10. Host–parasite coevolution beyond the nestling stage? Mimicry of host fledglings by the specialist screaming cowbird

    PubMed Central

    De Mársico, María C.; Gantchoff, Mariela G.; Reboreda, Juan C.

    2012-01-01

    Egg mimicry by obligate avian brood parasites and host rejection of non-mimetic eggs are well-known textbook examples of host–parasite coevolution. By contrast, reciprocal adaptations and counteradaptations beyond the egg stage in brood parasites and their hosts have received less attention. The screaming cowbird (Molothrus rufoaxillaris) is a specialist obligate brood parasite whose fledglings look identical to those of its primary host, the baywing (Agelaioides badius). Such a resemblance has been proposed as an adaptation in response to host discrimination against odd-looking young, but evidence supporting this idea is scarce. Here, we examined this hypothesis by comparing the survival rates of young screaming cowbirds and non-mimetic shiny cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis) cross-fostered to baywing nests and quantifying the similarity in plumage colour and begging calls between host and cowbird fledglings. Shiny cowbirds suffered higher post-fledging mortality rates (83%) than screaming cowbirds (0%) owing to host rejection. Visual modelling revealed that screaming cowbirds, but not shiny cowbirds, were indistinguishable from host young in plumage colour. Similarly, screaming cowbirds matched baywings' begging calls more closely than shiny cowbirds. Our results strongly support the occurrence of host fledgling mimicry in screaming cowbirds and suggest a role of visual and vocal cues in fledgling discrimination by baywings. PMID:22648157

  11. Parasite maturation and host serum iron influence the labile iron pool of erythrocyte stage Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Martha; Fisher, Nancy C.; Kasthuri, Raj; Hand, Carla Cerami

    2014-01-01

    Summary Iron is a critical and tightly regulated nutrient for both the malaria parasite and its human host. The importance of the relationship between host iron and the parasite has been underscored recently by studies showing that host iron supplementation may increase the risk of falciparum malaria. It is unclear what host iron sources the parasite is able to access. We developed a flow cytometry-based method for measuring the labile iron pool (LIP) of parasitized erythrocytes using the nucleic acid dye STYO 61 and the iron sensitive dye, calcein acetoxymethyl ester (CA-AM). This new approach enabled us to measure the LIP of P. falciparum through the course of its erythrocytic life cycle and in response to the addition of host serum iron sources. We found that the LIP increases as the malaria parasite develops from early ring to late schizont stage, and that the addition of either transferrin or ferric citrate to culture media increases the LIP of trophozoites. Our method for detecting the LIP within malaria parasitized RBCs provides evidence that the parasite is able to access serum iron sources as part of the host vs. parasite arms race for iron. PMID:23398516

  12. 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

  13. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    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

  15. Modification of hosts' behavior by a parasite: field evidence for adaptive manipulation.

    PubMed

    Lagrue, Clément; Kaldonski, Nicolas; Perrot-Minnot, Marie J; Motreuil, Sébastien; Bollache, Loïc

    2007-11-01

    Parasites relying on trophic transmission to complete their life cycles often induce modifications of their host's behavior in ways that may increase their susceptibility to predation by final hosts. These modifications have often been interpreted as parasite adaptations, but very few studies have demonstrated that host manipulation has fitness benefits for the parasite. The aim of the present study was to address the adaptive significance of parasite manipulation by coupling observations of behavioral manipulation to estimates of trophic transmission to the definitive host in the natural environment. We show that the acanthocephalan parasite Pomphorhynchus laevis manipulates the drifting behavior of one of its intermediate hosts, the amphipod Gammarus pulex, but not of a sympatric host, the introduced amphipod Gammarus roeseli. We found a 26.3-28.3 times higher proportion of infected G. pulex in the stomach content of one of the definitive hosts of P. laevis, the bullhead Cottus gobio, than in the benthos. No such trend was observed for G. roeseli. The bell-shaped curve of mean parasite abundance (MPA) relative to host size observed in G. pulex also supported an increased predation mortality of P. laevis-infected individuals compared to uninfected amphipods. Again, no such pattern was observed in G. roeseli. Furthermore, our results indicate that the modifications induced by P. laevis are specific to the definitive host and do not increase the risk of predation by inappropriate hosts, here the adult edible frog Rana esculenta. Overall, our study is original in that it establishes, under field conditions, a direct link between parasitic manipulation and increased transmission to the definitive host, and more importantly, identifies the specificity of the manipulation both in the intermediate host species and toward the definitive host. PMID:18051653

  16. Consistent isotopic differences between Schistocephalus spp. parasites and their stickleback hosts.

    PubMed

    Eloranta, Antti P; Knudsen, Rune; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Merilä, Juha

    2015-07-23

    Parasite-host systems show markedly variable patterns in isotopic fractionation: parasites can be either depleted or enriched in ¹⁵N and ¹³C as compared to their hosts. However, it remains unknown whether isotopic fractionation patterns are similar in comparable parasite-host systems from markedly different ecosystems. Results of this study show that large-sized Schistocephalus spp. endoparasites are consistently depleted in ¹⁵N (by on average -2.13 to -2.20 ‰) as compared to their nine-spined stickleback Pungitius pungitius and three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus hosts. The differences between parasites and host for both δ¹⁵N and δ¹³C were consistent in both study systems despite marked biogeographical differences between the study localities. Although the stable isotope values in general were strongly correlated between the hosts and their parasites, Schistocephalus specimens occupying the same nine-spined stickleback host showed sometimes substantial individual variation in δ¹³C. This might be due to selective use of different carbon sources, or different metabolic or feeding rates. Further studies on selective feeding, physiology and metabolism of parasites are needed to better understand the role of parasites in the structure and functioning of aquatic food webs. PMID:26203883

  17. Amblyomma parvitarsum (Acari: Ixodidae): localities, hosts and host-parasite ecology.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Leal, Sebastián; González-Acuña, Daniel; Beltrán-Saavedra, L Fabián; Limachi, Juan M; Guglielmone, Alberto A

    2014-01-01

    Only a few aspects of the biology of Amblyomma parvitarsum Neumann are known. Adults of this hard tick species are parasites of South American camelids in the Andean plateau of Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Chile and also in the Argentine Patagonia, but they have been also rarely found on other artyodactils and two species of birds. The larva has been collected from reptiles in northern Chile, whereas the hosts for the nymph remain unknown. On nine localities included within Altitude Tropical and Perarid Mediterranean ecoregions in northern Chile, we analyzed 237 reptiles, 285 birds, 624 rodents and 52 camelids for infestation with A. parvitarsum to calculate seasonal prevalence of this tick. We also reviewed the literature of this tick and three entomological collections for obtaining and summarizing all the information to date about this tick. None of the analyzed birds and rodents were parasitized with A. parvitarsum; however, seven over a total of ten reptile species that we caught were infested with the larva. In the camelid species Lama glama and Vicugna pacos we collected adult specimens of this tick. Larval prevalence was higher during fall (75 %) in Liolaemus pleopholis in the Altitude Tropical ecoregion. We also collected adult specimens of A. parvitarsum from camelid manure heaps during summer in Salar de Surire and Llullaillaco localities. Additionally, we also reviewed the literature of this tick and examined specimens in three entomological collections for obtaining and summarizing all the information to date about this tick. By this study, nine localities and seven new hosts are added for A. parvitarsum and we confirm reptiles as specific hosts of this tick larva. PMID:23979654

