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Sample records for host parasite interactions

  1. Coevolutionary interactions between host and parasite genotypes.

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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

  6. Displaced tick-parasite interactions at the host interface.

    PubMed

    Nuttall, P A

    1998-01-01

    Reciprocal interactions of parasites transmitted by blood-sucking arthropod vectors have been studied primarily at the parasite-host and parasite-vector interface. The third component of this parasite triangle, the vector-host interface, has been largely ignored. Now there is growing realization that reciprocal interactions between arthropod vectors and their vertebrate hosts play a pivotal role in the survival of arthropod-borne viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. The vector-host interface is the site where the haematophagous arthropods feeds. To obtain a blood meal, the vector must overcome the host's inflammatory, haemostatic, and immune responses. This problem is greatest for ixodid ticks which may imbibe as much as 15 ml blood whilst continuously attached to their host for 10 days or more. To feed successfully, the interface between tick and host becomes a battle between the host's mechanisms for combating the tick and the tick's armoury of bioactive proteins and other chemicals which it secrets, via saliva, into the feeding lesion formed in the host's skin. Parasites entering this battlefield encounter a privileged site in their vertebrate host that has been profoundly modified by the pharmacological activities of their vector's saliva. For example, ticks suppress natural killer cells and interferons, both of which have potent antiviral activities. Not surprisingly, vector-bone parasites exploit the immunomodulated feeding site to promote their transmission and infection. Certain tick-bone viruses are so successful at this that they are transmitted from one infected tick, through the vertebrate host to a co-feeding uninfected tick, without a detectable viraemia (virus circulating in the host's blood), and with no untoward effect on the host. When such viruses do have an adverse effect on the host, they may impede their vectors' feeding. Thus important interactions between ticks and tick-borne parasites are displaced to the interface with their vertebrate host-the skin site of blood-feeding and infection. PMID:9695111

  7. 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

  8. Periodic and chaotic host-parasite interactions in human malaria.

    PubMed Central

    Kwiatkowski, D; Nowak, M

    1991-01-01

    It has been recognized since ancient times that malaria fever is highly periodic but the mechanism has been poorly understood. Malaria fever is related to the parasite growth cycle in erythrocytes. After a fixed period of replication, a mature parasite (schizont) causes the infected erythrocyte to rupture, releasing progeny that quickly invade other erythrocytes. Simultaneous rupture of a large number of schizonts stimulates a host fever response. Febrile temperatures are damaging to Plasmodium falciparum, particularly in the second half of its 48-hr replicative cycle. Using a mathematical model, we show that these interactions naturally tend to generate periodic fever. The model predicts chaotic parasite population dynamics at high multiplication rates, consistent with the classical observation that P. falciparum causes less regular fever than other species of parasite. PMID:2052590

  9. Interacting parasites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2010-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  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 (barleyHordeum 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 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Trichomonas vaginalis Exosomes Deliver Cargo to Host Cells and Mediate Host∶Parasite Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Twu, Olivia; Lustig, Gila; Stevens, Grant C.; Vashisht, Ajay A.; Wohlschlegel, James A.

    2013-01-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis is a common sexually transmitted parasite that colonizes the human urogential tract where it remains extracellular and adheres to epithelial cells. Infections range from asymptomatic to highly inflammatory, depending on the host and the parasite strain. Here, we use a combination of methodologies including cell fractionation, immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, RNA, proteomic and cytokine analyses and cell adherence assays to examine pathogenic properties of T. vaginalis. We have found that T.vaginalis produces and secretes microvesicles with physical and biochemical properties similar to mammalian exosomes. The parasite-derived exosomes are characterized by the presence of RNA and core, conserved exosomal proteins as well as parasite-specific proteins. We demonstrate that T. vaginalis exosomes fuse with and deliver their contents to host cells and modulate host cell immune responses. Moreover, exosomes from highly adherent parasite strains increase the adherence of poorly adherent parasites to vaginal and prostate epithelial cells. In contrast, exosomes from poorly adherent strains had no measurable effect on parasite adherence. Exosomes from parasite strains that preferentially bind prostate cells increased binding of parasites to these cells relative to vaginal cells. In addition to establishing that parasite exosomes act to modulate host∶parasite interactions, these studies are the first to reveal a potential role for exosomes in promoting parasite∶parasite communication and host cell colonization. PMID:23853596

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Gut microbiota instead of host genotype drive the specificity in the interaction of a natural host-parasite system.

    PubMed

    Koch, Hauke; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2012-10-01

    Specific interactions between parasite genotypes and host genotypes (G(p) × G(h)) are commonly found in invertebrate systems, but are largely lacking a mechanistic explanation. The genotype of invertebrate hosts can be complemented by the genomes of microorganisms living on or within the host ('microbiota'). We investigated whether the bacterial gut microbiota of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) can account for the specificity of interactions between individuals from different colonies (previously taken as host genotype proxy) and genotypes of the parasite Crithidia bombi. For this, we transplanted the microbiota between individuals of six colonies. Both the general infection load and the specific success of different C. bombi genotypes were mostly driven by the microbiota, rather than by worker genotype. Variation in gut microbiota can therefore be responsible for specific immune phenotypes and the evolution of gut parasites may be driven by interactions with 'microbiota types' as well as with host genotypes. PMID:22765311

  11. 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

  12. Possible Roles of Ectophosphatases in Host-Parasite Interactions

    PubMed Central

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. A Virus Essential for Insect Host-Parasite Interactions Encodes Cystatins

    PubMed Central

    Espagne, E.; Douris, V.; Lalmanach, G.; Provost, B.; Cattolico, L.; Lesobre, J.; Kurata, S.; Iatrou, K.; Drezen, J.-M.; Huguet, E.

    2005-01-01

    Cotesia congregata is a parasitoid wasp that injects its eggs in the host caterpillar Manduca sexta. In this host-parasite interaction, successful parasitism is ensured by a third partner: a bracovirus. The relationship between parasitic wasps and bracoviruses constitutes one of the few known mutualisms between viruses and eukaryotes. The C. congregata bracovirus (CcBV) is injected at the same time as the wasp eggs in the host hemolymph. Expression of viral genes alters the caterpillar's immune defense responses and developmental program, resulting in the creation of a favorable environment for the survival and emergence of adult parasitoid wasps. Here, we describe the characterization of a CcBV multigene family which is highly expressed during parasitism and which encodes three proteins with homology to members of the cystatin superfamily. Cystatins are tightly binding, reversible inhibitors of cysteine proteases. Other cysteine protease inhibitors have been described for lepidopteran viruses; however, this is the first description of the presence of cystatins in a viral genome. The expression and purification of a recombinant form of one of the CcBV cystatins, cystatin 1, revealed that this viral cystatin is functional having potent inhibitory activity towards the cysteine proteases papain, human cathepsins L and B and Sarcophaga cathepsin B in assays in vitro. CcBV cystatins are, therefore, likely to play a role in host caterpillar physiological deregulation by inhibiting host target proteases in the course of the host-parasite interaction. PMID:16014938

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    The question of whether cell death by apoptosis plays a biological function during infection is key to understanding host-parasite interactions. We investigated the involvement of apoptosis in several host-parasite systems, using zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha as test organisms and their micro- and macroparasites. As a stress response associated with parasitism, heat shock proteins (Hsp) can be induced. In this protein family, Hsp70 are known to be apoptosis inhibitors. Mussels were diagnosed for their respective infections by standard histological methods; apoptosis was detected using the TUNEL methods on paraffin sections and Hsp70 by immunohistochemistry on cryosections. Circulating hemocytes were the main cells observed in apoptosis whereas infected tissues displayed no or few apoptotic cells. Parasitism by intracellular bacteria Rickettsiales-like and the trematode Bucephalus polymorphus were associated with the inhibition of apoptosis whereas ciliates Ophryoglena spp. or the trematode Phyllodistomum folium did not involve significant differences in apoptosis. Even if some parasites were able to modulate apoptosis in zebra mussels, we did not see evidence of any involvement of Hsp70 on this mechanism. PMID:23785455

  1. Spatial heterogeneity, frequency-dependent selection and polymorphism in host-parasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Genomic and pathology analysis has revealed enormous diversity in genes involved in disease, including those encoding host resistance and parasite effectors (also known in plant pathology as avirulence genes). It has been proposed that such variation may persist when an organism exists in a spatially structured metapopulation, following the geographic mosaic of coevolution. Here, we study gene-for-gene relationships governing the outcome of plant-parasite interactions in a spatially structured system and, in particular, investigate the population genetic processes which maintain balanced polymorphism in both species. Results Following previous theory on the effect of heterogeneous environments on maintenance of polymorphism, we analysed a model with two demes in which the demes have different environments and are coupled by gene flow. Environmental variation is manifested by different coefficients of natural selection, the costs to the host of resistance and to the parasite of virulence, the cost to the host of being diseased and the cost to an avirulent parasite of unsuccessfully attacking a resistant host. We show that migration generates negative direct frequency-dependent selection, a condition for maintenance of stable polymorphism in each deme. Balanced polymorphism occurs preferentially if there is heterogeneity for costs of resistance and virulence alleles among populations and to a lesser extent if there is variation in the cost to the host of being diseased. We show that the four fitness costs control the natural frequency of oscillation of host resistance and parasite avirulence alleles. If demes have different costs, their frequencies of oscillation differ and when coupled by gene flow, there is amplitude death of the oscillations in each deme. Numerical simulations show that for a multiple deme island model, costs of resistance and virulence need not to be present in each deme for stable polymorphism to occur. Conclusions Our theoretical results confirm the importance of empirical studies for measuring the environmental heterogeneity for genetic costs of resistance and virulence alleles. We suggest that such studies should be developed to investigate the generality of this mechanism for the long-term maintenance of genetic diversity at host and parasite genes. PMID:22044632

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ramrez, Galia; Valck, Carolina; Aguilar, Lorena; Kemmerling, Ulrike; Lpez-Muoz, 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Resolving the infection process reveals striking differences in the contribution of environment, genetics and phylogeny to host-parasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Infection processes consist of a sequence of steps, each critical for the interaction between host and parasite. Studies of host-parasite interactions rarely take into account the fact that different steps might be influenced by different factors and might, therefore, make different contributions to shaping coevolution. We designed a new method using the Daphnia magna - Pasteuria ramosa system, one of the rare examples where coevolution has been documented, in order to resolve the steps of the infection and analyse the factors that influence each of them. Results Using the transparent Daphnia hosts and fluorescently-labelled spores of the bacterium P. ramosa, we identified a sequence of infection steps: encounter between parasite and host; activation of parasite dormant spores; attachment of spores to the host; and parasite proliferation inside the host. The chances of encounter had been shown to depend on host genotype and environment. We tested the role of genetic and environmental factors in the newly described activation and attachment steps. Hosts of different genotypes, gender and species were all able to activate endospores of all parasite clones tested in different environments; suggesting that the activation cue is phylogenetically conserved. We next established that parasite attachment occurs onto the host oesophagus independently of host species, gender and environmental conditions. In contrast to spore activation, attachment depended strongly on the combination of host and parasite genotypes. Conclusions Our results show that different steps are influenced by different factors. Host-type-independent spore activation suggests that this step can be ruled out as a major factor in Daphnia-Pasteuria coevolution. On the other hand, we show that the attachment step is crucial for the pronounced genetic specificities of this system. We suggest that this one step can explain host population structure and could be a key force behind coevolutionary cycles. We discuss how different steps can explain different aspects of the coevolutionary dynamics of the system: the properties of the attachment step, explaining the rapid evolution of infectivity and the properties of later parasite proliferation explaining the evolution of virulence. Our study underlines the importance of resolving the infection process in order to better understand host-parasite interactions. PMID:21342515

  13. Eating at the Table of Another: Metabolomics of Host/Parasite Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Kafsack, Björn F.C.; Llinás, Manuel

    2010-01-01

    The application of metabolomics, the global analysis of metabolite levels, to the study of protozoan parasites has become an important tool for understanding the host/parasite relationship and holds promise for the development of direly needed therapeutics and improved diagnostics. Research advances over the past decade have opened the door for a systems biology approach to protozoan parasites with metabolomics providing a crucial readout of metabolic activity. In this review we highlight recent metabolomic approaches to protozoan parasites, including metabolite profiling, integration with genomics, transcription, and proteomic analysis, as well as the use of metabolic fingerprints for the diagnosis of parasitic infections. PMID:20159614

  14. 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.

  15. A review of the population biology and host-parasite interactions of the sea louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Copepoda: Caligidae).

    PubMed

    Tully, O; Nolan, D T

    2002-01-01

    Lepeophtheirus salmonis is a specific parasite of salmonids that occurs in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. When infestations are heavy fish mortality can occur although the factors that are responsible for causing epizootics, especially in wild salmonid populations are still largely unknown. Over the past 20 years this parasite has caused significant economic losses in farmed salmon production and possibly in wild salmonid populations locally. Understanding the connectivity between populations is crucial to an understanding of the epidemiology of infections and for management of infections in aquaculture. Data from genetics, pesticide resistance, larval dispersal models and spatial and temporal patterns of infestation in wild and farmed hosts suggests a spatially highly structured metapopulation the components of which have different levels of connectivity, probabilities of extinction and influence on the development of local infestations. The population structure is defined mainly by the dispersal dynamics of the planktonic stages and the behaviour of the host. Until recently virtually nothing was known about the relationship between the parasite and the host, or how the host may influence lice at local or population level. Typically, impacts on the host have usually been reported in terms of pathological lesions caused by attachment and feeding of the adult stages, as well as localised mild epithelial responses to juvenile attachment. However many studies report pathology associated with severe infestation. Recent new studies on the host-parasite interactions of L. salmonis have shown that this parasite induces stress-related responses systemically in the host skin and gills and that the stress response and immune systems are modulated. In the second part of this review, these new studies are presented, together with results from other host-parasite model systems where data for caligid sea lice are missing. One of the most revealing methods reported recently is the application of a net confinement stressor to examine modulation of the stress response and immune system of the host fish. This approach has shown that although until now, infective stages of L. salmonis were not thought to affect the host, they do induce systematic effects in the host that result in a stress response and modulated immune system. Host-parasite interactions affecting these stress responses and the immune system may be key factors in facilitating epizootics by reducing the host's ability to reject the parasites, as well as reducing disease resistance under some environmental conditions. The host-parasite interaction therefore needs to be incorporated into any model of population structure and dynamics. PMID:12396223

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Host age modulates within-host parasite competition.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    Invertebrates were long thought to possess only a simple, effective and hence non-adaptive defence system against microbial and parasitic attacks. However, recent studies have shown that invertebrate immunity also relies on immune receptors that diversify (e.g. in echinoderms, insects and mollusks (Biomphalaria glabrata)). Apparently, individual or population-based polymorphism-generating mechanisms exists that permit the survival of invertebrate species exposed to parasites. Consequently, the generally accepted arms race hypothesis predicts that molecular diversity and polymorphism also exist in parasites of invertebrates. We investigated the diversity and polymorphism of parasite molecules (Schistosoma mansoni Polymorphic Mucins, SmPoMucs) that are key factors for the compatibility of schistosomes interacting with their host, the mollusc Biomphalaria glabrata. We have elucidated the complex cascade of mechanisms acting both at the genomic level and during expression that confer polymorphism to SmPoMuc. We show that SmPoMuc is coded by a multi-gene family whose members frequently recombine. We show that these genes are transcribed in an individual-specific manner, and that for each gene, multiple splice variants exist. Finally, we reveal the impact of this polymorphism on the SmPoMuc glycosylation status. Our data support the view that S. mansoni has evolved a complex hierarchical system that efficiently generates a high degree of polymorphism—a “controlled chaos”—based on a relatively low number of genes. This contrasts with protozoan parasites that generate antigenic variation from large sets of genes such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei and Plasmodium falciparum. Our data support the view that the interaction between parasites and their invertebrate hosts are far more complex than previously thought. While most studies in this matter have focused on invertebrate host diversification, we clearly show that diversifying mechanisms also exist on the parasite side of the interaction. Our findings shed new light on how and why invertebrate immunity develops. PMID:19002242

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Calegaro-Marques, Cláudia; Amato, Suzana B.

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Host-Parasite Relationships with Brucella neotomae

    PubMed Central

    Gibby, Irvin W.; Gibby, Anna M.

