The spectrum of Th1 to Th2 cytokine profiles forms the basis for host defense against infectious disease; however, the mechanisms responsible for the Th2-mediated immune response to enteric nematode parasites are of particular interest for several reasons. First, intestinal parasites continue to be...
The evolution of host susceptibility or resistance to parasites has important consequences for the evolution of parasite virulence, host sexual selection, population dynamics of both host and parasite populations, and programs of biological control. The general observation of a fraction of Individuals within a population that is not parasitized, and\\/or the variability in parasite intensity among hosts, may reflect several
Gabriele Sorci; Anders Pape Mřller; Thierry Boulinier
The last decade has provided new insight into the mechanisms of host-parasite interactions in the urinary tract. Reduction of host resistance appears to reduce the requirement for bacterial virulence, whereas the resistant host becomes infected with bacteria of high virulence. In the resistant host, bacterial virulence can be defined as the sum of properties required to colonize the urinary tract and induce tissue reactions. The ability to attach to uroepithelial cells is the single property most frequently associated with pyelonephritogenic clones. Attachment to the Gal alpha 1-4Gal beta-containing receptors promotes localization of bacteria to the kidney and the induction of lipopolysaccharide-mediated inflammation. Other virulence factors, defined by increased frequency in acute pyelonephritis compared with asymptomatic bacteriuria, include haemolysin and aerobactin production. Among the factors which influence the natural resistance to urinary tract infection are urinary flow and reactivity to endotoxin. The resistance induced by natural exposure to infection or immunization may be protective in experimental models, but the importance of this is not yet defined. The localization, severity and sequelae of urinary tract infection are determined by the balance between bacterial virulence and host resistance. Although disease is a result of the interaction between bacterial virulence and host resistance, these components are discussed separately for clarity. PMID:3153343
Svanborg-Edén, C; de Man, P; Jodal, U; Linder, H; Lomberg, H
This review assesses and examines the work conducted to date concerning host and parasite interactions between marine bivalve molluscs and protozoan parasites, belonging to Perkinsus species. The review focuses on two well-studied host-parasite interaction models: the two clam species, Ruditapes philippinarum and R. decussatus, and the parasite Perkinsus olseni, and the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, and the parasite Perkinsus marinus. Cellular and humoral defense responses of the host in combating parasitic infection, the mechanisms (e.g., antioxidant enzymes, extracellular products) employed by the parasite in evading host defenses as well as the role of environmental factors in modulating the host-parasite interactions are described. PMID:23871855
Soudant, Philippe; E Chu, Fu-Lin; Volety, Aswani
It is suspected that host-parasite interactions are influenced by climatic oscillations such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). However, the effects of climatic oscillations on host-parasite interactions have never been investigated. A long-term (1982-1999) dataset of the host snail Lymnaea stagnalis and trematode metacercariae infection has been collected for Lake Chany in Western Siberia. Using this dataset, we estimated the impact of the NAO on the population dynamics of hosts and parasites as well as their interactions. The results of general linear models showed that the abundance of dominant parasite species and the total parasite abundance significantly increased with NAO, with the exception of Moliniella anceps. Other climatic and biological factors were relatively weak to explain the abundance. There was no significant relationship between NAO and the population density of host snails. The prevalence of infection was related to the total abundance of parasites, but not to the NAO. Thus, the responses to the NAO differed between the host and parasites, indicating mismatching in host-parasite interactions. Therefore, climatic oscillations, such as the NAO, influence common parasitism. PMID:21733260
Doi, Hideyuki; Yurlova, Natalia I
Little information is available concerning the physiological and biochemical interactions between whiteflies and their parasitoids. Interactions between aphelinid parasitoids and their aleyrodid hosts in four host-parasite systems: B. tabaci/E. formosa, T. vaporariorum/E. formosa, B. tabaci/E. mund...
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that causes different lesions in men and other warm-blooded animals. Humoral and cellular immune response of the host against the parasite keeps the protozoan in a latent stage, and clinical disease ensues when immunological response is compromised. Brain parasitism benefits the parasite causing behavioral changes in the host, not only in animals but also in humans. Schizophrenia and epilepsy are two neurological disorders that have recently been reported to affect humans coinfected with T. gondii. Further studies based on host-parasite interaction in several wild or domestic warm-blooded species are still necessary in order to better understand parasitism and behavioral changes caused by T. gondii. PMID:19548003
da Silva, Rodrigo Costa; Langoni, Helio
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,
Dale B. Gelman; Dan Gerling; Michael B. Blackburn; Jing S. Hu
Over the last decade, there has been a major shift in the study of adaptive patterns and processes towards including the role of host-parasite interactions, informed by concepts from evolutionary ecology. As a consequence, a number of major questions have emerged. For example, how genetics affects host-parasite interactions, whether parasitism selects for offspring diversification, whether parasite virulence is an adaptive
BACKGROUND: Most studies on the resistance of mosquitoes to their malaria parasites focus on the response of a mosquito line or colony against a single parasite genotype. In natural situations, however, it may be expected that mosquito-malaria relationships are based, as are many other host-parasite systems, on host genotype by parasite genotype interactions. In such systems, certain hosts are resistant
Louis Lambrechts; Jean Halbert; Patrick Durand; Louis C Gouagna; Jacob C Koella
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that causes different lesions in men and other warm-blooded animals. Humoral and cellular\\u000a immune response of the host against the parasite keeps the protozoan in a latent stage, and clinical disease ensues when immunological\\u000a response is compromised. Brain parasitism benefits the parasite causing behavioral changes in the host, not only in animals\\u000a but
Rodrigo Costa da Silva; Helio Langoni
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).
Lafferty, Kevin D.
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
Gelman, Dale B; Gerling, Dan; Blackburn, Michael B; Hu, Jing S
PCD in protozoan parasites has emerged as a fascinating field of parasite biology. This not only relates to the underlying mechanisms and their evolutionary implications but also to the impact on the parasite-host interactions within mammalian hosts and arthropod vectors. During recent years, common functions of apoptosis and autophagy in protozoa and during parasitic infections have emerged. Here, we review how distinct cell death pathways in Trypanosoma, Leishmania, Plasmodium or Toxoplasma may contribute to regulation of parasite cell densities in vectors and mammalian hosts, to differentiation of parasites, to stress responses, and to modulation of the host immunity. The examples provided indicate crucial roles of PCD in parasite biology. The existence of PCD pathways in these organisms and the identification as being critical for parasite biology and parasite-host interactions could serve as a basis for developing new anti-parasitic drugs that take advantage of these pathways.
Background Infection incidence increases with the average number of contacts between susceptible and infected individuals. Contact rates are normally assumed to increase linearly with host density. However, social species seek out each other at low density and saturate their contact rates at high densities. Although predicting epidemic behaviour requires knowing how contact rates scale with host density, few empirical studies have investigated the effect of host density. Also, most theory assumes each host has an equal probability of transmitting parasites, even though individual parasite load and infection duration can vary. To our knowledge, the relative importance of characteristics of the primary infected host vs. the susceptible population has never been tested experimentally. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we examine epidemics using a common ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus turnbulli infecting its guppy host (Poecilia reticulata). Hosts were maintained at different densities (3, 6, 12 and 24 fish in 40 L aquaria), and we monitored gyrodactylids both at a population and individual host level. Although parasite population size increased with host density, the probability of an epidemic did not. Epidemics were more likely when the primary infected fish had a high mean intensity and duration of infection. Epidemics only occurred if the primary infected host experienced more than 23 worm days. Female guppies contracted infections sooner than males, probably because females have a higher propensity for shoaling. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that in social hosts like guppies, the frequency of social contact largely governs disease epidemics independent of host density.
Johnson, Mirelle B.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; van Oosterhout, Cock; Cable, Joanne
Within-species genetic variation is a potent factor influencing between-species interactions and community-level structure. Species of the hemi-parasitic plant genus Rhinanthus act as ecosystem engineers, significantly altering above- and below-ground community structure in grasslands. Here, we show the importance of genotypic variation within a single host species (barley—Hordeum vulgare), and population-level variation among two species of parasite (Rhinanthus minor and Rhinanthus angustifolius) on the outcome of parasite infection for both partners. We measured host fitness (number of seeds) and calculated parasite virulence as the difference in seed set between infected and uninfected hosts (the inverse of host tolerance). Virulence was determined by genetic variation within the host species and among the parasite species, but R. angustifolius was consistently more virulent than R. minor. The most tolerant host had the lowest inherent fitness and did not gain a fitness advantage over other infected hosts. We measured parasite size as a proxy for transmission ability (ability to infect further hosts) and host resistance. Parasite size depended on the specific combination of host genotype, parasite species and parasite population, and no species was consistently larger. We demonstrate that the outcome of infection by Rhinanthus depends not only on the host species, but also on the underlying genetics of both host and parasite. Thus, genetic variations within host and parasite are probably essential components of the ecosystem-altering effects of Rhinanthus.
Rowntree, Jennifer K.; Cameron, Duncan D.; Preziosi, Richard F.
Molecular interactions between a parasite and its host are key to the ability of the parasite to enter the host and persist. Our understanding of the genes and proteins involved in these interactions is limited. To better understand these processes it would be advantageous to have a range of methods to predict pairs of genes involved in such interactions. Correlated gene expression profiles can be used to identify molecular interactions within a species. Here we have extended the concept to different species, showing that genes with correlated expression are more likely to encode proteins, which directly or indirectly participate in host–parasite interaction. We go on to examine our predictions of molecular interactions between the malaria parasite and both its mammalian host and insect vector. Our approach could be applied to study any interaction between species, for example, between a host and its parasites or pathogens, but also symbiotic and commensal pairings.
Reid, Adam James; Berriman, Matthew
Background Cerebral malaria is a form of human malaria wherein Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells adhere to the blood capillaries in the brain, potentially leading to coma and death. Interactions between parasite and host proteins are important in understanding the pathogenesis of this deadly form of malaria. It is, therefore, necessary to study available protein-protein interactions to identify lesser known interactions that could throw light on key events of cerebral malaria. Methods Sequestration, haemostasis dysfunction, systemic inflammation and neuronal damage are key processes of cerebral malaria. Key events were identified from literature as being crucial to these processes. An integrated interactome was created using available experimental and predicted datasets as well as from literature. Interactions from this interactome were filtered based on Gene Ontology and tissue-specific annotations, and further analysed for relevance to the key events. Results PfEMP1 presentation, platelet activation and astrocyte dysfunction were identified as the key events influencing the disease. 48896 host-parasite along with other host-parasite, host-host and parasite-parasite protein-protein interactions obtained from a disease-specific corpus were combined to form an integrated interactome. Filtering of the interactome resulted in five host-parasite PPI, six parasite-parasite and two host-host PPI. The analysis of these interactions revealed the potential significance of apolipoproteins and temperature/Hsp expression on efficient PfEMP1 presentation; role of MSP-1 in platelet activation; effect of parasite proteins in TGF-? regulation and the role of albumin in astrocyte dysfunction. Conclusions This work links key host-parasite, parasite-parasite and host-host protein-protein interactions to key processes of cerebral malaria and generates hypotheses for disease pathogenesis based on a filtered interaction dataset. These hypotheses provide novel and significant insights to cerebral malaria.
Background Evolution of parasite traits is inextricably linked to their hosts. For instance one common definition of parasite virulence is the reduction in host fitness due to infection. Thus, traits of infection must be viewed in both protagonists and may be under shared genetic and physiological control. We investigated these questions on the oomycete Hyaloperonospora arabidopsis (= parasitica), a natural pathogen of the Brassicaceae Arabidopsis thaliana. Results We performed a controlled cross inoculation experiment confronting six lines of the host plant with seven strains of the parasite in order to evaluate genetic variation for phenotypic traits of infection among hosts, parasites, and distinct combinations. Parasite infection intensity and transmission were highly variable among parasite strains and host lines but depended also on the interaction between particular genotypes of the protagonists, and genetic variation for the infection phenotype of parasites from natural populations was found even at a small spatial scale within population. Furthermore, increased parasite fitness led to a significant decrease in host fitness only on a single host line (Gb), although a trade-off between these two traits was expected because host and parasite share the same resource pool for their respective reproduction. We propose that different levels of compatibility dependent on genotype by genotype interactions might lead to different amounts of resources available for host and parasite reproduction. This variation in compatibility could thus mask the expected negative relationship between host and parasite fitness, as the total resource pool would not be constant. Conclusion These results highlight the importance of host variation in the determination of parasite fitness traits. This kind of interaction may in turn decouple the relationship between parasite transmission and its negative effect on host fitness, altering theoretical predictions of parasite evolution.
Salvaudon, Lucie; Heraudet, Virginie; Shykoff, Jacqui A
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.
Goldwasser, Y.; Westwood, J. H.; Yoder, J. I.
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
de Roode, Jacobus C; Altizer, Sonia
Over the last decade, there has been a major shift in the study of adaptive patterns and processes towards including the role of host-parasite interactions, informed by concepts from evolutionary ecology. As a consequence, a number of major questions have emerged. For example, how genetics affects host-parasite interactions, whether parasitism selects for offspring diversification, whether parasite virulence is an adaptive trait, and what constrains the use of the host's immune defences. Using bumblebees, Bombus spp, and their parasites as a model system, answers to some of these questions have been found, while at the same time the complexity of the interaction has led expectations away from simple theoretical models. In addition, the results have also led to the unexpected discovery of novel phenomena concerning, for instance, female mating strategies.
To obtain candidates of interactions between proteins of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and the human host, homologous and conserved interactions were inferred from various sources of interaction data. Such candidate interactions were assessed by applying a machine learning approach and further filtered according to expression and molecular characteristics, enabling involved proteins to indeed interact. The analysis of predicted interactions indicated that parasite proteins predominantly target central proteins to take control of a human host cell. Furthermore, parasite proteins utilized their protein repertoire in a combinatorial manner, providing a broad connection to host cellular processes. In particular, several prominent pathways of signaling and regulation proteins were predicted to interact with parasite chaperones. Such a result suggests an important role of remodeling proteins in the interaction interface between the human host and the parasite. Identification of such molecular strategies that allow the parasite to take control of the host has the potential to deepen our understanding of the parasite specific remodeling processes of the host cell and illuminate new avenues of disease intervention.
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.
Parasites are thought to be a major driving force shaping genetic variation in their host, and are suggested to be a significant reason for the maintenance of sexual reproduction. A leading hypothesis for the occurrence of multiple mating (polyandry) in social insects is that the genetic diversity generated within-colonies through this behavior promotes disease resistance. This benefit is likely to be particularly significant when colonies are exposed to multiple species and strains of parasites, but host-parasite genotypic interactions in social insects are little known. We investigated this using honey bees, which are naturally polyandrous and consequently produce genetically diverse colonies containing multiple genotypes (patrilines), and which are also known to host multiple strains of various parasite species. We found that host genotypes differed significantly in their resistance to different strains of the obligate fungal parasite that causes chalkbrood disease, while genotypic variation in resistance to the facultative fungal parasite that causes stonebrood disease was less pronounced. Our results show that genetic variation in disease resistance depends in part on the parasite genotype, as well as species, with the latter most likely relating to differences in parasite life history and host-parasite coevolution. Our results suggest that the selection pressure from genetically diverse parasites might be an important driving force in the evolution of polyandry, a mechanism that generates significant genetic diversity in social insects. PMID:23919163
Evison, Sophie E F; Fazio, Geraldine; Chappell, Paula; Foley, Kirsten; Jensen, Annette B; Hughes, William O H
Brood parasitic birds, their foster species and their ectoparasites form a complex coevolving system composed of three hierarchical levels. However, effects of hosts' brood parasitic life-style on the evolution of their louse (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, Ischnocera) lineages have never been tested. We present two phylogenetic analyses of ectoparasite richness of brood parasitic clades. Our hypothesis was that brood parasitic life-style affects louse richness negatively across all avian clades due to the lack of vertical transmission routes. Then, narrowing our scope to brood parasitic cuckoos, we explored macroevolutionary factors responsible for the variability of their louse richness. Our results show that taxonomic richness of lice is lower on brood parasitic clades than on their nonparasitic sister clades. However, we found a positive covariation between the richness of cuckoos' Ischnoceran lice and the number of their foster species, possibly due to the complex and dynamic subpopulation structure of cuckoo species that utilize several host species. We documented diversity interactions across a three-level host parasite system and we found evidence that brood parasitism has opposing effects on louse richness at two slightly differing macroevolutionary scales, namely the species richness and the genera richness. PMID:23550748
Vas, Zoltán; Fuisz, Tibor I; Fehérvári, Péter; Reiczigel, Jen?; Rózsa, Lajos
Summary 1. Recent studies have evaluated the distribution of specialization in species interaction networks. Species abundance patterns have been hypothesized to determine observed topological patterns. We evaluate this hypothesis in the context of host-parasite interaction networks. 2. We used two independent series of data sets, one consisting of data for seven sites describing interactions between freshwater fish and their metazoan
DIEGO P. VAZQUEZ; ROBERT POULIN; BORIS R. KRASNOV; GEORGY I. SHENBROT
BACKGROUND: The development of Plasmodium falciparum within human erythrocytes induces a wide array of changes in the ultrastructure, function and antigenic properties of the host cell. Numerous proteins encoded by the parasite have been shown to interact with the erythrocyte membrane. The identification of new interactions between human erythrocyte and P. falciparum proteins has formed a key area of malaria
Sonja B Lauterbach; Roberto Lanzillotti; Theresa L Coetzer
Interactions between environmental stressors play an important role in shaping the health of an organism. This is particularly true in terms of the prevalence and severity of infectious disease, as stressors in combination will not always act to simply decrease the immune function of a host, but may instead interact to compound or even oppose the influence of parasitism on the health of an organism. Here, we explore the impact of environmental stress on host-parasite interactions using the water flea Daphnia magna and it is obligate parasite Pasteuria ramosa. Utilising an ecologically relevant stressor, we focus on the combined effect of salinity and P. ramosa on the fecundity and survival of the host, as well as on patterns of infectivity and the proliferation of the parasite. We show that in the absence of the parasite, host fecundity and survival was highest in the low salinity treatments. Once a parasite was introduced into the environment, however, salinity and parasitism acted antagonistically to influence both host survival and fecundity, and these patterns of disease were unrelated to infection rates or parasite spore loads. By summarising the form of interactions found in the broader Daphnia literature, we highlight how the combined effect of stress and parasitism will vary with the type of stressor, the trait used to describe the health of Daphnia and the host-parasite combination under observation. Our results highlight how the context-dependent nature of interactions between stress and parasitism inevitably complicates the link between environmental factors and the prevalence and severity of disease. PMID:23001624
Hall, Matthew D; Vettiger, Andrea; Ebert, Dieter
Alveolar echinococcosis, one of the most serious and life-threatening zoonoses in the world, is caused by the metacestode\\u000a larval stage of the fox-tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis. Mostly due to its accessibility to in vitro cultivation, this parasite has recently evolved into an experimental model system\\u000a to study larval cestode development and associated host–parasite interaction mechanisms. Respective advances include the establishment\\u000a of
Colony defense by honeybees is associated with a sting and mass attack, fueled by the release of alarm pheromones. As such, alarm pheromones are critically important to survival of honeybee colonies. However, we have discovered that in the host-parasite interaction involving the honeybee and the s...
The microsporidian parasite Edhazardia aedis is capable of vertical or horizontal transmission among individuals of its host, the mosquito Aedes aegypti, and either mode of transmission may follow the other. We show that following the horizontal infection of host larvae, the parasite's subsequent mode of transmission largely depends on host life history traits and their responses to different environmental conditions.
Philip Agnew; Jacob C. Koella
The initial interaction between bacteria and the renal pelvic epithelium may determine whether intrarenal infection occurs. A model of retrograde pyelonephritis was employed to study these events by electron microscopy. Female rats received an intravesicular inoculation of a 0.5-ml suspension of Proteus mirabilis containing 108 organisms. At intervals after inoculation, the kidneys were fixed by intravascular perfusion and the tissues were prepared for electron microscopy. During the first 24 h, increasing numbers of bacteria were seen to be attached by pili to the renal pelvic epithelial cells. The organism appeared to cross the mucosal barrier by several mechanisms: (a) penetration into the cytoplasm of intact epithelial cells, (b) passage between epithelial cells that were separated by excessive hydrostatic pressure generated during bladder inoculation, (c) passage across necrotic regions of the pelvis, and (d) translocation to the cortex by calicotubular backflow. Whereas at inoculation bacteria possessed pili 40 Ĺ in diameter (type III pili) 24 h after reflux, the predominant type of pili measured 70 A in thickness (type IV pili). Repetitive subculture induced a similar transition in vitro. To assess the influence of pili type on virulence in this model, 80 rats were challenged with either type III or type IV pilated organisms and the frequency of rats with cortical abscesses were compared at 1 wk. A significantly greater number of rats inoculated with type IV pilated Proteus manifested macroscopic evidence of infection. These results suggest that pili play a role in the pathogenesis of ascending pyelonephritis.
Silverblatt, Fredric J.
The question of whether cell death by apoptosis plays a biological function during infection is key to understanding host-parasite interactions. We investigated the involvement of apoptosis in several host-parasite systems, using zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha as test organisms and their micro- and macroparasites. As a stress response associated with parasitism, heat shock proteins (Hsp) can be induced. In this protein family, Hsp70 are known to be apoptosis inhibitors. Mussels were diagnosed for their respective infections by standard histological methods; apoptosis was detected using the TUNEL methods on paraffin sections and Hsp70 by immunohistochemistry on cryosections. Circulating hemocytes were the main cells observed in apoptosis whereas infected tissues displayed no or few apoptotic cells. Parasitism by intracellular bacteria Rickettsiales-like and the trematode Bucephalus polymorphus were associated with the inhibition of apoptosis whereas ciliates Ophryoglena spp. or the trematode Phyllodistomum folium did not involve significant differences in apoptosis. Even if some parasites were able to modulate apoptosis in zebra mussels, we did not see evidence of any involvement of Hsp70 on this mechanism.
Minguez, Laetitia; Brule, Nelly; Sohm, Benedicte; Devin, Simon; Giamberini, Laure
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
Minguez, Laëtitia; Brulé, Nelly; Sohm, Bénédicte; Devin, Simon; Giambérini, Laure
One of the leading theories for the evolutionary stability of sex in eukaryotes relies on parasite-mediated selection against locally common host genotypes (the Red Queen hypothesis). As such, parasites would be expected to be better at infecting sympatric host populations than allopatric host populations. Here we examined all published and unpublished infection experiments on a snail- trematode system (Potamopyrgus antipodarum
Leishmania donovani causes human visceral leishmaniasis. The parasite infectious cycle comprises extracellular flagellated promastigotes that proliferate inside the insect vector, and intracellular nonmotile amastigotes that multiply within infected host cells. Using primary macrophages infected with virulent metacyclic promastigotes and high spatiotemporal resolution microscopy, we dissect the dynamics of the early infection process. We find that motile promastigotes enter macrophages in a polarized manner through their flagellar tip and are engulfed into host lysosomal compartments. Persistent intracellular flagellar activity leads to reorientation of the parasite flagellum toward the host cell periphery and results in oscillatory parasite movement. The latter is associated with local lysosomal exocytosis and host cell plasma membrane wounding. These findings implicate lysosome recruitment followed by lysosome exocytosis, consistent with parasite-driven host cell injury, as key cellular events in Leishmania host cell infection. This work highlights the role of promastigote polarity and motility during parasite entry. PMID:21501831
Forestier, Claire-Lise; Machu, Christophe; Loussert, Celine; Pescher, Pascale; Späth, Gerald F
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
Pisman, T. I.; Pechurkin, N. S.
We investigate host-pathogen dynamics and conditions for coexistence in two models incorporating frequency-dependent horizontal transmission in conjunction with vertical transmission. The first model combines frequency-dependent and uniparental vertical transmission, while the second addresses parasites transmitted vertically via both parents. For the first model, we ask how the addition of vertical transmission changes the coexistence criteria for parasites transmitted by a frequency-dependent horizontal route, and show that vertical transmission significantly broadens the conditions for parasite invasion. Host-parasite coexistence is further affected by the form of density-dependent host regulation. Numerical analyses demonstrate that within a host population, a parasite strain with horizontal frequency-dependent transmission can be driven to extinction by a parasite strain that is additionally transmitted vertically for a wide range of parameters. Although models of asexual host populations predict that vertical transmission alone cannot maintain a parasite over time, analysis of our second model shows that vertical transmission via both male and female parents can maintain a parasite at a stable equilibrium. These results correspond with the frequent co-occurrence of vertical with sexual transmission in nature and suggest that these transmission modes can lead to host-pathogen coexistence for a wide range of systems involving hosts with high reproductive rates.
Altizer, S M; Augustine, D J
The health of the honeybee and, indirectly, global crop production are threatened by several biotic and abiotic factors, which play a poorly defined role in the induction of widespread colony losses. Recent descriptive studies suggest that colony losses are often related to the interaction between pathogens and other stress factors, including parasites. Through an integrated analysis of the population and molecular changes associated with the collapse of honeybee colonies infested by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we show that this parasite can de-stabilise the within-host dynamics of Deformed wing virus (DWV), transforming a cryptic and vertically transmitted virus into a rapidly replicating killer, which attains lethal levels late in the season. The de-stabilisation of DWV infection is associated with an immunosuppression syndrome, characterized by a strong down-regulation of the transcription factor NF-?B. The centrality of NF-?B in host responses to a range of environmental challenges suggests that this transcription factor can act as a common currency underlying colony collapse that may be triggered by different causes. Our results offer an integrated account for the multifactorial origin of honeybee losses and a new framework for assessing, and possibly mitigating, the impact of environmental challenges on honeybee health.
Nazzi, Francesco; Brown, Sam P.; Annoscia, Desiderato; Del Piccolo, Fabio; Di Prisco, Gennaro; Varricchio, Paola; Della Vedova, Giorgio; Cattonaro, Federica; Caprio, Emilio; Pennacchio, Francesco
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.
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.
Kafsack, Bjorn F.C.; Llinas, Manuel
In species with separate sexes, parasite prevalence and disease expression is often different between males and females. This effect has mainly been attributed to sex differences in host traits, such as immune response. Here, we make the case for how properties of the parasites themselves can also matter. Specifically, we suggest that differences between host sexes in many different traits, such as morphology and hormone levels, can impose selection on parasites. This selection can eventually lead to parasite adaptations specific to the host sex more commonly encountered, or to differential expression of parasite traits depending on which host sex they find themselves in. Parasites adapted to the sex of the host in this way can contribute to differences between males and females in disease prevalence and expression. Considering those possibilities can help shed light on host–parasite interactions, and impact epidemiological and medical science.
Duneau, David; Ebert, Dieter
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 th...