  18. Active invasion and/or encapsulation? A reappraisal of host-cell parasitism by Cryptosporidium.

    PubMed

    Borowski, Hanna; Clode, Peta L; Thompson, R C Andrew

    2008-11-01

    Host-cell invasion by Cryptosporidium is a complex process that requires many different factors derived from both the parasite and the host cell. However, the exact natures of the processes have yet to be resolved. Here, research on different components of the invasion process is put in context, and the sequence of events and pathways associated with the establishment of Cryptosporidium in its unique niche is clarified. In addition, initial parasite-host contact, host-cell invasion and host-cell responses are described. The roles of parasite and host-cell-derived components in the invasion process are examined, as is the question of whether Cryptosporidium actively invades cells and to what extent host-cell responses are involved. PMID:18801703

  19. 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

  20. Simultaneous host and parasite expression profiling identifies tissue-specific transcriptional programs associated with susceptibility or resistance to experimental cerebral malaria

    PubMed Central

    Lovegrove, Fiona E; Peña-Castillo, Lourdes; Mohammad, Naveed; Liles, W Conrad; Hughes, Timothy R; Kain, Kevin C

    2006-01-01

    Background The development and outcome of cerebral malaria (CM) reflects a complex interplay between parasite-expressed virulence factors and host response to infection. The murine CM model, Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA), which simulates many of the features of human CM, provides an excellent system to study this host/parasite interface. We designed "combination" microarrays that concurrently detect genome-wide transcripts of both PbA and mouse, and examined parasite and host transcriptional programs during infection of CM-susceptible (C57BL/6) and CM-resistant (BALB/c) mice. Results Analysis of expression data from brain, lung, liver, and spleen of PbA infected mice showed that both host and parasite gene expression can be examined using a single microarray, and parasite transcripts can be detected within whole organs at a time when peripheral blood parasitemia is low. Parasites display a unique transcriptional signature in each tissue, and lung appears to be a large reservoir for metabolically active parasites. In comparisons of susceptible versus resistant animals, both host and parasite display distinct, organ-specific transcriptional profiles. Differentially expressed mouse genes were related to humoral immune response, complement activation, or cell-cell interactions. PbA displayed differential expression of genes related to biosynthetic activities. Conclusion These data show that host and parasite gene expression profiles can be simultaneously analysed using a single "combination" microarray, and that both the mouse and malaria parasite display distinct tissue- and strain-specific responses during infection. This technology facilitates the dissection of host-pathogen interactions in experimental cerebral malaria and could be extended to other disease models. PMID:17118208

  1. Drivers of aggregation in a novel arboreal parasite: the influence of host size and infra-populations.

    PubMed

    Yule, Kirsty J; Burns, Kevin C

    2015-02-01

    As a novel arboreal parasite, New Zealand's largest endemic moth, Aenetus virescens, is a biological oddity. With arguably the most unusual lepidopteran life history on earth, larvae grow to 100mm, spending ∼6 years as wood-boring parasites feeding on host tree phloem. Parasite fitness is a product of host suitability. Parasite discrimination between heterogeneous hosts in fragmented populations shapes parasite aggregation. We investigated whether A. virescens aggregation among hosts occurs randomly (target area effect), or if larvae select hosts based on host quality (ideal free distribution). Using long-term larval growth as an indicator of energy intake, we examined A. virescens aggregation in relation to host size and infra-population. Using a generalised linear model, the relationship between parasite intensity and host tree size was analysed. Reduced major axis regression was used to evaluate A. virescens growth after 1 year. Linear mixed-effects models inferred the influence of parasite infra-population on parasite growth, with host tree as a random factor. Results indicate parasite intensity scaled positively with host size. Furthermore, parasite growth remained consistent throughout ontogeny regardless of host size or parasite infra-population. Aenetus virescens aggregation among hosts violates the ideal free distribution hypothesis, occurring instead as a result of host size, supporting the target area effect. PMID:25535954

  2. 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

  3. Current opinions: Zeros in host–parasite food webs: Are they real??

    PubMed Central

    Rossiter, Wayne

    2013-01-01

    As the data have poured in, and the number of published food webs containing parasites has increased, questions have been raised as to why free-living species consistently outnumber parasites, even though most general reviews on the subject of host:parasite species richness suggest the contrary. Here, I describe this pattern as it exists in the literature, posit both real and artifactual sources of these findings, and suggest ways that we might interpret existing parasite-inclusive food webs. In large part, the reporting of free-living species devoid of any associated parasites (termed here in the coding of food web matrices as “zeros”) is a consequence of either sampling issues or the intent of the study. However, there are also several powerful explanatory features that validate real cases of this phenomenon. Some hosts appear to authentically lack parasitism in portions of their geographic ranges, and parasites are often lost from systems that are either in early phases of community re-colonization or are compromised by environmental perturbation. Additionally, multi-stage parasite life cycles and broad host spectra allow some parasite species to partially saturate systems without providing a corresponding increase in parasite species richness, leading to low parasite species richness values relative to the free-living community. On the whole, the existing published food webs are sufficient to, at least in principle, determine basic patterns and pathways associated with parasite establishment and persistence in free-living communities because (1) for the purpose of those features, species rarity is roughly analogous to absence and (2) the existing data seem to suggest that the addition of more parasite taxa would reinforce the patterns already observed. This is particularly true for helminth parasites, in which our understanding and the resolution of our work is most robust. PMID:24533341

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 (S0), the phase in which hosts survive but parasites are extinct (S01), and the phase in which both hosts and parasites survive (S012). We argue that both the S0-S01 and S01-S012 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 S0. 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.

  5. Impact of host sex and group composition on parasite dynamics in experimental populations.

    PubMed

    Tadiri, C P; Scott, M E; Fussmann, G F

    2016-04-01

    To better understand the spread of disease in nature, it is fundamentally important to have broadly applicable model systems with readily available species which can be replicated and controlled in the laboratory. Here we used an experimental model system of fish hosts and monogenean parasites to determine whether host sex, group size and group composition (single-sex or mixed-sex) influenced host-parasite dynamics at an individual and group level. Parasite populations reached higher densities and persisted longer in groups of fish compared with isolated hosts and reached higher densities on isolated females than on isolated males. However, individual fish within groups had similar burdens to isolated males regardless of sex, indicating that females may benefit more than males by being in a group. Relative condition was positively associated with high parasite loads for isolated males, but not for isolated females or grouped fish. No difference in parasite dynamics between mixed-sex groups and single-sex groups was detected. Overall, these findings suggest that while host sex influences dynamics on isolated fish, individual fish in groups have similar parasite burdens, regardless of sex. We believe our experimental results contribute to a mechanistic understanding of host-parasite dynamics, although we are cautious about directly extrapolating these results to other systems. PMID:26888157

  6. [Photosynthetic characteristics of Cuscuta japonica and its hosts during parasitization and after detachment].