    1965-01-01

    Gibby, Irvin W. (Cornell University Medical College, New York, N.Y.), and Anna M. Gibby. Host-parasite relationships with Brucella neotomae. J. Bacteriol. 89:9–16. 1965.—An investigation was undertaken to ascertain whether a vigorous parasitic state could be evolved by transfer procedures in the host-parasite system, Brucella neotomae versus the white mouse. Visible disease was not maintained and initial high doses were abruptly decreased if the parasite was serially transferred through host animals without the use of an adjuvant. Of several adjuvants tested, 5% mucin was the most effective in enhancing Brucella infections in the white mouse, and with this adjuvant a vigorous lethal disease was maintained in serial transfer. In one transfer series, bacterial colonies of a form different from B. neotomae were obtained. Substrains of the altered bacterial form were agglutinated by Brucella antiserum and exhibited other properties consistent with the genus, Brucella. Cultures and selected clones of this organism in low doses caused rapidly lethal disease in the white mouse in the absence of mucin. Also, the disease could be maintained in serial transfer as an acute lethal process without mucin. It is concluded that the host-parasite interaction was drastically altered with the emergence of a highly virulent parasite in an infectious state that had previously been relatively benign. Various related aspects of parasitism are discussed. PMID:14255687

  20. 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

  1. Molecular basis of Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania interaction with their host(s): exploitation of immune and defense mechanisms by the parasite leading to persistence and chronicity, features reminiscent of immune system evasion strategies in cancer diseases.

    PubMed

    Ouaissi, Ali; Ouaissi, Mehdi

    2005-01-01

    A number of features occurring during host-parasite interactions in Chagas disease caused by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, and Leishmaniasis, caused by a group of kinetoplastid protozoan parasites are reminiscent of those observed in cancer diseases. In fact,although the cancer is not a single disease, and that T.cruzi and Leishmania are sophisticated eukaryotic parasites presenting a high level of genotypic variability the growth of the parasites in their host and that of cancer cells share at least one common feature, that is their mutual capacity for rapid cell division. Surprisingly, the parasitic diseases and cancers share some immune evasion strategies. Consideration of these immunological alterations must be added to the evaluation of the pathogenic processes. The molecular and functional characterization of virulence factors and the study of their effect on the arms of the immune system have greatly improved understanding of the regulation of immune effectors functions. The purpose of this review is to analyze some of the current data related to the regulatory components or processes originating from the parasite that control or interfere with host cell physiology. Attempts are also made to delineate some similarities between the immune evasion strategies that parasites and tumors employ. The elucidation of the mode of action of parasite virulence factors toward the host cell allow not only provide us with a more comprehensive view of the host-parasite relationships but may also represent a step forward in efforts aimed to identify new target molecules for therapeutic intervention. PMID:15928579

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Understanding the interaction between an obligate hyperparasitic bacterium, Pasteuria penetrans and its obligate plant-parasitic nematode host, Meloidogyne spp.

    PubMed

    Davies, Keith G

    2009-01-01

    Pasteuria penetrans is an endospore-forming bacterium, which is a hyperparasite of root-knot nematodes Meloidogyne spp. that are economically important pests of a wide range of crops. The life cycle of the bacterium and nematode are described with emphasis on the bacterium's potential as a biocontrol agent. Two aspects that currently prohibit the commercial development of the bacterium as a biocontrol agent are the inability to culture it outside its host and its host specificity. Vegetative growth of the bacterium is possible in vitro; however, getting the vegetative stages of the bacterium to enter sporogenesis has been problematic. Insights from genomic survey sequences regarding the role of cation concentration and the phosphorylation of Spo0F have proved useful in inducing vegetative bacteria to sporulate. Similarly, genomic data have also proved useful in understanding the attachment of endospores to the cuticle of infective nematode juveniles, and a Velcro-like model of spore attachment is proposed that involves collagen-like fibres on the surface of the endospore interacting with mucins on the nematode cuticle. Ecological studies of the interactions between Daphnia and Pasteuria ramosa are examined and similarities are drawn between the co-evolution of virulence in the Daphnia system and that of plant-parasitic nematodes. PMID:19289196

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-21

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. (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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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 β-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 β-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

  2. 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

  3. Host population bottlenecks drive parasite extinction during antagonistic coevolution

    PubMed Central

    Hesse, Elze; Buckling, Angus

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Complex Daphnia interactions with parasites and competitors.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Species interactions can strongly influence the size and dynamics of epidemics in populations of focal hosts. The "dilution effect" provides a particularly interesting type of interaction from a biological standpoint. Diluters - other host species which resist infection but remove environmentally-distributed propagules of parasites (spores) - should reduce disease prevalence in focal hosts. However, diluters and focal hosts may compete for shared resources. This combination of positive (dilution) and negative (competition) effects could greatly complicate, even undermine, the benefits of dilution and diluter species from the perspective of the focal host. Motivated by an example from the plankton (i.e., zooplankton hosts, a fungal parasite, and algal resources), we study a model of dilution and competition. Our model reveals a suite of five results: • A diluter that is a superior competitor wipes out the host, regardless of parasitism. Although expected, this outcome is an ever-present danger in strategies that might use diluters to control disease. • If the diluter is an inferior competitor, it can reduce disease prevalence, despite the competition, as parameterized in our model. However, competition may also reduce density of susceptible hosts to levels below that seen in focal host-parasite systems alone. • As they decrease disease prevalence, diluters destabilize dynamics of the focal host and their resources. Thus, diluters undermine the stabilizing effects of disease. • The four species combination can generate very complex dynamics, including period-doubling bifurcations and torus (Neimark-Sacker) bifurcations. • At lower resource carrying capacity, the diluter’s dilution of spores is 'helpful' to the focal host, i.e., dilution can elevate host density by reducing disease. But, as the resource carrying capacity increases further, the equilibrium density of the diluter increases while the density of the focal host decreases, despite competition. Namely, the negative effects of competition start to outweigh the positive effects of dilution from the perspective of equilibrium density of the focal host. PMID:25445737

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-13

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Benefits of host genetic diversity for resistance to infection depend on parasite diversity

    PubMed Central

    Ganz, Holly H.; Ebert, Dieter

    2011-01-01

    Host populations with high genetic diversity are predicted to have lower levels of infection prevalence. This theory assumes that host genetic diversity results in variation in susceptibility and that parasites exhibit variation in infectivity. Empirical studies on the effects of host heterogeneity typically neglect the role of parasite diversity. We conducted three laboratory experiments designed to test if genetic variation in Daphnia magna populations and genetic variation in its parasites together influence the course of parasite spread after introduction. We found that a natural D. magna population exhibited variation in susceptibility to infection by three parasite species and had strong host clone–parasite species interactions. There was no effect of host heterogeneity in experimental host populations (polycultures and monocultures) separately exposed to single strains of three parasite species. When we manipulated the genetic diversity of a single parasite species and exposed them to host monocultures and polycultures, we found that parasite prevalence increased with the number of parasite strains. Host monocultures exposed to several parasite strains had higher mean parasite prevalence and higher variance than polycultures. These results indicate that effect of host genetic diversity on the spread of infection depends on the level of genetic diversity in the parasite population. PMID:20503859

  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 35 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. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Feeney, William E; Langmore, Naomi E

    2013-08-23

    Arms races between brood parasites and their hosts provide model systems for studying the evolutionary repercussions of species interactions. However, how naive hosts identify brood parasites as enemies remains poorly understood, despite its ecological and evolutionary significance. Here, we investigate whether young, cuckoo-naive superb fairy-wrens, Malurus cyaneus, can learn to recognize cuckoos as a threat through social transmission of information. Naive individuals were initially unresponsive to a cuckoo specimen, but after observing conspecifics mob a cuckoo, they made more whining and mobbing alarm calls, and spent more time physically mobbing the cuckoo. This is the first direct evidence that naive hosts can learn to identify brood parasites as enemies via social learning. PMID:23760171

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    There is growing interest in the role that life-history traits of hosts, such as their 'pace-of-life', play in the evolution of resistance and tolerance to parasites. Theory suggests that, relative to host species that have high syntopy (local spatial and temporal overlap) with parasites, host species with low syntopy should have lower selection pressures for more constitutive (always present) and costly defences, such as tolerance, and greater reliance on more inducible and cheaper defences, such as behaviour. Consequently, we postulated that the degree of host-parasite syntopy, which is negatively correlated with host pace-of-life (an axis reflecting the developmental rate of tadpoles and the inverse of their size at metamorphosis) in our tadpole-parasitic cercarial (trematode) system, would be a negative and positive predictor of behavioural resistance and tolerance, respectively. To test these hypotheses, we exposed seven tadpole species to a range of parasite (cercarial) doses crossed with anaesthesia treatments that controlled for anti-parasite behaviour. We quantified host behaviour, successful and unsuccessful infections, and each species' reaction norm for behavioural resistance and tolerance, defined as the slope between cercarial exposure (or attempted infections) and anti-cercarial behaviours and mass change, respectively. Hence, tolerance is capturing any cost of parasite exposure. As hypothesized, tadpole pace-of-life was a significant positive predictor of behavioural resistance and negative predictor of tolerance, a result that is consistent with a trade-off between behavioural resistance and tolerance across species that warrants further investigation. Moreover, these results were robust to considerations of phylogeny, all possible re-orderings of the three fastest or slowest paced species, and various measurements of tolerance. These results suggest that host pace-of-life and host-parasite syntopy are powerful drivers of both the strength and type of host defence strategies against parasites. Future research should evaluate how often and how strongly host pace-of-life and host-parasite syntopy are correlated and which is the better predictor of the strength and type of host investments in anti-parasite defences. PMID:25583069

  20. Gene expression differences underlying genotype-by-genotype specificity in a host-parasite system.

    PubMed

    Barribeau, Seth M; Sadd, Ben M; du Plessis, Louis; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2014-03-01

    In many systems, host-parasite evolutionary dynamics have led to the emergence and maintenance of diverse parasite and host genotypes within the same population. Genotypes vary in key attributes: Parasite genotypes vary in ability to infect, host genotypes vary in susceptibility, and infection outcome is frequently the result of both parties' genotypic identities. These host-parasite genotype-by-genotype (GH × GP) interactions influence evolutionary and ecological dynamics in important ways. Interactions can be produced through genetic variation; however, here, we assess the role of variable gene expression as an additional source of GH × GP interactions. The bumblebee Bombus terrestris and its trypanosome gut parasite Crithidia bombi are a model system for host-parasite matching. Full-transcriptome sequencing of the bumblebee host revealed that different parasite genotypes indeed induce fundamentally different host expression responses and host genotypes vary in their responses to the infecting parasite genotype. It appears that broadly and successfully infecting parasite genotypes lead to reduced host immune gene expression relative to unexposed bees but induce the expression of genes responsible for controlling gene expression. Contrastingly, a poorly infecting parasite genotype induced the expression of immunologically important genes, including antimicrobial peptides. A targeted expression assay confirmed the transcriptome results and also revealed strong host genotype effects. In all, the expression of a number of genes depends on the host genotype and the parasite genotype and the interaction between both host and parasite genotypes. These results suggest that alongside sequence variation in coding immunological genes, variation that controls immune gene expression can also produce patterns of host-parasite specificity. PMID:24550506

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-01

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

  3. The host-parasite relationship in neosporosis.

    PubMed

    Hemphill, A

    1999-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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. 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

  8. Malaria: targeting parasite and host cell kinomes.

    PubMed

    Doerig, Christian; Abdi, Abdirahman; Bland, Nicholas; Eschenlauer, Sylvain; Dorin-Semblat, Dominique; Fennell, Clare; Halbert, Jean; Holland, Zoe; Nivez, Marie-Paule; Semblat, Jean-Philippe; Sicard, Audrey; Reininger, Luc

    2010-03-01

    Malaria still remains one of the deadliest infectious diseases, and has a tremendous morbidity and mortality impact in the developing world. The propensity of the parasites to develop drug resistance, and the relative reluctance of the pharmaceutical industry to invest massively in the developments of drugs that would offer only limited marketing prospects, are major issues in antimalarial drug discovery. Protein kinases (PKs) have become a major family of targets for drug discovery research in a number of disease contexts, which has generated considerable resources such as kinase-directed libraries and high throughput kinase inhibition assays. The phylogenetic distance between malaria parasites and their human host translates into important divergences in their respective kinomes, and most Plasmodium kinases display atypical properties (as compared to mammalian PKs) that can be exploited towards selective inhibition. Here, we discuss the taxon-specific kinases possessed by malaria parasites, and give an overview of target PKs that have been validated by reverse genetics, either in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum or in the rodent model Plasmodium berghei. We also briefly allude to the possibility of attacking Plasmodium through the inhibition of human PKs that are required for survival of this obligatory intracellular parasite, and which are targets for other human diseases. PMID:19840874

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

    PubMed

    Di Genova, Bruno M; Tonelli, Renata R

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Ecological genomics of host behavior manipulation by parasites.

    PubMed

    Hébert, François Olivier; Aubin-Horth, Nadia

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Host modulation of parasite competition in multiple infections.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Yuko; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2012-08-01

    Parasite diversity is a constant challenge to host immune systems and has important clinical implications, but factors underpinning its emergence and maintenance are still poorly understood. Hosts typically harbour multiple parasite genotypes that share both host resources and immune responses. Parasite diversity is thus shaped not only by resource competition between co-infecting parasites but also by host-driven immune-mediated competition. We investigated these effects in an insect-trypanosome system, combining in vivo and in vitro single and double inoculations. In vivo, a non-pathogenic, general immune challenge was used to manipulate host immune condition and resulted in a reduced ability of hosts to defend against a subsequent exposure to the trypanosome parasites, illustrating the costs of immune activation. The associated increase in available host space benefited the weaker parasite strains of each pair as much as the otherwise more competitive strains, resulting in more frequent multiple infections in immune-challenged hosts. In vitro assays showed that in the absence of a host, overall parasite diversity was minimal because the outcome of competition was virtually fixed and resulted in strain extinction. Altogether, this shows that parasite competition is largely host-mediated and suggests a role for host immune condition in the maintenance of parasite diversity. PMID:22492064

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Coevolution of parasite virulence and host mating strategies

    PubMed Central

    Ashby, Ben; Boots, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Microsporidia-host interactions.

    PubMed

    Szumowski, Suzannah C; Troemel, Emily R

    2015-08-01

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

  4. 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

  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. Host age modulates parasite infectivity, virulence and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Izhar, Rony; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2015-07-01

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

  7. Does chemical aposematic (warning) signaling occur between host plants and their potential parasitic plants?

    PubMed Central

    Lev-Yadun, Simcha

    2013-01-01

    Aposematism (warning) signaling is a common defensive mechanism toward predatory or herbivorous animals, i.e., interactions between different trophic levels. I propose that it should be considered at least as a working hypothesis that chemical aposematism operates between certain host plants and their plant predators, parasitic plants, and that although they are also plants, they belong to a higher trophic level. Specific host plant genotypes emit known repelling chemical signals toward parasitic plants, which reduce the level of, slow the directional parasite growth (attack) toward the signaling hosts, or even cause parasitic plants to grow away from them in response to these chemicals. Chemical host aposematism toward parasitic plants may be a common but overlooked defense from parasitic plants. PMID:23656862

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kwiatkowski, Marek; Engelstdter, 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

  13. Host-parasite biology in the real world: the field voles of Kielder.

    PubMed

    Turner, A K; Beldomenico, P M; Bown, K; Burthe, S J; Jackson, J A; Lambin, X; Begon, M

    2014-07-01

    Research on the interactions between the field voles (Microtus agrestis) of Kielder Forest and their natural parasites dates back to the 1930s. These early studies were primarily concerned with understanding how parasites shape the characteristic cyclic population dynamics of their hosts. However, since the early 2000s, research on the Kielder field voles has expanded considerably and the system has now been utilized for the study of host-parasite biology across many levels, including genetics, evolutionary ecology, immunology and epidemiology. The Kielder field voles therefore represent one of the most intensely and broadly studied natural host-parasite systems, bridging theoretical and empirical approaches to better understand the biology of infectious disease in the real world. This article synthesizes the body of work published on this system and summarizes some important insights and general messages provided by the integrated and multidisciplinary study of host-parasite interactions in the natural environment. PMID:24612619

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Polymorphism in Multilocus Host–Parasite Coevolutionary Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Tellier, Aurélien; Brown, James K. M.