J. R. Bence R. A. Bergstedt G. C. Christie P. A. Cochran M. P. Ebener J. F. Koonce M. A. Rutter W. D. Swink
Host-lipidome caters parasite interaction by acting as first line of recognition, attachment on the cell surface, intracellular trafficking, and survival of the parasite inside the host cell. Here, we summarize how protozoan parasites exploit host-lipidome by suppressing, augmenting, engulfing, remodeling and metabolizing lipids to achieve successful parasitism inside the host. PMID:23811020
Rub, Abdur; Arish, Mohd; Husain, Syed Akhtar; Ahmed, Niyaz; Akhter, Yusuf
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
James R. Bence; Roger A. Bergstedt; Gavin C. Christie; Phillip A. Cochran; Mark P. Ebener; Joseph F. Koonce; Michael A. Rutter; William D. Swink
In this study, I explored the interactions among host diet, nutritional status and gastrointestinal parasitism in wild bovids by examining temporal patterns of nematode faecal egg shedding in species with different diet types during a drought and non-drought year. Study species included three grass and roughage feeders (buffalo, hartebeest, waterbuck), four mixed or intermediate feeders (eland, Grant's gazelle, impala, Thomson's gazelle) and two concentrate selectors (dik-dik, klipspringer). Six out of the nine focal species had higher mean faecal egg counts in the drought year compared to the normal year, and over the course of the dry year, monthly faecal egg counts were correlated with drought intensity in four species with low-quality diets, but no such relationship was found for species with high-quality diets. Comparisons of dietary crude protein and faecal egg count in impala showed that during the dry season, individuals with high faecal egg counts (> or =1550 eggs/g of faeces) had significantly lower crude protein levels than individuals with low (0-500 eggs/g) or moderate (550-1500 eggs/g) egg counts. These results suggest that under drought conditions, species unable to maintain adequate nutrition, mainly low-quality feeders, are less able to cope with gastrointestinal parasite infections. In particular, during dry periods, reduced protein intake seems to be associated with declining resilience and resistance to infection. PMID:15013743
Ezenwa, Vanessa O
Hosts either tolerate avian brood parasitism or reject it by ejecting parasitic eggs, as seen in most rejecter hosts of common cuckoos, Cuculus canorus ,o r by abandoning parasitized clutches, as seen in most rejecter hosts of brown- headed cowbirds, Molothrus ater. What explains consistent variation between alternative rejection behaviours of hosts within the same species and across species when
M. R. SERVEDIO; M. E. HAUBER
The host-parasite interaction between the rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and the fish louse Argulus japonicus was investigated by administering low levels of dietary cortisol before infecting the fish with low numbers of the parasite. After 24 h, the dietary cortisol treatment elevated blood cortisol and glucose levels and stimulated the synthesis of secretory granules in the upper layer of skin cells. Infection with 6 lice per fish caused skin infiltration by lymphocytes, also in areas without parasites. The lymphocyte numbers in the blood at 48 h post-parasite infection were reduced. Other changes, typical for exposure to many stressors and mediated by cortisol, were also found in the epidermis of parasitized fish, although neither plasma cortisol nor glucose levels were noticeably affected. Glucocorticoid receptors were localized immunohistochemically and found in the upper epidermal layer of pavement and filament cells, and in the leucocytes migrating in these layers. Cortisol-fed fish had reduced numbers of parasites and the changes in the host skin are likely involved in this reduction. Thus a mild cortisol stress response might be adaptive in rejecting these parasites. Further, the data suggest that this effect of cortisol is mediated by the glucocorticoid receptor in the skin epidermis, as these are located directly at the site of parasite attachment and feeding in the upper skin cells that produce more secretory granules in response to cortisol feeding. PMID:14700191
Haond, C; Nolan, D T; Ruane, N M; Rotllant, J; Wendelaar Bonga, S E
Ecological studies of host–parasite interactions in the tropics are generally restricted to descriptive taxonomic aspects. The present study had as its objective identification of the metazoan ectoparasites of piranhas Pygocentrus nattereri, Serrasalmus spilopleura and S. marginatus in lentic and lotic environments in the Pantanal region, Brazil. We collected the samples in the Miranda River basin and in three ponds. We
Lucélia Nobre Carvalho; Kleber Del-Claro; Ricardo Massato Takemoto
In this communication we review the results obtained with the confocal laser scanning microscope to characterize the interaction of epimastigote and trypomastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi and tachyzoites of Toxoplasma gondii with host cells. Early events of the interaction process were studied by the simultaneous localization of sites of protein phosphorylation, revealed by immunocytochemistry, and sites of actin assembly, revealed by the use of labeled phaloidin. The results obtained show that proteins localized in the interaction sites are phosphorylated. The process of formation of the parasitophorous vacuole was monitored by labeling the host cell surface with fluorescent probes for lipids (PKH26), proteins (DTAF) and sialic acid (FITC-thiosemicarbazide) before interaction with the parasites. Evidence was obtained indicating transfer of components of the host cell surface to the parasite surface in the beginning of the interaction process. We also analyzed the distribution of cytoskeletal structures (microtubules and microfilaments visualized with specific antibodies), mitochondria (visualized with rhodamine 123), the Golgi complex (visualized with C6-NBD-ceramide) and the endoplasmic reticulum (visualized with anti-reticulin antibodies and DIOC6) during the evolution of intracellular parasitism. The results obtained show that some, but not all, structures change their position during evolution of the intracellular parasitism. PMID:9921284
de-Souza, W; de-Carvalho, T U; de-Melo, E T; Soares, C P; Coimbra, E S; Rosestolato, C T; Ferreira, S R; Vieira, M
Invertebrates were long thought to possess only a simple, effective and hence non-adaptive defence system against microbial and parasitic attacks. However, recent studies have shown that invertebrate immunity also relies on immune receptors that diversify (e.g. in echinoderms, insects and mollusks (Biomphalaria glabrata)). Apparently, individual or population-based polymorphism-generating mechanisms exists that permit the survival of invertebrate species exposed to parasites. Consequently, the generally accepted arms race hypothesis predicts that molecular diversity and polymorphism also exist in parasites of invertebrates. We investigated the diversity and polymorphism of parasite molecules (Schistosoma mansoni Polymorphic Mucins, SmPoMucs) that are key factors for the compatibility of schistosomes interacting with their host, the mollusc Biomphalaria glabrata. We have elucidated the complex cascade of mechanisms acting both at the genomic level and during expression that confer polymorphism to SmPoMuc. We show that SmPoMuc is coded by a multi-gene family whose members frequently recombine. We show that these genes are transcribed in an individual-specific manner, and that for each gene, multiple splice variants exist. Finally, we reveal the impact of this polymorphism on the SmPoMuc glycosylation status. Our data support the view that S. mansoni has evolved a complex hierarchical system that efficiently generates a high degree of polymorphism—a “controlled chaos”—based on a relatively low number of genes. This contrasts with protozoan parasites that generate antigenic variation from large sets of genes such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei and Plasmodium falciparum. Our data support the view that the interaction between parasites and their invertebrate hosts are far more complex than previously thought. While most studies in this matter have focused on invertebrate host diversification, we clearly show that diversifying mechanisms also exist on the parasite side of the interaction. Our findings shed new light on how and why invertebrate immunity develops.
Roger, Emmanuel; Grunau, Christoph; Pierce, Raymond J.; Hirai, Hirohisa; Gourbal, Benjamin; Galinier, Richard; Emans, Remi; Cesari, Italo M.; Cosseau, Celine; Mitta, Guillaume
Wind-blown rain, rain splash, and films of free moisture play important roles in the epidemiology of many plant diseases. The effects of simulated rain acidified with sulfuric acid were studied on several host-parasite systems. Plants were exposed in greenhouse or field to simulated rain of pH 3.2 ± 0.1 or pH 6.0 ± 0.2. Simulated ‘rain’ of pH 3.2 resulted
D. S. Shriner
Hosts either tolerate avian brood parasitism or reject it by ejecting parasitic eggs, as seen in most rejecter hosts of common cuckoos, Cuculus canorus, or by abandoning parasitized clutches, as seen in most rejecter hosts of brown-headed cowbirds, Molothrus ater. What explains consistent variation between alternative rejection behaviours of hosts within the same species and across species when exposed to different types of parasites? Life history theory predicts that when parasites decrease the fitness of host offspring, but not the future reproductive success of host adults, optimal clutch size should decrease. Consistent with this prediction, evolutionarily old cowbird hosts, but not cuckoo hosts, have lower clutch sizes than related rarely- or newly parasitized species. We constructed a mathematical model to calculate the fitness payoffs of egg ejector vs. nest abandoner hosts to determine if various aspects of host life history traits and brood parasites' virulence on adult and young host fitness differentially influence the payoffs of alternative host defences. These calculations showed that in general egg ejection was a superior anti-parasite strategy to nest abandonment. Yet, increasing parasitism rates and increasing fitness values of hosts' eggs in both currently parasitized and future replacement nests led to switch points in fitness payoffs in favour of nest abandonment. Nonetheless, nest abandonment became selectively more favourable only at lower clutch sizes and only when hosts faced parasitism by a cowbird- rather than a cuckoo-type brood parasite. We suggest that, in addition to evolutionary lag and gape-size limitation, our estimated fitness differences based on life history trait variation provide new insights for the consistent differences observed in the anti-parasite rejection strategies between many cuckoo- and cowbird-hosts. PMID:16910987
Servedio, M R; Hauber, M E
Trophically transmitted parasites may increase their transmission efficiency by altering the behaviour of infected hosts to increase their susceptibility to predation by target hosts (the next host in the life cycle). The parasite Diplostomum spathaceum (Trematoda) reduces the vision of its fish intermediate hosts: its metacercariae lodge themselves in the eyes of fish and induce cataract formation, which gives them
Otto Seppälä; Anssi Karvonen; E. Tellervo Valtonen
The existence and localisation of carbohydrate terminals in Enteromyxum scophthalmi stages was investigated at light (LM) and transmission electron microscopes (TEM) using lectin histochemistry techniques,\\u000a with the aim of contributing to elucidate the participation of carbohydrate–lectin interactions in the parasite invasion and\\u000a relationships with the fish host. The presence of abundant mannose and\\/or glucose residues was demonstrated by the intense
M. J. Redondo; N. Cortadellas; O. Palenzuela; P. Alvarez-Pellitero
The health of the honeybee and, indirectly, global crop production are threatened by several biotic and abiotic factors, which play a poorly defined role in the induction of widespread colony losses. Recent descriptive studies suggest that colony losses are often related to the interaction between pathogens and other stress factors, including parasites. Through an integrated analysis of the population and
Francesco Nazzi; Sam P. Brown; Desiderato Annoscia; Fabio Del Piccolo; Gennaro Di Prisco; Paola Varricchio; Giorgio Della Vedova; Federica Cattonaro; Emilio Caprio; Francesco Pennacchio
Summary 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
Jacobus C. de Roode; Amy B. Pedersen; Mark D. Hunter; Sonia Altizer
Two components of the transmission dynamics of Trichostrongylus tenuis in red grouse are examined and quantified, namely parasite transmission rate and density-dependent reductions in egg production. Age-intensity data for birds of known age suggest that the rate of parasite uptake increases during the first 6 mo of a bird's life and this increase reflects an increase in feeding rate with age and exhibits no signs of self-cure. Analysis of these age-intensity curves permits us to estimate the transmission rate of the free-living infective stages. Reinfection rates of adults treated to reduce parasite intensities were not significantly different from infection rates of naive immature grouse. Secondary infections continued to rise over a period of 18 mo and this suggests that there is no strong host-mediated response against the parasite. Any density-dependent reduction in parasite fecundity is probably very weak and would act through interspecific competition between parasites. Initial analysis of worm egg production in relation to the intensity of worm infection found weak evidence of density-dependent suppression of egg production at high worm intensities. However, a more rigorous analysis found that such a relationship suffered from Type I errors and was a consequence of the aggregated distribution of the parasites. Any density-dependent suppression of parasite egg production is too weak to be detected and would only occur at high worm intensities. The potential density-dependent reductions in fecundity on the population dynamics of T. tenuis and red grouse are examined using a mathematical model. The model suggests that the presence of density-dependent reductions in worm fecundity could produce significant reductions in the propensity of the grouse-nematode system to exhibit population cycles. The sustained cycles observed in the long-term dynamics of the grouse populations in the study area suggest that density-dependent reductions in worm fecundity and establishment are either absent or only operating at levels that are not detectable in field studies. PMID:9105295
Hudson, P J; Dobson, A P
Over the past decades, various free-living animals (hosts) and their parasites have invaded recipient areas in which they had not previously occurred, thus gaining the status of aliens or exotics. In general this happened to a low extent for hundreds of years. With variable frequency, invasions have been followed by the dispersal and establishment of non-indigenous species, whether host or parasite. In the literature thus far, colonizations by both hosts and parasites have not been treated and reviewed together, although both are usually interwoven in various ways. As to those factors permitting invasive success and colonization strength, various hypotheses have been put forward depending on the scientific background of respective authors and on the conspicuousness of certain invasions. Researchers who have tried to analyse characteristic developmental patterns, the speed of dispersal or the degree of genetic divergence in populations of alien species have come to different conclusions. Among parasitologists, the applied aspects of parasite invasions, such as the negative effects on economically important hosts, have long been at the centre of interest. In this contribution, invasions by hosts as well as parasites are considered comparatively, revealing many similarities and a few differences. Two helminths, the liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, of cattle and sheep and the swimbladder nematode, Anguillicola crassus, of eels are shown to be useful as model parasites for the study of animal invasions and environmental global change. Introductions of F. hepatica have been associated with imports of cattle or other grazing animals. In various target areas, susceptible lymnaeid snails serving as intermediate hosts were either naturally present and/or were introduced from the donor continent of the parasite (Europe) and/or from other regions which were not within the original range of the parasite, partly reflecting progressive stages of a global biota change. In several introduced areas, F. hepatica co-occurs with native or exotic populations of the congeneric F. gigantica, with thus far unknown implications. Over the fluke's extended range, in addition to domestic stock animals, wild native or naturalized mammals can also serve as final hosts. Indigenous and displaced populations of F. hepatica, however, have not yet been studied comparatively from an evolutionary perspective. A. crassus, from the Far East, has invaded three continents, without the previous naturalization of its natural host Anguilla japonica, by switching to the respective indigenous eel species. Local entomostrac crustaceans serve as susceptible intermediate hosts. The novel final hosts turned out to be naive in respect to the introduced nematode with far reaching consequences for the parasite's morphology (size), abundance and pathogenicity. Comparative infection experiments with Japanese and European eels yielded many differences in the hosts' immune defence, mirroring coevolution versus an abrupt host switch associated with the introduction of the helminth. In other associations of native hosts and invasive parasites, the elevated pathogenicity of the parasite seems to result from other deficiencies such as a lack of anti-parasitic behaviour of the naďve host compared to the donor host which displays distinct behavioural patterns, keeping the abundance of the parasite low. From the small amount of available literature, it can be concluded that the adaptation of certain populations of the novel host to the alien parasite takes several decades to a century or more. Summarizing all we know about hosts and parasites as aliens, tentative patterns and principles can be figured out, but individual case studies teach us that generalizations should be avoided. PMID:16768855
Host–parasite interactions are ideal systems for the study of coevolutionary processes. Although infections with multiple\\u000a parasite species are presumably common in nature, most studies focus on the interactions of a single host and a single parasite.\\u000a To the best of our knowledge, we present here the first study on the dependency of parasite virulence and host resistance\\u000a in a multiple
Christoph von Beeren; Munetoshi Maruyama; Rosli Hashim; Volker Witte
SUMMARY The ability of pathogens to neutralize host defence mechanisms represents a fundamental requisite in the successful establishment of an infection. Host-pathogen interactions between quahog parasite unknown (QPX) and its hard clam host are poorly understood. Our prior in vivo investigations have shown that different QPX isolates display varying levels of pathogenicity toward clams. Similarly, field investigations and laboratory transmission
MICKAEL PERRIGAULT; BASSEM ALLAM
Human neurocysticercosis (NC) is endemic in most countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa and is re-emerging in some industrialized nations. Both within and among endemic countries, NC is very variable in its clinical and radiological features, as well as in the intensity of the immuno-inflammatory reactions of the hosts. This review, focusing on the Mexican experience, describes and interprets the heterogeneity of NC as the result of different combinations among factors associated with the parasite, host and environment. The review may serve to foster similar descriptive efforts in other endemic areas of the world in order to facilitate the identification of the distinct factors that participate in the complex pathogenesis and diverse clinical outcomes of NC. In particular, it is necessary to understand the precise physiopathology of the inflammatory reaction associated with NC, as inflammation is one of the characteristics of those NC cases that are clinically more severe and less responsive to current treatments. Devising new medical interventions through the use of molecular regulators of the innate and adaptive immune responses of the host is a largely unexplored approach that could improve the existing forms of treatment. PMID:20116079
Fleury, Agnčs; Escobar, Alfonso; Fragoso, Gladis; Sciutto, Edda; Larralde, Carlos
. ?Experimental studies have shown that parasites can reduce host density and even drive host population to extinction. Conventional\\u000a mathematical models for parasite-host interactions, while can address the host density reduction scenario, fail to explain\\u000a such deterministic extinction phenomena. In order to understand the parasite induced host extinction, Ebert et al. (2000)\\u000a formulated a plausible but ad hoc epidemiological microparasite model
Tzy-Wei Hwang; Yang Kuang
In this study, we investigated the interaction between host outcrossing and infection in the Biomphalaria glabrata–Schistosoma mansoni system. Snails collected from three susceptible isofemale lines were mated with either siblings or snails recently derived\\u000a from a field site in Brazil. Resulting inbred and outcrossed progeny were then exposed to S. mansoni larvae and monitored for a 10-week period. Interestingly, all
Gregory J. Sandland; Amy R. Wethington; Alice V. Foster; Dennis J. Minchella
The transfer of a nucleus into a cytoplasm of a genetically foreign cell and its subsequent multiplication in the cytoplasm of this cell characterize most parasitic red algal species and their interactions with specific red algal hosts. Nuclei enter the host's cytoplasm upon cell fusion of parasite and host cell; here, they replicate, are spread to contiguous host cells, and
Lynda J. Goff; Annette W. Coleman
In this chapter a review of research published since 2000 on the biology of the snail intermediate hosts of trematode parasites of medical importance in Southeast Asia, and related taxa is presented. Recent taxonomic revisions of the first intermediate hosts of Paragonimus in the region are considered and an account of changes in current perspectives regarding the evolution of intermediate-host:parasite associations for both Paragonimus and Schistosoma is given. The latest phylogeographical hypotheses for Schistosoma, Paragonimus, Fasciola and Fasciolopsis are also reviewed and compared. Work performed in the region on the snail intermediate hosts of other less studied parasites, such as Opisthorchis/Clonorchis and haplorchids, is also described. PMID:20627149
Attwood, Stephen W
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
de Roode, Jacobus C; Pedersen, Amy B; Hunter, Mark D; Altizer, Sonia
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. PMID:23225868
Lafferty, Kevin D; Shaw, Jenny C
Colony defense by honey bees, Apis mellifera, is associated with stinging and mass attack, fueled by the release of alarm pheromones. Thus, alarm pheromones are critically important to survival of honey bee colonies. Here we report that in the parasitic relationship between the European honey bee and the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, the honey bee's alarm pheromones serve a negative function because they are potent attractants for the beetle. Furthermore, we discovered that the beetles from both Africa and the United States vector a strain of Kodamaea ohmeri yeast, which produces these same honey bee alarm pheromones when grown on pollen in hives. The beetle is not a pest of African honey bees because African bees have evolved effective methods to mitigate beetle infestation. However, European honey bees, faced with disease and pest management stresses different from those experienced by African bees, are unable to effectively inhibit beetle infestation. Therefore, the environment of the European honey bee colony provides optimal conditions to promote the unique bee-beetle-yeast-pollen multitrophic interaction that facilitates effective infestation of hives at the expense of the European honey bee. PMID:17483478
Torto, Baldwyn; Boucias, Drion G; Arbogast, Richard T; Tumlinson, James H; Teal, Peter E A
Colony defense by honey bees, Apis mellifera, is associated with stinging and mass attack, fueled by the release of alarm pheromones. Thus, alarm pheromones are critically important to survival of honey bee colonies. Here we report that in the parasitic relationship between the European honey bee and the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, the honey bee's alarm pheromones serve a negative function because they are potent attractants for the beetle. Furthermore, we discovered that the beetles from both Africa and the United States vector a strain of Kodamaea ohmeri yeast, which produces these same honey bee alarm pheromones when grown on pollen in hives. The beetle is not a pest of African honey bees because African bees have evolved effective methods to mitigate beetle infestation. However, European honey bees, faced with disease and pest management stresses different from those experienced by African bees, are unable to effectively inhibit beetle infestation. Therefore, the environment of the European honey bee colony provides optimal conditions to promote the unique bee–beetle–yeast–pollen multitrophic interaction that facilitates effective infestation of hives at the expense of the European honey bee.
Torto, Baldwyn; Boucias, Drion G.; Arbogast, Richard T.; Tumlinson, James H.; Teal, Peter E. A.
Knowledge of the population dynamics of parasites and their hosts is essential to build veterinary and health programs. The example chosen is that of Fasciola hepatica, a food-borne trematode responsible for severe human and animal infections on the five continents. In this paper, we review the relationships between the liver fluke and its intermediate (mollusc) and definitive (vertebrate) hosts.
Sylvie Hurtrez-Boussčs; Cécile Meunier; Patrick Durand; François Renaud
We explore parasite-host interactions, a less investigated subset of the well-established predator-prey model. In particular, it is not well known how the numerous parameters of the system affect its characteristics. Parasite-host systems rely on their spatial interaction, as a parasite must make physical contact with the host to reproduce. Using C++ to program a Monte Carlo simulation, we study how the speed and type of movement of the host affect the spatial and temporal distribution of the parasites. By drawing on mean-field theoretics, we find the exact solution for the parasite distribution with a stationary host at the center and analyze the distributions for a moving host. The findings of the study provide rich behavior of a non-equilibrium system and bring insights to pest-control and, on a larger scale, epidemics spreading.
Breecher, Nyles; Dong, Jiajia
Insects and parasites are ubiquitous. In any environment, there are numerous insects and parasites. Independent evolutionary selection has occurred and parasites and insects are taxonomically diverse (Roy et al, 2006). However, many insect-parasite interacts have evolved between insects and parasites due to the number and habitat overlap of the groups (Roy et al, 2006). In addition, to the separation of
Parasitic plants--which make their living by extracting nutrients and other resources from other plants--are important components of many natural ecosystems; and some parasitic species are also devastating agricultural pests. To date, most research on plant parasitism has focused on nutrient transfer from host to parasite and the impacts of parasites on host plants. Far less work has addressed potential effects of the translocation of bioactive non-nutrient solutes-such as phytohormones, secondary metabolites, RNAs, and proteins-on the development and physiology of parasitic plants and on their subsequent interactions with other organisms such as insect herbivores. A growing number of recent studies document the transfer of such molecules from hosts to parasites and suggest that they may have significant impacts on parasite physiology and ecology. We review this literature and discuss potential implications for management and priorities for future research. PMID:23870786
Smith, Jason D; Mescher, Mark C; De Moraes, Consuelo M
The purpose of the project was to try to determine if variation in host red cell metabolism could influence malaria severity, and whether information obtained could be used in developing new treatments. During the tenure of this contract, a number of stud...
G. J. Brewer
Ebert (1994) has proposed the rule that parasites are, with few exceptions, more infective to sympatric hosts than to allopatric hosts. We test this rule using field data for schistosome infections of planorbid snails and find that, although sympatric parasite-host combinations do tend to be more compatible, there are exceptions where particular allopatric parasite-host populations are significantly more compatible. We
S. Morand; S. D. Manning; M. E. J. Woolhouse
Human–parasite relationships have played an essential role in the emergence or re-emergence of some parasitic diseases. These interactions are due to numerous causes. Some are linked to humans (immunodeficiencies due to AIDS among other causes, treatments, nosocomial contaminations, genetic predisposition), others concern the parasite (particular genotypes having modified their parasitic specificity). Several of these causes were predominant in the emergence
Background Sympatric speciation—the divergence of populations into new species in absence of geographic barriers to hybridization—is the most debated mode of diversification of life forms. Parasitic organisms are prominent models for sympatric speciation, because they may colonise new hosts within the same geographic area and diverge through host specialization. However, it has been argued that this mode of parasite divergence is not strict sympatric speciation, because host shifts likely cause the sudden effective isolation of parasites, particularly if these are transmitted by vectors and therefore cannot select their hosts. Strict sympatric speciation would involve parasite lineages diverging within a single host species, without any population subdivision. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we report a case of extraordinary divergence of sympatric, ecologically distinct, and reproductively isolated malaria parasites within a single avian host species, which apparently occurred without historical or extant subdivision of parasite or host populations. Conclusions/Significance This discovery of within-host speciation changes our current view on the diversification potential of malaria parasites, because neither geographic isolation of host populations nor colonization of new host species are any longer necessary conditions to the formation of new parasite species.
Perez-Tris, Javier; Hellgren, Olof; Krizanauskiene, Asta; Waldenstrom, Jonas; Secondi, Jean; Bonneaud, Camille; Fjeldsa, Jon; Hasselquist, Dennis; Bensch, Staffan
Cuckoo eggs famously mimic those of their foster parents to evade rejection from discriminating hosts. Here we test whether parasites benefit by repeatedly parasitizing the same host nest. This should make accurate rejection decisions harder, regardless of the mechanism that hosts use to identify foreign eggs. Here we find strong support for this prediction in the African tawny-flanked prinia (Prinia subflava), the most common host of the cuckoo finch (Anomalospiza imberbis). We show experimentally that hosts reject eggs that differ from an internal template, but crucially, as the proportion of foreign eggs increases, hosts are less likely to reject them and require greater differences in appearance to do so. Repeated parasitism by the same cuckoo finch female is common in host nests and likely to be an adaptation to increase the probability of host acceptance. Thus, repeated parasitism interacts with egg mimicry to exploit cognitive and sensory limitations in host defences. PMID:24064931
Stevens, Martin; Troscianko, Jolyon; Spottiswoode, Claire N
Cuckoo eggs famously mimic those of their foster parents to evade rejection from discriminating hosts. Here we test whether parasites benefit by repeatedly parasitizing the same host nest. This should make accurate rejection decisions harder, regardless of the mechanism that hosts use to identify foreign eggs. Here we find strong support for this prediction in the African tawny-flanked prinia (Prinia subflava), the most common host of the cuckoo finch (Anomalospiza imberbis). We show experimentally that hosts reject eggs that differ from an internal template, but crucially, as the proportion of foreign eggs increases, hosts are less likely to reject them and require greater differences in appearance to do so. Repeated parasitism by the same cuckoo finch female is common in host nests and likely to be an adaptation to increase the probability of host acceptance. Thus, repeated parasitism interacts with egg mimicry to exploit cognitive and sensory limitations in host defences.
Stevens, Martin; Troscianko, Jolyon; Spottiswoode, Claire N.
It is established that bacteria with the ability to produce enzymes hydrolyzing carbohydrates of different complexity degrees\\u000a are associated with the intestine digestive-transport surfaces of the eelpout Lota lota (L.) and of cestoids Eubothrium rugosum parasitizing in it. The release by bacteria of enzymes hydrolyzing not only complex carbohydrates, but also disaccharides,\\u000a decreases the energy expenditures of the host and
G. I. Izvekova
This study describes the possible role of Mg 2+-dependent ecto-ATPase activity on the Trypanosoma cruzi–host cell interaction. Mg 2+-dependent ecto-ATPase activity is observed on the cell body and flagellar membranes of the parasite and is about 20 times greater in trypomastigotes, as compared with epimastigotes. Suramin (a competitive antagonist of P2 receptors) and the impermeant agent 4,4'-diisothiocyanostylbene 2',2'-disulfonic acid (DIDS), both
Danielle F. R. Bisaggio; CarlosEduardo Peres-Sampaio; JoséRoberto Meyer-Fernandes; Thaďs Souto-Padrón
We used phylogenetic analyses of cytochrome b sequences of malaria parasites and their avian hosts to assess the coevolutionary relationships betiveen host and parasite lineages. Many lineages of avian malaria parasites have broad host distributions, ivhich tend to obscure cospeciation events. The hosts of a single parasite or of closely related parasites were nonetheless most frequently recovered from members of
ROBERT E. RICKLEFS; SYLVIA M. FALLóN; ELDREDGE BERMINGHAM
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
Hartikainen, Hanna; Fontes, Inęs; Okamura, Beth
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.