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong; Hu, Fei; Chen, Yu-Fen; Yang, Jun; Kong, Chui-Hua

    2007-08-01

    The study on the photosynthetic characteristics of Cuscuta japonica and its hosts showed that there was a negative correlation between the photosynthetic pigment content (PPC) of C. japonica and its hosts. The PPC increased in the C. japonica-preferred hosts' parasitized and neighboring leaves, but decreased in its less preferred hosts' parasitized and neighboring leaves. The leaves parasitized by C. japonica and their neighboring far from the parasitized ones had a lowered net photosynthesis rate P(n), and the decreasing order accorded with that of parasitization. The decrease of P(n) for C. japonica-less preferred hosts was mainly due to the stomatal factors, but that for the preferred hosts was regulated by multi-factors. Under light, the PPC of C. japonica detached from preferred hosts increased faster than that of C. japonica detached from less preferred hosts, but the dry matter decrease was in adverse. In dark, however, the changes in PPC and dry matter content of C. japonica were not significant, whatever hosts it was detached from. PMID:17974234

  7. 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 and for further genomic and proteomic analyses focused on cestodes and platyhelminths. PMID:23209850

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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 30weeks, 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 (<15weeks) 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 variation in hosts' responses to infection and the resulting impacts on parasite fitness, further defining the intricacies of snail-schistosome compatibility. PMID:26552016

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Salmonellae interactions with host processes.

    PubMed

    LaRock, Doris L; Chaudhary, Anu; Miller, Samuel I

    2015-04-01

    Salmonellae invasion and intracellular replication within host cells result in a range of diseases, including gastroenteritis, bacteraemia, enteric fever and focal infections. In recent years, considerable progress has been made in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that salmonellae use to alter host cell physiology; through the delivery of effector proteins with specific activities and through the modulation of defence and stress response pathways. In this Review, we summarize our current knowledge of the complex interplay between bacterial and host factors that leads to inflammation, disease and, in most cases, control of the infection by its animal hosts, with a particular focus on Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium. We also highlight gaps in our knowledge of the contributions of salmonellae and the host to disease pathogenesis, and we suggest future avenues for further study. PMID:25749450

  14. 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

  15. From pathogen genomes to host plant processes: the power of plant parasitic oomycetes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Recent pathogenomic research on plant parasitic oomycete effector function and plant host responses has resulted in major conceptual advances in plant pathology, which has been possible thanks to the availability of genome sequences. PMID:23809564

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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....

  19. 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

  20. Imaging of HIV/Host Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Danielson, Cindy M.

    2010-01-01

    HIV-1 relies on a myriad of interactions with host cell proteins to carry out its life cycle. Traditional biochemical approaches to probe protein–protein interactions are limited in their ability to study the spatial and dynamic interactions that take place in the context of an intact cell. However, issues such as localization and dynamics of interactions between viral and host proteins can be well addressed utilizing fluorescent imaging methods. The past decade has brought about the development of many novel fluorescent imaging techniques which have proved useful to describe the interaction of HIV-1 proteins with the host cell. PMID:20012526

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Visual modeling shows that avian host parents use multiple visual cues in rejecting parasitic eggs

    PubMed Central

    Spottiswoode, Claire N.; Stevens, Martin

    2010-01-01

    One of the most striking outcomes of coevolution between species is egg mimicry by brood parasitic birds, resulting from rejection behavior by discriminating host parents. Yet, how exactly does a host detect a parasitic egg? Brood parasitism and egg rejection behavior provide a model system for exploring the relative importance of different visual cues used in a behavioral task. Although hosts are discriminating, we do not know exactly what cues they use, and to answer this it is crucial to account for the receiver's visual perception. Color, luminance (“perceived lightness”) and pattern information have never been simultaneously quantified and experimentally tested through a bird's eye. The cuckoo finch Anomalospiza imberbis and its hosts show spectacular polymorphisms in egg appearance, providing a good opportunity for investigating visual discrimination owing to the large range of patterns and colors involved. Here we combine field experiments in Africa with modeling of avian color vision and pattern discrimination to identify the specific visual cues used by hosts in making rejection decisions. We found that disparity between host and foreign eggs in both color and several aspects of pattern (dispersion, principal marking size, and variability in marking size) were important predictors of rejection, especially color. These cues correspond exactly to the principal differences between host and parasitic eggs, showing that hosts use the most reliable available cues in making rejection decisions, and select for parasitic eggs that are increasingly mimetic in a range of visual attributes. PMID:20421497

  5. 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 plant nematodes. Finally we further characterized the two D. destructor expansin proteins. PMID:23922743

  6. 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

  7. Babesia divergens and Neospora caninum apical membrane antigen 1 structures reveal selectivity and plasticity in apicomplexan parasite host cell invasion.

    PubMed

    Tonkin, Michelle L; Crawford, Joanna; Lebrun, Maryse L; Boulanger, Martin J

    2013-01-01

    Host cell invasion by the obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium (malaria) and Toxoplasma (toxoplasmosis), requires a step-wise mechanism unique among known host-pathogen interactions. A key step is the formation of the moving junction (MJ) complex, a circumferential constriction between the apical tip of the parasite and the host cell membrane that traverses in a posterior direction to enclose the parasite in a protective vacuole essential for intracellular survival. The leading model of MJ assembly proposes that Rhoptry Neck Protein 2 (RON2) is secreted into the host cell and integrated into the membrane where it serves as the receptor for apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) on the parasite surface. We have previously demonstrated that the AMA1-RON2 interaction is an effective target for inhibiting apicomplexan invasion. To better understand the AMA1-dependant molecular recognition events that promote invasion, including the significant AMA1-RON2 interaction, we present the structural characterization of AMA1 from the apicomplexan parasites Babesia divergens (BdAMA1) and Neospora caninum (NcAMA1) by X-ray crystallography. These studies offer intriguing structural insight into the RON2-binding surface groove in the AMA1 apical domain, which shows clear evidence for receptor-ligand co-evolution, and the hyper variability of the membrane proximal domain, which in Plasmodium is responsible for direct binding to erythrocytes. By incorporating the structural analysis of BdAMA1 and NcAMA1 with existing AMA1 structures and complexes we were able to define conserved pockets in the AMA1 apical groove that could be targeted for the design of broadly reactive therapeutics. PMID:23169033

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. The Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) is apparently not a host to blood parasites in Norway.