    2007-01-01

    Numerous loci in host organisms are involved in parasite recognition, such as major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes in vertebrates or genes involved in gene-for-gene (GFG) relationships in plants. Diversity is commonly observed at such loci and at corresponding loci encoding antigenic molecules in parasites. Multilocus theoretical models of host–parasite coevolution predict that polymorphism is more likely than in single-locus interactions because recurrent coevolutionary cycles are sustained by indirect frequency-dependent selection as rare genotypes have a selective advantage. These cycles are stabilized by direct frequency-dependent selection, resulting from repeated reinfection of the same host by a parasite, a feature of most diseases. Here, it is shown that for realistically small costs of resistance and virulence, polycyclic disease and high autoinfection rates, stable polymorphism of all possible genotypes is obtained in parasite populations. Two types of epistatic interactions between loci tend to increase the parameter space in which stable polymorphism can occur with all possible host and parasite genotypes. In the parasite, the marginal cost of each additional virulence allele should increase, while in the host, the marginal cost of each additional resistance allele should decrease. It is therefore predicted that GFG polymorphism will be stable (and hence detectable) when there is partial complementation of avirulence genes in the parasite and of resistance genes in the host. PMID:17947440

  20. Genetic architecture of resistance in Daphnia hosts against two species of host-specific parasites

    PubMed Central

    Routtu, J; Ebert, D

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the genetic architecture of host resistance is key for understanding the evolution of host–parasite interactions. Evolutionary models often assume simple genetics based on few loci and strong epistasis. It is unknown, however, whether these assumptions apply to natural populations. Using a quantitative trait loci (QTL) approach, we explore the genetic architecture of resistance in the crustacean Daphnia magna to two of its natural parasites: the horizontally transmitted bacterium Pasteuria ramosa and the horizontally and vertically transmitted microsporidium Hamiltosporidium tvaerminnensis. These two systems have become models for studies on the evolution of host–parasite interactions. In the QTL panel used here, Daphnia's resistance to P. ramosa is controlled by a single major QTL (which explains 50% of the observed variation). Resistance to H. tvaerminnensis horizontal infections shows a signature of a quantitative trait based in multiple loci with weak epistatic interactions (together explaining 38% variation). Resistance to H. tvaerminnensis vertical infections, however, shows only one QTL (explaining 13.5% variance) that colocalizes with one of the QTLs for horizontal infections. QTLs for resistance to Pasteuria and Hamiltosporidium do not colocalize. We conclude that the genetics of resistance in D. magna are drastically different for these two parasites. Furthermore, we infer that based on these and earlier results, the mechanisms of coevolution differ strongly for the two host–parasite systems. Only the Pasteuria–Daphnia system is expected to follow the negative frequency-dependent selection (Red Queen) model. How coevolution works in the Hamiltosporidium–Daphnia system remains unclear. PMID:25335558

  1. Within-host competition and diversification of macro-parasites

    PubMed Central

    Guilhem, Rascalou; Šimková, Andrea; Morand, Serge; Gourbière, Sébastien

    2012-01-01

    Although competitive speciation is more and more regarded as a plausible mechanism for sympatric speciation of non-parasite species, virtually no empirical or theoretical study has considered this evolutionary process to explain intra-host diversification of parasites. We expanded the theory of competitive speciation to parasite species looking at the effect of macro-parasite life history on the conditions for sympatric speciation under the so-called pleiotropic scenario. We included within-host competition in the classical Anderson and May framework assuming that individuals exploit within-host resources according to a quantitative trait. We derived the invasion fitness function of mutants considering different distributions of individuals among hosts. Although the mutant fitness depends on parameters describing the key features of macro-parasite life history, and on the relative distributions of mutant and residents in hosts, the conditions for competitive speciation of macro-parasites are exactly the same as those previously established for free-living species. As an interesting by-product, within-host competitive speciation is expected not to depend on the aggregation level of the parasites. This theoretical pattern is confirmed by comparing the speciation rate of weakly and strongly aggregated monogenean parasites. PMID:22696483

  2. Stability of genetic polymorphism in host–parasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    Tellier, Aurélien; Brown, James K.M

    2006-01-01

    Allelic diversity is common at host loci involved in parasite recognition, such as the major histocompatibility complex in vertebrates or gene-for-gene relationships in plants, and in corresponding loci encoding antigenic molecules in parasites. Diverse factors have been proposed in models to account for genetic polymorphism in host–parasite recognition. Here, a simple but general theory of host–parasite coevolution is developed. Coevolution implies the existence of indirect frequency-dependent selection (FDS), because natural selection on the host depends on the frequency of a parasite gene, and vice versa. It is shown that polymorphism can be maintained in both organisms only if there is negative, direct FDS, such that the strength of natural selection for the host resistance allele, the parasite virulence allele or both declines with increasing frequency of that allele itself. This condition may be fulfilled if the parasite has more than one generation in the same host individual, a feature which is common to most diseases. It is argued that the general theory encompasses almost all factors previously proposed to account for polymorphism at corresponding host and parasite loci, including those controlling gene-for-gene interactions. PMID:17251091

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Interactions between hemiparasitic plants and their hosts

    PubMed Central

    Plavcová, Lenka; Cameron, Duncan D

    2010-01-01

    Hemiparasitic plants display a unique strategy of resource acquisition combining parasitism of other species and own photosynthetic activity. Despite the active photoassimilation and green habit, they acquire substantial amount of carbon from their hosts. The organic carbon transfer has a crucial influence on the nature of the interaction between hemiparasites and their hosts which can oscillate between parasitism and competition for light. In this minireview, we summarize methodical approaches and results of various studies dealing with carbon budget of hemiparasites and the ecological implications of carbon heterotrophy in hemiparasites. PMID:20729638

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. [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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Microsatellite analysis reveals strong but differential impact of a social parasite on its two host species.

    PubMed

    Fischer-Blass, Birgit; Heinze, Jürgen; Foitzik, Susanne

    2006-03-01

    The speed and the dynamics of the co-evolutionary process strongly depend on the relative strengths of reciprocal selection pressures exerted by the interacting species. Here, we investigate the influence of an obligate social parasite, the slave-making ant Harpagoxenus sublaevis, on populations of the two main host species Leptothorax acervorum and Leptothorax muscorum from a German ant community. A combination of genetic and demographic data allowed us to analyse the consequences of raiding pressure on the hosts' life history and possible host preferences of the parasite. We can demonstrate that slave raids during which the social parasite pillages brood from neighbouring host colonies are both frequent and extremely destructive for both host species. Microsatellite analysis showed that, on average, a single slave-maker colony conducts more than three raids per year and that host colonies mostly perish in the aftermath of these parasite attacks. Only in few cases, surviving nests of previously raided host colonies were found in the surroundings of slave-maker colonies. As a consequence of the high prevalence of parasites and their recurrent and devastating slave raids on host colonies, the life expectancy of host colonies was severely reduced. Combining our results on host-specific parasitic colony founding and raiding frequencies with the post-raid survival rate, we can demonstrate an overall higher mortality rate for the smaller host species L. muscorum. This might be caused by a preference of H. sublaevis for this secondary host species as demographic data on host species usage indicate. PMID:16499708

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Incomplete reproductive isolation following host shift in brood parasitic indigobirds

    PubMed Central

    Balakrishnan, Christopher N.; Sefc, Kristina M.; Sorenson, Michael D.

    2008-01-01

    Behavioural and molecular studies suggest that brood parasitic indigobirds (Vidua spp.) rapidly diversified through a process of speciation by host shift. However, behavioural imprinting on host song, the key mechanism promoting speciation in this system, may also lead to hybridization and gene flow among established indigobird species when and if female indigobirds parasitize hosts already associated with other indigobird species. It is therefore not clear to what extent the low level of genetic differentiation among indigobird species is due to recent common ancestry versus ongoing gene flow. We tested for reproductive isolation among three indigobird species in Cameroon, one of which comprises two morphologically indistinguishable host races. Mimicry of host songs corresponded with plumage colour in 184 male indigobirds, suggesting that females rarely parasitize the host of another indigobird species. Paternity analyses, however, suggest that imperfect specificity in host and/or mate choice allows for continuing gene flow between recently formed host races of the Cameroon Indigobird Vidua camerunensis; while 63 pairs of close relatives were associated with the same host, two strongly supported father–son pairs included males mimicking the songs of the two different hosts of V. camerunensis. Thus, complete reproductive isolation is not necessarily an automatic consequence of host shifts, a result that suggests an important role for natural and/or sexual selection in indigobird speciation. PMID:18812294

  4. Biogeography and host-related factors trump parasite life history: limited congruence among the genetic structures of specific ectoparasitic lice and their rodent hosts.

    PubMed

    du Toit, Nina; van Vuuren, Bettine J; Matthee, Sonja; Matthee, Conrad A

    2013-10-01

    Parasites and hosts interact across both micro- and macroevolutionary scales where congruence among their phylogeographic and phylogenetic structures may be observed. Within southern Africa, the four-striped mouse genus, Rhabdomys, is parasitized by the ectoparasitic sucking louse, Polyplax arvicanthis. Molecular data recently suggested the presence of two cryptic species within P. arvicanthis that are sympatrically distributed across the distributions of four putative Rhabdomys species. We tested the hypotheses of phylogeographic congruence and cophylogeny among the two parasite lineages and the four host taxa, utilizing mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data. Despite the documented host-specificity of P. arvicanthis, limited phylogeographic correspondence and nonsignificant cophylogeny was observed. Instead, the parasite-host evolutionary history is characterized by limited codivergence and several duplication, sorting and host-switching events. Despite the elevated mutational rates found for P. arvicanthis, the spatial genetic structure was not more pronounced in the parasite lineages compared with the hosts. These findings may be partly attributed to larger effective population sizes of the parasite lineages, the vagility and social behaviour of Rhabdomys, and the lack of host-specificity observed in areas of host sympatry. Further, the patterns of genetic divergence within parasite and host lineages may also be largely attributed to historical biogeographic changes (expansion-contraction cycles). It is thus evident that the association between P. arvicanthis and Rhabdomys has been shaped by the synergistic effects of parasite traits, host-related factors and biogeography over evolutionary time. PMID:24010927

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Comparative host-parasite relationships in ovine toxoplasmosis and bovine neosporosis and strategies for vaccination.

    PubMed

    Innes, Elisabeth A; Bartley, Paul M; Maley, Stephen W; Wright, Stephen E; Buxton, David

    2007-07-26

    Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum are important causes of reproductive loss in ruminant species worldwide. Both parasites cause disease during pregnancy that may result in foetal death or birth of live congenitally infected offspring. T. gondii is also an important human pathogen with the main risk groups including pregnant women and immuno-compromised individuals, although clinical disease has also been observed in outbreaks among immuno-competent people. While the two parasites are closely related there are distinct differences between the two in their interactions with different host species and subsequent clinical outcome. This paper discusses the respective host-parasite relationships in ovine toxoplasmosis and bovine neosporosis and how the immune response may be host-protective, parasite-protective or contribute to disease pathogenesis, and how this knowledge may help in the development of more effective and targeted vaccination strategies. PMID:17367899

  13. Parasitism and host-location preference in Habrobracon hebetor (Hymenoptera: Braconidae): role of refuge, choice, and host instar.

    PubMed

    Akinkurolere, R O; Boyer, Sebastien; Chen, Haoliang; Zhang, Hongyu

    2009-04-01

    Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is a cosmopolitan insect infesting a broad range of commodities, including raw or processed cereal. It has a high fecundity and short generation time, making it a useful tool in testing host-parasitoid hypotheses. The current study examined the interactions between trophic levels during parasitism and host location by Habrobracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) within a closed environment by carrying out multiple tests to evaluate the role of refuge and host instar, on the mortality of P. interpunctella and on the emergence of H. hebetor. Results showed that H. hebetor was able to parasitize all instars (first through fourth) of P. interpunctella, but significantly fewer early instars (first through fourth) were parasitized. Parasitized third and fourth instars were more profitable to H. hebetor, irrespective of refuge or choice factors, as significantly more adult parasitoids emerged from third and fourth instars. H. hebetor females consistently showed a preference for fourth instars of P. interpunctella when they were offered a choice between early and late host instars in arenas both with and without a refuge. Generally, parasitization of early instars was higher in no-choice than in choice tests. The behavior of H. hebetor in relation to host choice and its influence on the pest mortality are discussed. PMID:19455754

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Host life history and host–parasite syntopy predict behavioural resistance and tolerance of parasites

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Summary There is growing interest in the role that life-history traits of hosts, such as their ‘pace-of-life’, play in the evolution of resistance and tolerance to parasites.Theory suggests that, relative to host species that have high syntopy (local spatial and temporal overlap) with parasites, host species with low syntopy should have lower selection pressures for more constitutive (always present) and costly defences, such as tolerance, and greater reliance on more inducible and cheaper defences, such as behaviour. Consequently, we postulated that the degree of host–parasite syntopy, which is negatively correlated with host pace-of-life (an axis reflecting the developmental rate of tadpoles and the inverse of their size at metamorphosis) in our tadpole–parasitic cercarial (trematode) system, would be a negative and positive predictor of behavioural resistance and tolerance, respectively.To test these hypotheses, we exposed seven tadpole species to a range of parasite (cercarial) doses crossed with anaesthesia treatments that controlled for anti-parasite behaviour. We quantified host behaviour, successful and unsuccessful infections, and each species’ reaction norm for behavioural resistance and tolerance, defined as the slope between cercarial exposure (or attempted infections) and anti-cercarial behaviours and mass change, respectively. Hence, tolerance is capturing any cost of parasite exposure.As hypothesized, tadpole pace-of-life was a significant positive predictor of behavioural resistance and negative predictor of tolerance, a result that is consistent with a trade-off between behavioural resistance and tolerance across species that warrants further investigation. Moreover, these results were robust to considerations of phylogeny, all possible re-orderings of the three fastest or slowest paced species, and various measurements of tolerance.These results suggest that host pace-of-life and host–parasite syntopy are powerful drivers of both the strength and type of host defence strategies against parasites. Future research should evaluate how often and how strongly host pace-of-life and host–parasite syntopy are correlated and which is the better predictor of the strength and type of host investments in anti-parasite defences. PMID:25583069

  17. 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

  18. Stability analysis of within-host parasite models with delays.

    PubMed

    Iggidr, Abderrahman; Mbang, Joseph; Sallet, Gauthier

    2007-09-01

    We provide a global analysis of systems of within-host parasitic infections. The systems studied have parallel classes of different length of latently infected target cells. These systems can also be thought as systems arising from within-host parasitic systems with distributed continuous delays. We compute the basic reproduction ratio R0 for the systems under consideration. If R0< or =1 the parasite is cleared, if R0>1 and if a sufficient condition is satisfied we conclude to the global asymptotic stability (GAS) of the endemic equilibrium. For some generic class of models this condition reduces to R0>1. These results make possible to revisit some parasitic models including intracellular delays and to study their global stability. PMID:17383688

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. The evolution of parasites from their hosts: intra- and interspecific parasitism and Emery's rule.

    PubMed

    Lowe, Roger M; Ward, Seamus A; Crozier, Ross H

    2002-06-22

    In some taxa of Hymenoptera, fungi, red algae and mistletoe, parasites and their hosts are either sibling species or at least closely related (Emery's rule). Three evolutionary mechanisms have been proposed for this phenomenon: (i) intraspecific parasitism is followed by sympatric speciation; (ii) allopatric speciation is followed by secondary sympatry and the subsequent parasitism of one sibling species by the other; and (iii) allopatric speciation of a species with intraspecific parasitism is followed by secondary sympatry, in which one species becomes an obligate parasite of the other. Mechanisms (i) and (ii) are problematic, while mechanism (iii) has not, to our knowledge, been analysed quantitatively. In this paper, we develop a model for single- and two-species evolutionary stable strategies (ESSs) to examine the basis for Emery's rule and to determine whether mechanism (iii) is consistent with ESS reasoning. In secondary sympatry after allopatric speciation, the system's evolution depends on the relative abundances of the two sibling species and on the proportional damage wrought by parasites of each species on non-parasitic members of the other. Depending on these interspecific effects, either the rarer or the commoner species may become the parasite and the levels of within-species parasitism need not determine which evolves to obligate parasitism. PMID:12065048

  9. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Tsuneoka, Yousuke

    2014-07-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. Host recombination is dependent on the degree of parasitism.