De Marsico, Maria C; Reboreda, Juan C
BackgroundSympatric speciation—the divergence of populations into new species in absence of geographic barriers to hybridization—is the most debated mode of diversification of life forms. Parasitic organisms are prominent models for sympatric speciation, because they may colonise new hosts within the same geographic area and diverge through host specialization. However, it has been argued that this mode of parasite divergence is
Javier Pérez-Tris; Olof Hellgren; Asta Krizanauskiene; Jonas Waldenström; Jean Secondi; Camille Bonneaud; Jon Fjeldsĺ; Dennis Hasselquist; Staffan Bensch; Angus Buckling
Neuromodulators can resculpt neural circuits, giving an animal the behavioral flexibility it needs to survive in a complex changing world. This ability, however, provides parasites with a potential mechanism for manipulating host behavior. This paper reviews three invertebrate host-parasite systems to examine whether parasites can change host behavior by secreting neuromodulators. The parasitic wasp, Cotesia congregata, suppresses host feeding partly
Shelley A. Adamo; Invertebrate W Neuroimmunology
Striga hermonthica is an angiosperm parasite that causes substantial damage to a wide variety of cereal crop species, and to the livelihoods of subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. The broad host range of this parasite makes it a fascinating model for the study of host-parasite interactions, and suggests that effective long-term control strategies for the parasite will require an understanding of the potential for host range adaptation in parasite populations. We used a controlled experiment to test the extent to which the success or failure of S. hermonthica parasites to develop on a particular host cultivar (host resistance/compatibility) depends upon the identity of interacting host genotypes and parasite populations. We also tested the hypothesis that there is a genetic component to host range within individual S. hermonthica populations, using three rice cultivars with known, contrasting abilities to resist infection. The developmental success of S. hermonthica parasites growing on different rice-host cultivars (genotypes) depended significantly on a parasite population by host-genotype interaction. Genetic analysis using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers revealed that a small subset of AFLP markers showed 'outlier' genetic differentiation among sub-populations of S. hermonthica attached to different host cultivars. We suggest that, this indicates a genetic component to host range within populations of S. hermonthica, and that a detailed understanding of the genomic loci involved will be crucial in understanding host-parasite specificity and in breeding crop cultivars with broad spectrum resistance to S. hermonthica. PMID:21731054
Huang, K; Whitlock, R; Press, M C; Scholes, J D
Striga hermonthica is an angiosperm parasite that causes substantial damage to a wide variety of cereal crop species, and to the livelihoods of subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. The broad host range of this parasite makes it a fascinating model for the study of host–parasite interactions, and suggests that effective long-term control strategies for the parasite will require an understanding of the potential for host range adaptation in parasite populations. We used a controlled experiment to test the extent to which the success or failure of S. hermonthica parasites to develop on a particular host cultivar (host resistance/compatibility) depends upon the identity of interacting host genotypes and parasite populations. We also tested the hypothesis that there is a genetic component to host range within individual S. hermonthica populations, using three rice cultivars with known, contrasting abilities to resist infection. The developmental success of S. hermonthica parasites growing on different rice-host cultivars (genotypes) depended significantly on a parasite population by host–genotype interaction. Genetic analysis using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers revealed that a small subset of AFLP markers showed ‘outlier' genetic differentiation among sub-populations of S. hermonthica attached to different host cultivars. We suggest that, this indicates a genetic component to host range within populations of S. hermonthica, and that a detailed understanding of the genomic loci involved will be crucial in understanding host–parasite specificity and in breeding crop cultivars with broad spectrum resistance to S. hermonthica.
Huang, K; Whitlock, R; Press, M C; Scholes, J D
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.
The parasitic nematode Trichinella has a special relation with muscle, because of its unique intracellular localization in the skeletal muscle cell, completely\\u000a devoted in morphology and biochemistry to become the parasite protective niche, otherwise called the nurse cell. The long-lasting muscle infection of Trichinella exhibits a strong interplay with the host immune response, mainly characterized by a Th2 phenotype.\\u000a \\u000a \\u000a The
Fabrizo Bruschi; Lorena Chiumiento
Deviance partitioning can provide new insights into the ecology of host-parasite interactions. We studied the host-related\\u000a 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\\u000a factors. We hypothesised that parasite infection rates and species richness were determined by different
Vanesa Alzaga; Paolo Tizzani; Pelayo Acevedo; Francisco Ruiz-Fons; Joaquín Vicente; Christian Gortázar
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
Johnson, Pieter T J; Preston, Daniel L; Hoverman, Jason T; Lafonte, Bryan E
Transgenic pathogenic microorganisms expressing host cytokines such as gamma interferon (IFN-) have been shown to manipulate host-pathogen interaction, leading to immunomodulation and enhanced protection. Expression of host cytokines in malaria parasites offers the opportunity to investigate the potential of an immunomodulatory approach by generating immunopotentiated parasites. Using the primate malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi, we explored the conditions for expressing host
Hastings Ozwara; Jan A. M. Langermans; Clemens H. M. Kocken; Annemarie van der Wel; Peter H. van der Meide; Richard A. W. Vervenne; Jason M. Mwenda; Alan W. Thomas
Nematodes belonging to the genus Meloidogyne are the most ubiquitous and widespread plant-parasitic nematodes. They occur worldwide, are polyphagous and can parasitize most cultivated plants leading to reduced crop yields. They are especially harmful in developing countries because of the lack of suitable and feasible management strategies. Among all the control practices (chemicals, physical techniques, cultural practices, resistance), the use
Thierry Mateille; Koumborb Roch Dabiré; Sabine Fould; Mamadou Thiam Diop
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. PMID:19565211
Alzaga, Vanesa; Tizzani, Paolo; Acevedo, Pelayo; Ruiz-Fons, Francisco; Vicente, Joaquín; Gortázar, Christian
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.
Alzaga, Vanesa; Tizzani, Paolo; Acevedo, Pelayo; Ruiz-Fons, Francisco; Vicente, Joaquín; Gortázar, Christian
Phytoparasitic nematodes secrete an array of effector proteins to modify selected recipient plant cells into elaborate and essential feeding sites. The biological function of the novel 30C02 effector protein of the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, was studied using Arabidopsis thaliana as host and the beet cyst nematode, Heterodera schachtii, which contains a homologue of the 30C02 gene. Expression of Hg30C02 in Arabidopsis did not affect plant growth and development but increased plant susceptibility to infection by H. schachtii. The 30C02 protein interacted with a specific (AT4G16260) host plant ?-1,3-endoglucanase in both yeast and plant cells, possibly to interfere with its role as a plant pathogenesis-related protein. Interestingly, the peak expression of 30C02 in the nematode and peak expression of At4g16260 in plant roots coincided at around 3–5 d after root infection by the nematode, after which the relative expression of At4g16260 declined significantly. An Arabidopsis At4g16260 T-DNA mutant showed increased susceptibility to cyst nematode infection, and plants that overexpressed At4g16260 were reduced in nematode susceptibility, suggesting a potential role of host ?-1,3-endoglucanase in the defence response against H. schachtii infection. Arabidopsis plants that expressed dsRNA and its processed small interfering RNA complementary to the Hg30C02 sequence were not phenotypically different from non-transformed plants, but they exhibited a strong RNA interference-mediated resistance to infection by H. schachtii. The collective results suggest that, as with other pathogens, active suppression of host defence is a critical component for successful parasitism by nematodes and a vulnerable target to disrupt the parasitic cycle.
Hamamouch, Noureddine; Hewezi, Tarek; Baum, Thomas J.; Mitchum, Melissa G.; Hussey, Richard S.; Vodkin, Lila O.; Davis, Eric L.
Recently we presented how Camponotus ants in Thailand infected with the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis are behaviorally manipulated into dying where the conditions are optimal for fungal development. Death incurred in a very narrow zone of space and here we compare this highly specific manipulation with a related system in Brazil. We show that the behavioral manipulation is less fine-tuned and discuss the potential explanations for this by examining differences in ant host and environmental characteristics.
Exported proteins of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum interact with proteins of the erythrocyte membrane and induce substantial changes in the morphology, physiology and function of the host cell. These changes underlie the pathology that is responsible for the deaths of 1–2 million children every year due to malaria infections. The advent of molecular transfection technology, including the ability to
Alexander G. Maier; Brian M. Cooke; Alan F. Cowman; Leann Tilley
The reciprocal interactions between brood parasites and their hosts provide models for studying coevolution. For example, where hosts have evolved egg or chick discrimination, brood parasites have evolved mimicry of host eggs or chicks. Here, we suggest that there is another form of mimicry by cuckoos. A previous study has shown that naive small birds, with no evolutionary history of
Justin A. Welbergen; Nicholas B. Davies
Striga hermonthica is an angiosperm parasite that causes substantial damage to a wide variety of cereal crop species, and to the livelihoods of subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. The broad host range of this parasite makes it a fascinating model for the study of host–parasite interactions, and suggests that effective long-term control strategies for the parasite will require an understanding
K Huang; R Whitlock; J D Scholes
Forest Products Lab ... Title: Adaptations to host infection and larval parasitism in Unionoida ... As temporary parasites, mussels must primarily evade the innate immune responses of the host, rather than the adaptive (acquired) responses.
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.
Emmanuel Roger; Christoph Grunau; Raymond J. Pierce; Hirohisa Hirai; Benjamin Gourbal; Richard Galinier; Rémi Emans; Italo M. Cesari; Céline Cosseau; Guillaume Mitta
Raising genetically unrelated young is maladaptive, yet brood parasitism is widespread in birds. In several systems, hosts can evolve near-perfect defences against the parasite (discrimination and rejection of unlike eggs), making it difficult to understand how the parasite continues to exist. This study demonstrates costs to host defences (e.g. rejection of one's own eggs) such that once the parasite goes
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
Fielding, N J; MacNeil, C; Robinson, N; Dick, J T A; Elwood, R W; Terry, R S; Ruiz, Z; Dunn, A M
Starr, Mortimer P. (University of California, Davis), and Nancy L. Baigent. Parasitic interaction of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus with other bacteria. J. Bacteriol. 91:2006–2017. 1966.—The interactions of the predatory parasite, Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, with Erwinia amylovora, Pseudomonas tabaci, and P. phaseolicola were examined by means of phase-contrast and electron microscopy. Attachment of the bdellovibrio to the host cell is apparently initially reversible; detachment occurs infrequently in the later stages. Formation of a pore in the host cell wall is followed by disorganization of the host nucleus and of the murein layer of the host cell wall. Short host cells become totally spheroplasted; the longer rods of Pseudomonas usually are partially spheroplasted. The parasite completely invades the host cell, and the cell contents of the host are digested. Bdellovibrios living as parasites inside the host increase considerably in size in comparison with those which have been living away from the host for a time. When the host protoplast is entirely lysed, the parasites leave the disintegrating “ghosted” cell envelope, and are ready to reinitiate the parasitic cycle. The time taken for a mature Bdellovibrio cell to complete the parasitic cycle may vary depending on the length of time the parasite has been away from its hosts. Images
Starr, Mortimer P.; Baigent, Nancy L.
Invasive amoebiasis caused by Entamoeba histolytica is a major global health problem. Virulence is a rare outcome of infection, occurring in fewer than 1 in 10 infections. Not all strains of the parasite are equally virulent, and understanding the mechanisms and causes of virulence is an important goal of Entamoeba research. The sequencing of the genome of E. histolytica and the related avirulent species Entamoeba dispar has allowed whole-genome-scale analyses of genetic divergence and differential gene expression to be undertaken. These studies have helped elucidate mechanisms of virulence and identified genes differentially expressed in virulent and avirulent parasites. Here, we review the current status of the E. histolytica and E. dispar genomes and the findings of a number of genome-scale studies comparing parasites of different virulence.
Wilson, I W; Weedall, G D; Hall, N
Many parasites require synchronization of their infective phases with the appearance of susceptible host individuals and, for many species, diapause is one of the mechanisms contributing to such coincidence. A variety of ecological factors, like changes in host temperature produced by involuntary host shifting (substitution of the usual host by an infrequent one), can modify host-parasite synchronization of diapausing ectoparasites of endothermic species. To understand the influence of host shifting on the mechanisms of parasite synchronization, we conducted experiments using the system formed by the ectoparasitic fly Carnus hemapterus and its avian hosts. We simulated the occurrence of the usual host and natural cases of host shifting by exposing overwintering carnid pupae from Bee-eater nests (Merops apiaster) to the earlier incubation periods of two Carnus host species that frequently reoccupy Bee-eater nests. Pupae exposed to host shifting treatments advanced the mean date of emergence and produced an earlier and faster rate of emergence in comparison with pupae exposed both to the control (absence of any host) and Bee-eater treatments. The effect was more evident for the treatment resembling the host with the most dissimilar phenology to the one of the usual host. Our results show that host temperature is an environmental cue used by this nest-dwelling haematophagous ectoparasite and reveal that Carnus hemapterus has some potential to react to involuntary host shifting by means of plasticity in the termination of diapause. PMID:18752706
Calero-Torralbo, M A; Valera, F
The switching of parasitic organisms to novel hosts, in which they may cause the emergence of new diseases, is of great concern to human health and the management of wild and domesticated populations of animals. We used a phylogenetic approach to develop a better statistical assessment of host switching in a large sample of vector-borne malaria parasites of birds (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) over their history of parasite-host relations. Even with sparse sampling, the number of parasite lineages was almost equal to the number of avian hosts. We found that strongly supported sister lineages of parasites, averaging 1.2% sequence divergence, exhibited highly significant host and geographical fidelity. Event-based matching of host and parasite phylogenetic trees revealed significant cospeciation. However, the accumulated effects of host switching and long distance dispersal cause these signals to disappear before 4% sequence divergence is achieved. Mitochondrial DNA nucleotide substitution appears to occur about three times faster in hosts than in parasites, contrary to findings on other parasite-host systems. Using this mutual calibration, the phylogenies of the parasites and their hosts appear to be similar in age, suggesting that avian malaria parasites diversified along with their modern avian hosts. Although host switching has been a prominent feature over the evolutionary history of avian malaria parasites, it is infrequent and unpredictable on time scales germane to public health and wildlife management.
Ricklefs, Robert E; Fallon, Sylvia M
Apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death (PCD), plays a central role in normal tissue development as well as in the pathogenesis of different diseases. PCD is responsible for the non-inflammatory physiological elimination of potentially harmful or unnecessary cells during embryogenesis, and for the proper functioning of continuous cell renewal systems in adult organisms. Maturation of the immune system and the specific immune response are examples of situations where PCD plays important roles. This review discusses the importance of apoptosis in two fundamental elements of a host-parasite interaction: the parasite (Section 1), and the host's immune response (Section 2). Section 1 discusses questions raised by the description of apoptosis in unicellular eukaryotes, such as the evolutionary origin of the molecular components of PCD, its role in the emergence and maintenance of parasitism, and the constraints of a multicellular organization for the proper operation of a cell death programme. The proposal is that PCD can occur in any situation where living cells display features of an organized network which operates through interactions within themselves and/or with elements of their environment. The possibility is also discussed that evolutionary relics of a complete cell death system may operate in unicellular parasites with functions other than inducing cell death. Section 2 reviews data on the mechanisms of host-cell PCD and the consequences of this phenomenon in host defence and pathogenesis. Infectious agents, from viruses to parasites, can either delay or induce apoptosis of different types of host cells. Apoptosis following lymphocyte polyclonal activation and stimulation of peripheral T lymphocytes, as a result of the engagement of specific counter-receptor systems, is of special interest for defining host immunocompetence and mechanisms of immunopathology. PMID:11461030
DosReis, G A; Barcinski, M A
Many biological networks can maintain their function against single gene loss. However, the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for such robustness remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that antagonistic host–parasite interactions can act as a selective pressure driving the emergence of robustness against gene loss. Using a model of host signaling networks and simulating their coevolution with parasites that interfere with network function,
Marcel Salathé; Orkun S Soyer
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.
Cai, Yan; Shi, Suhua; Takasu, Fugo; M?ller, Anders P.; Antonov, Anton; Foss?y, Frode; Moksnes, Arne; R?skaft, Eivin; Stokke, Bard G.
Helminth parasites have evolved diverse molecular mechanisms that facilitate their establishment, growth and reproduction inside an immunologically hostile environment. Thus, the physiological interactions during the course of the immune response to helminths are complex. Infection induces antigen-specific recognition by the immune system, which is consequently charged with the responsibility of marshalling the appropriate effector responses necessary to destroy the parasite,
Galileo Escobedo; Lorena López-Griego; Jorge Morales-Montor
The reproductive success of insect parasitoids depends on two activities, searching for hosts to obtain immediate fitness\\u000a rewards (offspring) and searching for food to extend life span and enhance future reproductive opportunities. Models suggest\\u000a that to deal with this trade-off and to cope with the variability of the resources they depend on, parasitoids should simultaneously\\u000a integrate information originating from three
Patrice Lucchetta; Emmanuel Desouhant; Eric Wajnberg; Carlos Bernstein
Host-parasite interactions in the E. multilocularis-intermediate host model depend on a subtle balance between cellular immunity, which is responsible for host's resistance towards the metacestode, the larval stage of the parasite, and tolerance induction and maintenance. The pathological features of alveolar echinococcosis. the disease caused by E. multilocularis, are related both to parasitic growth and to host's immune response, leading to fibrosis and necrosis, The disease spectrum is clearly dependent on the genetic background of the host as well as on acquired disturbances of Th1-related immunity. The laminated layer of the metacestode, and especially its carbohydrate components, plays a major role in tolerance induction. Th2-type and anti-inflammatory cytokines, IL-10 and TGF-?, as well as nitric oxide, are involved in the maintenance of tolerance and partial inhibition of cytotoxic mechanisms. Results of studies in the experimental mouse model and in patients suggest that immune modulation with cytokines, such as interferon-?, or with specific antigens could be used in the future to treat patients with alveolar echinococcosis and/or to prevent this very severe parasitic disease.
Vuitton, Dominique Angele; Gottstein, Bruno
A mutualism-parasitism system of two species is considered, where mutualism is the dominant interaction when the predators (parasites) are at low density while parasitism is dominant when the predators are at high density. Our aim is to show that mutualism at low density promotes coexistence of the species and leads to high production of the prey (host). The mutualism-parasitism system presented here is a combination of the Lotka-Volterra cooperative model and Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model. By comparing dynamics of this system with those of the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model, we present the mechanisms by which the mutualism improves the coexistence of the species and production of the prey. Then the parameter space is divided into six regions, which correspond to the four outcomes of mutualism, commensalism, predation/parasitism and neutralism, respectively. When the parameters are varied continuously among the six regions, it is shown that the interaction outcomes of the system transition smoothly among the four outcomes. By comparing the dynamics of the specific system with those of the Lotka-Volterra cooperative model, we show that the parasitism at high density promotes stability of the system. A novel aspect of this paper is the simplicity of the model, which allows rigorous and thorough analysis and transparency of the results. PMID:22901072
Wang, Yuanshi; Deangelis, Donald L
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.
D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Brunner, Elisabeth; Wenseleers, Tom; Heinze, Jürgen
Parasites play an important role in the regulation of host population growth. How these ubiquitous stressors interact with anthropogenic stressors is less often studied. In a full factorial experiment we explored the independent and combined effects of the widely used herbicide diuron and a chytrid parasite on the fitness of genetically different monoclonal diatom populations. Furthermore, we evaluated how herbicide exposure influenced infection dynamics, parasite fitness and the impact of infectious disease on host populations. We found no evidence of host genetic variation for diuron sensitivity and parasite resistance. Instead, host population phenotype was a decisive factor in controlling parasite growth. Although herbicide exposure initially posed a constraint on disease transmission, it enhanced the spread of disease over time. Consequently, the nature of the parasite-toxicant stressor interaction shifted from antagonistic (on exponential host growth) towards additive (on final uninfected host density). We conclude that herbicide exposure can modify infection dynamics and impact of disease on host populations through the complex interplay between host and parasite growth dynamics and host population phenotype. PMID:23046213
Van den Wyngaert, Silke; Gsell, Alena S; Spaak, Piet; Ibelings, Bas W
\\u000a Central to understanding animal ecology are interactions between consumers and the consumed, whether predator–prey, herbivore–plant,\\u000a or mycophage–mushroom. A wealth of information exists describing just such relationships (Stephens and Krebs 1986; Stephens\\u000a et al. 2007). The first systematic and naturalistic study of primates (Alouatta palliata: Carpenter 1934) reported a partial list of items consumed by howler monkeys. Since then, countless food
Andrew J. J. MacIntosh; Michael A. Huffman
We investigated the role of kinship in intraspecific nest parasitism of wood ducks (Aix sponsa). Among waterfowl, female philopatry creates the potential for female relatives to nest in proximity. Costs of intraspecific nest parasitism to host females may be reduced if parasites lay eggs with kin. However, previous observations of marked wood ducks indicated that females avoided parasitizing clutch mates
Charlotte Roy Nielsen; Brad Semel; Paul W. Sherman; David F. Westneat; Patricia G. Parkera
Parasitization of fifth instar tasar silkworm, Antheraea mylitta, by the uzi fly, Blepharipa zebina; a host-parasitoid interaction and its effect on host's nutritional parameters and parasitoid development.
The uzi fly, Blepharipa zebina, is a well-known larval endoparasitoid of the tropical tasar silkworm, Antheraea mylitta. The present study dealt with the effect of the number of maggots developing per host on host nutritional parameters, parasitoid development and reproduction. Nutritional indices for ingestion, digestion, approximate digestibility, relative consumption rate, relative growth rate, and gain in body weight declined significantly with the increase in parasitoid burden, but the efficiency of conversion of digested food recorded a significant increase. The efficiency of conversion of ingested food remained little affected. The developmental period was significantly extended in larvae parasitized with 5 and 10 maggots per larva (mpl). Cocoon shell weight decreased by 27-63.5% in parasitized groups (1, 2, and 5 mpl) while larvae parasitized with 10 mpl could not spin cocoons. The maggot development period, recovery percentage, and fecundity of the uzi fly declined significantly with the increase in number of maggots developing per host. PMID:15707871
Rath, S S; Sinha, B R R P
Existing theory of host-parasite interactions has identified the genetic specificity of interaction as a key variable affecting the outcome of coevolution. The Matching Alleles (MA) and Gene For Gene (GFG) models have been extensively studied as the canonical examples of specific and non-specific interaction. The generality of these models has recently been challenged by uncovering real-world host-parasite systems exhibiting specificity patterns that fit neither MA nor GFG, and by the discovery of symbiotic bacteria protecting insect hosts against parasites. In the present paper we address both challenges, simulating a large number of non-canonical models of host-parasite interactions that explicitly incorporate symbiont-based host resistance. To assess the genetic specialisation in these hybrid models, we develop a quantitative index of specificity applicable to any coevolutionary model based on a fitness matrix. We find qualitative and quantitative effects of host-parasite and symbiont-parasite specificities on genotype frequency dynamics, allele survival, and mean host and parasite fitnesses.
Kwiatkowski, Marek; Engelstadter, Jan; Vorburger, Christoph
In avian brood parasitism, egg phenotype plays a key role for both host and parasite reproduction. Several parrotbill species of the genus Paradoxornis are parasitized by the common cuckoo Cuculus canorus, and clear polymorphism in egg phenotype is observed. In this article, we develop a population genetics model in order to identify the key parameters that control the maintenance of egg polymorphism. The model analyses show that egg polymorphism can be maintained either statically as an equilibrium or dynamically with frequency oscillations depending on the sensitivity of the host against unlike eggs and how the parasite targets host nests with specific egg phenotypes. On the basis of the model, we discuss egg polymorphism observed in parrotbills and other host species parasitized by the cuckoo. We suggest the possibility that frequencies of egg phenotypes oscillate and we appeal for monitoring of cuckoo-host interactions over a large spatiotemporal scale. PMID:22404333
Liang, W; Yang, C; Stokke, B G; Antonov, A; Fossřy, F; Vikan, J R; Moksnes, A; Rřskaft, E; Shykoff, J A; Mřller, A P; Takasu, F
Temporal variation in the direct and indirect influence that hosts and parasites exert on each other is still poorly understood. However, variation in species' influence due to species and interactions turnover can have important consequences for host community dynamics and/or for parasite transmission dynamics, and eventually for the risk of zoonotic diseases. We used data on a network of small mammals and their ectoparasites surveyed over 6 years to test hypotheses exploring (i) the temporal variability in direct and indirect influences species exert on each other in a community, and (ii) the differences in temporal variability of direct/indirect influences between temporally persistent (TP) and temporally intermittent species. We modelled the temporal variation in (i) direct reciprocal influence between hosts and parasites (hosts providing resources to parasites and parasites exploiting the resources of hosts), using an asymmetry index, and (ii) indirect influence among species within a community (e.g. facilitation of parasite infestation by other parasites), using betweenness centrality. We also correlated asymmetry and centrality to examine the relationship between them. Network dynamics was determined by TP species but even those species had strong among-species heterogeneity in the temporal variation of the direct/indirect effects they exerted. In addition, there was a significant positive linear correlation between asymmetry and centrality. We conclude that the temporal dynamics of host-parasite interactions is driven by TP hosts. However, even within this group of persistent species, some exhibit large temporal variation, such that the functional roles they play (e.g. in promoting parasite transmission) change over time. In addition, parasites having a large negative impact on hosts are also those facilitating the spread of other parasites through the entire host community. Our results provide new insights into community dynamics and can be applied in the management of antagonistic networks aimed at preventing disease outbreaks. PMID:23672501
Pilosof, Shai; Fortuna, Miguel A; Vinarski, Maxim V; Korallo-Vinarskaya, Natalia P; Krasnov, Boris R
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.
Patterns of host use by parasites throughout a guild community of intermediate hosts can depend on several biological and ecological factors, including physiology, morphology, immunology, and behavior. We looked at parasite transmission in the intertidal crustacean community of Lower Portobello Bay, Dunedin, New Zealand, with the intent of: (1) mapping the flow of parasites throughout the major crustacean species, (2) identifying hosts that play the most important transmission role for each parasite, and (3) assessing the impact of parasitism on host populations. The most prevalent parasites found in 14 species of crustaceans (635 specimens) examined were the trematodes Maritrema novaezealandensis and Microphallus sp., the acanthocephalans Profilicollis spp., the nematode Ascarophis sp., and an acuariid nematode. Decapods were compatible hosts for M. novaezealandensis, while other crustaceans demonstrated lower host suitability as shown by high levels of melanized and immature parasite stages. Carapace thickness, gill morphology, and breathing style may contribute to the differential infection success of M. novaezealandensis and Microphallus sp. in the decapod species. Parasite-induced host mortality appears likely with M. novaezealandensis in the crabs Austrohelice crassa, Halicarcinus varius, Hemigrapsus sexdentatus, and Macrophthalmus hirtipes, and also with Microphallus sp. in A. crassa. Overall, the different parasite species make different use of available crustacean intermediate hosts and possibly contribute to intertidal community structure. PMID:20950092
Koehler, Anson V; Poulin, Robert
The environmental conditions experienced by hosts are known to affect their mean parasite transmission potential. How different conditions may affect the variance of transmission potential has received less attention, but is an important question for disease management, especially if specific ecological contexts are more likely to foster a few extremely infectious hosts. Using the obligate-killing bacterium Pasteuria ramosa and its crustacean host Daphnia magna, we analysed how host nutrition affected the variance of individual parasite loads, and, therefore, transmission potential. Under low food, individual parasite loads showed similar mean and variance, following a Poisson distribution. By contrast, among well-nourished hosts, parasite loads were right-skewed and overdispersed, following a negative binomial distribution. Abundant food may, therefore, yield individuals causing potentially more transmission than the population average. Measuring both the mean and variance of individual parasite loads in controlled experimental infections may offer a useful way of revealing risk factors for potential highly infectious hosts.
Vale, Pedro F.; Choisy, Marc; Little, Tom J.