    PubMed

    Cross, Hannah B; Campbell-Palmer, Róisín; Girling, Simon; Rosell, Frank

    2012-11-23

    Parasites can alter the physiology and behaviour of host species and negatively impact on their fitness thus affecting population densities. This is the first investigation into the presence of blood parasites in the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber); a species that has been the subject of many translocation and reintroduction programmes. Two hundred and seventy blood slides prepared from the blood of 27 beavers from southern Norway were microscopically analysed for the presence of blood parasites. This study reports an absence of blood parasites in the Norwegian Eurasian beavers sampled. PMID:22770707

  12. 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

  13. Shared elements of host-targeting pathways among apicomplexan parasites of differing lifestyles.

    PubMed

    Pellé, Karell G; Jiang, Rays H Y; Mantel, Pierre-Yves; Xiao, Yu-Ping; Hjelmqvist, Daisy; Gallego-Lopez, Gina M; O T Lau, Audrey; Kang, Byung-Ho; Allred, David R; Marti, Matthias

    2015-11-01

    Apicomplexans are a diverse group of obligate parasites occupying different intracellular niches that require modification to meet the needs of the parasite. To efficiently manipulate their environment, apicomplexans translocate numerous parasite proteins into the host cell. Whereas some parasites remain contained within a parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) throughout their developmental cycle, others do not, a difference that affects the machinery needed for protein export. A signal-mediated pathway for protein export into the host cell has been characterized in Plasmodium parasites, which maintain the PVM. Here, we functionally demonstrate an analogous host-targeting pathway involving organellar staging prior to secretion in the related bovine parasite, Babesia bovis, a parasite that destroys the PVM shortly after invasion. Taking into account recent identification of a similar signal-mediated pathway in the coccidian parasite Toxoplasma gondii, we suggest a model in which this conserved pathway has evolved in multiple steps from signal-mediated trafficking to specific secretory organelles for controlled secretion to a complex protein translocation process across the PVM. PMID:25996544

  14. The effect of parasitization by Trichogramma australicum on Helicoverpa armigera host eggs and embryos.

    PubMed

    Jarjees, Ekhlass A; Merritt, David J

    2004-01-01

    Histological investigations of the pathology of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) eggs after attack by the egg parasitoid, Trichogramma australicum (Girault), indicate that the developing embryo is immediately killed by envenomation. Soon afterward the histological staining characteristics of parasitized host embryos change and the embryonic germ band dissociates into a mass of individual rounded cells. Hosts attacked by females sterilized by gamma-irradiation showed the same pathological effects as normally parasitized hosts, indicating that host degeneration is due to female venom rather than factors derived from the parasitoid embryo or larva. Cell death also occurred in older host embryos although tissue breakdown was delayed. These findings have allowed us to determine not just that the host dies but what happens to the cells and tissues, i.e., their physical appearance, the time course of their degeneration, and that the process is retarded in older hosts. These processes can possibly be emulated in artificial diets. PMID:14992854

  15. Host Cell Phosphatidylcholine Is a Key Mediator of Malaria Parasite Survival during Liver Stage Infection

    PubMed Central

    Itoe, Maurice A.; Sampaio, Júlio L.; Cabal, Ghislain G.; Real, Eliana; Zuzarte-Luis, Vanessa; March, Sandra; Bhatia, Sangeeta N.; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Thiele, Christoph; Shevchenko, Andrej; Mota, Maria M.

    2014-01-01

    Summary During invasion, Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, wraps itself in a parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM), which constitutes a critical interface between the parasite and its host cell. Within hepatocytes, each Plasmodium sporozoite generates thousands of new parasites, creating high demand for lipids to support this replication and enlarge the PVM. Here, a global analysis of the total lipid repertoire of Plasmodium-infected hepatocytes reveals an enrichment of neutral lipids and the major membrane phospholipid, phosphatidylcholine (PC). While infection is unaffected in mice deficient in key enzymes involved in neutral lipid synthesis and lipolysis, ablation of rate-limiting enzymes in hepatic PC biosynthetic pathways significantly decreases parasite numbers. Host PC is taken up by both P. berghei and P. falciparum and is necessary for correct localization of parasite proteins to the PVM, which is essential for parasite survival. Thus, Plasmodium relies on the abundance of these lipids within hepatocytes to support infection. PMID:25498345

  16. Echinococcus granulosus antigen B: a Hydrophobic Ligand Binding Protein at the host-parasite interface.

    PubMed

    Silva-Álvarez, Valeria; Folle, Ana Maite; Ramos, Ana Lía; Zamarreño, Fernando; Costabel, Marcelo D; García-Zepeda, Eduardo; Salinas, Gustavo; Córsico, Betina; Ferreira, Ana María

    2015-02-01

    Lipids are mainly solubilized by various families of lipid binding proteins which participate in their transport between tissues as well as cell compartments. Among these families, Hydrophobic Ligand Binding Proteins (HLBPs) deserve special consideration since they comprise intracellular and extracellular members, are able to bind a variety of fatty acids, retinoids and some sterols, and are present exclusively in cestodes. Since these parasites have lost catabolic and biosynthetic pathways for fatty acids and cholesterol, HLBPs are likely relevant for lipid uptake and transportation between parasite and host cells. Echinococcus granulosus antigen B (EgAgB) is a lipoprotein belonging to the HLBP family, which is very abundant in the larval stage of this parasite. Herein, we review the literature on EgAgB composition, structural organization and biological properties, and propose an integrated scenario in which this parasite HLBP contributes to adaptation to mammalian hosts by meeting both metabolic and immunomodulatory parasite demands. PMID:25451555

  17. 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, Ond?ej; 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

  18. A parasitic nematode releases cytokinin that controls cell division and orchestrates feeding site formation in host plants.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-10-13

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Repeat-enriched proteins are related to host cell invasion and immune evasion in parasitic protozoa.

    PubMed

    Mendes, T A O; Lobo, F P; Rodrigues, T S; Rodrigues-Luiz, G F; daRocha, W D; Fujiwara, R T; Teixeira, S M R; Bartholomeu, D C

    2013-04-01

    Proteins containing repetitive amino acid domains are widespread in all life forms. In parasitic organisms, proteins containing repeats play important roles such as cell adhesion and invasion and immune evasion. Therefore, extracellular and intracellular parasites are expected to be under different selective pressures regarding the repetitive content in their genomes. Here, we investigated whether there is a bias in the repetitive content found in the predicted proteomes of 6 exclusively extracellular and 17 obligate intracellular protozoan parasites, as well as 4 free-living protists. We also attempted to correlate the results with the distinct ecological niches they occupy and with distinct protein functions. We found that intracellular parasites have higher repetitive content in their proteomes than do extracellular parasites and free-living protists. In intracellular parasites, these repetitive proteins are located mainly at the parasite surface or are secreted and are enriched in amino acids known to be part of N- and O-glycosylation sites. Furthermore, in intracellular parasites, the developmental stages that are able to invade host cells express a higher proportion of proteins with perfect repeats relative to other life cycle stages, and these proteins have molecular functions associated with cell invasion. In contrast, in extracellular parasites, degenerate repetitive motifs are enriched in proteins that are likely to play roles in evading host immune response. Altogether, our results support the hypothesis that both the ability to invade host cells and to escape the host immune response may have shaped the expansion and maintenance of perfect and degenerate repeats in the genomes of intra- and extracellular parasites. PMID:23303306

  3. 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 Parasitism1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Shiyan; Lang, Ping; Chronis, Demosthenis; Zhang, Sheng; De Jong, Walter S.; Mitchum, Melissa G.