    PubMed Central

    Camacho, J P M; Bakkali, M; Corral, J M; Cabrero, J; López-León, M D; Aranda, I; Martín-Alganza, A; Perfectti, F

    2002-01-01

    Parasites and hosts are involved in a continuous coevolutionary process leading to genetic changes in both counterparts. To understand this process, it is necessary to track host responses, one of which could be an increase in sex and recombination, such as is proposed by the Red Queen hypothesis. In this theoretical framework, the inducible recombination hypothesis states that B-chromosomes (genome parasites that prosper in natural populations of many living beings) elicit an increase in host chiasma frequency that is favoured by natural selection because it increases the proportion of recombinant progeny, some of which could be resistant to both B-chromosome effects and B-accumulation in the germline. We have found a clear parallelism between host recombination and the evolutionary status of the B-chromosome polymorphism, which provides explicit evidence for inducible recombination and strong support for the Red Queen hypothesis. PMID:12396493

  15. Host recombination is dependent on the degree of parasitism.

    PubMed

    Camacho, J P M; Bakkali, M; Corral, J M; Cabrero, J; López-León, M D; Aranda, I; Martín-Alganza, A; Perfectti, F

    2002-10-22

    Parasites and hosts are involved in a continuous coevolutionary process leading to genetic changes in both counterparts. To understand this process, it is necessary to track host responses, one of which could be an increase in sex and recombination, such as is proposed by the Red Queen hypothesis. In this theoretical framework, the inducible recombination hypothesis states that B-chromosomes (genome parasites that prosper in natural populations of many living beings) elicit an increase in host chiasma frequency that is favoured by natural selection because it increases the proportion of recombinant progeny, some of which could be resistant to both B-chromosome effects and B-accumulation in the germline. We have found a clear parallelism between host recombination and the evolutionary status of the B-chromosome polymorphism, which provides explicit evidence for inducible recombination and strong support for the Red Queen hypothesis. PMID:12396493

  16. Multiple host-switching of Haemosporidia parasites in bats

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    Background There have been reported cases of host-switching in avian and lizard species of Plasmodium (Apicomplexa, Haemosporidia), as well as in those infecting different primate species. However, no evidence has previously been found for host-swapping between wild birds and mammals. Methods This paper presents the results of the sampling of blood parasites of wild-captured bats from Madagascar and Cambodia. The presence of Haemosporidia infection in these animals is confirmed and cytochrome b gene sequences were used to construct a phylogenetic analysis. Results Results reveal at least three different and independent Haemosporidia evolutionary histories in three different bat lineages from Madagascar and Cambodia. Conclusion Phylogenetic analysis strongly suggests multiple host-switching of Haemosporidia parasites in bats with those from avian and primate hosts. PMID:18045505

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Inbreeding within human Schistosoma mansoni: do host-specific factors shape the genetic composition of parasite populations?

    PubMed Central

    Van den Broeck, F; Meurs, L; Raeymaekers, J A M; Boon, N; Dieye, T N; Volckaert, F A M; Polman, K; Huyse, T

    2014-01-01

    The size, structure and distribution of host populations are key determinants of the genetic composition of parasite populations. Despite the evolutionary and epidemiological merits, there has been little consideration of how host heterogeneities affect the evolutionary trajectories of parasite populations. We assessed the genetic composition of natural populations of the parasite Schistosoma mansoni in northern Senegal. A total of 1346 parasites were collected from 14 snail and 57 human hosts within three villages and individually genotyped using nine microsatellite markers. Human host demographic parameters (age, gender and village of residence) and co-infection with Schistosoma haematobium were documented, and S. mansoni infection intensities were quantified. F-statistics and clustering analyses revealed a random distribution (panmixia) of parasite genetic variation among villages and hosts, confirming the concept of human hosts as ‘genetic mixing bowls' for schistosomes. Host gender and village of residence did not show any association with parasite genetics. Host age, however, was significantly correlated with parasite inbreeding and heterozygosity, with children being more infected by related parasites than adults. The patterns may be explained by (1) genotype-dependent ‘concomitant immunity' that leads to selective recruitment of genetically unrelated worms with host age, and/or (2) the ‘genetic mixing bowl' hypothesis, where older hosts have been exposed to a wider variety of parasite strains than children. The present study suggests that host-specific factors may shape the genetic composition of schistosome populations, revealing important insights into host–parasite interactions within a natural system. PMID:24619176

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

    The "dilution effect" concept in disease ecology offers the intriguing possibility that clever manipulation of less competent hosts could reduce disease prevalence in populations of more competent hosts. The basic concept is straightforward: host species vary in suitability (competence) for parasites, and disease transmission decreases when there are more incompetent hosts interacting with vectors or removing free-living stages of a parasite. However, host species also often interact with each other in other ecological ways, e.g., as competitors for resources. The net result of these simultaneous, multiple interactions (disease dilution and resource competition) is challenging to predict. Nonetheless, we see the signature of both roles operating concurrently in a planktonic host-parasite system. We document pronounced spatiotemporal variation in the size of epidemics of a virulent fungus (Metschnikowia bicuspidata) in Midwestern U.S. lake populations of a dominant crustacean grazer (Daphnia dentifera). We show that some of this variation is captured by changes in structure of Daphnia assemblages. Lake-years with smaller epidemics were characterized by assemblages dominated by less suitable hosts ("diluters," D. pulicaria and D. retrocurva, whose suitabilties were determined in lab experiments and field surveys) at the start of epidemics. Furthermore, within a season, less suitable hosts increased as epidemics declined. These observations are consistent with a dilution effect. However, more detailed time series analysis (using multivariate autoregressive models) of three intensively sampled epidemics show the signature of a likely interaction between dilution and resource competition between these Daphnia species. The net outcome of this interaction likely promoted termination of these fungal outbreaks. Should this outcome always arise in "friendly competition" systems where diluting hosts compete with more competent hosts? The answers to this question lie at a frontier of disease ecology. PMID:19341148

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Frst, 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. The relationship between parasite fitness and host condition in an insect--virus system.

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Response to Strona & Fattorini: are generalist parasites being lost from their hosts?

    PubMed

    Farrell, Maxwell J; Stephens, Patrick R; Davies, T Jonathan

    2016-05-01

    We respond to criticism of our recent paper by examining assumptions about the structure of host-parasite networks, and discuss the implications of host extinction on our perception of parasite specificity. PMID:26751600

  19. 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)

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Effects of host age, host density and parent age on reproduction of the filth fly parasite Urolepis rufipes (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae).

    PubMed

    Matthews, J R; Petersen, J J

    1990-07-01

    Urolepis rufipes Ashmead, a pteromalid wasp, was recently discovered parasitizing house fly and stable fly pupae in eastern Nebraska dairies. Studies have been conducted on the biology of this parasite to evaluate its potential as a biological control agent of stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans (L.] and house flies (Musca domestica L.). House fly pupae were suitable as hosts for U.rufipes at all ages; however, significantly higher parasitism occurred on host pupae aged 96-120 h. Parasite-induced mortality (host mortality without progeny production) was higher than for other pteromalid parasites of filth flies under similar conditions. Parasitism increased with parasite--host ratio at 20 degrees C; however, the opposite was noted at 30 degrees C for parasite--host ratios ranging from 5:50 to 50:50. Fly eclosion decreased as parasite--host ratio increased at 20 degrees C, and no host eclosion occurred at the highest parasite--host ratios (20:50 and 50:50) at 30 degrees C. Females produced an average of 18.6 female and 7.6 male progeny. 88% of the progeny were produced during the first 6 days post parental eclosion. The short life span, low progeny emergence rate and high per cent host eclosion, in comparison with other parasite species, suggests that the Nebraska strain of U.rufipes may not an effective biological control agent of house flies. PMID:2132989

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Heterogeneous hosts: how variation in host size, behaviour and immunity affects parasite aggregation.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Pieter T J; Hoverman, Jason T

    2014-09-01

    Infection heterogeneity is one of the most fundamental patterns in disease ecology, yet surprisingly few studies have experimentally explored its underlying drivers. Here, we used large-scale field assessments to evaluate the degree of parasite aggregation within amphibian host populations followed by a novel experimental approach to assess the potential influence of host size, behaviour and immunity in reproducing such heterogeneity. Among 227 wetlands, 2468 hosts and seven parasite species, infections were consistently aggregated among host individuals within populations of the Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla). For each parasite species, the relationship between the log-mean and log-variance of infection load was strongly linear (R(2): 0·91-0·98) with a slope between 1·37 and 1·67, indicative of aggregation relative to the expected Poisson slope of unity. In laboratory trials with P. regilla and the most virulent trematode (Ribeiroia ondatrae), experimental reductions in either host immunity (through corticosterone exposure) or antiparasite behaviours (through anaesthesia exposure) increased parasite infection loads in isolated hosts by 62-102% relative to unmanipulated individuals. In a second experiment designed to test how variation in host immunity, behaviour and body size affected variation in infection load within small groups (dyads), a reduction in immune function or behaviour of one host significantly amplified infection heterogeneity within the group, effectively doubling the variance-to-mean ratio. However, immunity affected aggregation only in the absence of behavioural manipulation, and changing the size distribution of hosts did not appreciably affect aggregation. Using Taylor's Power Law to integrate field and laboratory data, we found that only treatments involving behavioural reductions achieved aggregation levels comparable to natural host populations. Thus, despite their short duration, our treatments generated heterogeneity in infection loads similar to natural observations. These results emphasize how, alongside extrinsic variation in parasite exposure risk, individual host attributes generally and behaviour in particular have the potential to influence infection success and parasite aggregation. Continued integration of infection heterogeneity research across space, among host species, and over time has important implications for understanding and managing human and wildlife diseases. PMID:24548254

  13. 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; Schnrogge, 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Yuko; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2015-06-01

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

  18. An experimental evaluation of host specificity: the role of encounter and compatibility filters for a rhizocephalan parasite of crabs.

    PubMed

    Kuris, Armand M; Goddard, Jeffrey H R; Torchin, Mark E; Murphy, Nicole; Gurney, Robert; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2007-04-01

    The encounter/compatibility paradigm of host specificity provides three qualitative pathways to the success or failure of a potential host-parasite interaction. It is usually impossible to distinguish between two of these (encounter and compatibility filters closed versus encounter filter open and compatibility filter closed) because unsuccessful infection attempts are difficult to observe in nature. We were able to open the encounter filter under experimental laboratory conditions. Our analytical system used the rhizocephalan barnacle, Sacculina carcini, a parasitic castrator of the European green crab, Carcinus maenas, and Pachygrapsus marmoratus, a native European crab that occurs with C. maenas but is not parasitized by S. carcini in nature. Penetration followed by unsuccessful infection of P. marmoratus crabs by parasitic barnacle larvae leaves a uniquely permanent record in the thoracic ganglion of the crabs. This provided us with a novel tool to quantify the encounter filter in a host-parasite system in nature. We demonstrated, in the laboratory, that the compatibility filter was closed and that, in nature, even where barnacle larvae were present, the encounter filter was also effectively closed. The closure of both filters in nature explains the failure of this potential host-parasite interaction, an outcome favored by selection in both host and parasite. PMID:17275825

  19. Perspectives on the Trypanosoma cruzi–host cell receptor interactions

    PubMed Central

    Villalta, Fernando; Scharfstein, Julio; Ashton, Anthony W.; Tyler, Kevin M.; Guan, Fangxia; Mukherjee, Shankar; Lima, Maria F.; Alvarez, Sandra; Weiss, Louis M.; Huang, Huan; Machado, Fabiana S.

    2009-01-01

    Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The critical initial event is the interaction of the trypomastigote form of the parasite with host receptors. This review highlights recent observations concerning these interactions. Some of the key receptors considered are those for thromboxane, bradykinin, and for the nerve growth factor TrKA. Other important receptors such as galectin-3, thrombospondin, and laminin are also discussed. Investigation into the molecular biology and cell biology of host receptors for T. cruzi may provide novel therapeutic targets. PMID:19283409

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Characterization of acid phosphatases from marine scuticociliate parasites and their activation by host's factors.

    PubMed

    Salinas, I; Maas, E W; Muñoz, P

    2011-06-01

    Scuticociliates are histophagous marine parasites that cause mortality in fish. Acid phosphatases (AcPs) are considered virulence factors and they are used by different parasites to dephosphorylate host molecules. The aim of this work was to characterize the AcPs from 3 scuticociliate species, Uronema marinum, Miamiensis avidus and Parauronema virginianum, which parasitize marine finfish species. We identified AcP activity (pH 5.2) with differential cellular distribution in the 3 parasite species. Native gel electrophoresis of ciliate lysates revealed the presence of 1 high molecular weight AcP activity band in M. avidus (tartrate-sensitive), several low molecular weight AcPs in U. marinum and 1 low molecular weight band only in P. virginianum (tartrate-resistant). Scuticociliate AcP was inhibited by specific inhibitors of tyrosine protein phosphatases. AcP decreased upon starvation but rapid reactivation occurred following exposure to skin mucus. Groper (Polyprion oxygeneios) peripheral blood leucocytes (PBLs) and, to a lesser extent, red blood cells, also increased AcP activity. Protein tyrosine phosphatase PTP1b was primarily detected in the plasma membrane of M. avidus and ingestion of groper PBLs upregulated its expression. M. avidus recovered from experimentally infected groper had greater levels of PTP1b expression than the injected suspension. The present results highlight the importance of PTPs in histophagous parasites and their interaction with fish host's factors. PMID:21554845

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

    PubMed

    Engelstdter, 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Using process algebra to develop predator-prey models of within-host parasite dynamics.

    PubMed

    McCaig, Chris; Fenton, Andy; Graham, Andrea; Shankland, Carron; Norman, Rachel

    2013-07-21

    As a first approximation of immune-mediated within-host parasite dynamics we can consider the immune response as a predator, with the parasite as its prey. In the ecological literature of predator-prey interactions there are a number of different functional responses used to describe how a predator reproduces in response to consuming prey. Until recently most of the models of the immune system that have taken a predator-prey approach have used simple mass action dynamics to capture the interaction between the immune response and the parasite. More recently Fenton and Perkins (2010) employed three of the most commonly used prey-dependent functional response terms from the ecological literature. In this paper we make use of a technique from computing science, process algebra, to develop mathematical models. The novelty of the process algebra approach is to allow stochastic models of the population (parasite and immune cells) to be developed from rules of individual cell behaviour. By using this approach in which individual cellular behaviour is captured we have derived a ratio-dependent response similar to that seen in the previous models of immune-mediated parasite dynamics, confirming that, whilst this type of term is controversial in ecological predator-prey models, it is appropriate for models of the immune system. PMID:23499712

  12. 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 parasites 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. [Ultrastructural study of host-parasite relations: early phases of Venturia inaequalis installation on susceptible and resistance apple leaves].

    PubMed

    Chevalier, M; Lespinasse, Y

    1994-03-01

    The penetration mechanism study of Venturia inaequalis is undertaken on leaves of scab-susceptible and scab-resistant apple cultivars. The penetration through the cuticle occurs whatever the host phenotype. The resistance will be expressed when the infectious hyphae is in contact with the epidermal cell wall. The epidermal cell of susceptible variety does not show any modification. The resistant variety reaction is very fast, since twenty hours after penetration many wall appositions are setting, the cytoplasm strongly degenerates and the parasite hyphae are already necrotic. The contact between the host and the parasite is always very complex in the case of resistant host. The rapidity and the important cytological modifications of the host parasite interaction connect this reaction to an hypersensitive reaction. PMID:8054694

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wyler, D J; Suzuki, K

    1983-01-01

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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Non-specific Patterns of Vector, Host, and Avian Malaria Parasite Associations in a Central African Rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Njabo, Kevin Y; Cornel, Anthony J.; Bonneaud, Camille; Toffelmier, Erin; Sehgal, R.N.M.; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Russell, Andrew F.; Smith, Thomas B.