Experiments were conducted to study the host-parasite compatibility of various isolates of Biomphalaria glabrata snail and Schistosoma mansoni parasite isolates. A series of experiments conducted on 12 S. mansoni isolates have shown a range of infectivity potential for B. glabrata snail and 9 isolates of B. glabrata were found differentially susceptible to infection with S. mansoni trematode parasite. PMID:19093502
Arijo, A G; Doenhoff, M J; Soomro, N M; Rajput, Z I
Parasitic female moorhens (Gallinula chloropus) lay from one to six eggs in the nests of conspecific neighbours. DNA fingerprinting was used to show that parasitic eggs\\u000a could be correctly identified when they appeared in addition to or outside the host’s laying sequence. Moorhen hosts accept\\u000a all parasitic eggs laid after the 2nd day of their laying period. To understand why
Susan B. McRae; Terry Burke
The switching of parasitic organisms to novel hosts, in which they may cause the emergence of new diseases, is of great concern to human health and the management of wild and domesticated populations of animals. We used a phylogenetic approach to develop a better statistical assessment of host switching in a large sample of vector-borne malaria parasites of birds (Plasmodium
Robert E. Ricklefs; Sylvia M. Fallon
Individuals are often co-infected with several parasite species, yet the consequences of drug treatment on the dynamics of parasite communities in wild populations have rarely been measured. Here, we experimentally reduced nematode infection in a wild mouse population and measured the effects on other non-target parasites. A single oral dose of the anthelmintic, ivermectin, significantly reduced nematode infection, but resulted in a reciprocal increase in other gastrointestinal parasites, specifically coccidial protozoans and cestodes. These results highlight the possibility that drug therapy may have unintended consequences for non-target parasites and that host-parasite dynamics cannot always be fully understood in the framework of single host-parasite interactions. PMID:23658004
Pedersen, Amy B; Antonovics, Janis
Why do many hosts accept costly avian brood parasitism even when parasitic eggs and nestlings differ dramatically in appearance from their own? Scientists argue that evolutionary lag or equilibrium can explain this evolutionary enigma. Few, however, consider the potential of parasitic birds to enforce acceptance by destroying eggs or nestlings of hosts that eject parasitic eggs and thereby reject parasitism. This retaliatory "mafia" behavior has been reported in one species of parasitic cuckoo but never in parasitic cowbirds. Here we present experimental evidence of mafia behavior in the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), a widely distributed North American brood parasite. We manipulated ejection of cowbird eggs and cowbird access to predator-proof nests in a common host to test experimentally for mafia behavior. When cowbird access was allowed, 56% of "ejector" nests were depredated compared with only 6% of "accepter" nests. No nests were destroyed when cowbird access was always denied or when access was denied after we removed cowbird eggs, indicating that cowbirds were responsible. Nonparasitized nests were depredated at an intermediate rate (20%) when cowbirds were allowed access, suggesting that cowbirds may occasionally "farm" hosts to create additional opportunities for parasitism. Cowbirds parasitized most (85%) renests of the hosts whose nests were depredated. Ejector nests produced 60% fewer host offspring than accepter nests because of the predatory behavior attributed to cowbirds. Widespread predatory behaviors in cowbirds could slow the evolution of rejection behaviors and further threaten populations of some of the >100 species of regular cowbird hosts. PMID:17360549
Hoover, Jeffrey P; Robinson, Scott K
Why do many hosts accept costly avian brood parasitism even when parasitic eggs and nestlings differ dramatically in appearance from their own? Scientists argue that evolutionary lag or equilibrium can explain this evolutionary enigma. Few, however, consider the potential of parasitic birds to enforce acceptance by destroying eggs or nestlings of hosts that eject parasitic eggs and thereby reject parasitism. This retaliatory “mafia” behavior has been reported in one species of parasitic cuckoo but never in parasitic cowbirds. Here we present experimental evidence of mafia behavior in the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), a widely distributed North American brood parasite. We manipulated ejection of cowbird eggs and cowbird access to predator-proof nests in a common host to test experimentally for mafia behavior. When cowbird access was allowed, 56% of “ejector” nests were depredated compared with only 6% of “accepter” nests. No nests were destroyed when cowbird access was always denied or when access was denied after we removed cowbird eggs, indicating that cowbirds were responsible. Nonparasitized nests were depredated at an intermediate rate (20%) when cowbirds were allowed access, suggesting that cowbirds may occasionally “farm” hosts to create additional opportunities for parasitism. Cowbirds parasitized most (85%) renests of the hosts whose nests were depredated. Ejector nests produced 60% fewer host offspring than accepter nests because of the predatory behavior attributed to cowbirds. Widespread predatory behaviors in cowbirds could slow the evolution of rejection behaviors and further threaten populations of some of the >100 species of regular cowbird hosts.
Hoover, Jeffrey P.; Robinson, Scott K.
Blood-feeding arthropod vectors are responsible for transmitting many parasites between vertebrate hosts. While arthropod vectors often feed on limited subsets of potential host species, little is known about the extent to which this influences the distribution of vector-borne parasites in some systems. Here, we test the hypothesis that different vector species structure parasite-host relationships by restricting access of certain parasites to a subset of available hosts. Specifically, we investigate how the feeding patterns of Culex mosquito vectors relate to distributions of avian malaria parasites among hosts in suburban Chicago, IL, USA. We show that Plasmodium lineages, defined by cytochrome b haplotypes, are heterogeneously distributed across avian hosts. However, the feeding patterns of the dominant vectors (Culex restuans and Culex pipiens) are similar across these hosts, and do not explain the distributions of Plasmodium parasites. Phylogenetic similarity of avian hosts predicts similarity in their Plasmodium parasites. This effect was driven primarily by the general association of Plasmodium parasites with particular host superfamilies. Our results suggest that a mosquito-imposed encounter rate does not limit the distribution of avian Plasmodium parasites across hosts. This implies that compatibility between parasites and their avian hosts structure Plasmodium host range. PMID:23595266
Medeiros, Matthew C I; Hamer, Gabriel L; Ricklefs, Robert E
While often studied in isolation, host-parasite interactions are typically embedded within complex communities. Other community members, including predators and alternative hosts, can therefore alter parasite transmission (e.g., the dilution effect), yet few studies have experimentally evaluated more than one such mechanism. Here, we used data from natural wetlands to design experiments investigating how alternative hosts and predators of parasites mediate trematode (Ribeiroia ondatrae) infection in a focal amphibian host (Pseudacris regilla). In short-term predation bioassays involving mollusks, zooplankton, fish, larval insects, or newts, four of seven tested species removed 62-93% of infectious stages. In transmission experiments, damselfly nymphs (predators) and newt larvae (alternative hosts) reduced infection in P. regilla tadpoles by -50%, whereas mosquitofish (potential predators and alternative hosts) did not significantly influence transmission. Additional bioassays indicated that predators consumed parasites even in the presence of alternative prey. In natural wetlands, newts had similar infection intensities as P. regilla, suggesting that they commonly function as alternative hosts despite their unpalatability to downstream hosts, whereas mosquitofish had substantially lower infection intensities and are unlikely to function as hosts. These results underscore the importance of studying host-parasite interactions in complex communities and of broadly linking research on predation, biodiversity loss, and infectious diseases. PMID:22834364
Orlofske, Sarah A; Jadin, Robert C; Preston, Daniel L; Johnson, Pieter T J
Hemiparasitic plants display a unique strategy of resource acquisition combining parasitism of other species and own photosynthetic activity. Despite the active photoassimilation and green habit, they acquire substantial amount of carbon from their hosts. The organic carbon transfer has a crucial influence on the nature of the interaction between hemiparasites and their hosts which can oscillate between parasitism and competition for light. In this minireview, we summarize methodical approaches and results of various studies dealing with carbon budget of hemiparasites and the ecological implications of carbon heterotrophy in hemiparasites.
Plavcova, Lenka; Cameron, Duncan D
Individuals naturally vary in the severity of infectious disease when exposed to a parasite. Dissecting this variation into genetic and environmental components can reveal whether or not this variation depends on the host genotype, parasite genotype or a range of environmental conditions. Complicating this task, however, is that the symptoms of disease result from the combined effect of a series of events, from the initial encounter between a host and parasite, through to the activation of the host immune system and the exploitation of host resources. Here, we use the crustacean Daphnia magna and its parasite Pasteuria ramosa to show how disentangling genetic and environmental factors at different stages of infection improves our understanding of the processes shaping infectious disease. Using compatible host–parasite combinations, we experimentally exclude variation in the ability of a parasite to penetrate the host, from measures of parasite clearance, the reduction in host fecundity and the proliferation of the parasite. We show how parasite resistance consists of two components that vary in environmental sensitivity, how the maternal environment influences all measured aspects of the within-host infection process and how host–parasite interactions following the penetration of the parasite into the host have a distinct temporal component.
Hall, Matthew D.; Ebert, Dieter
Opportunistic parasite species, capable of exploiting several different host species, do not achieve the same abundance on all these hosts. Parasites achieve maximum abundance on their principal host species, and lower abundances on their auxiliary host species. Taxonomic relatedness between the principal and auxiliary host species may determine what abundance a parasite can achieve on its auxiliary hosts, as relatedness
B. R. Krasnov; G. I. Shenbrot; I. S. Khokhlova; R. Poulin
Intracellular eukaryotic parasites and their host cells constitute complex, coevolved cellular interaction systems that frequently cause disease. Among them, Plasmodium parasites cause a significant health burden in humans, killing up to one million people annually. To succeed in the mammalian host after transmission by mosquitoes, Plasmodium parasites must complete intracellular replication within hepatocytes and then release new infectious forms into the blood. Using Plasmodium yoelii rodent malaria parasites, we show that some liver stage (LS)-infected hepatocytes undergo apoptosis without external triggers, but the majority of infected cells do not, and can also resist Fas-mediated apoptosis. In contrast, apoptosis is dramatically increased in hepatocytes infected with attenuated parasites. Furthermore, we find that blocking total or mitochondria-initiated host cell apoptosis increases LS parasite burden in mice, suggesting that an anti-apoptotic host environment fosters parasite survival. Strikingly, although LS infection confers strong resistance to extrinsic host hepatocyte apoptosis, infected hepatocytes lose their ability to resist apoptosis when anti-apoptotic mitochondrial proteins are inhibited. This is demonstrated by our finding that B-cell lymphoma 2 family inhibitors preferentially induce apoptosis in LS-infected hepatocytes and significantly reduce LS parasite burden in mice. Thus, targeting critical points of susceptibility in the LS-infected host cell might provide new avenues for malaria prophylaxis.
Kaushansky, A; Metzger, P G; Douglass, A N; Mikolajczak, S A; Lakshmanan, V; Kain, H S; Kappe, S HI
Herbivore-carnivore interactions are influenced by the plants on which herbivores feed. Accordingly, dietary generalist herbivores have been shown to experience differential risk of mortality from carnivores on different host-plant species. Here, we investigate whether caterpillar density and host-plant quality play a role in driving variation in generalist forest caterpillar mortality from insect parasitoids using a large-scale, multi-year observational study. A total of 4,500 polyphagous caterpillars were collected from eight host-tree species in Connecticut deciduous forests over 5 years, and frequencies of mortality from insect parasitoids (flies and wasps) were compared across the eight host-plant species for the entire generalist caterpillar assemblage (76 species). Separate comparisons were made using seven numerically dominant generalist species, allowing us to account for variation in caterpillar species-specific parasitism risk. We find significant variation in parasitism frequencies of generalist caterpillars across the eight host-plant species when accounting for variation in caterpillar density. We find no support for an influence of caterpillar density on parasitism and no clear evidence for an effect of host-plant quality on parasitism. Therefore, the results of this study discount the hypotheses that variation in caterpillar density and host-plant quality are responsible for variation in parasitism frequencies across host-plant species. Instead, our findings point to other plant-related characteristics, such as plant-derived parasitoid attractants, which may have robust, community-wide effects. PMID:23620347
Farkas, Timothy E; Singer, Michael S
Despite the costs to avian parents of rearing brood parasitic offspring, many species do not reject foreign eggs from their nests. We show that where multiple parasitism occurs, rejection itself can be costly, by increasing the risk of host egg loss during subsequent parasite attacks. Chalk-browed mockingbirds (Mimus saturninus) are heavily parasitized by shiny cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis), which also puncture eggs in host nests. Mockingbirds struggle to prevent cowbirds puncturing and laying, but seldom remove cowbird eggs once laid. We filmed cowbird visits to nests with manipulated clutch compositions and found that mockingbird eggs were more likely to escape puncture the more cowbird eggs accompanied them in the clutch. A Monte Carlo simulation of this 'dilution effect', comparing virtual hosts that systematically either reject or accept parasite eggs, shows that acceptors enjoy higher egg survivorship than rejecters in host populations where multiple parasitism occurs. For mockingbirds or other hosts in which host nestlings fare well in parasitized broods, this benefit might be sufficient to offset the fitness cost of rearing parasite chicks, making egg acceptance evolutionarily stable. Thus, counterintuitively, high intensities of parasitism might decrease or even reverse selection pressure for host defence via egg rejection. PMID:22158956
Gloag, Ros; Fiorini, Vanina D; Reboreda, Juan C; Kacelnik, Alex
Despite the costs to avian parents of rearing brood parasitic offspring, many species do not reject foreign eggs from their nests. We show that where multiple parasitism occurs, rejection itself can be costly, by increasing the risk of host egg loss during subsequent parasite attacks. Chalk-browed mockingbirds (Mimus saturninus) are heavily parasitized by shiny cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis), which also puncture eggs in host nests. Mockingbirds struggle to prevent cowbirds puncturing and laying, but seldom remove cowbird eggs once laid. We filmed cowbird visits to nests with manipulated clutch compositions and found that mockingbird eggs were more likely to escape puncture the more cowbird eggs accompanied them in the clutch. A Monte Carlo simulation of this ‘dilution effect’, comparing virtual hosts that systematically either reject or accept parasite eggs, shows that acceptors enjoy higher egg survivorship than rejecters in host populations where multiple parasitism occurs. For mockingbirds or other hosts in which host nestlings fare well in parasitized broods, this benefit might be sufficient to offset the fitness cost of rearing parasite chicks, making egg acceptance evolutionarily stable. Thus, counterintuitively, high intensities of parasitism might decrease or even reverse selection pressure for host defence via egg rejection.
Gloag, Ros; Fiorini, Vanina D.; Reboreda, Juan C.; Kacelnik, Alex
The 35\\/50 kDa mucin-like surface glycoprotein (gp35\\/50) of Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclic trypomastigotes has beenimplicated in mammalian cell invasion. In this study we investigated whether the sialyl residues of gp35\\/50 are required for interaction of parasites with target cells. After treatment with bacterial neuraminidase, the metacyclic forms (G strain) remained reactive with the monoclonal antibody (mAb) 10138 but lost their reactivity
Nobuko Yoshida; Miriam L. Dorta; Alice T. Ferreira; Maria E. M. Oshiro; Renato A. Mortara; Alvaro Acosta-Serrano; Silvio Favoreto
Parasitic nematodes that infect humans, animals, and plants cause serious diseases that are deleterious to human health and agricultural productivity. Chemical and biological control methods have reduced the impact of these parasites. However, surviving environmental stages lead to persistent reinfection of host species. In addition, development of resistance to nematicides and anthelmintics by these parasites and reduced availability of some
Douglas P. Jasmer; Aska Goverse; Geert Smant
Coevolutionary arms races between brood parasites and hosts involve genetic adaptations and counter-adaptations. However, hosts sometimes acquire defenses too rapidly to reflect genetic change. Our field experiments show that observation of cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) mobbing by neighbors on adjacent territories induced reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) to increase the mobbing of cuckoos but not of parrots (a harmless control) on their own territory. In contrast, observation of neighbors mobbing parrots had no effect on reed warblers' responses to either cuckoos or parrots. These results indicate that social learning provides a mechanism by which hosts rapidly increase their nest defense against brood parasites. Such enemy-specific social transmission enables hosts to track fine-scale spatiotemporal variation in parasitism and may influence the coevolutionary trajectories and population dynamics of brood parasites and hosts. PMID:19498167
Davies, Nicholas B; Welbergen, Justin A
The prevalence of the protozoan parasite, Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, varies dramatically among natural populations of monarch butterflies. One potential cause of this variation is that host resistance or parasite virulence differs among populations due to underlying variation in host migratory behaviour and parasite transmission. In this study, I examined the geographic variation in host and parasite characteristics using reciprocal cross-infection experiments,
Sonia M. Altizer
Semiochemicals influence many aspects of insect behavior, including interactions between parasites and their hosts. We studied the chemical recognition system of bumblebees (Bombus) by examining the cuticular hydrocarbon cues of 14 species, including five species of social parasites, known as cuckoo bees (subgenus Psithyrus). We found that bumblebees possess species-specific alkene positional isomer profiles that are stable over large geographical regions and are mimicked by three host-specific cuckoo parasites. In three host-cuckoo associations where mimicry is poor, possibly due to recent host shifts, these cuckoos produce dodecyl acetate a known chemical repellent that allows the cuckoos to invade their host colonies. Our findings indicate cuckoos use two chemical mechanisms, mimicry and repellents, to invade their hosts, and this may reflect different stages of an ongoing dynamic arms race. PMID:20509042
Martin, Stephen J; Carruthers, Jonathan M; Williams, Paul H; Drijfhout, Falko P
The parasitic weed Orobanche crenata inflicts major damage on faba bean, lentil, pea and other crops in Mediterranean environments. The development of methods to control O. crenata is to a large extent hampered by the complexity of host–parasite systems. Using a model of host–parasite interactions can help to explain and understand this intricacy. This paper reports on the evaluation and
J. H. Grenz; A. M. Manschadi; P. deVoil; H. Meinke; J. Sauerborn
The reliability of information that animals use to make decisions has fitness consequences. Accordingly, selection should favor the evolution of strategies that enhance the reliability of information used in learning and decision making. For example, hosts of avian brood parasites should be selected to increase the reliability of the information they use to learn to recognize their own eggs and chicks. The American coot (Fulica americana), a conspecific brood parasite, uses cues learned from the first-hatched chicks of each brood to recognize and reject parasitic chicks. However, if parasitic eggs are among the first to hatch, recognition cues are confounded and parents then fail to distinguish parasitic chicks from their own chicks. Therefore, hosts could ensure correct chick recognition by delaying parasitic eggs from hatching until after the first host eggs. Here we demonstrate that discriminatory incubation, whereby coots specifically delay the hatching of parasitic eggs, improves the reliability of parasitic chick recognition. In effect, coots gain fitness benefits by enhancing the reliability of information they later use for learning. Our study shows that a positive interaction between two host adaptations in coots--egg recognition and chick recognition--increases the overall effectiveness of host defense. PMID:21396823
Shizuka, Daizaburo; Lyon, Bruce E
Organisms that can resist parasitic infection often have lower fitness in the absence of parasites. These costs of resistance can mediate host evolution during parasite epidemics. For example, large epidemics will select for increased host resistance. In contrast, small epidemics (or no disease) can select for increased host susceptibility when costly resistance allows more susceptible hosts to outcompete their resistant counterparts. Despite their importance for evolution in host populations, costs of resistance (which are also known as resistance trade-offs) have mainly been examined in laboratory-based host-parasite systems. Very few examples come from field-collected hosts. Furthermore, little is known about how resistance trade-offs vary across natural populations. We addressed these gaps using the freshwater crustacean Daphnia dentifera and its natural yeast parasite, Metschnikowia bicuspidata. We found a cost of resistance in two of the five populations we studied - those with the most genetic variation in resistance and the smallest epidemics in the previous year. However, yeast epidemics in the current year did not alter slopes of these trade-offs before and after epidemics. In contrast, the no-cost populations showed little variation in resistance, possibly because large yeast epidemics eroded that variation in the previous year. Consequently, our results demonstrate variation in costs of resistance in wild host populations. This variation has important implications for host evolution during epidemics in nature. PMID:24118613
Auld, S K J R; Penczykowski, R M; Housley Ochs, J; Grippi, D C; Hall, S R; Duffy, M A
Background Parasite heterogeneity and within-host competition are thought to be important factors influencing the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Yet, while there have been many theoretical investigations of how these factors may act, empirical data is more limited. We investigated the effects of parasite density and heterogeneity on parasite virulence and fitness using four strains of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae, and its leaf-cutting ant host Acromyrmex echinatior as the model system. Results The relationship between parasite density and infection was sigmoidal, with there being an invasion threshold for an infection to occur (an Allee effect). Although spore production was positively density-dependent, parasite fitness decreased with increasing parasite density, indicating within-host scramble competition. The dynamics differed little between the four strains tested. In mixed infections of three strains the infection-growth dynamics were unaffected by parasite heterogeneity. Conclusions The strength of within-host competition makes dispersal the best strategy for the parasite. Parasite heterogeneity may not have effected virulence or the infection dynamics either because the most virulent strain outcompeted the others, or because the interaction involved scramble competition that was impervious to parasite heterogeneity. The dynamics observed may be common for virulent parasites, such as Metarhizium, that produce aggregated transmission stages. Such parasites make useful models for investigating infection dynamics and the impact of parasite competition.
Hughes, William OH; Petersen, Klaus S; Ugelvig, Line V; Pedersen, Dorthe; Thomsen, Lene; Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J
Host behavioral changes due to parasitism are often assumed to be adaptations of the parasite. However, behavioral effects of parasites may be a generalized response to parasitism and only coincidentally beneficial for parasite transmission. For this reason, alternatives to the manipulation hypothesis should be tested. Previous work demonstrated that the trematode parasite Microphallus sp. influences the behavior of the snail
Edward P. Levri
Direct manipulation of host behaviour by endoparasites is well known among animal eukaryotic parasitic taxa like nematodes, trematodes and acanthocephalans, but is poorly documented amongst other taxa like fungi. The insect-parasitic fungal complex Entomophthora muscae is a pathogen of adult Diptera. During the summer months in Europe and America, large numbers of housefly Musca domestica and yellow dungfly Scatophaga stercoraria
D. P. Maitland
Circumstantial evidence in human malaria suggests that elimination of parasites by drug treatment meets higher success rates in individuals having some background immunity. In this study, using the rodent malaria model Plasmodium chabaudi, we show that drug-resistant parasites can be cleared by drugs when the host is partially immune. Malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum is still a major cause of
PEDRO CRAVO; RICHARD CULLETON; PAUL HUNT; DAVID WALLIKER; MARGARET J. MACKINNON
Cryptosporidium parvum is an intracellular protozoan parasite that causes a severe diarrheal illness in humans and animals. Previous ultrastructural studies have shown that Cryptosporidium resides in a unique intracellular compartment in the apical region of the host cell. The mechanisms by which Cryptosporidium invades host intestinal epithelial cells and establishes this compartment are poorly understood. The parasite is separated from
DAVID A. ELLIOTT; DOUGLAS P. CLARK
Nematode larvae developing within the glands cause local loss of parietal cells and mucous cell hyperplasia whereas reduced acid secretion, increased serum gastrin and pepsinogen concentrations and generalized histological changes are associated with parasites in the abomasal lumen. Parietal cells with dilated canaliculi and\\/or degenerative changes typical of necrosis are present soon after the transplantation of adult worms, and abomasal
H. V SIMPSON
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
Landis, Susanne H; Kalbe, Martin; Reusch, Thorsten B H; Roth, Olivia
Parasites are designed by evolution to invade the host and survive in its organism until they are ready to reproduce. Parasites release a variety of molecules that help them to penetrate the defensive barriers and avoid the immune attack of the host. In this respect, particularly interesting are enzymes and their inhibitors secreted by the parasites. Serine-, aspartic-, cysteine-, and metalloproteinases are involved in tissue invasion and extracellular protein digestion. Helminths secrete inhibitors of these enzymes (serpins, aspins, and cystatins) to inhibit proteinases, both of the host and their own. Proteinases and their inhibitors, as well as helminth homologues of cytokines and molecules containing phosphorylcholine, influence the immune response of the host biasing it towards the anti-inflammatory Th2 type. Nucleotide-metabolizing enzymes and cholinesterase are secreted by worms to reduce inflammation and expel the parasites from the gastrointestinal tract. An intracellular metazoan parasite, Trichinella spiralis, secretes, among others, protein kinases and phosphatases, endonucleases, and DNA-binding proteins, which are all thought to interfere with the host cellular signals for muscle cell differentiation. Secretion of antioxidant enzymes is believed to protect the parasite from reactive oxygen species which arise from the infection-stimulated host phagocytes. Aside from superoxide dismutase, catalase (rarely found in helminths), and glutathione peroxidase (selenium-independent, thus having a poor activity with H(2)O(2)), peroxiredoxins are probably the major H(2)O(2)-detoxifying enzymes in helminths. Secretion of antioxidant enzymes is stage-specific and there are examples of regulation of their expression by the concentration of reactive oxygen species surrounding the parasite. The majority of parasite-secreted molecules are commonly found in free-living organisms, thus parasites have only adapted them to use in their way of life. PMID:16410836
Dzik, Jolanta M
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
Toit, Nina du; van Vuuren, Bettine J; Matthee, Sonja; Matthee, Conrad A
The past decades have seen mounting evidence that parasites alter their host's behaviour in ways that benefit transmission, based on differences in the expression of behavioural traits between infected and control individuals, or on significant correlations between trait expression and infection levels. The multidimensional nature of host manipulation has only recently been recognised: parasites do not target single host traits, but instead suites of interrelated traits. Here, I use recent research on animal personality (behavioural differences among individuals consistent across time and situations) and behavioural syndromes (correlations at the population level among distinct behavioural traits, or between the same trait expressed in different contexts) to provide a framework from which simple testable patterns of host behavioural changes can be predicted. Following infection, a manipulative parasite could (i) change the temporal consistency of its host's behavioural responses, (ii) change the slope of a host reaction norm, i.e. the way host behavioural traits are expressed as a function of an environmental gradient, or (iii) decouple two or more host behavioural traits and/or change the way in which they correlate with each other. Two case studies involving trematode parasites and their freshwater hosts are used to provide empirical illustrations of the above scenarios. These clearly illustrate the full richness of behavioural alterations induced by parasites, and how these effects would go unnoticed using the classical trait-by-trait comparisons of mean values between parasitised and non-parasitised individuals. However, the power of animal personality and behavioural syndromes to inform research on host manipulation by parasites will only be fully realised when underlying mechanisms are elucidated and linked to their phenotypic impacts. PMID:23225863
This essay considers biotrophic cyst and root-knot nematodes in relation to their biology, host-parasite interactions and molecular genetics. These nematodes have to face the biological consequences of the physical constraints imposed by the soil environment in which they live while their hosts inhabit both above and below ground environments. The two groups of nematodes appear to have adopted radically different solutions to these problems with the result that one group is a host specialist and reproduces sexually while the other has an enormous host range and reproduces by mitotic parthenogenesis. We consider what is known about the modes of parasitism used by these nematodes and how it relates to their host range, including the surprising finding that parasitism genes in both nematode groups have been recruited from bacteria. The nuclear and mitochondrial genomes of these two nematode groups are very different and we consider how these findings relate to the biology of the organisms. PMID:18293363
Blok, Vivian C; Jones, John T; Phillips, Mark S; Trudgill, David L
Avian brood parasites lay their eggs in other birds' nests and impose considerable fitness costs on their hosts. Historically and scientifically, the best studied example of circumventing host defences is the mimicry of host eggshell colour by the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Yet the chemical basis of eggshell colour similarity, which impacts hosts' tolerance towards parasitic eggs, remains unknown. We tested the alternative scenarios that (i) cuckoos replicate host egg pigment chemistry, or (ii) cuckoos use alternative mechanisms to produce a similar perceptual effect to mimic host egg appearance. In parallel with patterns of similarity in avian-perceived colour mimicry, the concentrations of the two key eggshell pigments, biliverdin and protoporphyrin, were most similar between the cuckoo host-races and their respective hosts. Thus, the chemical basis of avian host-parasite egg colour mimicry is evolutionarily conserved, but also intraspecifically flexible. These analyses of pigment composition reveal a novel proximate dimension of coevolutionary interactions between avian brood parasites and hosts, and imply that alternative phenotypes may arise by the modifications of already existing biochemical and physiological mechanisms and pathways. PMID:21920975
Igic, Branislav; Cassey, Phillip; Grim, Tomás; Greenwood, David R; Moskát, Csaba; Rutila, Jarkko; Hauber, Mark E
Helminths are multicellular parasitic worms that comprise a major class of human pathogens and cause an immense amount of suffering worldwide. Helminths possess an abundance of complex and unique glycoconjugates that interact with both the innate and adaptive arms of immunity in definitive and intermediate hosts. These glycoconjugates represent a major untapped reservoir of immunomodulatory compounds, which have the potential to treat autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, and antigenic glycans, which could be exploited as vaccines and diagnostics. This review will survey current knowledge of the interactions between helminth glycans and host immunity and highlight the gaps in our understanding which are relevant to advancing therapeutics, vaccine development, and diagnostics.
Prasanphanich, Nina Salinger; Mickum, Megan L.; Heimburg-Molinaro, Jamie; Cummings, Richard D.
Infections by multiple genotypes are common in nature and are known to select for higher levels of virulence for some parasites. When parasites produce public goods (PGs) within the host, such co-infections have been predicted to select for lower levels of virulence. However, this prediction is based on simplifying assumptions regarding epidemiological feedbacks on the multiplicity of infections (MOI). Here, we analyse the case of parasites producing a PG (for example, siderophore-producing bacteria) using a nested model that ties together within-host and epidemiological processes. We find that the prediction that co-infection should select for less virulent strains for PG-producing parasites is only valid if both parasite transmission and virulence are linear functions of parasite density. If there is a trade-off relationship such that virulence increases more rapidly than transmission, or if virulence also depends on the total amount of PGs produced, then more complex relationships between virulence and the MOI are predicted. Our results reveal that explicitly taking into account the distribution of parasite strains among hosts could help better understand the selective pressures faced by parasites at the population level.