    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

  4. 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

  5. Influence of original host on chemotaxic behaviour and parasitism in Telenomus podisi Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae).

    PubMed

    Tognon, R; Sant'Ana, J; Jahnke, S M

    2014-12-01

    The egg parasitoid Telenomus podisi is a natural control agent of pentatomids, including Euschistus heros and Tibraca limbativentris, and success of parasitism is dependent upon the parasitoid finding the host. We tested the influence of host egg volatiles and the synthetic sex pheromone (zingiberenol) of T. limbativentris on chemotaxic behaviour of T. podisi, as well as, the impact of the original host on parasitoid selection. We used mated female T. podisi (48 h old) that emerged from the eggs of T. limbativentris or E. heros. The bioassays related to chemotaxy were performed in a Y-tube olfactometer and, to parasitism success, in laboratory and semi-field conditions. Telenomus podisi females that emerged from either the stink bug eggs, chose the pheromone more than control, or the pheromone plus eggs of E. heros in the semi-field bioassay, led to greater parasitism. Females that emerged from E. heros eggs chose egg volatiles from their original host rather than those from T. limbativentris, while females emerging from T. limbativentris, chose the egg volatiles of both hosts equally. When T. limbativentris was the original host, T. podisi females parasitized T. limbativentris over E. heros, while those emerging from E. heros exclusively parasitized E. heros eggs. These results demonstrated that T. podisi is more likely to parasitize the host in which it developed and that the original host can exert influence on the choice by those parasitoids. Understanding how the factors that mediate host-parasitoid communication are interrelated can help biological control programmes establish more effective and reliable tools with T. podisi. PMID:25375218

  6. 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

  7. Influence of halophytic hosts on their parasites-the case of Plicosepalus acaciae.

    PubMed

    Veste, Maik; Todt, Henning; Breckle, Siegmar-W

    2014-01-01

    Halophytes develop various morphological and physiological traits that enable them to grow successfully on saline substrates. Parasitic plants on halophytic hosts may also encounter salt stress. We investigated the mistletoe Plicosepalus acaciae (syn: Loranthus acacia; Loranthaceae), which occurs on 5 halophytic and at least 10 non-halophytic hosts in the Southern Arava Valley (Israel). Plicosepalus acaciae is a common parasite north of Eilat to the Dead Sea area and in the Jordan Valley. Morphological and physiological responses of P. acaciae to salinity were investigated by comparison of plants on halophytic with those on non-halophytic hosts. Ion patterns of different host-parasite associations were determined as was the development of leaf succulence at different growth stages. The leaf water content of P. acaciae increased and leaves developed succulence when growing on halophytic hosts, especially on Tamarix species, where leaf water content was three times higher than that on non-halophytic hosts and the leaf volume increased four to five times. The reason for increased succulence was a higher ion concentration of, and osmotic adjustment with, Na(+) and Cl(-). Plicosepalus acaciae showed a high morphological and ecophysiological plasticity, enabling it to cope with salt stress, and can be classified as a facultative eu-halophyte, which increases its halo-succulence according to the host. Host-parasite associations are a model system for the investigation of halophytes under different salt stress conditions. PMID:25515726

  8. A generalist brood parasite modifies use of a host in response to reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Louder, Matthew I M; Schelsky, Wendy M; Albores, Amber N; Hoover, Jeffrey P

    2015-09-01

    Avian obligate brood parasites, which rely solely on hosts to raise their young, should choose the highest quality hosts to maximize reproductive output. Brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) are extreme host generalists, yet female cowbirds could use information based on past reproductive outcomes to make egg-laying decisions thus minimizing fitness costs associated with parasitizing low-quality hosts. We use a long-term (21 years) nest-box study of a single host, the prothonotary warbler (Protonotaria citrea), to show that local cowbird reproductive success, but not host reproductive success, was positively correlated with the probability of parasitism the following year. Experimental manipulations of cowbird success corroborated that female cowbirds make future decisions about which hosts to use based on information pertaining to past cowbird success, both within and between years. The within-year pattern, in particular, points to local cowbird females selecting hosts based on past reproductive outcomes. This, coupled with high site fidelity of female cowbirds between years, points to information use, rather than cowbird natal returns alone, increasing parasitism rates on highly productive sites between years. PMID:26336180

  9. Influence of halophytic hosts on their parasites—the case of Plicosepalus acaciae

    PubMed Central

    Veste, Maik; Todt, Henning; Breckle, Siegmar-W.

    2015-01-01

    Halophytes develop various morphological and physiological traits that enable them to grow successfully on saline substrates. Parasitic plants on halophytic hosts may also encounter salt stress. We investigated the mistletoe Plicosepalus acaciae (syn: Loranthus acacia; Loranthaceae), which occurs on 5 halophytic and at least 10 non-halophytic hosts in the Southern Arava Valley (Israel). Plicosepalus acaciae is a common parasite north of Eilat to the Dead Sea area and in the Jordan Valley. Morphological and physiological responses of P. acaciae to salinity were investigated by comparison of plants on halophytic with those on non-halophytic hosts. Ion patterns of different host–parasite associations were determined as was the development of leaf succulence at different growth stages. The leaf water content of P. acaciae increased and leaves developed succulence when growing on halophytic hosts, especially on Tamarix species, where leaf water content was three times higher than that on non-halophytic hosts and the leaf volume increased four to five times. The reason for increased succulence was a higher ion concentration of, and osmotic adjustment with, Na+ and Cl?. Plicosepalus acaciae showed a high morphological and ecophysiological plasticity, enabling it to cope with salt stress, and can be classified as a facultative eu-halophyte, which increases its halo-succulence according to the host. Host–parasite associations are a model system for the investigation of halophytes under different salt stress conditions. PMID:25515726

  10. Size relationships between the parasitic copepod, Lernanthropus cynoscicola , and its fish host, Cynoscion guatucupa.