    2010-01-01

    Malaria parasites use vertebrate hosts for asexual multiplication and Culicidae mosquitoes for sexual and asexual development, yet the literature on avian malaria remains biased towards examining the asexual stages of the life cycle in birds. To fully understand parasite evolution and mechanism of malaria transmission, knowledge of all three components of the vector-host-parasite system is essential. Little is known about avian parasite-vector associations in African rainforests where numerous species of birds are infected with avian haemosporidians of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus. Here we applied high resolution melt qPCR-based techniques and nested PCR to examine the occurrence and diversity of mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences of haemosporidian parasites in wild-caught mosquitoes sampled across 12 sites in Cameroon. In all, 3134 mosquitoes representing 27 species were screened. Mosquitoes belonging to four genera (Aedes, Coquillettidia, Culex, and Mansonia) were infected with twenty-two parasite lineages (18 Plasmodium spp. and 4 Haemoproteus spp.). Presence of Plasmodium sporozoites in salivary glands of Coquillettidia aurites further established these mosquitoes as likely vectors. Occurrence of parasite lineages differed significantly among genera, as well as their probability of being infected with malaria across species and sites. Approximately one-third of these lineages were previously detected in other avian host species from the region, indicating that vertebrate host sharing is a common feature and that avian Plasmodium spp. vector breadth does not always accompany vertebrate-host breadth. This study suggests extensive invertebrate host shifts in mosquito-parasite interactions and that avian Plasmodium species are most likely not tightly coevolved with vector species. PMID:21134011

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:15570412

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. 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

  11. Host plant-related parasitism and host feeding activities of Diglyphus isaea (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) on Liriomyza huidobrensis, Liriomyza sativae, and Liriomyza trifolii (Diptera: Agromyzidae).

    PubMed

    Musundire, Robert; Chabi-Olaye, Adenirin; Salifu, Daisy; Krüger, Kerstin

    2012-02-01

    Host plant species can affect the behavior and attributes of parasitoids, such as host searching, oviposition, and offspring fitness. In this study, parasitism, host feeding, and sex ratios of Diglyphus isaea (Walker) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) on Liriomyza huidobrensis (Blanchard), Liriomyza sativae Blanchard, and Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) (Diptera: Agromyzidae) larvae reared on Phaseolus vulgaris L., Pisum sativum L., Solanum lycopersicum L., and Vicia faba L. were determined. In no-choice tests, L. huidobrensis had the highest rate of parasitism when reared on P. vulgaris (46%), L. sativae when reared on V. faba (59%) and P. vulgaris (59%), and L. trifolii when reared on S. lycopersicum (68%). Host feeding in no-choice tests ranged between 2% and 36% and was highest on L. trifolii reared on V. faba. Results of choice tests showed a significant interaction effect for host plant and Liriomyza species on parasitism and host feeding. Within plant mixtures, L. sativae reared on P. vulgaris had the highest rate of parasitism (31%), followed by L. trifolii on S. lycopersicum (29%) and L. huidobrensis on V. faba (28%). Host feeding was highest on L. trifolii reared on S. lycopersicum (14%) and lowest on L. huidobrensis reared on P. sativum and S. lycopersicum (1%). In some instances, plant mixtures resulted in a higher proportion of females of D. isaea than single plant species. The highest proportion of females was obtained in plant mixtures on L. huidobrensis and L. trifolii on V. faba (71 and 72%, respectively). This study suggests that planting crop mixtures can potentially lead to higher proportions of females, thus improving parasitism and host feeding, depending on Liriomyza and host plant species. PMID:22420268

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-21

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Apoptotic-like Leishmania exploit the hosts autophagy machinery to reduce T-cell-mediated parasite elimination

    PubMed Central

    Crauwels, Peter; Bohn, Rebecca; Thomas, Meike; Gottwalt, Stefan; Jckel, Florian; Krmer, 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 showedin contrast to viable parasitesthat 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

  6. Differences in host species relationships and biogeographic influences produce contrasting patterns of prevalence, community composition and genetic structure in two genera of avian malaria parasites in southern Melanesia.

    PubMed

    Olsson-Pons, Sophie; Clark, Nicholas J; Ishtiaq, Farah; Clegg, Sonya M

    2015-07-01

    Host-parasite interactions have the potential to influence broadscale ecological and evolutionary processes, levels of endemism, divergence patterns and distributions in host populations. Understanding the mechanisms involved requires identification of the factors that shape parasite distribution and prevalence. A lack of comparative information on community-level host-parasite associations limits our understanding of the role of parasites in host population divergence processes. Avian malaria (haemosporidian) parasites in bird communities offer a tractable model system to examine the potential for pathogens to influence evolutionary processes in natural host populations. Using cytochrome b variation, we characterized phylogenetic diversity and prevalence of two genera of avian haemosporidian parasites, Plasmodium and Haemoproteus, and analysed biogeographic patterns of lineages across islands and avian hosts, in southern Melanesian bird communities to identify factors that explain patterns of infection. Plasmodium spp. displayed isolation-by-distance effects, a significant amount of genetic variation distributed among islands but insignificant amounts among host species and families, and strong local island effects with respect to prevalence. Haemoproteus spp. did not display isolation-by-distance patterns, showed marked structuring of genetic variation among avian host species and families, and significant host species prevalence patterns. These differences suggest that Plasmodium spp. infection patterns were shaped by geography and the abiotic environment, whereas Haemoproteus spp. infection patterns were shaped predominantly by host associations. Heterogeneity in the complement and prevalence of parasite lineages infecting local bird communities likely exposes host species to a mosaic of spatially divergent disease selection pressures across their naturally fragmented distributions in southern Melanesia. Host associations for Haemoproteus spp. indicate a capacity for the formation of locally co-adapted host-parasite relationships, a feature that may limit intraspecific gene flow or range expansions of closely related host species. PMID:25704868

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  9. Locally adapted social parasite affects density, social structure, and life history of its ant hosts.

    PubMed

    Foitzik, Susanne; Achenbach, Alexandra; Brandt, Miriam

    2009-05-01

    Selection and adaptation are important processes in the coevolution between parasites and their hosts. The slave-making ant Protomognathus americanus, an obligate ant social parasite, has previously been shown to evolve morphological, behavioral, and chemical adaptations in the coevolutionary arms race with its Temnothorax hosts. Yet empirical studies have given variable results on the strength of the selection pressure this parasite exerts on its host populations. In this study, we directly investigated the pressure exerted by P. americanus and the reactions of the main host species, T. longispinosus, in two ant communities by manipulating parasite density in the field over several years. In addition, a cross-fostering design with the exchange of parasites between host populations allowed us to investigate local adaptation of parasite or host. We demonstrate a severe impact of the social parasite on the two host populations in West Virginia and New York, but also variation in host reactions between sites, as expected by the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution. Host density decreased at the West Virginia site with the presence of local slave-makers, whereas at the ecologically favorable New York site, density was unaffected. Nevertheless, social organization, colony size, and investment patterns of these host colonies at this site changed in response to our parasite manipulation. The release of P. americanus colonies led to a reduction in the number of resident queens and workers, an increase in intranest relatedness, and lower productivity, but also a higher investment in reproductives. In West Virginia, colony demography did not change, but raiding activity by New York slave-makers caused different investment patterns of host colonies. In addition, the cross-fostering element revealed local adaptation of the parasite P. americanus: slave-making colonies fared better in their sympatric host population, as they contained more slave-making ant workers and slaves at the end of our 27-month experiment. PMID:19537541

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Egg rejection belongs to a widely used host tactic to prevent the costs incurred by avian brood parasitism. However, the genetic basis of this behaviour and the effect of host age on the probability of rejecting the parasitic egg remain largely unknown. Here, we used a set of 15 polymorphic microsatellite loci, including a previously detected candidate locus (Ase64), to link genotypes of female great reed warblers ( Acrocephalus arundinaceus), a known rejecter, with their egg rejection responses in two host populations. We also tested whether host female age, as a measure of the experience with own eggs, plays a role in rejection of common cuckoo ( Cuculus canorus) eggs. We failed to find any consistent association of egg rejection responses with host female genotypes or age. It seems that host decisions on egg rejection show high levels of phenotypic plasticity and are likely to depend on the spatiotemporal variation in the parasitism pressure. Future studies exploring the repeatability of host responses towards parasitic eggs and the role of host individual experience with parasitic eggs would greatly improve our understanding of the variations in host behaviours considering the persistence of brood parasitism in host populations with rejecter phenotypes.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sims, Kelly; Funderburk, Joe; Boucias, Drion

    2005-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Similar evolutionary potentials in an obligate ant parasite and its two host species

    PubMed Central

    Pennings, P S; Achenbach, A; Foitzik, S

    2011-01-01

    The spatial structure of host–parasite coevolution is shaped by population structure and genetic diversity of the interacting species. We analysed these population genetic parameters in three related ant species: the parasitic slavemaking ant Protomognathus americanus and its two host species Temnothorax longispinosus and T. curvispinosus. We sampled throughout their range, genotyped ants on six to eight microsatellite loci and an MtDNA sequence and found high levels of genetic variation and strong population structure in all three species. Interestingly, the most abundant species and primary host, T. longispinosus, is characterized by less structure, but lower local genetic diversity. Generally, differences between the species were small, and we conclude that they have similar evolutionary potentials. The coevolutionary interaction between this social parasite and its hosts may therefore be less influenced by divergent evolutionary potentials, but rather by varying selection pressures. We employed different methods to quantify and compare genetic diversity and structure between species and genetic markers. We found that Jost D is well suited for these comparisons, as long as mutation rates between markers and species are similar. If this is not the case, for example, when using MtDNA and microsatellites to study sex-specific dispersal, model-based inference should be used instead of descriptive statistics (such as D or GST). Using coalescent-based methods, we indeed found that males disperse much more than females, but this sex bias in dispersal differed between species. The findings of the different approaches with regard to genetic diversity and structure were in good accordance with each other. PMID:21324025

  16. Hostparasite coevolution beyond the nestling stage? Mimicry of host fledglings by the specialist screaming cowbird

    PubMed Central

    De Mrsico, Mara 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 hostparasite 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

  17. Insect/mammal associations: effects of Cuterebrid bot fly parasites on their hosts.

    PubMed

    Slansky, Frank

    2007-01-01

    The effect of parasites on their hosts has implications for basic and applied ecology (e.g., species' population dynamics and distributions, biological control, and threats to at-risk species) and coevolution. Cuterebrid bot flies comprise one of the most-studied groups of insect parasites of mammals. Interest in their impact dates from at least 1857, when Cuterebra emasculator was so named because of the erroneous belief that its larvae castrate their hosts. This review addresses the effects of cuterebrid larvae on host biochemistry, physiology, behavior, and ecology. Despite high prevalence (peak values commonly range from 30% to 70%), at average intensities (one to three larvae per host) these parasites generally have little effect on the fitness or population dynamics of their typical hosts. This outcome likely reflects parasite/host coevolution favoring parasites that minimize harmful effects on hosts required for their survival and hosts that best tolerate perennial parasites they cannot avoid. In contrast, aggravated effects occur at higher intensities and with atypical hosts. Additional field studies involving experimental manipulation of infestation and spanning more than a few seasons are required to confirm these conclusions. PMID:16972767

  18. 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...

  19. Plant science. Genomic-scale exchange of mRNA between a parasitic plant and its hosts.

    PubMed

    Kim, Gunjune; LeBlanc, Megan L; Wafula, Eric K; dePamphilis, Claude W; Westwood, James H

    2014-08-15

    Movement of RNAs between cells of a single plant is well documented, but cross-species RNA transfer is largely unexplored. Cuscuta pentagona (dodder) is a parasitic plant that forms symplastic connections with its hosts and takes up host messenger RNAs (mRNAs). We sequenced transcriptomes of Cuscuta growing on Arabidopsis and tomato hosts to characterize mRNA transfer between species and found that mRNAs move in high numbers and in a bidirectional manner. The mobile transcripts represented thousands of different genes, and nearly half the expressed transcriptome of Arabidopsis was identified in Cuscuta. These findings demonstrate that parasitic plants can exchange large proportions of their transcriptomes with hosts, providing potential mechanisms for RNA-based interactions between species and horizontal gene transfer. PMID:25124438

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

    PubMed

    Lagrue, Clment; Kaldonski, Nicolas; Perrot-Minnot, Marie J; Motreuil, Sbastien; Bollache, Loc

    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

  1. 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

  2. Host availability and the evolution of parasite life-history strategies.

    PubMed

    Crossan, Jenny; Paterson, Steve; Fenton, Andy

    2007-03-01

    Parasites exploit an inherently patchy resource, their hosts, which are discrete entities that may only be available for infection within a relatively short time window. However, there has been little consideration of how heterogeneities in host availability may affect the phenotypic or genotypic composition of parasite populations or how parasites may evolve to cope with them. Here we conduct a selection experiment involving an entomopathogenic nematode (Steinernema feltiae) and show for the first time that the infection rate of a parasite can evolve rapidly to maximize the chances of infecting within an environment characterized by the rate of host availability. Furthermore, we show that the parasite's infection rate trades off with other fitness traits, such as fecundity and survival. Crucially, the outcome of competition between strains with different infection strategies depends on the rate of host availability; frequently available hosts favor "fast" infecting nematodes, whereas infrequently available hosts favor "slow" infecting nematodes. A simple evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) analysis based on classic epidemiological models fails to capture this behavior, predicting instead that the fastest infecting phenotype should always dominate. However, a novel model incorporating more realistic, discrete bouts of host availability shows that strain coexistence is highly likely. Our results demonstrate that heterogeneities in host availability play a key role in the evolution of parasite life-history traits and in the maintenance of phenotypic variability. Parasite life-history strategies are likely to evolve rapidly in response to changes in host availability induced by disease management programs or by natural dynamics in host abundance. Incorporating parasite evolution in response to host availability would therefore enhance the predictive ability of current epidemiological models of infectious disease. PMID:17348930

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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; Pea-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

  6. Host NK cells are required for the growth of the human filarial parasite Brugia malayi in mice.

    PubMed

    Babu, S; Porte, P; Klei, T R; Shultz, L D; Rajan, T V

    1998-08-01

    Human lymphatic filariasis, which afflicts an estimated 120 million people worldwide, is caused by the large nematode parasites Wuchereria bancrofti and Brugia malayi. Filarial nematodes require both an arthropod vector and a mammalian host to complete their life cycle. Within the definitive (mammalian) host, the lymphatic filarial parasites reside in the lymph nodes and lymphatics, a seemingly hostile environment for infectious agents, since the location exposes them to the immune defenses of the host. We present data here that suggest that the growth of B. malayi in the mammalian host is dependent on host NK cell function. Comparisons of worm survival and development in different strains of mice with varying levels of NK cell activity reveal that NOD/LtSz-scid/scid and NOD/LtSz-scid/scid B2m(null) mice (with diminished to absent NK cell activity respectively), are nonpermissive to worm growth, while C.B-17-scid/scid mice with normal NK cell activity are highly permissive. Depletion of NK cells in the permissive C57BL/6J-scid/scid mice renders them nonpermissive to B. malayi growth, whereas stimulation of NK cells in NOD/LtSz-scid/scid mice makes them permissive. Tg epsilon26 mice, which lack NK and T cells, are nonpermissive, but, when reconstituted with NK cells by adoptive transfer of bone marrow cells from C57BL16J-scid/scid mice, are rendered permissive. This requirement for NK cell activity may explain the site specificity of these parasites. Furthermore, these data suggest that the interaction of the host immune system with the filarial parasite is double edged, with both host protective and parasite growth-promoting activities emanating from the former. PMID:9686607

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  13. [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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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....

  3. [Parasitic effect of Opius concolor (Spzl) (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) on an intermediate host Ceratitis capitata Wied (Diptera, Trypetidae)].