Alizon, Samuel; Lion, Sebastien
In coevolutionary arms races, like between cuckoos and their hosts, it is easy to understand why the host is under selection favouring anti-parasitism behaviour, such as egg rejection, which can lead to parasites evolving remarkable adaptations to 'trick' their host, such as mimetic eggs. But what about cases where the cuckoo egg is not mimetic and where the host does not act against it? Classically, such apparently non-adaptive behaviour is put down to evolutionary lag: given enough time, egg mimicry and parasite avoidance strategies will evolve. An alternative is that absence of egg mimicry and of anti-parasite behaviour is stable. Such stability is at first sight highly paradoxical. I show, using both field and experimental data to parametrize a simulation model, that the absence of defence behaviour by Cape bulbuls (Pycnonotus capensis) against parasitic eggs of the Jacobin cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) is optimal behaviour. The cuckoo has evolved massive eggs (double the size of bulbul eggs) with thick shells, making it very hard or impossible for the host to eject the cuckoo egg. The host could still avoid brood parasitism by nest desertion. However, higher predation and parasitism risks later in the season makes desertion more costly than accepting the cuckoo egg, a strategy aided by the fact that many cuckoo eggs are incorrectly timed, so do not hatch in time and hence do not reduce host fitness to zero. Selection will therefore prevent the continuation of any coevolutionary arms race. Non-mimetic eggs and absence of defence strategies against cuckoo eggs will be the stable, if at first sight paradoxical, result. PMID:21288944
In coevolutionary arms races, like between cuckoos and their hosts, it is easy to understand why the host is under selection favouring anti-parasitism behaviour, such as egg rejection, which can lead to parasites evolving remarkable adaptations to ‘trick’ their host, such as mimetic eggs. But what about cases where the cuckoo egg is not mimetic and where the host does not act against it? Classically, such apparently non-adaptive behaviour is put down to evolutionary lag: given enough time, egg mimicry and parasite avoidance strategies will evolve. An alternative is that absence of egg mimicry and of anti-parasite behaviour is stable. Such stability is at first sight highly paradoxical. I show, using both field and experimental data to parametrize a simulation model, that the absence of defence behaviour by Cape bulbuls (Pycnonotus capensis) against parasitic eggs of the Jacobin cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) is optimal behaviour. The cuckoo has evolved massive eggs (double the size of bulbul eggs) with thick shells, making it very hard or impossible for the host to eject the cuckoo egg. The host could still avoid brood parasitism by nest desertion. However, higher predation and parasitism risks later in the season makes desertion more costly than accepting the cuckoo egg, a strategy aided by the fact that many cuckoo eggs are incorrectly timed, so do not hatch in time and hence do not reduce host fitness to zero. Selection will therefore prevent the continuation of any coevolutionary arms race. Non-mimetic eggs and absence of defence strategies against cuckoo eggs will be the stable, if at first sight paradoxical, result.
A potential consequence of host-parasite coevolution in spatially structured populations is parasite local adaptation: local parasites perform better than foreign parasites on their local host populations. It has been suggested that the generally shorter generation times of parasites compared with their hosts contributes to parasites, rather than hosts, being locally adapted. We tested the hypothesis that relative generation times of
A. D. MORGAN; A. BUCKLING
The Red Queen hypothesis proposes that coevolving parasites select for outcrossing in the host. Outcrossing relies on males, which often show lower immune investment due to, for example, sexual selection. Here, we demonstrate that such sex differences in immunity interfere with parasite-mediated selection for outcrossing. Two independent coevolution experiments with Caenorhabditis elegans and its microparasite Bacillus thuringiensis produced decreased yet stable frequencies of outcrossing male hosts. A subsequent systematic analysis verified that male C. elegans suffered from a direct selective disadvantage under parasite pressure (i.e. lower resistance, decreased sexual activity, increased escape behaviour), which can reduce outcrossing and thus male frequencies. At the same time, males offered an indirect selective benefit, because male-mediated outcrossing increased offspring resistance, thus favouring male persistence in the evolving populations. As sex differences in immunity are widespread, such interference of opposing selective constraints is likely of central importance during host adaptation to a coevolving parasite.
Masri, Leila; Schulte, Rebecca D; Timmermeyer, Nadine; Thanisch, Stefanie; Crummenerl, Lena Luise; Jansen, Gunther; Michiels, Nico K; Schulenburg, Hinrich
Parasite chicks from non-evictor species usually try to monopolize host parental care, thereby increasing considerably the level of food competition in the nest. Here, we propose that brood parasitism is an important stressor for host and parasite nestlings and explore this hypothesis in the non-evictor great spotted cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) and its main hosts, the same-sized black-billed magpie (Pica pica) and the larger carrion crow (Corvus corone). We experimentally created 3-nestling broods of different brood compositions (only cuckoo chicks, only host chicks, or cuckoo and host chicks together) and measured baseline corticosterone levels of nestlings along their developmental period (early, middle and late). We found that brood parasitism increased corticosterone levels in magpie nestlings in the mid and late nestling period compared to those raised in unparasitized nests. Interestingly, carrion crow nestlings from parasitized nests only increased their corticosterone levels in the mid nestling period, when the competition for food with the cuckoo nestling was highest. Our results suggest that brood parasitism could be a potential physiological stressor for host nestlings, especially during the developmental stages where food requirements are highest. Conversely, cuckoo nestlings could be physiologically adapted to high competition levels since they did not show significant differences in corticosterone levels in relation to brood composition. PMID:22366505
Ibáńez-Álamo, Juan Diego; De Neve, Liesbeth; Roldán, María; Rodríguez, Juan; Trouvé, Colette; Chastel, Olivier; Soler, Manuel
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.
This study compares the continental phylogeographic patterns of two wild European species linked by a host-parasite relationship: the field mouse Apodemus sylvaticus and one of its specific parasites, the nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus. A total of 740 base pairs (bp) of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene were sequenced in 122 specimens of H. polygyrus and compared with 94 cyt b gene sequences (974 bp) previously acquired for A. sylvaticus. The results reveal partial spatial and temporal congruences in the differentiation of both species' lineages: the parasite and its host present three similar genetic and geographical lineages, i.e. Western European, Italian and Sicilian, and both species recolonized northwestern Europe from the Iberian refuge at the end of the Pleistocene. However, H. polygyrus presents three particular differentiation events. The relative rate of molecular evolution of the cyt b gene was estimated to be 1.5-fold higher in the parasite than in its host. Therefore, the use of H. polygyrus as a biological magnifying glass is discussed as this parasite may highlight previously undetected historical events of its host. The results show how incorporating phylogeographic information of an obligate associate can help to better understand the phylogeographic pattern of its host.
Nieberding, C; Morand, S; Libois, R; Michaux, J R
The absence of a consistent link between parasitoses and skin allergic symptoms in the clinical investigations contrasts to the fact that some parasites are the most potent inducers of immunoglobulin E that exist in nature. To shed some light into this question, this review is focused on the actual knowledge regarding parasites life cycle, interactions with host immunity, the influence on host behavior, and finally the role of all these factors on the skin allergy. The collected data demonstrate that parasites could manipulate the host behavior for its own benefit in different ways, altering its (epi)genetic, biochemical, immunologic or physiologic functions as well as altering its behavior and activity. In this context, skin allergy may be associated with certain stages of the parasites' life cycle and migration into biological barriers, but not necessarily with presence of the parasitosis in the host organism. As compared to T helper (Th) 1 response, the Th2 one, the eosinophilic infiltration and the complement inhibition could assure better conditions for the development of some parasites. Taken together, the suggested hypotheses could be a plausible explanation for the epidemiological puzzle regarding urticaria occurrence, Th2 response and parasitoses, but further studies are necessary to provide better-based conclusions. Keywords Eosinophilic Infiltration; Host behavior; Parasites life cycle; Skin allergy; Th1/Th2 response
Bakiri, Alketa Hysni; Mingomataj, Ervin Cerciz
Root-knot nematodes are highly efficient plant parasites that establish permanent feeding sites within host roots. The initiation of this feeding site is critical for parasitic success and requires an interaction with multiple signaling pathways involved in plant development and environmental response. Resistance against root-knot nematodes is relatively rare amongst their broad host range and they remain a major threat to agriculture. The development of effective and sustainable control strategies depends on understanding how host signaling pathways are manipulated during invasion of susceptible hosts. It is generally understood that root-knot nematodes either suppress host defense signaling during infestation or are able to avoid detection altogether, explaining their profound success as parasites. However, when compared to the depth of knowledge from other well-studied pathogen interactions, the published data on host responses to root-knot nematode infestation do not yet provide convincing support for this hypothesis and alternative explanations also exist. It is equally possible that defense-like signaling responses are actually induced and required during the early stages of root-knot nematode infestation. We describe how defense-signaling is highly context-dependent and that caution is necessary when interpreting transcriptional responses in the absence of appropriate control data or stringent validation of gene annotation. Further hypothesis-driven studies on host defense-like responses are required to account for these limitations and advance our understanding of root-knot nematode parasitism of plants. PMID:24157203
Goto, Derek B; Miyazawa, Hikota; Mar, Jessica C; Sato, Masanao
Identifying the roles of different hosts and vectors is a major challenge in the study of the ecology of diseases caused by multi-host pathogens. Intensive field studies suggested that grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster) help spread the bacterium that causes plague (Yersinia pestis) in prairie dog colonies by sharing fleas with prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus); yet conclusive evidence that prairie dog fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta) feed on grasshopper mice is lacking. Using stable nitrogen isotope analysis, we determined that many blood-engorged O. hirsuta collected from wild grasshopper mice apparently contained blood meals of prairie dogs. These results suggest that grasshopper mice may be infected with Y. pestis via mechanisms other than flea feeding, e.g., early phase or mechanical transmission or scavenging carcasses, and raise questions about the ability of grasshopper mice to maintain Y. pestis in prairie dog colonies during years between plague outbreaks. They also indicate that caution may be warranted when inferring feeding relationships based purely on the occurrence of fleas or other haematophagous ectoparasites on hosts. Stable-isotope analysis may complement or provide a useful alternative to immunological or molecular techniques for identifying hosts of cryptically feeding ectoparasites, and for clarifying feeding relationships in studies of host-parasite interactions. PMID:19967881
Stapp, Paul; Salkeld, Daniel J
Intracellular pathogens have complex metabolic interactions with their host cells to ensure a steady supply of energy and anabolic building blocks for rapid growth. Here we use the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii to probe this interaction for isoprenoids, abundant lipidic compounds essential to many cellular processes including signaling, trafficking, energy metabolism, and protein translation. Synthesis of precursors for isoprenoids in Apicomplexa occurs in the apicoplast and is essential. To synthesize longer isoprenoids from these precursors, T. gondii expresses a bifunctional farnesyl diphosphate/geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (TgFPPS). In this work we construct and characterize T. gondii null mutants for this enzyme. Surprisingly, these mutants have only a mild growth phenotype and an isoprenoid composition similar to wild type parasites. However, when extracellular, the loss of the enzyme becomes phenotypically apparent. This strongly suggests that intracellular parasite salvage FPP and/or geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP) from the host. We test this hypothesis using inhibitors of host cell isoprenoid synthesis. Mammals use the mevalonate pathway, which is susceptible to statins. We document strong synergy between statin treatment and pharmacological or genetic interference with the parasite isoprenoid pathway. Mice can be cured with atorvastatin (Lipitor) from a lethal infection with the TgFPPs mutant. We propose a double-hit strategy combining inhibitors of host and parasite pathways as a novel therapeutic approach against Apicomplexan parasites.
Li, Zhu-Hong; Ramakrishnan, Srinivasan; Striepen, Boris; Moreno, Silvia N. J.
Intracellular pathogens have complex metabolic interactions with their host cells to ensure a steady supply of energy and anabolic building blocks for rapid growth. Here we use the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii to probe this interaction for isoprenoids, abundant lipidic compounds essential to many cellular processes including signaling, trafficking, energy metabolism, and protein translation. Synthesis of precursors for isoprenoids in Apicomplexa occurs in the apicoplast and is essential. To synthesize longer isoprenoids from these precursors, T. gondii expresses a bifunctional farnesyl diphosphate/geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (TgFPPS). In this work we construct and characterize T. gondii null mutants for this enzyme. Surprisingly, these mutants have only a mild growth phenotype and an isoprenoid composition similar to wild type parasites. However, when extracellular, the loss of the enzyme becomes phenotypically apparent. This strongly suggests that intracellular parasite salvage FPP and/or geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP) from the host. We test this hypothesis using inhibitors of host cell isoprenoid synthesis. Mammals use the mevalonate pathway, which is susceptible to statins. We document strong synergy between statin treatment and pharmacological or genetic interference with the parasite isoprenoid pathway. Mice can be cured with atorvastatin (Lipitor) from a lethal infection with the TgFPPs mutant. We propose a double-hit strategy combining inhibitors of host and parasite pathways as a novel therapeutic approach against Apicomplexan parasites. PMID:24146616
Li, Zhu-Hong; Ramakrishnan, Srinivasan; Striepen, Boris; Moreno, Silvia N J
The lichen symbiosis allows a self-sustained life under harsh environmental conditions, yet symbiotic integrity can be affected by fungal parasites. Nothing is known about the impact of these biologically diverse and often specific infections on the recently detected bacterial community in lichens. To address this question, we studied the arctic-alpine 'chocolate chip lichen' Solorina crocea, which is frequently infected by Rhagadostoma lichenicola. We sampled healthy and infected lichens at two different sites in the Eastern Alps. High abundances of Acidobacteria, Planctomycetes, and Proteobacteria were identified analyzing 16S rRNA gene regions obtained by barcoded pyrosequencing. At the phylum and genus level, no significant alterations were present among infected and healthy individuals. Yet, evidence for a differentiation of communities emerged, when data were analyzed at the strain level by detrended correspondence analysis. Further, a profile clustering network revealed strain-specific abundance shifts among Acidobacteria and other bacteria. Study of stability and change in host-associated bacterial communities requires a fine-grained analysis at strain level. No correlation with the infection was found by analysis of nifH genes responsible for nitrogen fixation. PMID:22671536
Grube, Martin; Köberl, Martina; Lackner, Stefan; Berg, Christian; Berg, Gabriele
Ecological theory traditionally predicts that interspecific competition selects for an increase in ecological specialization. Specialization, in turn, is often thought to be an evolutionary ‘dead end,’ with specialist lineages unlikely to evolve into generalist lineages. In host–parasite systems, this specialization can take the form of host specificity, with more specialized parasites using fewer hosts. We tested the hypothesis that specialists are evolutionarily more derived, and whether competition favours specialization, using the ectoparasitic feather lice of doves. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that complete host specificity is actually the ancestral condition, with generalists repeatedly evolving from specialist ancestors. These multiple origins of generalists are correlated with the presence of potentially competing species of the same genus. A competition experiment with captive doves and lice confirmed that congeneric species of lice do, in fact, have the potential to compete in ecological time. Taken together, these results suggest that interspecific competition can favour the evolution of host generalists, not specialists, over macroevolutionary time.
Johnson, Kevin P.; Malenke, Jael R.; Clayton, Dale H.
Access to the article is free, however registration and sign-in are required. The wily malaria parasite has become resistant to many affordable frontline antimalarial drugs, and new drug targets are desperately needed. Reporting in a Perspective on new work (Zhang et al.), Goldberg suggests that we look for drug targets among proteins that are shared by the host and parasite but whose synthesis is regulated in a different way.
Daniel E. Goldberg (Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Washington University; Department of Medicine and Department of Molecular Microbiology)
Coevolving hosts and parasites can adapt to their local antagonist. In studies on natural populations, the observation of local adaptation patterns is thus often taken as indirect evidence for coevolution. Based on this approach, coevolution was previously inferred from an overall pattern of either parasite or host local adaptation. Many studies, however, failed to detect such a pattern. One explanation is that the studied system was not subject to coevolution. Alternatively, coevolution occurred, but remained undetected because it took different routes in different populations. In some populations, it is the host that is locally adapted, whereas in others it is the parasite, leading to the absence of an overall local adaptation pattern. Here, we test for overall as well as population-specific patterns of local adaptation using experimentally coevolved populations of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its bacterial microparasite Bacillus thuringiensis. Furthermore, we assessed the importance of random interaction effects using control populations that evolved in the absence of the respective antagonist. Our results demonstrate that experimental coevolution produces distinct local adaptation patterns in different replicate populations, including host, parasite or absence of local adaptation. Our study thus provides experimental evidence of the predictions of the geographical mosaic theory of coevolution, i.e. that the interaction between parasite and host varies across populations.
Schulte, Rebecca D.; Makus, Carsten; Hasert, Barbara; Michiels, Nico K.; Schulenburg, Hinrich
Parasitism poses a serious threat to hosts under certain circumstances, while the well-being of organisms is also negatively affected by environmental pollution. Little information is available on the simultaneous effects of parasites and pollutants on the physiological homeostasis of organisms. The present paper demonstrates that parasites: (i) may influence the metabolism of pollutants in infected hosts, (ii) interact with pollution in synergistic or antagonistic ways, and (iii) may induce physiological reactions in hosts which were thought to be pollutant-induced. Experimental studies on the uptake and accumulation of metals by fish reveal that fish infected with acanthocephalans have lower metal levels than uninfected hosts; e.g. Pomphorhynchus laevis reduces lead levels in fish bile, thereby diminishing or impeding the hepatic intestinal cycling of lead, which may reduce the quantity of metals available for fish. Alterations in pollutant uptake and accumulation in different intermediate and final hosts due to parasites are thus very important in the field of ecotoxicology. In addition to such alterations, there is a close interaction between the effects of pollutants and parasites which seems to be mediated at least partly by the endocrine system, which itself is closely related to the immune system in fish. Laboratory studies on eels experimentally infected with the swimbladder nematode Anguillicola crassus reveal that toxic chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls produce immunosuppressive effects which facilitate parasite infection. Similarly, an increase in serum cortisol concentration in eels due to chemical exposure and infection is correlated with decreasing levels of anti-A. crassus antibodies. Furthermore, parasites are able to elicit physiological changes which are attributed to chemicals with endocrine disrupting activity, e.g. the cestode Ligula intestinalis is known to suppress gonad development in roach. The most thoroughly documented examples of endocrine disruption in wild fish are in roach, and it is conceivable that this disruption is not only due to chemical activity but also to parasites such as L. intestinalis or species of the phylum Microspora. PMID:16768858
Parasitic plants are destructive agricultural pests. Today, parasitic plants have been recognized as serious pests causing considerable economic damage on crop and woods in China. Parasites are among the most destructive weeds known, and more and more people begin to pay more attention to the relationship between parasitic plant and host. Two cistanches and their hosts were analyzed and characterized by ICP-AES. The contents of K, P, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, B, Cu, Zn, Al and Mn in Tamarix chinensis, Haloxylon ammodendron, Cistanche deserticola and Cistanche tubulosa were determined. The results showed that the spectra of main elements of the two cistanches and their hosts are similar, but the content of each element is different. The content of K, P, N and Ca is higher than other element, The content of K and P in Cistanche deserticola and Cistanche tubulosa is higher than the content of theirs hosts. The present study provides a new scientific foundation for further study and general application of parasitic plant. PMID:21714253
Huang, Yong; Guo, Dong-Feng; Luo, Xiang; Zhao, Dong-Ping; Zhu, Yan-Xia; Guo, Yu-Hai
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
Berrilli, Federica; Di Cave, David; Cavallero, Serena; D'Amelio, Stefano
The interactions between intestinal microbiota, immune system, and pathogens describe the human gut as a complex ecosystem, where all components play a relevant role in modulating each other and in the maintenance of homeostasis. The balance among the gut microbiota and the human body appear to be crucial for health maintenance. Intestinal parasites, both protozoans and helminths, interact with the microbial community modifying the balance between host and commensal microbiota. On the other hand, gut microbiota represents a relevant factor that may strongly interfere with the pathophysiology of the infections. In addition to the function that gut commensal microbiota may have in the processes that determine the survival and the outcome of many parasitic infections, including the production of nutritive macromolecules, also probiotics can play an important role in reducing the pathogenicity of many parasites. On these bases, there is a growing interest in explaining the rationale on the possible interactions between the microbiota, immune response, inflammatory processes, and intestinal parasites.
Berrilli, Federica; Di Cave, David; Cavallero, Serena; D'Amelio, Stefano
Parasites cause significant economic losses in fish farming, and knowledge of the mechanisms underlying their effects on hosts is an essential prerequisite of preventative procedures for the parasite problem in hatcheries. One such mechanism is local adaptation of parasites, which should lead to higher infectivity of parasites in sympatric host–parasite combinations compared to corresponding allopatric combinations. In this study, we
Ari Voutilainen; Henriikka Valdez; Anssi Karvonen; Raine Kortet; Hanna Kuukka; Nina Peuhkuri; Jorma Piironen; Jouni Taskinen
Changes to host behaviour as a consequence of infection are common in many parasite-host associations, but their effects on the functional role hosts play within ecosystems are rarely quantified. This study reports that helminth parasites significantly decrease consumption of detritus by their isopod hosts in laboratory experiments. Natural host and parasite densities across eight contiguous seasons were used to estimate effects on the amount of stream detritus-energy processed. Extrapolations using mass-specific processing rates from laboratory results to field patterns suggest that the effects of the parasites occur year round but the greatest impact on the amount of detritus processed by isopods occurs in the autumn when the bulk of leaf detritus enters the stream, and when parasite prevalence in the isopod population is high. Parasites have a lesser impact on the amount of detritus processed in spring and summer when isopods are most abundant, when parasite prevalence is not high, and when fish predation on isopods is high. These results support the idea that parasites can affect the availability of resources critical to other species by altering behaviours related to the functional role hosts play in ecosystems, and suggest that seasonality may be an important factor to consider in the dynamics of these parasite-host interactions. PMID:17980880
Hernandez, Alexander D; Sukhdeo, Michael V K
The quality and quantity of food delivered to young are among the major determinants of fitness. A parental provisioning capacity is known to increase with body size. Therefore, brood parasitism provides an opportunity to test the effects of varying provisioning abilities of different-sized hosts on parasitic chick growth and fledging success. Knowledge of growth patterns of common cuckoo, Cuculus canorus,
Phylogeny is the evolutionary history of a group or the lineage of organisms and is reconstructed based on morphological, molecular and other characteristics. The genealogical relationship of a group of taxa is often expressed as a phylogenetic tree. The difficulty in categorizing the phylogeny is mainly due to the existence of frequent homoplasies that deceive observers. At the present time, cladistic analysis is believed to be one of the most effective methods of reconstructing a phylogenetic tree. Excellent computer program software for phylogenetic analysis is available. As an example, cladistic analysis was applied for nematode genera of the family Acuariidae, and the phylogenetic tree formed was compared with the system used currently. Nematodes in the genera Nippostrongylus and Heligmonoides were also analyzed, and the validity of the reconstructed phylogenetic trees was observed from a zoogeographical point of view. Some of the theories of parasite evolution were briefly reviewed as well. Coevolution of parasites and humans was discussed with special reference to the evolutionary relationship between Enterobius and primates.
The larvae of freshwater mussels are obligate ectoparasites on fishes while adults are sedentary and benthic. Dispersal of mussels is dependent on the movement of fish hosts, a regional process, but growth and reproduction should be governed by local processes. Thus, mussel assemblage attributes should be predictable from the regional distribution and abundance of fishes. At a broad spatial scale
Caryn C. Vaughn; Christopher M. Taylor
Background There have been reported cases of host-switching in avian and lizard species of Plasmodium (Apicomplexa, Haemosporidia), as well as in those infecting different primate species. However, no evidence has previously been found for host-swapping between wild birds and mammals. Methods This paper presents the results of the sampling of blood parasites of wild-captured bats from Madagascar and Cambodia. The presence of Haemosporidia infection in these animals is confirmed and cytochrome b gene sequences were used to construct a phylogenetic analysis. Results Results reveal at least three different and independent Haemosporidia evolutionary histories in three different bat lineages from Madagascar and Cambodia. Conclusion Phylogenetic analysis strongly suggests multiple host-switching of Haemosporidia parasites in bats with those from avian and primate hosts.
Duval, Linda; Robert, Vincent; Csorba, Gabor; Hassanin, Alexandre; Randrianarivelojosia, Milijaona; Walston, Joe; Nhim, Thy; Goodman, Steve M; Ariey, Frederic
The effects of parasites on the behavior of their hosts are well documented. For example, parasites may affect the habitat selection of the host individual. We used variables aggregation methods to investigate the way in which parasites affect the spatial pattern of susceptible hosts. We developed a simple epidemiological model, taking into account both the reproduction processes of hosts (density-dependent
S. Charles; S. Morand; J. L. Chassé; P. Auger
Much research has focused on effects of plant parasites on host-plant physiology and growth, but little is known about effects of host physiological condition on parasite growth. Using the parasitic dwarf mistletoe Arceuthobium vaginatum subsp. cryptopodum (Viscaceae) and its host Pinus ponderosa, we investigated whether changes in host physiological condition influenced mistletoe shoot development in northern Arizona forests. We conducted
Christopher P. Bickford; Thomas E. Kolb; Brian W. Geils
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.
Forsman, J. T.; Martin, T. E.
Control of schistosomiasis caused by Schistosoma japonicum has been severely hindered by the fact that several non-human mammalian species, including domesticated as well as wild animals, serve as zoonotic carriers of this infection. For effective control, it is imperative that the full host spectrum of this infection is understood. Although about 46 species of mammals are known to carry natural
Yi-Xun He; Buz Salafsky; Kalyanasundaram Ramaswamy
Malaria and other haemosporin parasites must undergo a round of sexual reproduction in their insect vector in order to produce stages that can be transmitted to vertebrate hosts. Consequently, it is crucial that parasites produce the sex ratio (proportion of male sexual stages) that will maximize the number of fertilization and thus, transmission to new vertebrate hosts. There is some evidence to show that, consistent with evolutionary theory, the sex ratios of malaria parasites are negatively correlated to their inbreeding rate. However, recent theory has shown that when fertilization success is compromised, parasites should respond by increasing their investment in sexual stages or by producing a less female biased ration than predicted by their inbreeding rate alone. Here, we show that two species of rodent malaria, Plasmodium chabaudi and Plasmodium vinckei petteri, adopt different strategies in response to host anaemia, a factor though to compromise transmission success: P. chabaudi increases investment in sexual stages, whereas P. vinckei produces a less female biased sex ratio. We suggest that these different transmission strategies may be due to marked differences in host cell preference. PMID:15799947
Reece, Sarah E; Duncan, Alison B; West, Stuart A; Read, Andrew F
Malaria and other haemosporin parasites must undergo a round of sexual reproduction in their insect vector in order to produce stages that can be transmitted to vertebrate hosts. Consequently, it is crucial that parasites produce the sex ratio (proportion of male sexual stages) that will maximize the number of fertilizations and thus, transmission to new vertebrate hosts. There is some evidence to show that, consistent with evolutionary theory, the sex ratios of malaria parasites are negatively correlated to their inbreeding rate. However, recent theory has shown that when fertilization success is compromised, parasites should respond by increasing their investment in sexual stages or by producing a less female biased sex ratio than predicted by their inbreeding rate alone. Here, we show that two species of rodent malaria, Plasmodium chabaudi and Plasmodium vinckei petteri, adopt different strategies in response to host anaemia, a factor thought to compromise transmission success: P. chabaudi increases investment in sexual stages, whereas P. vinckei produces a less female biased sex ratio. We suggest that these different transmission strategies may be due to marked species differences in host cell preference.