    PubMed

    Timi, J T; Lanfranchi, A L

    2006-02-01

    The effects of the size of Cynoscion guatucupa on the size and demographic parameters of their parasitic copepod Lernanthropus cynoscicola were evaluated. Prevalence of copepods increased with host size up to fish of intermediate length, then it decreased, probably because changes in size of gill filaments affect their attachment capability, enhancing the possibility of being detached by respiratory currents. Body length of copepods was significantly correlated with host length, indicating that only parasites of an 'adequate' size can be securely attached to a fish of a given size. The absence of relationship between the coefficient of variability in copepod length and both host length and number of conspecifics, together with the host-size dependence of both male and juvenile female sizes, prevent to interpret this relationship as a phenomenon of developmental plasticity. Therefore, the observed peak of prevalence could reflect the distribution of size frequencies in the population of copepods, with more individuals near the average length. Concluding, the 'optimum' host size for L. cynoscicola could merely be the adequate size for most individuals in the population, depending, therefore, on a populational attribute of parasites. However, its location along the host size range could be determined by a balance between fecundity and number of available hosts, which increases and decreases, respectively, with both host and parasite size. PMID:16472414

  11. 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.

  12. Dynamic behavior of a parasite-host model with general incidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Guihua; Wang, Wendi; Wang, Kaifa; Jin, Zhen

    2007-07-01

    In this paper, we consider the global dynamics of a microparasite model with more general incidences. For the model with the bilinear incidence, Ebert et al. [D. Ebert, M. Lipsitch, K.L. Mangin, The effect of parasites on host population density and extinction: Experimental epidemiology with Daphnia and six microparasites, American Naturalist 156 (2000) 459-477] observed that parasites can reduce host density, but the extinction of both host population and parasite population occurs only under stochastic perturbations. Hwang and Kuang [T.W. Hwang, Y. Kuang, Deterministic extinction effect of parasites on host populations, J. Math. Biol. 46 (2003) 17-30] studied the model with the standard incidence and found that the host population may be extinct in the absence of random disturbance. We consider more general incidences that characterize transitions from the bilinear incidence to the standard incidence to simulate behavior changes of populations from random mobility in a fixed area to the mobility with a fixed population density. Using the techniques of Xiao and Ruan [D. Xiao, S. Ruan, Global dynamics of a ratio-dependent predator-prey system, J. Math. Biol. 43 (2001) 268-290], it is shown that parasites can drive the host to extinction only by the standard incidence. The complete classifications of dynamical behaviors of the model are obtained by a qualitative analysis.

  13. 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

  14. Sex, horizontal transmission, and multiple hosts prevent local adaptation of Crithidia bombi, a parasite of bumblebees (Bombus spp.)

    PubMed Central

    Erler, Silvio; Popp, Mario; Wolf, Stephan; Lattorff, H Michael G

    2012-01-01

    Local adaptation within host-parasite systems can evolve by several non-exclusive drivers (e.g., host species-genetic adaptation; ecological conditions-ecological adaptation, and time-temporal adaptation). Social insects, especially bumblebees, with an annual colony life history not only provide an ideal system to test parasite transmission within and between different host colonies, but also parasite adaptation to specific host species and environments. Here, we study local adaptation in a multiple-host parasite characterized by high levels of horizontal transmission. Crithidia bombi occurs as a gut parasite in several bumblebee species. Parasites were sampled from five different host species in two subsequent years. Population genetic tools were used to test for the several types of adaptation. Although we found no evidence for local adaptation of the parasite toward host species, there was a slight temporal differentiation of the parasite populations, which might have resulted from severe bottlenecks during queen hibernation. Parasite populations were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and showed no signs of linkage disequilibrium suggesting that sexual reproduction is an alternative strategy in this otherwise clonal parasite. Moreover, high levels of multiple infections were found, which might facilitate sexual genetic exchange. The detection of identical clones in different host species suggested that horizontal transmission occurs between host species and underpins the lack of host-specific adaptation. PMID:22837838

  15. Parasitism by Cuscuta pentagona Attenuates Host Plant Defenses against Insect Herbivores1

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    Considerable research has examined plant responses to concurrent attack by herbivores and pathogens, but the effects of attack by parasitic plants, another important class of plant-feeding organisms, on plant defenses against other enemies has not been explored. We investigated how attack by the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona impacted tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) defenses against the chewing insect beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua; BAW). In response to insect feeding, C. pentagona-infested (parasitized) tomato plants produced only one-third of the antiherbivore phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) produced by unparasitized plants. Similarly, parasitized tomato, in contrast to unparasitized plants, failed to emit herbivore-induced volatiles after 3 d of BAW feeding. Although parasitism impaired antiherbivore defenses, BAW growth was slower on parasitized tomato leaves. Vines of C. pentagona did not translocate JA from BAW-infested plants: amounts of JA in parasite vines grown on caterpillar-fed and control plants were similar. Parasitized plants generally contained more salicylic acid (SA), which can inhibit JA in some systems. Parasitized mutant (NahG) tomato plants deficient in SA produced more JA in response to insect feeding than parasitized wild-type plants, further suggesting cross talk between the SA and JA defense signaling pathways. However, JA induction by BAW was still reduced in parasitized compared to unparasitized NahG, implying that other factors must be involved. We found that parasitized plants were capable of producing induced volatiles when experimentally treated with JA, indicating that resource depletion by the parasite does not fully explain the observed attenuation of volatile response to herbivore feeding. Collectively, these findings show that parasitic plants can have important consequences for host plant defense against herbivores. PMID:18165323

  16. Parasitism by Cuscuta pentagona attenuates host plant defenses against insect herbivores.

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-01

    Considerable research has examined plant responses to concurrent attack by herbivores and pathogens, but the effects of attack by parasitic plants, another important class of plant-feeding organisms, on plant defenses against other enemies has not been explored. We investigated how attack by the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona impacted tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) defenses against the chewing insect beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua; BAW). In response to insect feeding, C. pentagona-infested (parasitized) tomato plants produced only one-third of the antiherbivore phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) produced by unparasitized plants. Similarly, parasitized tomato, in contrast to unparasitized plants, failed to emit herbivore-induced volatiles after 3 d of BAW feeding. Although parasitism impaired antiherbivore defenses, BAW growth was slower on parasitized tomato leaves. Vines of C. pentagona did not translocate JA from BAW-infested plants: amounts of JA in parasite vines grown on caterpillar-fed and control plants were similar. Parasitized plants generally contained more salicylic acid (SA), which can inhibit JA in some systems. Parasitized mutant (NahG) tomato plants deficient in SA produced more JA in response to insect feeding than parasitized wild-type plants, further suggesting cross talk between the SA and JA defense signaling pathways. However, JA induction by BAW was still reduced in parasitized compared to unparasitized NahG, implying that other factors must be involved. We found that parasitized plants were capable of producing induced volatiles when experimentally treated with JA, indicating that resource depletion by the parasite does not fully explain the observed attenuation of volatile response to herbivore feeding. Collectively, these findings show that parasitic plants can have important consequences for host plant defense against herbivores. PMID:18165323

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. Effects of predation on real-time host-parasite coevolutionary dynamics.