    PubMed

    Ben Hamouda, M H; Ben Salah, H

    1984-01-01

    The parasitic incidence of Opius concolor (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) on a replacement host, Ceratitis capitata (Diptera, Trypetidae) was studied using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoelectrophoresis methods. A noticeable modification of C. capitata proteins was observed when parasited by O. concolor. But the most important phenomenon is the finding of common antigens between the host and the parasite. These results are discussed with regard to trophic and parasitic behaviour of the parasite. PMID:6544052

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The potato rot nematode, Ditylenchus destructor, is a very destructive nematode pest on many agriculturally important crops worldwide, but the molecular characterization of its parasitism of plant has been limited. The effectors involved in nematode parasitism of plant for several sedentary endo-parasitic nematodes such as Heterodera glycines, Globodera rostochiensis and Meloidogyne incognita have been identified and extensively studied over the past two decades. Ditylenchus destructor, as a migratory plant parasitic nematode, has different feeding behavior, life cycle and host response. Comparing the transcriptome and parasitome among different types of plant-parasitic nematodes is the way to understand more fully the parasitic mechanism of plant nematodes. We undertook the approach of sequencing expressed sequence tags (ESTs) derived from a mixed stage cDNA library of D. destructor. This is the first study of D. destructor ESTs. A total of 9800 ESTs were grouped into 5008 clusters including 3606 singletons and 1402 multi-member contigs, representing a catalog of D. destructor genes. Implementing a bioinformatics' workflow, we found 1391 clusters have no match in the available gene database; 31 clusters only have similarities to genes identified from D. africanus, the most closely related species to D. destructor; 1991 clusters were annotated using Gene Ontology (GO); 1550 clusters were assigned enzyme commission (EC) numbers; and 1211 clusters were mapped to 181 KEGG biochemical pathways. 22 ESTs had similarities to reported nematode effectors. Interestedly, most of the effectors identified in this study are involved in host cell wall degradation or modification, such as 1,4-beta-glucanse, 1,3-beta-glucanse, pectate lyase, chitinases and expansin, or host defense suppression such as calreticulin, annexin and venom allergen-like protein. This result implies that the migratory plant-parasitic nematode D. destructor secrets similar effectors to those of sedentary plant nematodes. Finally we further characterized the two D. destructor expansin proteins. PMID:23922743

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Peverieri, Giuseppino Sabbatini; Furlan, Paola; Benassai, Daniele; Caradonna, Sarah; Strong, Ward B; Roversi, Pio Federico

    2013-04-01

    Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann (Heteroptera, Coreidae) is native to Western North America and is a serious pest for seed production of conifers. The pest was accidentally introduced into Europe in the 1990s. Since then, seed loss has been recorded in Pinus pinea (L.) forests, with a negative impact on the commercial production of pine nuts. Classical biological control of this pest in P. pinea stands is an attractive proposition. Previous work showed that the egg-parasitoid Gryon pennsylvanicum (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera, Platygastridae) had promising life history traits in laboratory studies using L. occidentalis eggs as host. In the present work, the effect of host egg age on parasitization rate was evaluated in the laboratory, using choice and no-choice tests. Host eggs ranged in age from < 24 h to within a day of hatching. Results showed that parasitization rate, juvenile survival rate, sex ratio, and longevity of female G. pennsylvanicum were not significantly affected by the age of the host eggs. However, egg-parasitoid development time was longer in older host eggs, and females were smaller than those that developed in younger host eggs. Parasitization behaviors (drumming, oviposition, and marking) were not affected by the age of the host. G. pennsylvanicum females tended to parasitize all available host eggs within a cluster before moving to a new cluster, without displaying a preferences for host egg age. The ability to exploit host eggs of any age class improves the prospect of successful classical biological control using this egg-parasitoid. PMID:23786048

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. From within-host interactions to epidemiological competition: a general model for multiple infections.

    PubMed

    Sofonea, Mircea T; Alizon, Samuel; Michalakis, Yannis

    2015-08-19

    Many hosts are infected by several parasite genotypes at a time. In these co-infected hosts, parasites can interact in various ways thus creating diverse within-host dynamics, making it difficult to predict the expression and the evolution of virulence. Moreover, multiple infections generate a combinatorial diversity of cotransmission routes at the host population level, which complicates the epidemiology and may lead to non-trivial outcomes. We introduce a new model for multiple infections, which allows any number of parasite genotypes to infect hosts and potentially coexist in the population. In our model, parasites affect one another's within-host growth through density-dependent interactions and by means of public goods and spite. These within-host interactions determine virulence, recovery and transmission rates, which are then integrated in a transmission network. We use analytical solutions and numerical simulations to investigate epidemiological feedbacks in host populations infected by several parasite genotypes. Finally, we discuss general perspectives on multiple infections. PMID:26150669

  14. Do Native Parasitic Plants Cause More Damage to Exotic Invasive Hosts Than Native Non-Invasive Hosts? An Implication for Biocontrol

    PubMed Central

    Li, Junmin; Jin, Zexin; Song, Wenjing

    2012-01-01

    Field studies have shown that native, parasitic plants grow vigorously on invasive plants and can cause more damage to invasive plants than native plants. However, no empirical test has been conducted and the mechanism is still unknown. We conducted a completely randomized greenhouse experiment using 3 congeneric pairs of exotic, invasive and native, non-invasive herbaceous plant species to quantify the damage caused by parasitic plants to hosts and its correlation with the hosts' growth rate and resource use efficiency. The biomass of the parasitic plants on exotic, invasive hosts was significantly higher than on congeneric native, non-invasive hosts. Parasites caused more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to congeneric, native, non-invasive hosts. The damage caused by parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the biomass of parasitic plants. The damage of parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the relative growth rate and the resource use efficiency of its host plants. It may be the mechanism by which parasitic plants grow more vigorously on invasive hosts and cause more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to native, non-invasive hosts. These results suggest a potential biological control effect of native, parasitic plants on invasive species by reducing the dominance of invasive species in the invaded community. PMID:22493703

  15. 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

  16. Body size and meta-community structure: the allometric scaling of parasitic worm communities in their mammalian hosts.

    PubMed

    DE Leo, Giulio A; Dobson, Andrew P; Gatto, Marino

    2016-06-01

    In this paper we derive from first principles the expected body sizes of the parasite communities that can coexist in a mammal of given body size. We use a mixture of mathematical models and known allometric relationships to examine whether host and parasite life histories constrain the diversity of parasite species that can coexist in the population of any host species. The model consists of one differential equation for each parasite species and a single density-dependent nonlinear equation for the affected host under the assumption of exploitation competition. We derive threshold conditions for the coexistence and competitive exclusion of parasite species using invasion criteria and stability analysis of the resulting equilibria. These results are then used to evaluate the range of parasites species that can invade and establish in a target host and identify the 'optimal' size of a parasite species for a host of a given body size; 'optimal' is defined as the body size of a parasite species that cannot be outcompeted by any other parasite species. The expected distributions of parasites body sizes in hosts of different sizes are then compared with those observed in empirical studies. Our analysis predicts the relative abundance of parasites of different size that establish in the host and suggests that increasing the ratio of parasite body size to host body size above a minimum threshold increases the persistence of the parasite population. PMID:27001526

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Phylogeographic Triangulation: Using Predator-Prey-Parasite Interactions to Infer Population History from Partial Genetic Information

    PubMed Central

    Barbosa, A. Mrcia; 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 parasites 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

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

    PubMed

    Silva-lvarez, Valeria; Folle, Ana Maite; Ramos, Ana La; Zamarreo, Fernando; Costabel, Marcelo D; Garca-Zepeda, Eduardo; Salinas, Gustavo; Crsico, Betina; Ferreira, Ana Mara

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Siddique, Shahid; Radakovic, Zoran S.; De La Torre, Carola M.; Chronis, Demosthenis; Novák, Ondřej; Ramireddy, Eswarayya; Holbein, Julia; Matera, Christiane; Hütten, Marion; Gutbrod, Philipp; Anjam, Muhammad Shahzad; Rozanska, Elzbieta; Habash, Samer; Elashry, Abdelnaser; Sobczak, Miroslaw; Kakimoto, Tatsuo; Strnad, Miroslav; Schmülling, Thomas; Mitchum, Melissa G.; Grundler, Florian M. W.

    2015-01-01

    Sedentary plant-parasitic cyst nematodes are biotrophs that cause significant losses in agriculture. Parasitism is based on modifications of host root cells that lead to the formation of a hypermetabolic feeding site (a syncytium) from which nematodes withdraw nutrients. The host cell cycle is activated in an initial cell selected by the nematode for feeding, followed by activation of neighboring cells and subsequent expansion of feeding site through fusion of hundreds of cells. It is generally assumed that nematodes manipulate production and signaling of the plant hormone cytokinin to activate cell division. In fact, nematodes have been shown to produce cytokinin in vitro; however, whether the hormone is secreted into host plants and plays a role in parasitism remained unknown. Here, we analyzed the spatiotemporal activation of cytokinin signaling during interaction between the cyst nematode, Heterodera schachtii, and Arabidopsis using cytokinin-responsive promoter:reporter lines. Our results showed that cytokinin signaling is activated not only in the syncytium but also in neighboring cells to be incorporated into syncytium. An analysis of nematode infection on mutants that are deficient in cytokinin or cytokinin signaling revealed a significant decrease in susceptibility of these plants to nematodes. Further, we identified a cytokinin-synthesizing isopentenyltransferase gene in H. schachtii and show that silencing of this gene in nematodes leads to a significant decrease in virulence due to a reduced expansion of feeding sites. Our findings demonstrate the ability of a plant-parasitic nematode to synthesize a functional plant hormone to manipulate the host system and establish a long-term parasitic interaction. PMID:26417108

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The patterns of organisation and structure of interactions in a fish-parasite network of a neotropical river.

    PubMed

    Bellay, Sybelle; Oliveira, Edson F de; Almeida-Neto, Mário; Abdallah, Vanessa D; Azevedo, Rodney K de; Takemoto, Ricardo M; Luque, José L

    2015-07-01

    The use of the complex network approach to study host-parasite interactions has helped to improve the understanding of the structure and dynamics of ecological communities. In this study, this network approach is applied to evaluate the patterns of organisation and structure of interactions in a fish-parasite network of a neotropical Atlantic Forest river. The network includes 20 fish species and 73 metazoan parasite species collected from the Guandu River, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. According to the usual measures in studies of networks, the organisation of the network was evaluated using measures of host susceptibility, parasite dependence, interaction asymmetry, species strength and complementary specialisation of each species as well as the network. The network structure was evaluated using connectance, nestedness and modularity measures. Host susceptibility typically presented low values, whereas parasite dependence was high. The asymmetry and species strength were correlated with host taxonomy but not with parasite taxonomy. Differences among parasite taxonomic groups in the complementary specialisation of each species on hosts were also observed. However, the complementary specialisation and species strength values were not correlated. The network had a high complementary specialisation, low connectance and nestedness, and high modularity, thus indicating variability in the roles of species in the network organisation and the expected presence of many specialist species. PMID:25900213

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  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 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

  16. 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

  17. Evolution of parasitic life in the ocean: paratenic hosts enhance lateral incorporation.

    PubMed

    Marcogliese, David J

    2007-11-01

    Cumulative evolution has been proposed to explain the high diversity of marine fish parasites. The process is based on the idea that marine parasites, being generalists, are able to follow new food web pathways and colonize novel hosts, subsequently undergoing speciation. Opportunities to colonize new hosts via different food chains might also arise from the ability to use paratenic hosts that maintain or increase transmission. However, caution is advised in the adoption of the term 'cumulative evolution' in evolutionary biology because of historical precedent. This term has previously been applied to the cultural evolution of tool design. PMID:17950668

  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. Fish population studies using parasites from the Southeastern Pacific Ocean: considering host population changes and species body size as sources of variability of parasite communities.

    PubMed

    George-Nascimento, Mario; Oliva, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    Research using parasites in fish population studies in the South Eastern Pacific (SEP) is summarized. There are 27 such studies (snapshots mainly) in single host species sampled at different geographic localities and at somewhat similar times. They have been devoted mainly to economically important species, though others on coastal and intertidal fish or on less- or non-commercial species provide insights on scales of temporal and spatial variation of parasite infracommunities. Later, we assess whether the probability of harbouring parasites depends on the host species body size. Our results indicate that a stronger tool for fish population studies may be developed under regular (long term) scrutiny of parasite communities, especially of small fish host species, due to their larger variability in richness, abundance and total biomass, than in large fish species. Finally, it might also be necessary to consider the effects of fishing on parasite communities as well as the natural oscillations (coupled or not) of host and parasite populations. PMID:25126775

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Metazoan-protozoan parasite co-infections and host body weight in St Kilda Soay sheep.

    PubMed

    Craig, B H; Tempest, L J; Pilkington, J G; Pemberton, J M

    2008-04-01

    For hundreds of years, the unmanaged Soay sheep population on St Kilda has survived despite enduring presumably deleterious co-infections of helminth, protozoan and arthropod parasites and intermittent periods of starvation. Important parasite taxa in young Soay sheep are strongyles (Trichostrongylus axei, Trichostrongylus vitrinus and Teladorsagia circumcincta), coccidia (11 Eimeria species) and keds (Melophagus ovinus) and in older animals, Teladorsagia circumcincta. In this research, associations between the intensity of different parasite taxa were investigated. Secondly, the intensities of different parasite taxa were tested for associations with variation in host weight, which is itself a determinant of over-winter survival in the host population. In lambs, the intensity of strongyle eggs was positively correlated with that of Nematodirus spp. eggs, while in yearlings and adults strongyle eggs and coccidia oocysts were positively correlated. In lambs and yearlings, of the parasite taxa tested, only strongyle eggs were significantly and negatively associated with host weight. However, in adult hosts, strongyles and coccidia were independently and negatively associated with host weight. These results are consistent with the idea that strongyles and coccidia are exerting independent selection on Soay sheep. PMID:18215336

  5. 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

  6. A slowly evolving host moves first in symbiotic interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damore, James; Gore, Jeff

    2011-03-01

    Symbiotic relationships, both parasitic and mutualistic, are ubiquitous in nature. Understanding how these symbioses evolve, from bacteria and their phages to humans and our gut microflora, is crucial in understanding how life operates. Often, symbioses consist of a slowly evolving host species with each host only interacting with its own sub-population of symbionts. The Red Queen hypothesis describes coevolutionary relationships as constant arms races with each species rushing to evolve an advantage over the other, suggesting that faster evolution is favored. Here, we use a simple game theoretic model of host- symbiont coevolution that includes population structure to show that if the symbionts evolve much faster than the host, the equilibrium distribution is the same as it would be if it were a sequential game where the host moves first against its symbionts. For the slowly evolving host, this will prove to be advantageous in mutualisms and a handicap in antagonisms. The model allows for symbiont adaptation to its host, a result that is robust to changes in the parameters and generalizes to continuous and multiplayer games. Our findings provide insight into a wide range of symbiotic phenomena and help to unify the field of coevolutionary theory.

  7. 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 Mrcia; 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. 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

  10. Hijacking of Host Cellular Functions by an Intracellular Parasite, the Microsporidian Anncaliia algerae

    PubMed Central

    Panek, Johan; El Alaoui, Hicham; Mone, Anne; Urbach, Serge; Demettre, Edith; Texier, Catherine; Brun, Christine; Zanzoni, Andreas; Peyretaillade, Eric; Parisot, Nicolas; Lerat, Emmanuelle; Peyret, Pierre; Delbac, Frederic; Biron, David G.