Reece, Sarah E; Duncan, Alison B; West, Stuart A; Read, Andrew F
Digenean trematode parasites require multiple host species to complete their life cycles, and their abundance can often be strongly correlated with the abundance of their host species. Species richness and abundance of parasites in easily sampled host species may yield an accurate estimate of the species richness and abundance of other hosts in a parasite's life cycle that are difficult to survey directly. Accordingly, we investigated whether prevalence and mean abundance of trematodes could be used to estimate the abundance of one of their host species, diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin), which are difficult to sample and are designated as near threatened (by the International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN Red List]) along some U.S. coasts. As an adult the trematode Pleurogonius malaclemys is specific to terrapins. Its larval stages live first inside mud snails (Ilyanassa obsoleta) and are subsequently shed into the environment where they form external metacercarial cysts on hard surfaces such as snail opercula. The life cycle of P. malaclemys is completed when terrapins ingest these cysts. At 12 sites along the coast of Georgia (U.S.A.), we determined the prevalence of internal P. malaclemys larvae in mud snails (proportion of infected snails in a population) and the prevalence and mean abundance of external trematode cysts. We examined whether these data were correlated with terrapin abundance, which we estimated with mark-recapture methods. The abundance of external cysts and salinity explained ?59% of the variability in terrapin abundance. We suggest that dependent linkages between the life stages of multihost parasites make them reliable predictors of host species' abundance, including hosts with abundances that are challenging to quantify directly. PMID:21029163
Byers, James E; Altman, Irit; Grosse, Andrew M; Huspeni, Todd C; Maerz, John C
Ecological interactions between microparasite populations in the same host are an important source of selection on pathogen traits such as virulence and drug resistance. In the rodent malaria model Plasmodium chabaudi in laboratory mice, parasites that are more virulent can competitively suppress less virulent parasites in mixed infections. There is evidence that some of this suppression is due to immune-mediated apparent competition, where an immune response elicited by one parasite population suppress the population density of another. This raises the question whether enhanced immunity following vaccination would intensify competitive interactions, thus strengthening selection for virulence in Plasmodium populations. Using the P. chabaudi model, we studied mixed infections of virulent and avirulent genotypes in CD4+T cell-depleted mice. Enhanced efficacy of CD4+T cell-dependent responses is the aim of several candidate malaria vaccines. We hypothesized that if immune-mediated interactions were involved in competition, removal of the CD4+T cells would alleviate competitive suppression of the avirulent parasite. Instead, we found no alleviation of competition in the acute phase, and significant enhancement of competitive suppression after parasite densities had peaked. Thus, the host immune response may actually be alleviating other forms of competition, such as that over red blood cells. Our results suggest that the CD4+-dependent immune response, and mechanisms that act to enhance it such as vaccination, may not have the undesirable affect of exacerbating within-host competition and hence the strength of this source of selection for virulence.
Barclay, Victoria C; Raberg, Lars; Chan, Brian H.K; Brown, Sheila; Gray, David; Read, Andrew F
Host-plants can mediate the interactions between herbivores and their mutualists and also between parasitic plants and their mutualists. The present study reveals how a hemiparasitic plant parasitizing three host species gives rise to three distinct hemiparasite-host neighborhoods which differ in terms of volatile composition and pollinator attractiveness. The study was performed in a population of the mistletoe Tristerix verticillatus infecting three different species of hosts occurring in sympatry within a small area, thus exposing all individuals studied to similar abiotic conditions and pollinator diversity; we assessed the effect of hosts on the hemiparasites' visual and olfactory cues for pollinator attraction. During the study period, the hemiparasite individuals were flowering but the hosts were past their flowering stage. We collected volatile organic compounds from the hemiparasite and its hosts, measured floral display characteristics and monitored bird and insect visitors to inflorescences of T. verticillatus. We showed that: (1) floral patches did not differ in terms of floral display potentially involved in the attraction of pollinators, (2) hosts and hemiparasites on each host were discriminated as distinct chemical populations in terms of their volatile chemical profiles, (3) insect visitation rates differed between hemiparasites parasitizing different hosts, and (4) volatile compounds from the host and the hemiparasite influenced the visitation of hemiparasite flowers by insects. The study showed that a species regarded as "ornithophilic" by its floral morphology was actually mostly visited by insects that interacted with its sexual organs during their visits and carried its pollen, and that host-specific plant-volatile profiles within the T. verticillatus population were associated with differential attractiveness to pollinating insects. PMID:19890665
Troncoso, Alejandra J; Cabezas, Nancy J; Faúndez, Eric H; Urzúa, Alejandro; Niemeyer, Hermann M
Abstract. Efforts to evaluate the evolutionary and ecological dynamics,of conspecific,brood parasitism in birds and other animals have focused on the fitness costs of parasitism to hosts and fitness benefits to parasites. However, it has been speculated recently that, in species with biparental care, host males might cooperate with parasitic females by allowing,access to the host nest in exchange,for copulations. We
Bruce E. Lyon; Wesley M. Hochachka; John M. Eadie
Horizontally transmitted parasites are broadly predicted to be more virulent, or costly to host fitness, than those with vertical transmission. This is mainly because vertical transmission, from host parent to offspring, explicitly links the reproductive interests of both parties. Underlying this prediction is a general assumption that parasite transmission success is positively correlated with its virulence. We report results where infection of larval yellow fever mosquitoes Aedes aegypti with the microsporidian Edhazardia aedis was experimentally manipulated. The parasite's complex life cycle allowed comparisons between estimates of horizontal and vertical transmission on host fitness. Our measure of virulence was the fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of adult female wings. Hosts harbouring spores showed higher FAs than controls. Horizontally transmitting spores were associated with higher FAs than vertically transmitting spores. Furthermore, within hosts FA correlated positively with the number of horizontally transmitting spores, while no relation was seen with the number of vertically transmitting spores. A developmental mechanism uncoupling the relationship between vertical transmission and virulence is proposed.
Agnew, P; Koella, J C
\\u000a Echinostomes are hermaphroditic digeneans that parasitize, as adults, numerous vertebrate hosts of all classes. In this chapter,\\u000a the main features of the development of adult echinostome in the definitive host are analyzed in detail. The stage of the\\u000a echinostome in the definitive host undergoes a number of features such as metacercarial excystment, establishment, habitat\\u000a location, adult development, mate, and release
Rhoptries are club-shaped secretory organelles located at the anterior pole of species belonging to the phylum of Apicomplexa. Parasites of this phylum are responsible for a huge burden of disease in humans and animals and a loss of economic productivity. Members of this elite group of obligate intracellular parasites include Plasmodium spp. that cause malaria and Cryptosporidium spp. that cause diarrhoeal disease. Although rhoptries are almost ubiquitous throughout the phylum, the relevance and role of the proteins contained within the rhoptries varies. Rhoptry contents separate into two intra-organellar compartments, the neck and the bulb. A number of rhoptry neck proteins are conserved between species and are involved in functions such as host cell invasion. The bulb proteins are less well-conserved and probably evolved for a particular lifestyle. In the majority of species studied to date, rhoptry content is involved in formation and maintenance of the parasitophorous vacuole; however some species live free within the host cytoplasm. In this review, we will summarise the knowledge available regarding rhoptry proteins. Specifically, we will discuss the role of the rhoptry kinases that are used by Toxoplasma gondii and other coccidian parasites to subvert the host cellular functions and prevent parasite death. PMID:23186105
Kemp, Louise E; Yamamoto, Masahiro; Soldati-Favre, Dominique
Background Co-evolutionary struggles between dangerous enemies (e.g., brood parasites) and their victims (hosts) lead to the emergence of sophisticated adaptations and counter-adaptations. Salient host tricks to reduce parasitism costs include, as front line defence, adult enemy discrimination. In contrast to the well studied egg stage, investigations addressing the specific cues for adult enemy recognition are rare. Previous studies have suggested barred underparts and yellow eyes may provide cues for the recognition of cuckoos Cuculus canorus by their hosts; however, no study to date has examined the role of the two cues simultaneously under a consistent experimental paradigm. Methodology/Principal Findings We modify and extend previous work using a novel experimental approach – custom-made dummies with various combinations of hypothesized recognition cues. The salient recognition cue turned out to be the yellow eye. Barred underparts, the only trait examined previously, had a statistically significant but small effect on host aggression highlighting the importance of effect size vs. statistical significance. Conclusion Relative importance of eye vs. underpart phenotypes may reflect ecological context of host-parasite interaction: yellow eyes are conspicuous from the typical direction of host arrival (from above), whereas barred underparts are poorly visible (being visually blocked by the upper part of the cuckoo's body). This visual constraint may reduce usefulness of barred underparts as a reliable recognition cue under a typical situation near host nests. We propose a novel hypothesis that recognition cues for enemy detection can vary in a context-dependent manner (e.g., depending on whether the enemy is approached from below or from above). Further we suggest a particular cue can trigger fear reactions (escape) in some hosts/populations whereas the same cue can trigger aggression (attack) in other hosts/populations depending on presence/absence of dangerous enemies that are phenotypically similar to brood parasites and costs and benefits associated with particular host responses.
Trnka, Alfred; Prokop, Pavol; Grim, Tomas
Malaria parasites grow within erythrocytes, but are also free in host plasma between cycles of asexual replication. As a result, the parasite is exposed to fluctuating levels of Na(+) and K(+) , ions assumed to serve important roles for the human pathogen, Plasmodium falciparum. We examined these assumptions and the parasite's ionic requirements by establishing continuous culture in novel sucrose-based media. With sucrose as the primary osmoticant and K(+) and Cl(-) as the main extracellular ions, we obtained parasite growth and propagation at rates indistinguishable from those in physiological media. These conditions abolish long-known increases in intracellular Na(+) via parasite-induced channels, excluding a requirement for erythrocyte cation remodelling. We also dissected Na(+) , K(+) and Cl(-) requirements and found that unexpectedly low concentrations of each ion meet the parasite's demands. Surprisingly, growth was not adversely affected by up to 148 mM K(+) , suggesting that low extracellular K(+) is not an essential trigger for erythrocyte invasion. At the same time, merozoite egress and invasion required a threshold ionic strength, suggesting critical electrostatic interactions between macromolecules at these stages. These findings provide insights into transmembrane signalling in malaria and reveal fundamental differences between host and parasite ionic requirements. PMID:23347042
Pillai, Ajay D; Addo, Rachel; Sharma, Paresh; Nguitragool, Wang; Srinivasan, Prakash; Desai, Sanjay A
To investigate how intracellular parasites manipulate their host cell environment at the molecular level, we undertook a quantitative proteomic study of cells following infection with the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Using conventional two-dimensional electrophoresis, difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE), and mass spectrometry, we identified host proteins that were consistently modulated in expression following infection. We detected modification of protein expression in key metabolic pathways, including glycolysis, lipid and sterol metabolism, mitosis, apoptosis, and structural-protein expression, suggestive of global reprogramming of cell metabolism by the parasite. Many of the differentially expressed proteins had not been previously implicated in the response to the parasite, while others provide important corroborative protein evidence for previously proposed hypotheses of pathogen-cell interactions. Significantly, over one-third of all modulated proteins were mitochondrial, and this was further investigated by DIGE analysis of a mitochondrion-enriched preparation from infected cells. Comparison of our proteomic data with previous transcriptional studies suggested that a complex relationship exits between transcription and protein expression that may be partly explained by posttranslational modifications of proteins and revealed the importance of investigating protein changes when interpreting transcriptional data. To investigate this further, we used phosphatase treatment and DIGE to demonstrate changes in the phosphorylation states of several key proteins following infection. Overall, our findings indicate that the host cell proteome responds in a dramatic way to T. gondii invasion, in terms of both protein expression changes and protein modifications, and reveal a complex and intimate molecular relationship between host and parasite.
Nelson, M. M.; Jones, A. R.; Carmen, J. C.; Sinai, A. P.; Burchmore, R.; Wastling, J. M.
Describes three experiments for undergraduates which illustrate associations of parasites with their host. Includes a table of parasite-induced alterations of selected host species. Instructional suggestions are also provided. (ML)
Brown, A. F.; Thompson, D. B. A.
|Describes three experiments for undergraduates which illustrate associations of parasites with their host. Includes a table of parasite-induced alterations of selected host species. Instructional suggestions are also provided. (ML)|
Brown, A. F.; Thompson, D. B. A.
Trypanosomatid protozoan parasites express an aggressive strategy of parasitism by infecting host macrophages and inducing extensive T-lymphocyte activation. One goal of such strategy is to drive the immune response of genetically susceptible hosts to a state of unresponsiveness regarding parasite killing. Unresponsiveness is achieved through different mechanisms, depending on the parasite species. In this brief review, recent findings on the
GEORGE A. DOSREIS
Background One of the big remaining challenges in evolutionary biology is to understand the evolution and maintenance of meiotic recombination. As recombination breaks down successful genotypes, it should be selected for only under very limited conditions. Yet, recombination is very common and phylogenetically widespread. The Red Queen Hypothesis is one of the most prominent hypotheses for the adaptive value of recombination and sexual reproduction. The Red Queen Hypothesis predicts an advantage of recombination for hosts that are coevolving with their parasites. We tested predictions of the hypothesis with experimental coevolution using the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, and its microsporidian parasite, Nosema whitei. Results By measuring recombination directly in the individuals under selection, we found that recombination in the host population was increased after 11 generations of coevolution. Detailed insights into genotypic and phenotypic changes occurring during the coevolution experiment furthermore helped us to reconstruct the coevolutionary dynamics that were associated with this increase in recombination frequency. As coevolved lines maintained higher genetic diversity than control lines, and because there was no evidence for heterozygote advantage or for a plastic response of recombination to infection, the observed increase in recombination most likely represented an adaptive host response under Red Queen dynamics. Conclusions This study provides direct, experimental evidence for an increase in recombination frequency under host-parasite coevolution in an obligatory outcrossing species. Combined with earlier results, the Red Queen process is the most likely explanation for this observation.
Parasitism by the braconid wasp Cotesia congregata affects the growth of Manduca sexta larvae in a parasitoid ‘dose-dependent’ fashion. Following parasitization of fourth-instar larvae, more heavily parasitized larvae grew larger compared to those containing fewer parasitoids due to an increase in host dry weight. The differences in host mass appeared to arise after oviposition. A ‘dose-dependent’ enhancement of host dry
MARIANNE ALLEYNE; NANCY E BECKAGE
We consider interactions between a symbiont and its host in the framework of the familiar Lotka–Volterra predator–prey model, modified to allow the symbiont to benefit the host. The model includes both benefits and costs to the interaction and spans the mutualism–parasitism continuum. We use this model to explore the shift from mutualism to parasitism in plant–mycorrhizae interactions across gradients of
Claudia Neuhauser; Joseph E. Fargione
Patterns of community and population diversity are likely to be dependent on interactions between ecological variables. Here we address how two important ecological variables - extrinsic periodic mortality events (disturbances) and the presence of obligate-killing parasites - interact to affect the diversity of niche-specialist genotypes in laboratory populations of the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens. Consistent with previous studies, diversity was maximized
Andrew D. Morgan; Angus Buckling
The effect of a time delay on the local stability of a host-parasite model is analyzed. The delay is between the time of parasitization of the host and the emergence of the parasite from the host. Assuming that an equilibrium point exists, the effect of a...
V. D. Adams D. L. DeAngelis R. A. Goldstein
Oxidoreductases which control the metabolic end-products in helminth parasites and their intermediate hosts were reviewed, in a trial to elucidate the respiratory metabolism during host-parasite associations. Special attention was given to Schistosoma parasites and their molluscan hosts. PMID:1611869
Nabih, I; el-Ansary, A
Parasitic plants in the Orobanchaceae use chemicals released from host plant roots to direct developmental processes crucial to their heterotrophic lifestyle. An illustrative example is the development of haustoria; parasite root organs that function in host attachment, penetration, and in the establishment of a physiological conduit through which host resources are robbed. The facultative parasite Triphysaria develops haustoria only in
Alexey Tomilov; Natalya Tomilova; Dong Hyun Shin; Denneal Jamison; Manuel Torres; Russell Reagan; Tizita Horning; Ruth Truong; AJ Nava; Adrian Nava; John I Yoder
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.
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. PMID:10840803
Turillazzi, S; Sledge, M F; Dani, F R; Cervo, R; Massolo, A; Fondelli, L
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.
Siracusano, Alessandra; Delunardo, Federica; Teggi, Antonella; Ortona, Elena
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
Siracusano, Alessandra; Delunardo, Federica; Teggi, Antonella; Ortona, Elena
The interaction of pathogenic bacteria with the host fibrinolytic system through the plasminogen molecule has been well documented. It has been shown, using animal models, to be important in invasion into the host and establishment of the infection. From a number of recent observations with parasitic protists and helminths, emerges evidence that also in these organisms the interaction with plasminogen may be important for infection and virulence. A group of molecules that act as plasminogen receptors have been identified in parasites. This group comprises the glycolytic enzymes enolase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and fructose-1,6-biphosphate aldolase, in common with the plasminogen receptors known in prokaryotic pathogens. The interaction with the fibrinolytic system may arm the parasites with the host protease plasmin, thus helping them to migrate and cross barriers, infect cells and avoid clot formation. In this context, plasminogen receptors on the parasite surface or as secreted molecules, may be considered virulence factors. A possible evolutionary scenario for the recruitment of glycolytic enzymes as plasminogen receptors by widely different pathogens is discussed. PMID:23850506
Figuera, Lourdes; Gómez-Arreaza, Amaranta; Avilán, Luisana
Host genetic factors exert significant influences on differential susceptibility to many infectious diseases. In addition, population structure of both host and parasite may influence disease distribution patterns. In this study, we assess the effects of population structure on infectious disease in two populations in which host genetic factors influencing susceptibility to parasitic disease have been extensively studied. The first population is the Jirel population of eastern Nepal that has been the subject of research on the determinants of differential susceptibility to soil-transmitted helminth infections. The second group is a Brazilian population residing in an area endemic for Trypanosoma cruzi infection that has been assessed for genetic influences on differential disease progression in Chagas disease. For measures of Ascaris worm burden, within-population host genetic effects are generally more important than host population structure factors in determining patterns of infectious disease. No significant influences of population structure on measures associated with progression of cardiac disease in individuals who were seropositive for T. cruzi infection were found. PMID:22312056
Williams-Blangero, Sarah; Criscione, Charles D; VandeBerg, John L; Correa-Oliveira, Rodrigo; Williams, Kimberly D; Subedi, Janardan; Kent, Jack W; Williams, Jeff; Kumar, Satish; Blangero, John
Niche theory predicts that species which share resources should evolve strategies to minimise competition for those resources,\\u000a or the less competitive species would be extirpated. Some plant species are constrained to co-occur, for example parasitic\\u000a plants and their hosts, and may overlap in their pollination niche if they flower at the same time and attract the same pollinators.\\u000a Using field
Jeff Ollerton; Adrian Stott; Emma Allnutt; Sam Shove; Chloe Taylor; Ellen Lamborn
Certain parasitic wasps (Ichneumonidae, Pimplinae) use self-produced vibrations transmitted on plant substrate to locate their\\u000a immobile concealed hosts (i.e. lepidopteran pupae). This mechanosensory mechanism, called the vibrational sounding, depends\\u000a both on physical cues of the environment and physical activity of the parasitoid and is postulated to depend on ambient temperature.\\u000a We analysed the influences of temperature on vibrational sounding by
J. Samietz; S. Kroder; D. Schneider; S. Dorn
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.
Thomas, Jeremy A.; Elmes, Graham W.; Sielezniew, Marcin; Stankiewicz-Fiedurek, Anna; Simcox, David J.; Settele, Josef; Schonrogge, Karsten
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.
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.
Lipid droplets (LDs) are highly dynamic cell organelles involved in energy homeostasis and membrane trafficking. Here, we review how select pathogens interact with LDs. Several RNA viruses use host LDs at different steps of their life cycle. Some intracellular bacteria and parasites usurp host LDs or encode their own lipid biosynthesis machinery, thus allowing production of LDs independently of their host. Although many mechanistic details of host/pathogen LD interactions are unknown, a picture emerges in which the unique cellular architecture and energy stored in LDs are important in the replication of diverse pathogens.
Herker, Eva; Ott, Melanie
Host-parasite coevolution is predicted to favour genetic diversity and the underlying mechanisms (e.g. sexual reproduction and, more generally, genetic exchange), because diversity enhances the antagonists' potential for rapid adaptation. To date, this prediction has mainly been tested and confirmed for the host. It should similarly apply to the parasite. Indeed, our previous work demonstrated that experimental coevolution between the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its microparasite Bacillus thuringiensis selects for genetic diversity in both antagonists. For the parasite, the previous analysis was based on plasmid-encoded toxin gene markers. Thus, it was restricted to a very small part of the bacterial genome and did not cover the main chromosome, which harbours a large variety of virulence factors. Here, we present new data for chromosomal gene markers of B. thuringiensis and combine this information with the previous results on plasmid-encoded toxins. Our new results demonstrate that, in comparison with the control treatment, coevolution with a host similarly leads to higher levels of genetic diversity in the bacterial chromosome, thus indicating the relevance of chromosomal genes for coevolution. Furthermore, the frequency of toxin gene gain is significantly elevated during coevolution, highlighting the importance of horizontal gene transfer as a diversity-generating mechanism. In conclusion, our study emphasizes the strong influence of antagonistic coevolution on parasite genetic diversity and gene exchange. PMID:23865952
Schulte, R D; Makus, C; Schulenburg, H
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
Kuris, Armand M; Goddard, Jeffrey H R; Torchin, Mark E; Murphy, Nicole; Gurney, Robert; Lafferty, Kevin D
Parasitic infections are often followed by changes in host behaviour. Numerous and exquisite examples of such behavioural alterations are known, covering a broad spectrum of parasites and hosts. Most descriptions of such parasite-induced changes in host behaviour are observational reports, while experimentally confirmed examples of parasite genes inducing these changes are limited. In this study, we review changes in invertebrate host behaviour observed upon infection by parasites and discuss such changes in an evolutionary context. We then explore possible mechanisms involved in parasite-induced changes in host behaviour. Genes and pathways known to play a role in invertebrate behaviour are reviewed, and we hypothesize how parasites (may) affect these pathways. This review provides the state of the art in this exciting, interdisciplinary field by exploring possible pathways triggered in hosts, suggesting methodologies to unravel the molecular mechanisms that lead to changes in host behaviour. PMID:23742168
van Houte, Stineke; Ros, Vera I D; van Oers, Monique M
Background Host specificity varies among parasite species. Some parasites are strictly host-specific, others show a specificity for congeneric or non-congeneric phylogenetically related host species, whilst some others are non-specific (generalists). Two cyprinids, Cyprinus carpio and Carassius gibelio, plus their respective hybrids were investigated for metazoan parasites. The aim of this study was to analyze whether interspecies hybridization affects host specificity. The different degrees of host specificity within a phylogenetic framework were taken into consideration (i.e. strict specialist, intermediate specialist, and intermediate generalist). Methods Fish were collected during harvesting the pond and identified using meristic traits and molecular markers. Metazoan parasite species were collected. Host specificity of parasites was determined using the following classification: strict specialist, intermediate specialist, intermediate generalist and generalist. Parasite species richness was compared between parental species and their hybrids. The effect of host species on abundance of parasites differing in host specificity was tested. Results Hybrids harbored more different parasite species but their total parasite abundance was lower in comparison with parental species. Interspecies hybridization affected the host specificity of ecto- and endoparasites. Parasite species exhibiting different degrees of host specificity for C. carpio and C. gibelio were also present in hybrids. The abundance of strict specialists of C. carpio was significantly higher in parental species than in hybrids. Intermediate generalists parasitizing C. carpio and C. gibelio as two phylogenetically closely related host species preferentially infected C. gibelio when compared to C. carpio, based on prevalence and maximum intensity of infection. Hybrids were less infected by intermediate generalists when compared to C. gibelio. Conclusions This finding does not support strict co-adaptation between host and parasite genotypes resulting in narrow host specificity, and showed that hybrid genotypes are susceptible to parasites exhibiting host specificity. The immune mechanisms specific to parental species might represent potential mechanisms explaining the low abundance of parasites in C. gibelio x C. carpio hybrids.
Host selection in blood-sucking arthropods has important evolutionary and ecological implications for the transmission dynamics, distribution and host-specificity of the parasites they transmit. The black salt-marsh mosquito (Aedes taeniorhynchus Wiedemann) is distributed throughout tropical to temperate coastal zones in the Americas, and continental populations are primarily mammalphilic. It is the only indigenous mosquito in the Galápagos Islands, having colonised the archipelago around 200,000 years ago, potentially adapting its host selection, and in the process, altering the dynamics of vector mediated pathogen interactions in the archipelago. Here, we use blood-meal analysis and PCR-based parasite screening approach to determine the blood-feeding patterns of A. taeniorhynchus in the Galápagos Islands and identify potential parasite transmission with which this mosquito could be involved. Our results show that A. taeniorhynchus feeds equally on mammals and reptiles, and only one avian sample was observed in 190 successful PCR amplifications from blood meals. However, we detected endemic filarial worms and Haemoproteus parasites known to infect various Galápagos bird species in mosquito thoraces, suggesting that feeding on birds must occur at low frequency, and that A. taeniorhynchus may play a role in maintaining some avian vector-borne pathogens, although more work is needed to explore this possibility. We also isolated three different DNA sequences corresponding to hemogregarine parasites of the genus Hepatozoon from mosquito and iguana blood samples, suggesting that more than one species of Hepatozoon parasites are present in Galápagos. Phylogenetic analysis of Hepatozoon 18sRNA sequences indicates that A. taeniorhynchus may have facilitated a recent breakdown in host-species association of formerly isolated Hepatozoon spp. infecting the reptile populations in the Galápagos Islands. PMID:22921730
Bataille, Arnaud; Fournié, Guillaume; Cruz, Marilyn; Cedeńo, Virna; Parker, Patricia G; Cunningham, Andrew A; Goodman, Simon J
The invertase present in the culture fluid of races 1, 2, and 3 of Phytophthora megasperma Drechs. var. sojae A. A. Hildebrand (Pms) were purified until they gave but a single band, whether stained for protein or carbohydrate, after isoelectric focusing in flat bed gels. The sugar compositions of multiple preparations of the purified invertases from each race of this fungal pathogen were determined by quantitative gas chromatography of their alditol acetates. The invertases are composed of about 25% carbohydrate. Mannose and glucosamine make up more than 97% of the carbohydrate portions of the invertases of all three Pms races analyzed, but the ratio of mannose to glucosamine is clearly not the same in each race. The glycosyl linkage compositions of the glucosamine-containing mannans of multiple preparations of the Pms invertases were determined by GC-MS analysis of the partially methylated alditol acetate derivatives. The results of these analyses demonstrate clear quantitative differences between the glycosyl components of the different Pms races. The existence of race-specific carbohydrate structures in the differentially virulent Pms races suggests that these carbohydrates may be involved in determining the specificity of hostpathogen interactions.