    PubMed

    Friman, Ville-Petri; Buckling, Angus

    2013-01-01

    The impact of community complexity on pairwise coevolutionary dynamics is theoretically dependent on the extent to which species evolve generalised or specialised adaptations to the multiple species they interact with. Here, we show that the bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens diversifies into defence specialists, when coevolved simultaneously with a virus and a predatory protist, as a result of fitness trade-offs between defences against the two enemies. Strong bacteria-virus pairwise coevolution persisted, despite strong protist-imposed selection. However, the arms race dynamic (escalation of host resistance and parasite infectivity ranges) associated with bacteria-virus coevolution broke down to a greater extent in the presence of the protist, presumably through the elevated genetic and demographic costs of increased bacteria resistance ranges. These findings suggest that strong pairwise coevolution can persist even in complex communities, when conflicting selection leads to evolutionary diversification of different defence strategies. PMID:23013242

  1. PARASITISM OF BEMISIA TABACI ON NUMEROUS SPECIES OF HOST PLANTS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The influence of numerous vegetable and other agronomic plant species on incidence of parasitism of the B-biotype sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), by augmentation with parasitoids was determined in field plots. Tests were conducted on 16 taxonomically diversified plant species (Bet...

  2. 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.

  3. Differential tolerances to ocean acidification by parasites that share the same host.

    PubMed

    MacLeod, C D; Poulin, R

    2015-06-01

    Ocean acidification is predicted to cause major changes in marine ecosystem structure and function over the next century, as species-specific tolerances to acidified seawater may alter previously stable relationships between coexisting organisms. Such differential tolerances could affect marine host-parasite associations, as either host or parasite may prove more susceptible to the stressors associated with ocean acidification. Despite their important role in many ecological processes, parasites have not been studied in the context of ocean acidification. We tested the effects of low pH seawater on the cercariae and, where possible, the metacercariae of four species of marine trematode parasite. Acidified seawater (pH 7.6 and 7.4, 12.5 °C) caused a 40-60% reduction in cercarial longevity and a 0-78% reduction in metacercarial survival. However, the reduction in longevity and survival varied distinctly between parasite taxa, indicating that the effects of reduced pH may be species-specific. These results suggest that ocean acidification has the potential to reduce the transmission success of many trematode species, decrease parasite abundance and alter the fundamental regulatory role of multi-host parasites in marine ecosystems. PMID:25819713

  4. 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

  5. Monte Carlo simulation of age-dependent host parasite relations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stauffer, Dietrich; Proykova, Ana; Lampe, Karl-Heinz

    2007-10-01

    The death of a biological population is an extreme event which we investigate here for a host-parasitoid system. Our simulations using the Penna ageing model show how biological evolution can “teach” the parasitoids to avoid extinction by waiting for the right age of the host. We also show the dependence of extinction time on the population size.

  6. 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

  7. Coevolution between Contracaecum (Nematoda, Anisakidae) and Austrolebias (Cyprinodontiformes, Rivulidae) host-parasite complex from SW Atlantic coastal basins.

    PubMed

    Delgado, Cecilia; García, Graciela

    2015-03-01

    In recent years, molecular studies in host-parasite interactions in terms of coevolution have become important. Larvae (L3) of two species of Contracaecum were found parasitizing species of Rivulidae in the Atlantic coastal basins from Uruguay. The aim of this study is to determine the patterns of differentiation of this host-parasite complex in order to clarify possible coevolutionary events in such interaction throughout phylogeographic approach using both nuclear and mitochondrial molecular markers (internal transcribed spacers (ITS) and cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (cox-1)). Based on both markers, intraspecific variation in Contracaecum species was lower than 2 %, while interspecific variation was greater than 10 %. Both species of Contracaecum constitute monophyletic groups. Contracaecum resulted in a paraphyletic genus when incorporating other Contracaecum species and closely related nematode sequences from GenBank. ITS regions showed that Contracaecum sp. 1 is more closely related to other species of the same genus than with their counterparts from Atlantic coastal basins in Uruguay. Haplotype network for both markers corroborate the existence of two distinct taxa. While ITS pairwise FST comparisons and the indirect estimate of gene flow confirm the existence of two distinct Contracaecum species, mitochondrial gene detected low levels of migrants between some of the populations from both species. Our results suggest that coevolution in this host-parasite complex species is plausible. Parasite cladogenetic events occur almost simultaneously with the separation of the hypothetical ancestors of each species complex of Austrolebias during Pliocene. Additionally, the two lineages of Contracaecum colonize differently the species within each of the Austrolebias complexes. PMID:25544701

  8. Phylogeographic triangulation: using predator-prey-parasite interactions to infer population history from partial genetic information.

    PubMed

    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

  9. 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

  10. Effects of food deprivation on host feeding and parasitism of whitefly parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Zang, Lian-Sheng; Liu, Tong-Xian

    2010-06-01

    Most whitefly parasitoids kill whiteflies in one of two ways, by piercing the whitefly body with the ovipositor and laying an egg or by piercing the body and feeding on host fluids. The effects of food deprivation on host-feeding and parasitizing capacity of the whitefly parasitoids Eretmocerus melanoscutus and Encarsia formosa (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) were determined in this study. We investigated the effects of various food-deprivation durations (0, 3, 6, 10, and 24 h, and 20% honey solution offered) before being released on the host mortality and parasitism by these species, using fourth-instar Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) nymphs as test hosts. Er. melanoscutus that were food deprived for 6 h fed on more hosts than those that were food deprived for 0 and 10 h and those that were fed only on honey solution. En. formosa was less sensitive to food deprivation, there being no significant changes in host feeding and parasitism. These species' differences were further confirmed by using third instars of B. tabaci, and both parasitoid species that were food deprived for 6 h fed on more hosts and parasitized similar or more hosts than those that were not food deprived. We also confirmed that Er. melanoscutus that were food deprived for 6 h killed significantly more whiteflies by host feeding and parasitism combined than the nonfood-deprived Er. melanoscutus. However, there were no significant differences in longevity between food-deprived and nonfood-deprived parasitoids of either species. We concluded that the effectiveness of Er. melanoscutus to biological control whitefly nymphs could be improved by starving them for 6 h prior to release. PMID:20550806

  11. 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

  12. Lotka–Volterra dynamics kills the Red Queen: population size fluctuations and associated stochasticity dramatically change host-parasite coevolution

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Host-parasite coevolution is generally believed to follow Red Queen dynamics consisting of ongoing oscillations in the frequencies of interacting host and parasite alleles. This belief is founded on previous theoretical work, which assumes infinite or constant population size. To what extent are such sustained oscillations realistic? Results Here, we use a related mathematical modeling approach to demonstrate that ongoing Red Queen dynamics is unlikely. In fact, they collapse rapidly when two critical pieces of realism are acknowledged: (i) population size fluctuations, caused by the antagonism of the interaction in concordance with the Lotka-Volterra relationship; and (ii) stochasticity, acting in any finite population. Together, these two factors cause fast allele fixation. Fixation is not restricted to common alleles, as expected from drift, but also seen for originally rare alleles under a wide parameter space, potentially facilitating spread of novel variants. Conclusion Our results call for a paradigm shift in our understanding of host-parasite coevolution, strongly suggesting that these are driven by recurrent selective sweeps rather than continuous allele oscillations. PMID:24252104

  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. PLANT EVOLUTION. Convergent evolution of strigolactone perception enabled host detection in parasitic plants.