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular pathogens including bacteria, viruses and protozoa hijack host cell functions to access nutrients and to bypass cellular defenses and immune responses. These strategies have been acquired through selective pressure and allowed pathogens to reach an appropriate cellular niche for their survival and growth. To get new insights on how parasites hijack host cellular functions, we developed a SILAC (Stable Isotope Labeling by Amino Acids in Cell culture) quantitative proteomics workflow. Our study focused on deciphering the cross-talk in a host-parasite association, involving human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF) and the microsporidia Anncaliia algerae, a fungus related parasite with an obligate intracellular lifestyle and a strong host dependency. The host-parasite cross-talk was analyzed at five post-infection times 1, 6, 12 and 24 hours post-infection (hpi) and 8 days post-infection (dpi). A significant up-regulation of four interferon-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats IFIT1, IFIT2, IFIT3 and MX1 was observed at 8 dpi suggesting a type 1 interferon (IFN) host response. Quantitative alteration of host proteins involved in biological functions such as signaling (STAT1, Ras) and reduction of the translation activity (EIF3) confirmed a host type 1 IFN response. Interestingly, the SILAC approach also allowed the detection of 148 A. algerae proteins during the kinetics of infection. Among these proteins many are involved in parasite proliferation, and an over-representation of putative secreted effectors proteins was observed. Finally our survey also suggests that A. algerae could use a transposable element as a lure strategy to escape the host innate immune system. PMID:24967735

  11. Hijacking of host cellular functions by an intracellular parasite, the microsporidian Anncaliia algerae.

    PubMed

    Panek, Johan; El Alaoui, Hicham; Mone, Anne; Urbach, Serge; Demettre, Edith; Texier, Catherine; Brun, Christine; Zanzoni, Andreas; Peyretaillade, Eric; Parisot, Nicolas; Lerat, Emmanuelle; Peyret, Pierre; Delbac, Frederic; Biron, David G

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular pathogens including bacteria, viruses and protozoa hijack host cell functions to access nutrients and to bypass cellular defenses and immune responses. These strategies have been acquired through selective pressure and allowed pathogens to reach an appropriate cellular niche for their survival and growth. To get new insights on how parasites hijack host cellular functions, we developed a SILAC (Stable Isotope Labeling by Amino Acids in Cell culture) quantitative proteomics workflow. Our study focused on deciphering the cross-talk in a host-parasite association, involving human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF) and the microsporidia Anncaliia algerae, a fungus related parasite with an obligate intracellular lifestyle and a strong host dependency. The host-parasite cross-talk was analyzed at five post-infection times 1, 6, 12 and 24 hours post-infection (hpi) and 8 days post-infection (dpi). A significant up-regulation of four interferon-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats IFIT1, IFIT2, IFIT3 and MX1 was observed at 8 dpi suggesting a type 1 interferon (IFN) host response. Quantitative alteration of host proteins involved in biological functions such as signaling (STAT1, Ras) and reduction of the translation activity (EIF3) confirmed a host type 1 IFN response. Interestingly, the SILAC approach also allowed the detection of 148 A. algerae proteins during the kinetics of infection. Among these proteins many are involved in parasite proliferation, and an over-representation of putative secreted effectors proteins was observed. Finally our survey also suggests that A. algerae could use a transposable element as a lure strategy to escape the host innate immune system. PMID:24967735

  12. LotkaVolterra 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. 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

  15. The role of models in translating within-host dynamics to parasite evolution.

    PubMed

    Greischar, Megan A; Reece, Sarah E; Mideo, Nicole

    2016-06-01

    Mathematical modelling provides an effective way to challenge conventional wisdom about parasite evolution and investigate why parasites 'do what they do' within the host. Models can reveal when intuition cannot explain observed patterns, when more complicated biology must be considered, and when experimental and statistical methods are likely to mislead. We describe how models of within-host infection dynamics can refine experimental design, and focus on the case study of malaria to highlight how integration between models and data can guide understanding of parasite fitness in three areas: (1) the adaptive significance of chronic infections; (2) the potential for tradeoffs between virulence and transmission; and (3) the implications of within-vector dynamics. We emphasize that models are often useful when they highlight unexpected patterns in parasite evolution, revealing instead why intuition yields the wrong answer and what combination of theory and data are needed to advance understanding. PMID:26399436

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Stem cell progeny contribute to the schistosome host-parasite interface

    PubMed Central

    Collins, James J; Wendt, George R; Iyer, Harini; Newmark, Phillip A

    2016-01-01

    Schistosomes infect more than 200 million of the world's poorest people. These parasites live in the vasculature, producing eggs that spur a variety of chronic, potentially life-threatening, pathologies exacerbated by the long lifespan of schistosomes, that can thrive in the host for decades. How schistosomes maintain their longevity in this immunologically hostile environment is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that somatic stem cells in Schistosoma mansoni are biased towards generating a population of cells expressing factors associated exclusively with the schistosome host-parasite interface, a structure called the tegument. We show cells expressing these tegumental factors are short-lived and rapidly turned over. We suggest that stem cell-driven renewal of this tegumental lineage represents an important strategy for parasite survival in the context of the host vasculature. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12473.001 PMID:27003592

  19. Attack on all fronts: functional relationships between aerial and root parasitic plants and their woody hosts and consequences for ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bell, T L; Adams, M A

    2011-01-01

    This review discusses how understanding of functional relationships between parasitic plants and their woody hosts have benefited from a range of approaches to their study. Gross comparisons of nutrient content between infected and uninfected hosts, or parts of hosts, have been widely used to infer basic differences or similarities between hosts and parasites. Coupling of nutrient information with additional evidence of key processes such as transpiration, respiration and photosynthesis has helped elucidate host-parasite relationships and, in some cases, the anatomical nature of their connection and even the physiology of plants in general. For example, detailed analysis of xylem sap from hosts and parasites has increased our understanding of the spatial and temporal movement of solutes within plants. Tracer experiments using natural abundance or enriched application of stable isotopes ((15)N, (13)C, (18)O) have helped us to understand the extent and form of heterotrophy, including the effect of the parasite on growth and functioning of the host (and its converse) as well as environmental effects on the parasite. Nutritional studies of woody hosts and parasites have provided clues to the distribution of parasitic plants and their roles in ecosystems. This review also provides assessment of several corollaries to the host-parasite association. PMID:21388997

  20. 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 case of Greenland cod cestode parasites, no significant (15)N enrichment relative to host dietary signature was observed. Cestode parasites appear generally to experience smaller (15)N enrichment than hosts as a result of trophic transfer of common dietary sources. Differential (15)N enrichment patterns in parasites and fish may be attributed to differences in parasite and host metabolism, particularly the anaerobic and aerobic natures of their respective metabolisms. Results imply that isotope enrichment paradigms developed for the study of aquatic foodwebs cannot be routinely applied to quantitatively assess the role of parasites in aquatic foodwebs and that reference to host muscle tissue measures will not allow accurate characterization of parasite foodweb position. Appropriate reference to assimilated food sources is required to accurately estimate parasite isotopic enrichment patterns and to determine parasite trophic position relative to the host. PMID:15621744

  1. Malaria infected erythrocyte-derived microvesicles mediate cellular communication within the parasite population and with the host immune system

    PubMed Central

    Mantel, Pierre-Yves; Hoang, Anh N.; Goldowitz, Ilana; Potashnikova, Daria; Hamza, Bashar; Vorobjev, Ivan; Ghiran, Ionita; Toner, Mehmet; Irimia, Daniel; Ivanov, Alexander R.; Barteneva, Natasha; Marti, Matthias

    2013-01-01

    Summary Humans and mice infected with different Plasmodium strains are known to produce microvesicles derived from the infected red blood cells (RBC), denoted RMVs. Studies in mice have shown that RMVs are elevated during infection and have pro-inflammatory activity. Here we present a detailed characterization of RMV composition and function in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Proteomics profiling revealed the enrichment of multiple host and parasite proteins, in particular of parasite antigens associated with host cell membranes and proteins involved in parasite invasion into RBCs. RMVs are quantitatively released during the asexual parasite cycle prior to parasite egress. RMVs demonstrate potent immunomodulatory properties on human primary macrophages and neutrophils. Additionally, RMVs are internalized by infected red blood cells and stimulate production of transmission stage parasites in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, RMVs mediate cellular communication within the parasite population and with the host innate immune system. PMID:23684304

  2. Cellular and immunological basis of the host-parasite relationship during infection with Neospora caninum.

    PubMed

    Hemphill, A; Vonlaufen, N; Naguleswaran, A

    2006-09-01

    Neospora caninum is an apicomplexan parasite that is closely related to Toxoplasma gondii, the causative agent of toxoplasmosis in humans and domestic animals. However, in contrast to T. gondii, N. caninum represents a major cause of abortion in cattle, pointing towards distinct differences in the biology of these two species. There are 3 distinct key features that represent potential targets for prevention of infection or intervention against disease caused by N. caninum. Firstly, tachyzoites are capable of infecting a large variety of host cells in vitro and in vivo. Secondly, the parasite exploits its ability to respond to alterations in living conditions by converting into another stage (tachyzoite-to-bradyzoite or vice versa). Thirdly, by analogy with T. gondii, this parasite has evolved mechanisms that modulate its host cells according to its own requirements, and these must, especially in the case of the bradyzoite stage, involve mechanisms that ensure long-term survival of not only the parasite but also of the host cell. In order to elucidate the molecular and cellular bases of these important features of N. caninum, cell culture-based approaches and laboratory animal models are being exploited. In this review, we will summarize the current achievements related to host cell and parasite cell biology, and will discuss potential applications for prevention of infection and/or disease by reviewing corresponding work performed in murine laboratory infection models and in cattle. PMID:16753081

  3. Evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult brood parasitic bird, and generalized defences in its host

    PubMed Central

    Feeney, W. E.; Troscianko, J.; Langmore, N. E.; Spottiswoode, C. N.

    2015-01-01

    Mimicry of a harmless model (aggressive mimicry) is used by egg, chick and fledgling brood parasites that resemble the host's own eggs, chicks and fledglings. However, aggressive mimicry may also evolve in adult brood parasites, to avoid attack from hosts and/or manipulate their perception of parasitism risk. We tested the hypothesis that female cuckoo finches (Anomalospiza imberbis) are aggressive mimics of female Euplectes weavers, such as the harmless, abundant and sympatric southern red bishop (Euplectes orix). We show that female cuckoo finch plumage colour and pattern more closely resembled those of Euplectes weavers (putative models) than Vidua finches (closest relatives); that their tawny-flanked prinia (Prinia subflava) hosts were equally aggressive towards female cuckoo finches and southern red bishops, and more aggressive to both than to their male counterparts; and that prinias were equally likely to reject an egg after seeing a female cuckoo finch or bishop, and more likely to do so than after seeing a male bishop near their nest. This is, to our knowledge, the first quantitative evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult bird, and suggests that host–parasite coevolution can select for aggressive mimicry by avian brood parasites, and counter-defences by hosts, at all stages of the reproductive cycle. PMID:26063850

  4. Interactions Between Trypanosoma cruzi the Chagas Disease Parasite and Naturally Infected Wild Mepraia Vectors of Chile.

    PubMed

    Campos-Soto, Ricardo; Ortiz, Sylvia; Cordova, Ivan; Bruneau, Nicole; Botto-Mahan, Carezza; Solari, Aldo

    2016-03-01

    Chagas disease, which ranks among the world's most neglected diseases, is a chronic, systemic, parasitic infection caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. Mepraia species are the wild vectors of this parasite in Chile. Host-parasite interactions can occur at several levels, such as co-speciation and ecological host fitting, among others. Thus, we are exploring the interactions between T. cruzi circulating in naturally infected Mepraia species in all areas endemic of Chile. We evaluated T. cruzi infection rates of 27 different haplotypes of the wild Mepraia species and identified their parasite genotypes using minicircle PCR amplification and hybridization tests with genotype-specific DNA probes. Infection rates were lower in northern Chile where Mepraia gajardoi circulates (10-35%); in central Chile, Mepraia spinolai is most abundant, and infection rates varied in space and time (0-55%). T. cruzi discrete typing units (DTUs) TcI, TcII, TcV, and Tc VI were detected. Mixed infections with two or more DTUs are frequently found in highly infected insects. T. cruzi DTUs have distinct, but not exclusive, ecological and epidemiological associations with their hosts. T. cruzi infection rates of M. spinolai were higher than in M. gajardoi, but the presence of mixed infection with more than one T. cruzi DTU was the same. The same T. cruzi DTUs (TcI, TcII, TcV, and TcVI) were found circulating in both vector species, even though TcI was not equally distributed. These results suggest that T. cruzi DTUs are not associated with any of the two genetically related vector species nor with the geographic area. The T. cruzi vectors interactions are discussed in terms of old and recent events. By exploring T. cruzi DTUs present in Mepraia haplotypes and species from northern to central Chile, we open the analysis on these invertebrate host-parasite interactions. PMID:26771702

  5. Parasitic manipulation of hosts' phenotype, or how to make a zombie--an introduction to the symposium.

    PubMed

    Weinersmith, Kelly; Faulkes, Zen

    2014-07-01

    Nearly all animals in nature are infected by at least one parasite, and many of those parasites can significantly change the phenotype of their hosts, often in ways that increase the parasite's likelihood of transmission. Hosts' phenotypic changes are multidimensional, and manipulated traits include behavior, neurotransmission, coloration, morphology, and hormone levels. The field of parasitic manipulation of hosts' phenotype has now accrued many examples of systems where parasites manipulate the phenotypes of their hosts and focus has shifted to answering three main questions. First, through what mechanisms do parasites manipulate the hosts' phenotype? Parasites often induce changes in the hosts' phenotypes that neuroscientists are unable to recreate under laboratory conditions, suggesting that parasites may have much to teach us about links between the brain, immune system, and the expression of phenotype. Second, what are the ecological implications of phenotypic manipulation? Manipulated hosts are often abundant, and changes in their phenotype may have important population, community, and ecosystem-level implications. Finally, how did parasitic manipulation of hosts' phenotype evolve? The selective pressures faced by parasites are extremely complex, often with multiple hosts that are actively resisting infection, both in physiological and evolutionary time-scales. Here, we provide an overview of how the work presented in this special issue contributes to tackling these three main questions. Studies on parasites' manipulation of their hosts' phenotype are undertaken largely by parasitologists, and a major goal of this symposium is to recruit researchers from other fields to the study of these phenomena. Our ability to answer the three questions outlined above would be greatly enhanced by participation from individuals trained in the fields of, for example, neurobiology, physiology, immunology, ecology, evolutionary biology, and invertebrate biology. Conversely, because parasites that alter their hosts' phenotype are widespread, these fields will benefit from such study. PMID:24771088

  6. Evolutionary concepts in predicting and evaluating the impact of mass chemotherapy schistosomiasis control programmes on parasites and their hosts

    PubMed Central

    Webster, Joanne P; Gower, Charlotte M; Norton, Alice J

    2008-01-01

    Summary Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease of significant medical and veterinary importance in many regions of the world. Recent shifts in global health policy have led towards the implementation of mass chemotherapeutic control programmes at the national scale in previously ‘neglected’ countries such as those within sub-Saharan Africa. Evolutionary theory has an important role to play in the design, application and interpretation of such programmes. Whilst celebrating the rapid success achieved to date by such programmes, in terms of reduced infection prevalence, intensity and associated human morbidity, evolutionary change in response to drug selection pressure may be predicted under certain circumstances, particularly in terms of the development of potential drug resistance, evolutionary changes in parasite virulence, transmission and host use, and/or competitive interactions with co-infecting pathogens. Theoretical and empirical data gained to date serve to highlight the importance of careful monitoring and evaluation of parasites and their hosts whenever and wherever chemotherapy is applied and where parasite transmission remains. PMID:25567492

  7. In-silico analysis of caspase-3 and -7 proteases from blood-parasitic Schistosoma species (Trematoda) and their human host.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Shakti; Biswal, Devendra Kumar; Tandon, Veena

    2013-01-01

    Proteolytic enzymes of the caspase family, which reside as latent precursors in most nucleated metazoan cells, are core effectors of apoptosis. Of them, the executioner caspases- 3 and -7 exist within the cytosol as inactive dimers and are activated by a process called dimerization. Caspase inhibition is looked upon as a promising approach for treating multiple diseases. Though caspases have been extensively studied in the human system, their role in eukaryotic pathogens and parasites of human hosts has not drawn enough attention. In protein sequence analysis, caspases of blood flukes (Schistosoma spp) were revealed to have a low sequence identity with their counterparts in human and other mammalian hosts, which encouraged us to analyse interacting domains that participate in dimerization of caspases in the parasite and to reveal differences, if any, between the host-parasite systems. Significant differences in the molecular surface arrangement of the dimer interfaces reveal that in schistosomal caspases only eight out of forty dimer conformations are similar to human caspase structures. Thus, the parasite-specific dimer conformations (that are different from caspases of the host) may emerge as potential drug targets of therapeutic value against schistosomal infections. Three important factors namely, the size of amino acids, secondary structures and geometrical arrangement of interacting domains influence the pattern of caspase dimer formation, which, in turn, is manifested in varied structural conformations of caspases in the parasite and its human hosts. PMID:23847399

  8. Parasites as biological tags to assess host population structure: Guidelines, recent genetic advances and comments on a holistic approach☆

    PubMed Central

    Catalano, Sarah R.; Whittington, Ian D.; Donnellan, Stephen C.; Gillanders, Bronwyn M.