Ziegler, Ernst; Albersheim, Peter
Brood parasites usually reduce their host's breeding success, resulting in strong selection for the evolution of host defences. Intriguingly, some host individuals/populations show no defence against parasitism, which has been explained within the frame of three different evolutionary hypotheses. One of these hypotheses posits that intermediate levels of defence at the population level may result from nonrandom distribution of parasitism among host individuals (i.e. structured parasitism). Empirical evidence for structured brood parasitism is, however, lacking for hosts of European cuckoos due to the absence of long-term studies. Here, we seek to identify the patterns of structured parasitism by studying great spotted cuckoo parasitism on individual magpie hosts over five breeding seasons. We also aim to identify whether individual characteristics of female magpies and/or their territories were related to the status of repeated parasitism. We found that 28·3% of the females in our population consistently escaped from cuckoo parasitism. Only 11·3% of females were always parasitized, and the remaining 60·4% changed their parasitism status. The percentage of females that maintained their status of parasitism (i.e. either parasitized or nonparasitized) between consecutive years varied over the study. Females that never suffered cuckoo parasitism built bigger nests than parasitized females at the beginning of the breeding season and smaller nests than those of parasitized females later in the season. Nonparasitized females also moved little from year to year and preferred areas with different characteristics over the course of the breeding season than parasitized females. Overall, females escaping from cuckoo parasitism reared twice as many chicks per year than those that were parasitized. In conclusion, our study reveals for first time the existence of a structured pattern of cuckoo parasitism based on phenotypic characteristics of individual hosts and of their territories. PMID:23237197
Molina-Morales, Mercedes; Gabriel Martínez, Juan; Martín-Gálvez, David; A Dawson, Deborah; Rodríguez-Ruiz, Juan; Burke, Terry; Avilés, Jesús M
Juvenile parasitic cymothoid isopods (mancae) can injure or kill fishes, yet few studies have investigated their biology. While the definitive host of the adult cymothoids is usually a single host from a particular fish species, mancae may use so-called optional intermediate hosts before settling on the definitive host. Little, however, is known about these early interactions. The cymothoid isopod, Anilocra
R. M. Fogelman; A. S. Grutter
The evolutionary ecology of multihost parasites is predicted to depend upon patterns of host quality and the dynamics of transmission networks. Depending upon the differences in host quality and transmission asymmetries, as well as the balance between intra- and interspecific transmission, the evolution of specialist or generalist strategies is predicted. Using a trypanosome parasite of bumblebees, we ask how host quality and transmission networks relate to parasite population structure across host species, and thus the potential for the evolution of specialist strains adapted to different host species. Host species differed in quality, with parasite growth varying across host species. Highly asymmetric transmission networks, together with differences in host quality, likely explain local population structure of the parasite across host species. However, parasite population structure across years was highly dynamic, with parasite populations varying significantly from one year to the next within individual species at a given site. This suggests that, while host quality and transmission may provide the opportunity for short-term host specialization by the parasite, repeated bottlenecking of the parasite, in combination with its own reproductive biology, overrides these smaller scale effects, resulting in the evolution of a generalist parasite. PMID:23025597
Ruiz-González, Mario X; Bryden, John; Moret, Yannick; Reber-Funk, Christine; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Brown, Mark J F
The study of host-parasite interactions has increased considerably in the last decades, with many studies focusing on the identification of parasite molecules (i.e. surface or excretory/secretory proteins (ESP)) as potential targets for new specific treatments and/or diagnostic tools. In parallel, in the last few years there have been significant advances in the field of extracellular vesicles research. Among these vesicles, exosomes of endocytic origin, with a characteristic size ranging from 30–100 nm, carry several atypical secreted proteins in different organisms, including parasitic protozoa. Here, we present experimental evidence for the existence of exosome-like vesicles in parasitic helminths, specifically the trematodes Echinostoma caproni and Fasciola hepatica. These microvesicles are actively released by the parasites and are taken up by host cells. Trematode extracellular vesicles contain most of the proteins previously identified as components of ESP, as confirmed by proteomic, immunogold labeling and electron microscopy studies. In addition to parasitic proteins, we also identify host proteins in these structures. The existence of extracellular vesicles explains the secretion of atypical proteins in trematodes, and the demonstration of their uptake by host cells suggests an important role for these structures in host-parasite communication, as described for other infectious agents.
Marcilla, Antonio; Trelis, Maria; Cortes, Alba; Sotillo, Javier; Cantalapiedra, Fernando; Minguez, Maria Teresa; Valero, Maria Luz; Sanchez del Pino, Manuel Mateo; Munoz-Antoli, Carla; Toledo, Rafael; Bernal, Dolores
Phenological responses to climate change vary among taxa and across trophic levels. This can lead to a mismatch between the life cycles of ecologically interrelated populations (e.g. predators and prey), with negative consequences for population dynamics of some of the interacting species. Here we provide, to our knowledge, the first evidence that climate change might disrupt the association between the life cycles of the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), a migratory brood parasitic bird, and its hosts. We investigated changes in timing of spring arrival of the cuckoo and its hosts throughout Europe over six decades, and found that short-distance, but not long-distance, migratory hosts have advanced their arrival more than the cuckoo. Hence, cuckoos may keep track of phenological changes of long-distance, but not short-distance migrant hosts, with potential consequences for breeding of both cuckoo and hosts. The mismatch to some of the important hosts may contribute to the decline of cuckoo populations and explain some of the observed local changes in parasitism rates of migratory hosts. PMID:19443508
Saino, Nicola; Rubolini, Diego; Lehikoinen, Esa; Sokolov, Leonid V; Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Ambrosini, Roberto; Boncoraglio, Giuseppe; Mřller, Anders P
Phenological responses to climate change vary among taxa and across trophic levels. This can lead to a mismatch between the life cycles of ecologically interrelated populations (e.g. predators and prey), with negative consequences for population dynamics of some of the interacting species. Here we provide, to our knowledge, the first evidence that climate change might disrupt the association between the life cycles of the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), a migratory brood parasitic bird, and its hosts. We investigated changes in timing of spring arrival of the cuckoo and its hosts throughout Europe over six decades, and found that short-distance, but not long-distance, migratory hosts have advanced their arrival more than the cuckoo. Hence, cuckoos may keep track of phenological changes of long-distance, but not short-distance migrant hosts, with potential consequences for breeding of both cuckoo and hosts. The mismatch to some of the important hosts may contribute to the decline of cuckoo populations and explain some of the observed local changes in parasitism rates of migratory hosts.
Saino, Nicola; Rubolini, Diego; Lehikoinen, Esa; Sokolov, Leonid V.; Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Ambrosini, Roberto; Boncoraglio, Giuseppe; M?ller, Anders P.
Summary 1. Parasites and infectious diseases have become a major concern in conservation biology, in part because they can trigger or accelerate species or population declines. Focusing on primates as a well-studied host clade, we tested whether the species richness and prevalence of parasites differed between threatened and non-threatened host species. 2. We collated data on 386 species of parasites
SONIA ALTIZER; CHARLES L. NUNN; PATRIK LINDENFORS
Background The evolutionary history of many parasites is dependent on the evolution of their hosts, leading to an association between host and parasite phylogenies. However, frequent host switches across broad phylogenetic distances may weaken this close evolutionary link, especially when vectors are involved in parasites transmission, as is the case for malaria pathogens. Several studies suggested that the evolution of the primate-infective malaria lineages may be constrained by the phylogenetic relationships of their hosts, and that lateral switches between distantly related hosts may have been occurred. However, no systematic analysis has been quantified the degree of phylogenetic association between primates and their malaria parasites. Methods Here phylogenetic approaches have been used to discriminate statistically between events due to co-divergence, duplication, extinction and host switches that can potentially cause historical association between Plasmodium parasites and their primate hosts. A Bayesian reconstruction of parasite phylogeny based on genetic information for six genes served as basis for the analyses, which could account for uncertainties about the evolutionary hypotheses of malaria parasites. Results Related lineages of primate-infective Plasmodium tend to infect hosts within the same taxonomic family. Different analyses testing for congruence between host and parasite phylogenies unanimously revealed a significant association between the corresponding evolutionary trees. The most important factor that resulted in this association was host switching, but depending on the parasite phylogeny considered, co-speciation and duplication may have also played some additional role. Sorting seemed to be a relatively infrequent event, and can occur only under extreme co-evolutionary scenarios. The concordance between host and parasite phylogenies is heterogeneous: while the evolution of some malaria pathogens is strongly dependent on the phylogenetic history of their primate hosts, the congruent evolution is less emphasized for other parasite lineages (e.g. for human malaria parasites). Estimation of ancestral states of host use along the phylogenetic tree of parasites revealed that lateral transfers across distantly related hosts were likely to occur in several cases. Parasites cannot infect all available hosts, and they should preferentially infect hosts that provide a similar environment for reproduction. Marginally significant evidence suggested that there might be a consistent variation within host ranges in terms of physiology. Conclusion The evolution of primate malarias is constrained by the phylogenetic associations of their hosts. Some parasites can preserve a great flexibility to infect hosts across a large phylogenetic distance, thus host switching can be an important factor in mediating host ranges observed in nature. Due to this inherent flexibility and the potential exposure to various vectors, the emergence of new malaria disease in primates including humans cannot be predicted from the phylogeny of parasites.
Garamszegi, Laszlo Zsolt
The studies summarized in this paper suggest that parasites may trigger activation of autoimmune mechanisms. The association between parasites and autoimmunity could by manifested by the development of pathogenic anti-parasitic antibodies and cytotoxic T cells that attack and damage self tissues as a result of molecular mimicry between host and parasites. On the other hand, the homology between self and
Mahmoud Abu-Shakra; Dan Buskila; Yehuda Shoenfeld
By modifying the behaviour and morphology of hosts, parasites may strongly impact host individuals, populations and communities. We examined the effects of a common trematode parasite on its snail host, Batillaria cumingi (Batillariidae). This widespread snail is usually the most abundant invertebrate in salt marshes and mudflats of the northeastern coast of Asia. More than half (52.6%, n=1360) of the snails in our study were infected. We found that snails living in the lower intertidal zone were markedly larger and exhibited different shell morphology than those in the upper intertidal zone. The large morphotypes in the lower tidal zone were all infected by the trematode, Cercaria batillariae (Heterophyidae). We used a transplant experiment, a mark-and-recapture experiment and stable carbon isotope ratios to reveal that snails infected by the trematode move to the lower intertidal zone, resume growth after maturation and consume different resources. By simultaneously changing the morphology and behaviour of individual hosts, this parasite alters the demographics and potentially modifies resource use of the snail population. Since trematodes are common and often abundant in marine and freshwater habitats throughout the world, their effects potentially alter food webs in many systems.
Miura, Osamu; Kuris, Armand M; Torchin, Mark E; Hechinger, Ryan F; Chiba, Satoshi
The screaming cowbird Molothrus rufoaxillaris has been long known as a host specialist brood parasite. However, in the past years, the utilization of two new hosts has\\u000a been documented. We examined the variation in mitochondrial control region sequences from screaming cowbird chicks found in\\u000a the nests of two hosts, the bay-winged cowbird (Agelaioides badius), which is its regular host, and
Bettina Mahler; Yanina Sarquis Adamson; Alejandro G. Di Giacomo; Viviana A. Confalonieri; Juan C. Reboreda
Interspecific brood parasites may use the secondary sexual characters of the hosts to decide which species to parasitize. Hence, species with conspicuous and well-recognisable traits may have higher chances of becoming parasitised. Using North American birds and their frequent brood parasite, the brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater, we tested the relationship between features of song and plumage coloration of hosts and the frequency of brood parasitism while controlling for several potentially confounding factors. Relying on two sets of analysis, we focused separately on the evolutionary view of the parasite and the host. From the cowbird's perspective, we found that males of heavily parasitized species posit songs with low syllable repertoire size, shorter inter-song interval and have brighter plumage. From the host's perspective, a phylogenetic analysis revealed similar associations for features of song, but not for plumage characteristics that were unrelated to brood parasitism. These comparative findings may imply that brood parasites choose novel hosts based on heterospecific signals; and/or host species working against sexual selection escape from brood parasitism by evolving inconspicuous sexual signals. Although our data do not allow us to distinguish between these two evolutionary scenarios, our results suggest that selection factors mediating cowbird parasitism via host recognition by heterospecific signals may have an important role in the evolutionary relationship between brood parasites and their hosts. PMID:15647904
Garamszegi, László Zsolt; Avilés, Jesús Miguel
Identification of potentially immunosuppressive compounds typically involves assessing a combination of observational endpoints as surrogates for functional endpoints and functional endpoints as surrogates for resistance to infectious or neoplastic disease. Host resistance assays are considered to be the "gold standard" against which suppression of immune function at the molecular or cellular level can be judged, because resistance to infection, regardless of the actual pathogen, involves multiple pathways of effector function to neutralize or eliminate pathogens. Resistance to infection with the parasitic nematode Trichinella spiralis has been used to assess immune function following exposure to a variety of immunotoxicants at the whole animal level. The various immunological mechanisms that are responsible for resistance to different phases of the life cycle are well documented, as are the effects of immunosuppression on the outcome of infection. This chapter describes methods to assess elimination of adult parasites from the small intestine, body burdens of larvae, as well as antibody responses and lymphocyte responses to parasite antigens. PMID:19967510
Luebke, Robert W
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
V N Mikheev; A F Pasternak; J Taskinen; E T Valtonen
As a first approximation of immune-mediated within-host parasite dynamics we can consider the immune response as a predator, with the parasite as its prey. In the ecological literature of predator-prey interactions there are a number of different functional responses used to describe how a predator reproduces in response to consuming prey. Until recently most of the models of the immune system that have taken a predator-prey approach have used simple mass action dynamics to capture the interaction between the immune response and the parasite. More recently Fenton and Perkins (2010) employed three of the most commonly used prey-dependent functional response terms from the ecological literature. In this paper we make use of a technique from computing science, process algebra, to develop mathematical models. The novelty of the process algebra approach is to allow stochastic models of the population (parasite and immune cells) to be developed from rules of individual cell behaviour. By using this approach in which individual cellular behaviour is captured we have derived a ratio-dependent response similar to that seen in the previous models of immune-mediated parasite dynamics, confirming that, whilst this type of term is controversial in ecological predator-prey models, it is appropriate for models of the immune system. PMID:23499712
McCaig, Chris; Fenton, Andy; Graham, Andrea; Shankland, Carron; Norman, Rachel
The distribution of parasites among hosts is often characterised by a high degree of heterogeneity with a small number of hosts harbouring the majority of parasites. Such patterns of aggregation have been linked to variation in host exposure and susceptibility as well as parasite traits and environmental factors. Host exposure and susceptibility may differ with sexes, reproductive effort and group size. Furthermore, environmental factors may affect both the host and parasite directly and contribute to temporal heterogeneities in parasite loads. We investigated the contributions of host and parasite traits as well as season on parasite loads in highveld mole-rats (Cryptomys hottentotus pretoriae). This cooperative breeder exhibits a reproductive division of labour and animals live in colonies of varying sizes that procreate seasonally. Mole-rats were parasitised by lice, mites, cestodes and nematodes with mites (Androlaelaps sp.) and cestodes (Mathevotaenia sp.) being the dominant ecto- and endoparasites, respectively. Sex and reproductive status contributed little to the observed parasite prevalence and abundances possibly as a result of the shared burrow system. Clear seasonal patterns of parasite prevalence and abundance emerged with peaks in summer for mites and in winter for cestodes. Group size correlated negatively with mite abundance while it had no effect on cestode burdens and group membership affected infestation with both parasites. We propose that the mode of transmission as well as social factors constrain parasite propagation generating parasite patterns deviating from those commonly predicted. PMID:22069481
Viljoen, Hermien; Bennett, Nigel C; Ueckermann, Edward A; Lutermann, Heike
In natural systems, individuals are often co-infected by many species of parasites. However, the significance of interactions between species and the processes that shape within-host parasite communities remain unclear. Studies of parasite community ecology are often descriptive, focusing on patterns of parasite abundance across host populations rather than on the mechanisms that underlie interactions within a host. These within- host
Amy B. Pedersen; Andy Fenton
Parasitic angiosperms are an ecologically and economically important group of plants. However our understanding of the basis for host specificity in these plants is embryonic. Recently we investigated host specificity in the parasitic angiosperm Orobanche minor, and demonstrated that this host generalist parasite comprises genetically defined races that are physiologically adapted to specific hosts. Populations occurring naturally on red clover (Trifolium pratense) and sea carrot (Daucus carota subsp. gummifer) respectively, showed distinct patterns of host specificity at various developmental stages, and a higher fitness on their natural hosts, suggesting these races are locally adapted. Here we discuss the implications of our findings from a broader perspective. We suggest that differences in signal responsiveness and perception by the parasite, as well as qualitative differences in signal production by the host, may elicit host specificity in this parasitic plant. Together with our earlier demonstration that these O. minor races are genetically distinct based on molecular markers, our recent data provide a snapshot of speciation in action, driven by host specificity. Indeed, host specificity may be an underestimated catalyst for speciation in parasitic plants generally. We propose that identifying host specific races using physiological techniques will complement conventional molecular marker-based approaches to provide a framework for delineating evolutionary relationships among cryptic host-specific parasitic plants.
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.
Kautz, Stefanie; Ballhorn, Daniel J.; Kroiss, Johannes; Pauls, Steffen U.; Moreau, Corrie S.; Eilmus, Sascha; Strohm, Erhard; Heil, Martin
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
Kautz, Stefanie; Ballhorn, Daniel J; Kroiss, Johannes; Pauls, Steffen U; Moreau, Corrie S; Eilmus, Sascha; Strohm, Erhard; Heil, Martin
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.
Prider, Jane; Watling, Jennifer; Facelli, Jose M.
The study of host-parasite relationships in insects is of paramount importance for laying the theoretical base of biological plant protection. This book discusses the results from studies on the specifics of relationships between two concrete species, tha...
E. S. Sugoniaev K. K. Vu
Apicomplexan parasites invade host cells by forming a ring-like junction with the cell surface and actively sliding through the junction inside an intracellular vacuole. Apical membrane antigen 1 is conserved in apicomplexans and a long-standing malaria vaccine candidate. It is considered to have multiple important roles during host cell penetration, primarily in structuring the junction by interacting with the rhoptry neck 2 protein and transducing the force generated by the parasite motor during internalization. Here, we generate Plasmodium sporozoites and merozoites and Toxoplasma tachyzoites lacking apical membrane antigen 1, and find that the latter two are impaired in host cell attachment but the three display normal host cell penetration through the junction. Therefore, apical membrane antigen 1, rather than an essential invasin, is a dispensable adhesin of apicomplexan zoites. These genetic data have implications on the use of apical membrane antigen 1 or the apical membrane antigen 1-rhoptry neck 2 interaction as targets of intervention strategies against malaria or other diseases caused by apicomplexans. PMID:24108241
Bargieri, Daniel Y; Andenmatten, Nicole; Lagal, Vanessa; Thiberge, Sabine; Whitelaw, Jamie A; Tardieux, Isabelle; Meissner, Markus; Ménard, Robert
Social parasites exploit the colony resources of social insects. Some of them exploit the host colony as a food resource or as a shelter whereas other species also exploit the brood care behavior of their social host. Some of these species have even lost the worker caste and rely completely on the host's worker force to rear their offspring. To avoid host defenses and bypass their recognition code, these social parasites have developed several sophisticated chemical infiltration strategies. These infiltration strategies have been highly studied in several hymenopterans. Once a social parasite has successfully entered a host nest and integrated its social system, its emerging offspring still face the same challenge of avoiding host recognition. However, the strategy used by the offspring to survive within the host nest without being killed is still poorly documented. In cuckoo bumblebees, the parasite males completely lack the morphological and chemical adaptations to social parasitism that the females possess. Moreover, young parasite males exhibit an early production of species-specific cephalic secretions, used as sexual pheromones. Host workers might thus be able to recognize them. Here we used a bumblebee host-social parasite system to test the hypothesis that social parasite male offspring exhibit a chemical defense strategy to escape from host aggression during their intranidal life. Using behavioral assays, we showed that extracts from the heads of young cuckoo bumblebee males contain a repellent odor that prevents parasite males from being attacked by host workers. We also show that social parasitism reduces host worker aggressiveness and helps parasite offspring acceptance.
Lhomme, Patrick; Ayasse, Manfred; Valterova, Irena; Lecocq, Thomas; Rasmont, Pierre
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
Lhomme, Patrick; Ayasse, Manfred; Valterová, Irena; Lecocq, Thomas; Rasmont, Pierre
The geographical variation in parasite community structure among populations of the same host species remains one of the least understood aspects of parasite community ecology. Why are parasite communities clearly structured in some host populations, and randomly assembled in others? Here, we address this fundamental question using data on the metazoan parasite communities of different host size-classes of four distinct
Juan T. Timi; Robert Poulin
Helminth parasites are of considerable medical and economic importance. Studies of the immune response against helminths are of great interest in understanding interactions between the host immune system and parasites. Effector immune mechanisms against tissue-dwelling helminths and helminths localized in the lumen of organs, and their regulation, are reviewed. Helminth infections are characterized by an association of Th2-like and Treg responses. Worms are able to persist in the host and are mainly responsible for chronic infection despite a strong immune response developed by the parasitized host. Two types of protection against the parasite, namely, premune and partial immunities, have been described. Immune responses against helminths can also participate in pathogenesis. Th2/Treg-like immunomodulation allows the survival of both host and parasite by controlling immunopathologic disorders and parasite persistence. Consequences of the modified Th2-like responses on co-infection, vaccination, and inflammatory diseases are discussed.
Moreau, Emmanuelle; Chauvin, Alain
This review provides an overview of several molecular and cellular approaches that are likely to supply insights into the host–fungus interaction. Fungi present intra- and\\/or extracellular host–parasite interfaces, the parasitism phenomenon being dependent on complementary surface molecules. The entry of the pathogen into the host cell is initiated by the fungus adhering to the cell surface, which generates an uptake
Christiane Pienna Soares; Juliana Leal Monteiro da Silva
Why do brood parasitic Vidua nestlings mimic the intricate gape patterns of their hosts’ young so precisely? The classic explanation is that mimicry is\\u000a the outcome of a coevolutionary arms race, driven by host rejection of odd-looking offspring. Selection favors parasitic nestlings\\u000a that converge on the host young’s mouth markings, and simultaneously benefits hosts whose mouth markings diverge from those
Mark E. Hauber; Rebecca M. Kilner
The impact of multiple invading species can be magnified owing to mutual facilitation—termed ‘invasional meltdown’—but invasive species can also be adversely affected by their interactions with other invaders. Using a unique reciprocal host–parasite relationship between a bitterling fish (Rhodeus amarus) and unionid mussels, we show that an invasive mussel reverses the roles in the relationship. Bitterling lay their eggs into mussel gills, and mussel larvae parasitize fish. Bitterling recently colonized Europe and parasitize all sympatric European mussels, but are unable to use a recently invasive mussel, Anodonta woodiana. The parasitic larvae of A. woodiana successfully develop on R. amarus, whereas larvae of European mussels are rejected by bitterling. This demonstrates that invading species may temporarily benefit from a coevolutionary lag by exploiting evolutionarily naive hosts, but the resulting relaxed selection may facilitate its exploitation by subsequent invading species, leading to unexpected consequences for established interspecific relationships.
Reichard, Martin; Vrtilek, Milan; Douda, Karel; Smith, Carl
We studied possible host finding and resistance mechanisms of host colonies in the context of social parasitism by Cape honeybee (Apis mellifera capensis) workers. Workers often join neighboring colonies by drifting, but long-range drifting (dispersal) to colonies far away from the maternal nests also rarely occurs. We tested the impact of queenstate and taxon of mother and host colonies on
Peter Neumann; Sarah E. Radloff; Robin F. A. Moritz; H. Randall Hepburn; Sacha L. Reecea
Endogenous gibberellins were analyzed from a parasitic plant, clover broomrape (Orobanche minor Smith), and its host, clover (Trifolium repens L.). Members of both the early-13- and the early-non-hydroxylation pathways were identified from both the parasite and the\\u000a host (GA12, GA24, GA9 GA4, GA44, GA19, GA20, and GA1 from clover broomrape; GA9, GA4, GA44, GA19, GA20, and GA1 from clover). Quantitative
Yoshihito Suzuki; Noboru Murofushi; Yun-Hui Zhang; Yasutomo Takeuchi
Adaptive host manipulation hypothesis is usually supported by case studies on trophically transmitted heteroxenous endoparasites. Trematodes and cestodes are among efficient manipulators of fish, their common intermediate hosts. In this review paper, new data on modifications of host fish behavior caused by monoxenous ectoparasitic crustaceans are provided together with a review of effects caused by heteroxenous parasites. Differences in modifications of host behavior caused by heteroxenous and monoxenous parasites are discussed. Manipulation by heteroxenous parasites enhances availability of infected fish to predators--definitive hosts of the parasites. Fine-tuned synchronization of modified anti-predator behavior with a certain phase of the trematode Diplostomum spathaceum development in the eyes of fish, their second intermediate host, was shown. Modifications of behavior are habitat specific. When juvenile salmonids are in the open water, parasites impair their cooperative anti-predator behavior; in territorial bottom-dwelling salmonids, individual defense behavior such as sheltering is the main target of manipulation. It was shown that monoxenous ectoparasitic crustaceans Argulus spp. decreased motor activity, aggressiveness and increased shoal cohesiveness of infected fish. Such a behavior facilitates host and mate searching in these parasites, which often change their hosts, especially during reproduction. Reviewed experimental data suggest that heteroxenous parasites manipulate their host mainly through impaired defense behavior, e.g. impairing shoaling in fish. Alternatively, monoxenous parasites facilitate shoaling that is profitable for both parasites and hosts. Coordination of modified host behavior with the parasite life cycle, both temporal and spatial, is the most convincing criterion of the adaptive value of host manipulation. PMID:21786661
Mikheev, V N
It has been predicted that parasites of human-associated organisms (eg humans, domestic pets, farm animals, agricultural and silvicultural plants) are more likely to show rapid recent population expansions than are parasites of other hosts. Here, we directly test the generality of this demographic prediction for species of parasitic nematodes that currently have mitochondrial sequence data available in the literature or
D A Morrison; J Höglund
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
Seppälä, Otto; Valtonen, E Tellervo; Benesh, Daniel P
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.
Seppala, Otto; Valtonen, E. Tellervo; Benesh, Daniel P
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.
Pennings, P S; Achenbach, A; Foitzik, S
The process by which the intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii exits its host cell is central to its propagation and pathogenesis. Experimental induction of motility in intracellular parasites results in parasite egress, leading to the hypothesis that egress depends on the parasite's actin-dependent motility. Using a novel assay to monitor egress without experimental induction, we have established that inhibiting parasite motility does not block this process, although treatment with actin-disrupting drugs does delay egress. However, using an irreversible actin inhibitor, we show that this delay is due to the disruption of host cell actin alone, apparently resulting from the consequent loss of membrane tension. Accordingly, by manipulating osmotic pressure, we show that parasite egress is delayed by releasing membrane tension and promoted by increasing it. Therefore, without artificial induction, egress does not depend on parasite motility and can proceed by mechanical rupture of the host membrane.
Lavine, Mark D.; Arrizabalaga, Gustavo
A long-term study of the interactions between a brood parasite, the great spotted cuckoo Clamator glandarius, and its primary host the magpie Pica pica, demonstrated local changes in the distribution of both magpies and cuckoos and a rapid increase of rejection of both mimetic\\u000a and non-mimetic model eggs by the host. In rich areas, magpies improved three of their defensive
Manuel Soler; Juan J. Soler; Juan G. Martinez; Tomás Pérez-Contreras; Anders P. Mřller
Avian brood parasites reduce the reproductive output of their hosts and thereby select for defence mechanisms such as ejection of parasitic eggs. Such defence mechanisms simultaneously select for counter-defences in brood parasites, causing a coevolutionary arms race. Although coevolutionary models assume that defences and counter-defences are genetically influenced, this has never been demonstrated for brood parasites. Here, we give strong evidence for genetic differences between ejector and nonejectors, which could allow the study of such host defence at the genetic level, as well as studies of maintenance of genetic variation in defences. Briefly, we found that magpies, that are the main host of the great spotted cuckoo in Europe, have alleles of one microsatellite locus (Ase64) that segregate between accepters and rejecters of experimental parasitic eggs. Furthermore, differences in ejection rate among host populations exploited by the brood parasite covaried significantly with the genetic distance for this locus. PMID:16599930
Martín-Gálvez, D; Soler, J J; Martínez, J G; Krupa, A P; Richard, M; Soler, M; Mřller, A P; Burke, T
We investigated the genetic population structure in a metapopulation of the plant Silene latifolia (Caryophyllaceae) and its fungal pathogen Microbotryum violaceum (Ustilaginales), a pollinator-borne disease. Population structure of the host plant was estimated using allozyme markers and that of the fungus by microsatellites. Both host and parasite showed significant differentiation, but parasite populations were 12 times more strongly differentiated than
François Delmotte; Erika Bucheli; JACQUI A. SHYKOFF
summary The geographical distance between conspecific host populations is no doubt a key determinant of the likelihood that exchanges of parasite species occur between these populations. This variable must therefore be taken into account in studies that compare parasite species richness or similarity among host populations. This paper presents a multivariate approach, based on the permutation of matrices, that allows
R. POULIN; S. MORAND
Hormones play a critical role in the growth and development of insect parasitoids. Host juvenile hormone and ecdysteroid levels are disrupted during parasitism of the tobacco hornworm by the gregarious braconid wasp Cotesia congregata. Following parasitization of host larvae in the fourth instar, th...