    PubMed

    Conn, Caitlin E; Bythell-Douglas, Rohan; Neumann, Drexel; Yoshida, Satoko; Whittington, Bryan; Westwood, James H; Shirasu, Ken; Bond, Charles S; Dyer, Kelly A; Nelson, David C

    2015-07-31

    Obligate parasitic plants in the Orobanchaceae germinate after sensing plant hormones, strigolactones, exuded from host roots. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the ?/?-hydrolase D14 acts as a strigolactone receptor that controls shoot branching, whereas its ancestral paralog, KAI2, mediates karrikin-specific germination responses. We observed that KAI2, but not D14, is present at higher copy numbers in parasitic species than in nonparasitic relatives. KAI2 paralogs in parasites are distributed into three phylogenetic clades. The fastest-evolving clade, KAI2d, contains the majority of KAI2 paralogs. Homology models predict that the ligand-binding pockets of KAI2d resemble D14. KAI2d transgenes confer strigolactone-specific germination responses to Arabidopsis thaliana. Thus, the KAI2 paralogs D14 and KAI2d underwent convergent evolution of strigolactone recognition, respectively enabling developmental responses to strigolactones in angiosperms and host detection in parasites. PMID:26228149

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Host ontogeny and the temporal decay of similarity in parasite communities of marine fish.

    PubMed

    Timi, Juan T; Luque, José L; Poulin, Robert

    2010-07-01

    Geographical distances between host populations are key determinants of how many parasite species they share. In principle, decay in similarity should also occur with increasing distance along any other dimension that characterizes some form of separation between communities. Here, we apply the biogeographical concept of distance decay in similarity to ontogenetic changes in the metazoan parasite communities of three species of marine fish from the Atlantic coast of South America. Using differences in body length between all possible pairs of size classes as measures of ontogenetic distances, we find that, using an index of similarity (Bray-Curtis) that takes into account the abundance of each parasite species, the similarity in parasite communities showed a very clear decay pattern; using an index (Jaccard) based on presence/absence of species only, we obtained slightly weaker but nevertheless similar patterns. As we predicted, the slope of the decay relationship was significantly steeper in the fish Cynoscion guatucupa, which goes through clear ontogenetic changes in diet and therefore in exposure to parasites, than in the other species, Engraulis anchoita and Micropogonias furnieri, which maintain a roughly similar diet throughout their lives. In addition, we found that for any given ontogenetic distance, i.e. for a given length difference between two size classes, the similarity in parasite communities was almost always higher if they were adult size classes, and almost always lower if they were juvenile size classes. This, combined with comparisons among individual fish within size classes, shows that parasite communities in juvenile fish are variable and subject to stochastic effects. We propose the distance decay approach as a rigorous and quantitative method to measure rates of community change as a function of host age, and for comparisons across host species to elucidate the role of host ecology in the development of parasite assemblages. PMID:20188105

  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. 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.

  20. Fasciola hepatica: comparative effects of host resistance and parasite intra-specific interactions on size and reproductive histology in flukes from rats infected with isolates differing in triclabendazole sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Hanna, R E B; Gordon, A W; Moffett, D; Edgar, H W J; Oliver, L F; McConnell, S; Shaw, L; Brennan, G P; Fairweather, I

    2011-06-10

    The efficacies of putative fasciolicides and vaccines against Fasciola hepatica are frequently monitored in clinical and field trials by determination of fluke egg output in host faeces and by worm counts in the host liver at autopsy. Less often used are parameters based on fluke size and histology, yet these can provide important indications of specific effects on the development of particular germ-line or somatic tissues, especially in relation to the timing and profligacy of egg production. In this study, F. hepatica metacercariae of two distinct isolates, the triclabendazole (TCBZ)-sensitive Cullompton isolate and the TCBZ-resistant Oberon isolate, were administered to rats as single-isolate or mixed-isolate infections. At autopsy 16 weeks later individual adult flukes were counted, measured and the reproductive organs were examined histologically. The degree of development of the testis tubules in each fluke was represented by a numerical score, based on the proportion of the histological section profiles occupied by testis tissue. The level of anti-F. hepatica antibody in the serum of each rat was determined by ELISA. It was found that Cullompton flukes were significantly larger than Oberon flukes, and that significantly more Cullompton metacercariae developed to adults than Oberon metacercariae. The Cullompton flukes showed histological evidence of aspermy and spermatogenic arrest, which was reflected in quantitatively reduced testicular development, as compared with the Oberon isolate. In Cullompton flukes, parthenogenetic egg development is implied. The size of Cullompton and Oberon flukes was significantly related to the number of adult flukes recovered, to the number of metacercariae administered, and to the percentage success of infection. The testis development score in both isolates was significantly related to the number of adult flukes recovered but not to the number of metacercariae administered, or to the percentage success of infection. Fluke size was positively related to testis score for both isolates, and a significant negative relationship was found between percentage success of infection and metacercarial dose. The results are interpreted in terms of differing interactions between various numbers of young flukes and host immunity during invasion of and migration in the hepatic parenchyma, and of fluke intra-specific (possibly pheromonal) stimulatory effects in the final stages of development, within the host bile ducts. No significant relationships were found between host antibody levels and fluke size or testis score. False positive serological reactions were found in some rats that had been infected, but found to harbour no flukes at autopsy. Clearly the act of eliminating the flukes involved generation of an immune response. PMID:21333449

  1. Fish host-cestode parasite stable isotope enrichment patterns in marine, estuarine and freshwater fishes from Northern Canada.

    PubMed

    Power, Michael; Klein, Geoff

    2004-12-01

    Cestode parasites from freshwater (threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus), estuarine (brook charr, Salvelinus fontinalis) and marine (Greenland cod, Gadus ogac) fish from northern Quebec, Canada, were used to investigate the hypotheses that cestode parasites are (13)C and (15)N enriched relative to host food sources, but (15)N depleted with respect to host muscle tissue as a result of differential enrichment during the assimilation of common nutrient sources. Cestode parasites and fish were generally similarly enriched in (13)C with respect to common food sources and, in the case of Greenland cod, cestode parasites were (13)C enriched relative to host tissue. Cestode parasites were also generally (15)N enriched with respect to mean host dietary signatures, but depleted with respect to host muscle tissue. In the cas