    2013-01-01

    We review the use of parasites as biological tags of marine fishes and cephalopods in host population structure studies. The majority of the work published has focused on marine fish and either single parasite species or more recently, whole parasite assemblages, as biological tags. There is representation of host organisms and parasites from a diverse range of taxonomic groups, although focus has primarily been on host species of commercial importance. In contrast, few studies have used parasites as tags to assess cephalopod population structure, even though records of parasites infecting cephalopods are well-documented. Squid species are the only cephalopod hosts for which parasites as biological tags have been applied, with anisakid nematode larvae and metacestodes being the parasite taxa most frequently used. Following a brief insight into the importance of accurate parasite identification, the population studies that have used parasites as biological tags for marine fishes and cephalopods are reviewed, including comments on the dicyemid mesozoans. The advancement of molecular genetic techniques is discussed in regards to the new ways parasite genetic data can be incorporated into population structure studies, alongside host population genetic analyses, followed by an update on the guidelines for selecting a parasite species as a reliable tag candidate. As multiple techniques and methods can be used to assess the population structure of marine organisms (e.g. artificial tags, phenotypic characters, biometrics, life history, genetics, otolith microchemistry and parasitological data), we conclude by commenting on a holistic approach to allow for a deeper insight into population structuring. PMID:25197624

  9. 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

  10. Interactions between Trypanosoma cruzi Secreted Proteins and Host Cell Signaling Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe Costa, Renata; da Silveira, Jose F.; Bahia, Diana

    2016-01-01

    Chagas disease is one of the prevalent neglected tropical diseases, affecting at least 6–7 million individuals in Latin America. It is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted to vertebrate hosts by blood-sucking insects. After infection, the parasite invades and multiplies in the myocardium, leading to acute myocarditis that kills around 5% of untreated individuals. T. cruzi secretes proteins that manipulate multiple host cell signaling pathways to promote host cell invasion. The primary secreted lysosomal peptidase in T. cruzi is cruzipain, which has been shown to modulate the host immune response. Cruzipain hinders macrophage activation during the early stages of infection by interrupting the NF-kB P65 mediated signaling pathway. This allows the parasite to survive and replicate, and may contribute to the spread of infection in acute Chagas disease. Another secreted protein P21, which is expressed in all of the developmental stages of T. cruzi, has been shown to modulate host phagocytosis signaling pathways. The parasite also secretes soluble factors that exert effects on host extracellular matrix, such as proteolytic degradation of collagens. Finally, secreted phospholipase A from T. cruzi contributes to lipid modifications on host cells and concomitantly activates the PKC signaling pathway. Here, we present a brief review of the interaction between secreted proteins from T. cruzi and the host cells, emphasizing the manipulation of host signaling pathways during invasion. PMID:27065960

  11. Microsporidian parasites feminise hosts without paramyxean co-infection: support for convergent evolution of parasitic feminisation.

    PubMed

    Ironside, Joseph Edward; Alexander, Jenna

    2015-05-01

    Feminisation of amphipod crustaceans is associated with the presence of at least three microsporidian parasites and one paramyxean parasite, suggesting that the ability to feminise has evolved multiple times in parasites of amphipods. Co-infection by a paramyxean with one of the putative microsporidian feminisers, Dictyocoela duebenum, has inspired the alternative hypothesis that all feminisation of amphipods is caused by paramyxea and that all microsporidian associations with feminisation are due to co-infection with paramyxea (Short et al., 2012). In a population of the amphipod Gammarus duebeni, breeding experiments demonstrate that the microsporidia D. duebenum and Nosema granulosis are associated with feminisation in the absence of paramyxea. Co-infection of the two microsporidia is no more frequent than expected at random and each parasite is associated with feminisation in the absence of the other. These findings support the original hypothesis that the ability to feminise amphipods has evolved in microsporidia on multiple occasions. Additionally, the occurrence of a non-feminising strain of D. duebenum in Gammarus pulex suggests that different strains vary in their feminising ability, even within microsporidian species. The presence or absence of feminising ability in a particular microsporidian strain should not therefore be generalised to the species as a whole. PMID:25747725

  12. Growing diversity of trypanosomatid parasites of flies (Diptera: Brachycera): frequent cosmopolitism and moderate host specificity.

    PubMed

    T?, Ji?; Votpka, Jan; Klepetkov, Helena; Sulkov, Hana; Jirk?, Milan; Luke, Julius

    2013-10-01

    Widely distributed, highly prevalent and speciose, trypanosomatid flagellates represent a convenient model to address topics such as host specificity, diversity and distribution of parasitic protists. Recent studies dealing with insect parasites of the class Kinetoplastea have been focused mainly on trypanosomatids from true bugs (Heteroptera), even though flies (Diptera, Brachycera) are also known as their frequent hosts. Phylogenetic position, host specificity and geographic distribution of trypanosomatids parasitizing dipteran hosts collected in nine countries on four continents (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea and Turkey) are presented. Spliced leader (SL) RNA gene repeats and small subunit (SSU) rRNA genes were PCR amplified from trypanosomatids infecting the gut of a total of forty fly specimens belonging to nine families. While SL RNA was mainly used for barcoding, SSU rRNA was utilized in phylogenetic analyses. Thirty-six different typing units (TUs) were revealed, of which 24 are described for the first time and represent potential new species. Multiple infections with several TUs are more common among brachyceran hosts than in true bugs, reaching one third of cases. When compared to trypanosomatids from heteropteran bugs, brachyceran flagellates are more host specific on the genus level. From seven previously recognized branches of monoxenous trypanosomatids, the Blastocrithidia and "jaculum" clades accommodate almost solely parasites of Heteroptera; two other clades (Herpetomonas and Angomonas) are formed primarily by flagellates found in dipteran hosts, with the most species-rich Leishmaniinae and the small Strigomonas and "collosoma" clades remaining promiscuous. Furthermore, two new clades of trypanosomatids from brachyceran flies emerged in this study. While flagellates from brachyceran hosts have moderate to higher host specificity, geographic distribution of at least some of them seems to be cosmopolitan. Moreover, the genus Angomonas, so far known only from South America, is present on other continents as well. PMID:23747522

  13. The importance of gobies (Gobiidae, Teleostei) as hosts and transmitters of parasites in the SW Baltic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zander, C. D.; Strohbach, U.; Groenewold, S.

    1993-02-01

    The parasite fauna of five goby species (Gobiidae, Teleostei) was investigated in the Baltic Sea during the period 1987 to 1990. 13 parasite species were found in samples from the Lübeck Bight: Bothriocephalus scorpii, Schistocephalus sp. (Cestoda); Cryptocotyle concavum, Cryptocotyle lingua, Podocotyle atomon, Derogenes varicus (Digenea); Hysterothylacium sp. (cf. auctum), Contracaecum sp., Anisakis simplex (Nematoda); Corynosoma sp., Echinorhynchus gadi, Neoechinorhynchus rutili, Pomphorhynchus laevis (Acanthocephala). The number of parasite species were: 10 in the sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus, 8 in the black goby Gobius niger, 7 in the two-spotted goby Gobiusculus flavescens, 6 in the common goby Pomatoschistus microps, and 5 in the painted goby Pomatoschistus pictus. Neoechinorhynchus rutili occurred only in P. minutus, and Corynosoma sp. only in G. niger. The extent to which the gobies were parasitized clearly depended on the respective ways of life and, moreover, on the kind of prey ingested by the hosts. Additionally, the age of the hosts might be important. The highest rate of parasitism, more than 60%, was reached by Hysterothylacium sp. in G. niger and by Cryptocotyle concavum in P. microps. Infestation incidence lay mostly below 40% which means a satellite species status (Holmes, 1991). The number of parasite species was highest in summer; the highest intensities of single parasites occurred in spring ( Podocotyle atomon) or autumn ( Crytocotyle concavum). Bothriocephalus scorpii, Hysterothylacium sp. and Podocotyle infested their juvenile hosts very early, but only Hysterothylacium was accumulated by G. niger during its whole life span, whereas Bothriocephalus persisted also in older gobies in low intensities. The cercariae of Cryptocotyle spp. penetrate actively into their hosts; all the other parasites named were transmitted in larval form by prey organisms which consisted mainly of planktonic and benthic crustaceans. The gobies were final hosts for only 5 parasites; but two species may be transmitted to larger fish, and 6 species to sea birds or mammals. The parasite community of the five gobies may possibly be taken to characterize the ecological quality of the environment of the Lübeck Bight.

  14. Effects of Juvenile Host Density and Food Availability on Adult Immune Response, Parasite Resistance and Virulence in a Daphnia-Parasite System

    PubMed Central

    Schoebel, Corine N.; Auld, Stuart K. J. R.; Spaak, Piet; Little, Tom J.

    2014-01-01

    Host density can increase infection rates and reduce host fitness as increasing population density enhances the risk of becoming infected either through increased encounter rate or because host condition may decline. Conceivably, potential hosts could take high host density as a cue to up-regulate their defence systems. However, as host density usually covaries with food availability, it is difficult to examine the importance of host density in isolation. Thus, we performed two full-factorial experiments that varied juvenile densities of Daphnia magna (a freshwater crustacean) and food availability independently. We also included a simulated high-density treatment, where juvenile experimental animals were kept in filtered media that previously maintained Daphnia at high-density. Upon reaching adulthood, we exposed the Daphnia to their sterilizing bacterial parasite, Pasteuria ramosa, and examined how the juvenile treatments influenced the likelihood and severity of infection (Experiment I) and host immune investment (Experiment II). Neither juvenile density nor food treatments affected the likelihood of infection; however, well-fed hosts that were well-fed as juveniles produced more offspring prior to sterilization than their less well-fed counterparts. By contrast, parasite growth was independent of host juvenile resources or host density. Parasite-exposed hosts had a greater number of circulating haemocytes than controls (i.e., there was a cellular immune response), but the magnitude of immune response was not mediated by food availability or host density. These results suggest that density dependent effects on disease arise primarily through correlated changes in food availability: low food could limit parasitism and potentially curtail epidemics by reducing both the hosts and parasites reproduction as both depend on the same food. PMID:24736707

  15. Host-specificity of Monoxenous Trypanosomatids: Statistical Analysis of the Distribution and Transmission Patterns of the Parasites from Neotropical Heteroptera.

    PubMed

    Kozminsky, Eugene; Kraeva, Natalya; Ishemgulova, Aygul; Dobkov, Eva; Luke, Julius; Kment, Petr; Yurchenko, Vyacheslav; Votpka, Jan; Maslov, Dmitri A

    2015-11-01

    Host-parasite relationships and parasite biodiversity have been the center of attention for many years; however the primary data obtained from large-scale studies remain scarce. Our long term investigations of trypanosomatid (Euglenozoa: Kinetoplastea) biodiversity from Neotropical Heteroptera have yielded almost one hundred typing units (TU) of trypanosomatids from one hundred twenty host species. Half of the parasites' TUs were documented in a single host species only but the rest were found parasitizing two to nine species of hosts, with logarithmic distribution best describing the observed distribution of parasites among hosts. Different host superfamilies did not show significant differences in numbers of trypanosomatid TUs they carry, with exception of Pyrrhocoroidea which showed higher parasite richness than any other group tested. Predatory reduviids shared significantly larger numbers of parasite TUs with phytophagous mirids and coreids than the numbers shared between any other groups. These results show that the specificity of trypanosomatid-heteropteran associations is not very strict: parasites seem to be transmissible between different host groups within the same niche and predatory hosts may acquire parasites from their prey. PMID:26466163

  16. Immunogenomics approaches to study host innate immunity against intestinal parasites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Poultry products including meat and eggs constitute a major protein source in the American diet and disease-causing pathogens represent major challenges to the poultry industry. More than 95 % of pathogens enter the host through the mucosal surfaces of the respiratory, digestive and reproductive tr...

  17. An Emerging Approach for Parallel Quantification of Intracellular Protozoan Parasites and Host Cell Characterization Using TissueFAXS Cytometry

    PubMed Central

    Schmid, Maximilian; Dufner, Bianca; Dürk, Julius; Bedal, Konstanze; Stricker, Kristina; Prokoph, Lukas Ali; Koch, Christoph; Wege, Anja K.; Zirpel, Henner; van Zandbergen, Ger; Ecker, Rupert; Boghiu, Bogdan; Ritter, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    Characterization of host-pathogen interactions is a fundamental approach in microbiological and immunological oriented disciplines. It is commonly accepted that host cells start to change their phenotype after engulfing pathogens. Techniques such as real time PCR or ELISA were used to characterize the genes encoding proteins that are associated either with pathogen elimination or immune escape mechanisms. Most of such studies were performed in vitro using primary host cells or cell lines. Consequently, the data generated with such approaches reflect the global RNA expression or protein amount recovered from all cells in culture. This is justified when all host cells harbor an equal amount of pathogens under experimental conditions. However, the uptake of pathogens by phagocytic cells is not synchronized. Consequently, there are host cells incorporating different amounts of pathogens that might result in distinct pathogen-induced protein biosynthesis. Therefore, we established a technique able to detect and quantify the number of pathogens in the corresponding host cells using immunofluorescence-based high throughput analysis. Paired with multicolor staining of molecules of interest it is now possible to analyze the infection profile of host cell populations and the corresponding phenotype of the host cells as a result of parasite load. PMID:26488169

  18. Past, present and future of host-parasite co-extinctions.

    PubMed

    Strona, Giovanni

    2015-12-01

    Human induced ecosystem alterations and climate change are expected to drive several species to extinction. In this context, the attention of public opinion, and hence conservationists' efforts, are often targeted towards species having emotional, recreational and/or economical value. This tendency may result in a high number of extinctions happening unnoticed. Among these, many could involve parasites. Several studies have highlighted various reasons why we should care about this, that go far beyond the fact that parasites are amazingly diverse. A growing corpus of evidence suggests that parasites contribute much to ecosystems both in terms of biomass and services, and the seemingly paradoxical idea that a healthy ecosystem is one rich in parasites is becoming key to the whole concept of parasite conservation. Although various articles have covered different aspects of host-parasite co-extinctions, I feel that some important conceptual issues still need to be formally addressed. In this review, I will attempt at clarifying some of them, with the aim of providing researchers with a unifying conceptual framework that could help them designing future studies. In doing this, I will try to draw a more clear distinction between the (co-)evolutionary and the ecological dimensions of co-extinction studies, since the ongoing processes that are putting parasites at risk now operate at a scale that is extremely different from the one that has shaped host-parasite networks throughout million years of co-evolution. Moreover, I will emphasize how the complexity of direct and indirect effects of parasites on ecosystems makes it much challenging to identify the mechanisms possibly leading to co-extinction events, and to predict how such events will affect ecosystems in the long run. PMID:26835251

  19. Effects of Intra- and Interpatch Host Density on Egg Parasitism by Three Species of Trichogramma

    PubMed Central

    Grieshop, Matthew J.; Flinn, Paul W.; Nechols, James R.

    2010-01-01

    Host-foraging responses to different intra- and interpatch densities were used to assess three Trichogramma spp. (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) Trichogramma deion Pinto and Oatman, T. ostriniae Pang and Chen, and T. pretiosum Riley — as potential biological control agents for the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella Hübner (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Single naïve females were allowed 6 h to forage in Plexiglas arenas with four different spatial arrangements of host eggs, nine single-egg patches), nine four-egg patches, 36 single-egg patches, and 36 four-egg patches. No significant differences were found among species in the number of patches parasitized. As expected, all three species parasitized the most eggs in the 36 four-egg patch treatment and the least in the nine single-egg patch treatment. T. deion parasitized significantly more eggs than T. pretiosum on the nine four-egg patches. T. ostriniae parasitized significantly more patches when intrapatch density was greater, regardless of interpatch density. In contrast, T. deion only parasitized more patches at the greater intrapatch density when the interpatch density was low. Patch density had no effect on T. pretiosum. The spatial pattern of parasitism was more aggregated for T. deion and T. ostriniae in the 36 four-egg patches treatment compared to the 36 single-egg patches treatment. Therefore, intrapatch density was more important than interpatch density for T. ostriniae, and potentially for T. deion, but not for T. pretiosum. T. deion may be the best candidate for augmentative biological control because it parasitized either slightly or significantly more eggs than the other two species in all four treatments. Furthermore, the pattern of parasitism by T. deion in the 36 four-egg patches treatment was the most aggregated among the three species, suggesting a more thorough searching pattern. In contrast, T. pretiosum had the least aggregated pattern of parasitism and therefore may have used a more random foraging pattern. PMID:20673123

  20. Molecular parasitism in the Escherichia coli-Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus system: translocation of the matrix protein from the host to the parasite outer membrane.

    PubMed Central

    Guerrini, F; Romano, V; Valenzi, M; Di Giulio, M; Mupo, M R; Sacco, M

    1982-01-01

    During the intracellular maturation in Escherichia coli of the parasite Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus the outer membrane, major protein I of E. coli (i.e., the matrix protein) becomes associated with the outer membrane of the emerging parasite cells. The binding properties of this protein with the outer membrane of the host and of the parasite are identical. An analogous phenomenon also occurs during Bdellovibrio parasitism on Klebsiella pneumoniae and on Salmonella typhimurium. Possible roles for this scavenging action of Bdellovibrio, and similar phenomena in other parasitic systems, are discussed. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Fig. 7. PMID:6765198

  1. 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 pa