Nestling brood parasites vary in the harm that they do to their companions in the nest. Here we use a game-theoretical model to attempt to account for this variation. Our model considers hosts that might routinely abandon single nestlings, regardless of whether they are host young or brood parasites and choose instead to reallocate their reproductive effort to future breeding.
Mark Broom; Graeme D. Ruxton; R. M. Kilner
Summary 1. We studied the effect of host abundance on parasite abundance and prevalence using data on 57 associations of fleas (Siphonaptera) and their mammalian hosts from Slovakia. 2. We assumed that flea-induced host mortality could be inferred from the relationship between flea aggregation and flea abundance, whereas host-induced flea mortality could be inferred from the relationship between flea abundance
MICHAL STANKO; BORIS R. KRASNOV; SERGE MORAND
Parasites frequently reduce the fecundity, growth, and survival of individual hosts. How often do these virulent effects reduce the density of host populations? Spectacular examples show that recently invaded parasites can severely impact host populations--but what about parasites persisting long-term in host populations? We have addressed this issue using a zooplankton host (Daphnia dentifera) that becomes infected with a fungal microparasite (Metschnikowia bicuspidata). We combined observations of epidemics in nine lakes over 6 years, fine-scale sampling of three epidemics, and a mesocosm experiment. Most epidemics remained small (<10% maximum prevalence) and exerted little influence on host densities. However, larger epidemics more severely depressed the populations of their hosts. These large/severe epidemics started and peaked earlier than smaller/benign ones. The larger epidemics also exerted particularly negative effects on host densities at certain lags, reflecting the delayed consequences of infection on fecundity reduction and host mortality. Notably, negative effects on the juvenile stage class manifested later than those on the adult stage class. The results of the experiment further emphasized depression of host density by the fungus, especially on the density of the juvenile stage class. Consequently, this common parasite reduces the density of host populations when conditions foster larger outbreaks characterized by an earlier start and earlier peak. Given these considerable effects on host density seen in a number of large epidemics, parasitism may sometimes rank highly among other factors (predation, resource availability) driving the population dynamics of these hosts. PMID:21305322
Hall, Spencer R; Becker, Claes R; Duffy, Meghan A; Cáceres, Carla E
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 2 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 modelling, 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
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
Parasitic cowbirds and cuckoos generally reduce the clutch size of the hosts they parasitize by removing or destroying some of their eggs. Shiny cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis) puncture their hosts' eggs both when parasitizing the nests and also when they do not parasitize them. We propose that, by puncturing the host's eggs, shiny cowbirds gain an informational benefit. They assess the degree of development of the host's embryos and so avoid laying in nests that would not provide enough incubation time for the parasitic eggs to hatch. Two predictions follow: (i) punctures should occur in advance or immediately before parasitic events, and (ii) the occurrence of parasitism should depend on the degree of development of the host's embryos when punctures occurred, i.e. on the stage of incubation. Both predictions are supported by our data of shiny cowbirds parasitizing yellow-winged blackbirds (Agelaius thilius). Egg punctures are not used to reset the host's nesting attempt when shiny cowbirds do not parasitize the nests. We discuss the potential mechanisms implicated in egg development assessment and propose a critical experiment to test this hypothesis.
Massoni, V.; Reboreda, J. C.
Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for growth in consumers. P-limitation and parasite infection comprise one of the most common stressor pairs consumers confront in nature. We conducted a life-table study using a Daphnia–microsporidian parasite model, feeding uninfected or infected Daphnia with either P-sufficient or P-limited algae, and assessed the impact of the two stressors on life-history traits of the host. Both infection and P-limitation negatively affected some life-history traits tested. However, under P-limitation, infected animals had higher juvenile growth rate as compared with uninfected animals. All P-limited individuals died before maturation, regardless of infection. The numbers of spore clusters of the microsporidian parasite did not differ in P-limited or P-sufficient hosts. P-limitation, but not infection, decreased body phosphorus content and ingestion rates of Daphnia tested in separate experiments. As parasite spore production did not suffer even under extreme P-limitation, our results suggest that parasite was less limited by P than the host. We discuss possible interpretations concerning the stoichiometrical demands of parasite and suggest that our results are explained by parasite-driven changes in carbon (C) allocation of the hosts. We conclude that the impact of nutrient starvation and parasite infection on consumers depends not only on the stoichiometric demands of host but also those of the parasite.
Aalto, Sanni L; Pulkkinen, Katja
To assess the genetic diversity and evolution of Cryptosporidium parasites, the partial ssrRNA, actin, and 70kDa heat shock protein (HSP70) genes of 15 new Cryptosporidium parasites were sequenced. Sequence data were analysed together with those previously obtained from other Cryptosporidium parasites (10 Cryptosporidium spp. and eight Cryptosporidium genotypes). Results of this multi-locus genetic characterisation indicate that host adaptation is a general phenomenon in the genus Cryptosporidium, because specific genotypes were usually associated with specific groups of animals. On the other hand, host-parasite co-evolution is also common in Cryptosporidium, as closely related hosts usually had related Cryptosporidium parasites. Results of phylogenetic analyses suggest that the Cryptosporidium parvum bovine genotype and Cryptosporidium meleagridis were originally parasites of rodents and mammals, respectively, but have subsequently expanded their host ranges to include humans. Understanding the evolution of Cryptosporidium species is important not only for clarification of the taxonomy of the parasites but also for assessment of the public health significance of Cryptosporidium parasites from animals. PMID:12464424
Xiao, Lihua; Sulaiman, Irshad M; Ryan, Una M; Zhou, Ling; Atwill, Edward R; Tischler, Monica L; Zhang, Xichen; Fayer, Ronald; Lal, Altaf A
Recognition is considered a critical basis for discriminatory behaviours in animals. Theoretically, recognition and discrimination of parasitic chicks are not predicted to evolve in hosts of brood parasitic birds that evict nest-mates. Yet, an earlier study showed that host reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) of an evicting parasite, the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), can avoid the costs of prolonged care for unrelated young by deserting the cuckoo chick before it fledges. Desertion was not based on specific recognition of the parasite because hosts accept any chick cross-fostered into their nests. Thus, the mechanism of this adaptive host response remains enigmatic. Here, I show experimentally that the cue triggering this 'discrimination without recognition' behaviour is the duration of parental care. Neither the intensity of brood care nor the presence of a single-chick in the nest could explain desertions. Hosts responded similarly to foreign chicks, whether heterospecific or experimental conspecifics. The proposed mechanism of discrimination strikingly differs from those found in other parasite-host systems because hosts do not need an internal recognition template of the parasite's appearance to effectively discriminate. Thus, host defences against parasitic chicks may be based upon mechanisms qualitatively different from those operating against parasitic eggs. I also demonstrate that this discriminatory mechanism is non-costly in terms of recognition errors. Comparative data strongly suggest that parasites cannot counter-evolve any adaptation to mitigate effects of this host defence. These findings have crucial implications for the process and end-result of host-parasite arms races and our understanding of the cognitive basis of discriminatory mechanisms in general. PMID:17164201
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.
Igic, Branislav; Braganza, Kim; Hyland, Margaret M.; Silyn-Roberts, Heather; Cassey, Phillip; Grim, Tomas; Rutila, Jarkko; Moskat, Csaba; Hauber, Mark E.
Obligate brood parasitic birds lay their eggs in nests of other species and parasite eggs typically have evolved greater structural strength relative to host eggs. Increased mechanical strength of the parasite eggshell is an adaptation that can interfere with puncture ejection behaviours of discriminating hosts. We investigated whether hardness of eggshells is related to differences between physical and chemical traits from three different races of the parasitic common cuckoo Cuculus canorus, and their respective hosts. Using tools developed for materials science, we discovered a novel correlate of increased strength of parasite eggs: the common cuckoo's egg exhibits a greater microhardness, especially in the inner region of the shell matrix, relative to its host and sympatric non-host species. We then tested predictions of four potential mechanisms of shell strength: (i) increased relative thickness overall, (ii) greater proportion of the structurally harder shell layers, (iii) higher concentration of inorganic components in the shell matrix, and (iv) elevated deposition of a high density compound, MgCO(3), in the shell matrix. We confirmed support only for hypothesis (i). Eggshell characteristics did not differ between parasite eggs sampled from different host nests in distant geographical sites, suggesting an evolutionarily shared microstructural mechanism of stronger parasite eggshells across diverse host-races of brood parasitic cuckoos. PMID:21561966
Igic, Branislav; Braganza, Kim; Hyland, Margaret M; Silyn-Roberts, Heather; Cassey, Phillip; Grim, Tomas; Rutila, Jarkko; Moskát, Csaba; Hauber, Mark E
The gender-biased pattern of parasite infestation has been shown to be a complicated phenomenon that cannot be explained by a single mechanism but rather involves several different mechanisms. We asked what are the factors that affect the manifestation and extent of gender-biased parasitism and studied the relationship between parasite-related (mean abundance, mean species richness and total species richness of all parasites), host-related (rodent density and proportion of reproductive males and females both separately and together) and environment-related (mean daily maximal and minimal temperatures, rainfall and relative humidity) factors and the magnitude of gender-biased infestation of a South African rodent Rhabdomys pumilio by ixodid ticks, gamasid mites, lice and fleas. We found that spatial variation in gender differences in parasite infestation was affected by parasite-, host- and environment-related factors, although the set of factors affecting gender differences in infestation differed among higher taxa of ectoparasites. Gender differences in infestation by fleas and lice were affected mainly by parasite-related factors, whereas gender differences in infestation by ticks and, in part, by mites were affected mainly by host-related and environmental factors. In addition, spatial variation in most measures of gender difference in mite infestation remained unexplained. PMID:20550754
Krasnov, Boris R; Matthee, Sonja
Leishmaniasis is a neglected disease that is associated with a spectrum of clinical manifestations ranging from self-healing cutaneous lesions to fatal visceral infections, which primarily depends on the parasite species. In visceral leishmaniasis (VL), as opposed to cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), parasites that infect host cells at the sand fly bite site have the striking ability to disseminate to visceral organs where they proliferate and persist for long periods of time. Imaging the dynamics of the host-Leishmania interaction in VL provides a powerful approach to understanding the mechanisms underlying host cell invasion, Leishmania dissemination and persistence within visceral organs and, to dissecting the immune responses to infection. Therefore, by allowing the visualization of the critical steps involved in the pathogenesis of VL, state-of-the-art microscopy technologies have the great potential to aid in the identification of better intervention strategies for this devastating disease. In this review, we emphasize the current knowledge and the potential significance of imaging technologies in understanding the infection process of visceralizing Leishmania species. Then, we discuss how application of innovative microscopy technologies to the study of VL will provide rich opportunities for investigating host-parasite interactions at a previously unexplored level and elucidating visceral disease-promoting mechanisms. PMID:23772814
Egg mimicry by obligate avian brood parasites and host rejection of non-mimetic eggs are well-known textbook examples of host–parasite coevolution. By contrast, reciprocal adaptations and counteradaptations beyond the egg stage in brood parasites and their hosts have received less attention. The screaming cowbird (Molothrus rufoaxillaris) is a specialist obligate brood parasite whose fledglings look identical to those of its primary host, the baywing (Agelaioides badius). Such a resemblance has been proposed as an adaptation in response to host discrimination against odd-looking young, but evidence supporting this idea is scarce. Here, we examined this hypothesis by comparing the survival rates of young screaming cowbirds and non-mimetic shiny cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis) cross-fostered to baywing nests and quantifying the similarity in plumage colour and begging calls between host and cowbird fledglings. Shiny cowbirds suffered higher post-fledging mortality rates (83%) than screaming cowbirds (0%) owing to host rejection. Visual modelling revealed that screaming cowbirds, but not shiny cowbirds, were indistinguishable from host young in plumage colour. Similarly, screaming cowbirds matched baywings' begging calls more closely than shiny cowbirds. Our results strongly support the occurrence of host fledgling mimicry in screaming cowbirds and suggest a role of visual and vocal cues in fledgling discrimination by baywings.
De Marsico, Maria C.; Gantchoff, Mariela G.; Reboreda, Juan C.
BACKGROUND: Parasite heterogeneity and within-host competition are thought to be important factors influencing the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Yet, while there have been many theoretical investigations of how these factors may act, empirical data is more limited. We investigated the effects of parasite density and heterogeneity on parasite virulence and fitness using four strains of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae
William OH Hughes; Klaus S Petersen; Line V Ugelvig; Dorthe Pedersen; Lene Thomsen; Michael Poulsen; Jacobus J Boomsma
It is well known that parasites are often highly aggregated on their hosts such that relatively few individuals host the large majority of parasites. When the parasites are vectors of infectious disease, a key consequence of this aggregation can be increased disease transmission rates. The cause of this aggregation, however, is much less clear, especially for parasites such as arthropod
Justin M. Calabrese; Jesse L. Brunner; Richard S. Ostfeld
The first description of an electron microscopic study ofTrypanosoma corvi in the vectorOrnithomyia avicularia is reported. There is a close association between vector and parasite in the midgut, ileum and rectum of the vector. The midgut distribution of parasites is determined by the peritrophic membrane, which confines the early infection to the endoperitrophic space. Parasites escape from the ruptured region
L. M. Mungomba; D. H. Molyneux; K. R. Wallbanks
Infection with the protozoan parasite Neospora caninum is thought to be a major cause of reproductive failure in cattle worldwide. Cattle infected with the parasite are three to seven times more likely to abort compared to uninfected cattle. The parasite may be transmitted to cattle through the ingestion of oocysts that are shed in the faeces of acutely infected dogs
Elisabeth A. Innes; Steve Wright; Paul Bartley; Stephen Maley; Colin Macaldowie; Irma Esteban-Redondo; David Buxton
One of the great evolutionary puzzles is why hosts of parasitic birds discriminate finely against alien eggs, but almost never discriminate against parasitic chicks. A theoretical model has shown that an adaptive host response to alien eggs can be based on learning. However, learned nestling discrimination is too costly to be favoured by selection in hosts of evicting parasites, such as the European cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Indeed, parasitic chick rejection has never been reported for any European cuckoo host species. As learned nestling discrimination is maladaptive, one can expect that a viable alternative for hosts would be to use discrimination mechanisms not involving learning and/or recognition. We suggest that hosts may starve and desert cuckoo chicks that require higher amounts of food than an average host brood at fledging (i.e. feeding rates to a parasite are outside the normal range of host behaviour in unparasitized nests). Our observations of the reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) at parasitized nests indicate that such behaviour could possibly work in this host species.
Grim, Tomas; Kleven, Oddmund; Mikulica, Oldrich
One of the great evolutionary puzzles is why hosts of parasitic birds discriminate finely against alien eggs, but almost never discriminate against parasitic chicks. A theoretical model has shown that an adaptive host response to alien eggs can be based on learning. However, learned nestling discrimination is too costly to be favoured by selection in hosts of evicting parasites, such as the European cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Indeed, parasitic chick rejection has never been reported for any European cuckoo host species. As learned nestling discrimination is maladaptive, one can expect that a viable alternative for hosts would be to use discrimination mechanisms not involving learning and/or recognition. We suggest that hosts may starve and desert cuckoo chicks that require higher amounts of food than an average host brood at fledging (i.e. feeding rates to a parasite are outside the normal range of host behaviour in unparasitized nests). Our observations of the reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) at parasitized nests indicate that such behaviour could possibly work in this host species. PMID:12952641
Grim, Tomás; Kleven, Oddmund; Mikulica, Oldrich
\\u000a The genus Pasteuria comprises a truly extraordinary group of unculturable bacteria that are obligate parasites of either water fleas or plant\\u000a parasitic nematodes. They have an astonishing vegetative morphology that, through an intricate process of differentiation,\\u000a leads to a structurally unique endospore form. Remarkably, phylogenetic studies indicate that this genus is ancestral to the\\u000a genus Bacillus. P.\\u000a penetrans is the
Alistair H. Bishop
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
Crossan, Jenny; Paterson, Steve; Fenton, Andy
Juvenile parasitic cymothoid isopods (mancae) can injure or kill fishes, yet few studies have investigated their biology.\\u000a While the definitive host of the adult cymothoids is usually a single host from a particular fish species, mancae may use\\u000a so-called optional intermediate hosts before settling on the definitive host. Little, however, is known about these early\\u000a interactions. The cymothoid isopod, Anilocra
R. M. Fogelman; A. S. Grutter
Catoessa boscii (Bleeker, 1857) (Crustacea, Isopoda, Cymothoidae), is redescribed according to the type specimen observed by Schioedte and Meinert (1884) extant in the Rijksmuseum von Natuurlijke Historie, Leiden (RMNH) and from many additional specimens recently collected in India from Carangoides malabaricus (Pisces, Carangidae). This study allows an updating of the diagnosis of the genus Catoessa and of the species Catoessa boscii. Some parasite-host relationships were studied during the year. Prevalence and sex ratio of parasites varied according to the month, and the sex and size of hosts. PMID:22807055
Trilles, Jean-Paul; Ravichandran, Samuthirapandian; Rameshkumar, Ganapathy
We present a synthesis of empirical and theoretical work investigating how parasites influence competitive and predatory interactions between other species. We examine the direct and indirect effects of parasitism and discuss examples of density and parasite-induced trait-mediated effects. Recent work reveals previously unrecognized complexity in parasite-mediated interactions. In addition to parasite-modified and apparent competition leading to species exclusion or enabling coexistence, parasites and predators interact in different ways to regulate or destablize the population dynamics of their joint prey. An emerging area is the impact of parasites on intraguild predation (IGP). Parasites can increase vulnerability of infected individuals to cannibalism or predation resulting in reversed species dominance in IGP hierarchies. We discuss the potential significance of parasites for community structure and biodiversity, in particular their role in promoting species exclusion or coexistence and the impact of emerging diseases. Ongoing invasions provide examples where parasites mediate native/invader interactions and play a key role in determining the outcome of invasions. We highlight the need for more quantitative data to assess the impact of parasites on communities, and the combination of theoretical and empirical studies to examine how the effects of parasitism scale up to community-level processes. PMID:17040328
Hatcher, Melanie J; Dick, Jaimie T A; Dunn, Alison M
Microbe-host interactions can be categorised as pathogenic, parasitic or mutualistic, but in practice few examples exactly fit these descriptions. New molecular methods are providing insights into the dynamics of microbe-host interactions, with most microbes changing their relationship with their host at different life-cycle stages or in response to changing environmental conditions. Microbes can transition between the trophic states of pathogenesis and symbiosis and/or between mutualism and parasitism. In plant-based systems, an understanding of the true ecological niche of organisms and the dynamic state of their trophic interactions with their hosts has important implications for agriculture, including crop rotation, disease control and risk management. PMID:20598545
Newton, Adrian C; Fitt, Bruce D L; Atkins, Simon D; Walters, Dale R; Daniell, Tim J
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.
Wang, Qi; Jiang, Zi-Feng; Wang, Ning-xin; Niu, Li-ming; Li, Zi; Huang, Da-Wei
Mixed-genotype parasite infections are common in nature. Theoretical studies analyze the effects of such infections over evolutionary time and predict an increase in virulence due to the competitive advantage of virulent parasites. In contrast, experimental studies compare the overall virulence of mixed and single infections within one generation. Although these within-generation comparisons have limited relevance to existing theory, they demonstrate that within-host parasite interactions are not restricted to competition for resources, as envisaged by theory. Instead, mixed infections may result in phenotypic changes in growth rate or impaired immune clearance. Developing and using a two-parasite epidemiological model with recovery, we confirm that within-host competition for resources selects for higher virulence. However, parasite phenotypic plasticity and impaired host immunity can select for lower virulence. Because these latter two mechanisms would be detected by experimentalists as an increase in pathology, our results warn against the temptation to draw inferences on virulence evolution on the basis of single-generation experiments. PMID:20297955
Choisy, Marc; de Roode, Jacobus C
Arms races between avian brood parasites and their hosts often result in parasitic mimicry of host eggs, to evade rejection. Once egg mimicry has evolved, host defences could escalate in two ways: (i) hosts could improve their level of egg discrimination; and (ii) negative frequency-dependent selection could generate increased variation in egg appearance (polymorphism) among individuals. Proficiency in one defence might reduce selection on the other, while a combination of the two should enable successful rejection of parasitic eggs. We compared three highly variable host species of the Afrotropical cuckoo finch Anomalospiza imberbis, using egg rejection experiments and modelling of avian colour and pattern vision. We show that each differed in their level of polymorphism, in the visual cues they used to reject foreign eggs, and in their degree of discrimination. The most polymorphic host had the crudest discrimination, whereas the least polymorphic was most discriminating. The third species, not currently parasitized, was intermediate for both defences. A model simulating parasitic laying and host rejection behaviour based on the field experiments showed that the two host strategies result in approximately the same fitness advantage to hosts. Thus, neither strategy is superior, but rather they reflect alternative potential evolutionary trajectories. PMID:21490019
Spottiswoode, Claire N; Stevens, Martin
Summary Immune compromise can modify the severity and manifestation of some parasitic infections. More widespread use of newer immnosuppressive therapies, the growing population of individuals with immunocompromised states as well as the prolonged survival of these patients have altered the pattern of parasitic infection. This review article discusses the burden and immunology of parasitic infections in patients who are immunocompromised secondary to congenital immunodeficiency, malnutrition, malignancy, and immunosuppressive medications. This review does not address the literature on parasitic infections in the setting of HIV-1 infection.
Evering, T.; Weiss, L. M.
Botanga, C. J., and Timko, M. P. 2005. Genetic structure and analysis of host and nonhost interactions of Striga gesnerioides (witchweed) from central Florida. Phytopathology 95:1166-1173. Striga gesnerioides is a root hemiparasite of wild and cultivated legumes, among which cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) and Indigofera hirsuta are suitable hosts. In this study, we examined the genetic structure and host-parasite interaction of
Christopher J. Botanga; Michael P. Timko
The parasitic trematode Proctoeces lintoni requires 3 hosts (intertidal mussels, keyhole limpets, and clingfish) to complete its life cycle. The densities and size structure of host communities are modified by selective human harvesting. This study examined clutch and egg size of P. lintoni in 3 adjacent sites in rocky intertidal areas of central Chile presenting differences in the levels of human disturbance (i.e., from a fully protected marine reserve to free open-access areas). We found significant differences in parasite fecundity among sites. An increase in number of eggs was observed inside protected marine areas compared with open-access areas, suggesting a plastic response of the parasite reproductive strategies to the host community modification. These results show that host removal by humans in coastal ecosystems can strongly influence parasite life history traits. PMID:18372617
Loot, G; Blanchet, S; Aldana, M; Navarrete, Sergio A
One defining feature of apicomplexan parasites is their special ability to actively invade host cells. Although rapid, invasion is a complicated process that requires coordinated activities of host cell attachment, protein secretion, and motility by the parasite. Central to this process is the establishment of a structure called moving junction (MJ), which forms a tight connection between invading parasite and host cell membranes through which the parasite passes to enter into the host. Although recognized microscopically for decades, molecular characterization of the MJ was only enabled by the recent discovery of components that make up this multi-protein complex. Exciting progress made during the last few years on both the structure and function of the components of the MJ is reviewed here.
Shen, Bang; Sibley, L. David
Only one of the 5000 extant louse species (Phthiraptera) and no species of flea (Siphonaptera), parasitic helminth (Platyhelminthes), parasitic nematode (Nemata), mite, or tick (Acari) is listed as threatened by the IUCN, despite impassioned pleas for parasite conservation beginning more than a decade ago. Although they should be conserved for their own sake, past arguments, highlighting the intrinsic and utilitarian
Noah Kerness Whiteman; Patricia G. Parker
Several basic questions are discussed concerning the interpretation of changes in nucleic acid metabolism of plants after infection with obligate parasites. The contribution of both host and parasite to the increased nucleic acid concentration in infected plants has been shown by cytological and chemical methods. Whereas a higher synthesis of ribosomal RNA is evident in rust-infected wheat, no such evidence
We have identified and characterized a Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF) family member in the Lophotrochozoan invertebrate, Biomphalaria glabrata, the snail intermediate host of the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. In mammals, MIF is a widely expressed pleiotropic cytokine with potent pro-inflammatory properties that controls cell functions such as gene expression, proliferation or apoptosis. Here we show that the MIF protein from B. glabrata (BgMIF) is expressed in circulating immune defense cells (hemocytes) of the snail as well as in the B. glabrata embryonic (Bge) cell line that has hemocyte-like features. Recombinant BgMIF (rBgMIF) induced cell proliferation and inhibited NO-dependent p53-mediated apoptosis in Bge cells. Moreover, knock-down of BgMIF expression in Bge cells interfered with the in vitro encapsulation of S. mansoni sporocysts. Furthermore, the in vivo knock-down of BgMIF prevented the changes in circulating hemocyte populations that occur in response to an infection by S. mansoni miracidia and led to a significant increase in the parasite burden of the snails. These results provide the first functional evidence that a MIF ortholog is involved in an invertebrate immune response towards a parasitic infection and highlight the importance of cytokines in invertebrate-parasite interactions.
Baeza Garcia, Alvaro; Pierce, Raymond J.; Gourbal, Benjamin; Werkmeister, Elisabeth; Colinet, Dominique; Reichhart, Jean-Marc; Dissous, Colette; Coustau, Christine
Field studies have shown that native, parasitic plants grow vigorously on invasive plants and can cause more damage to invasive plants than native plants. However, no empirical test has been conducted and the mechanism is still unknown. We conducted a completely randomized greenhouse experiment using 3 congeneric pairs of exotic, invasive and native, non-invasive herbaceous plant species to quantify the damage caused by parasitic plants to hosts and its correlation with the hosts' growth rate and resource use efficiency. The biomass of the parasitic plants on exotic, invasive hosts was significantly higher than on congeneric native, non-invasive hosts. Parasites caused more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to congeneric, native, non-invasive hosts. The damage caused by parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the biomass of parasitic plants. The damage of parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the relative growth rate and the resource use efficiency of its host plants. It may be the mechanism by which parasitic plants grow more vigorously on invasive hosts and cause more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to native, non-invasive hosts. These results suggest a potential biological control effect of native, parasitic plants on invasive species by reducing the dominance of invasive species in the invaded community.
Li, Junmin; Jin, Zexin; Song, Wenjing
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
Sternberg, Eleanore D; Lefčvre, Thierry; Li, James; de Castillejo, Carlos Lopez Fernandez; Li, Hui; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C
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
Spottiswoode, Claire N; Stevens, Martin
Gene flow, and resulting degree of genetic differentiation among populations, will shape geographic genetic patterns and possibly local adaptation of parasites and their hosts. Some studies of Plasmodium falciparum in humans show substantial differentiation of the parasite in locations separated by only a few kilometers, a paradoxical finding for a parasite in a large, mobile host. We examined genetic differentiation of the malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum, and its lizard host, Sceloporus occidentalis, at 8 sites in northern California, with the use of variable microsatellite markers for both species. These lizards are small and highly territorial, so we expected local genetic differentiation of both parasite and lizard. Populations of P. mexicanum were found to be differentiated by analysis of 5 markers (F(st) values >0.05-0.10) over distances as short as 230-400 m, and greatly differentiated (F(st) values >0.25) for sites separated by approximately 10 km. In contrast, the lizard host had no, or very low, levels of differentiation for 3 markers, even for sites >40 km distant. Thus, gene flow for the lizard was great, but despite the mobility of the vertebrate host, the parasite was locally genetically distinct. This discrepancy could result if infected lizards move little, but their noninfected relatives were more mobile. Previous studies on the virulence of P. mexicanum for fence lizards support this hypothesis. However, changing prevalence of the parasite, without changes in density of the lizard, could also result in this pattern. PMID:19916631
Fricke, Jennifer M; Vardo-Zalik, Anne M; Schall, Jos J
BackgroundCo-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
Alfréd Trnka; Pavol Prokop; Tomáš Grim
In recent years there has been an increasing number of papers showing how parasitism and pollution can interact with each other in aquatic organisms. Among the variety of investigated aspects especially the combined effects of pollution and simultaneous infection on the health of aquatic hosts (molluscs, crustaceans, fish, mammals) is of considerable interest. Effects of pollution on the occurrence and distribution of parasites is another interesting field of "Environmental Parasitology" attracting increasing attention. This mini-review presents some promising examples of interdisciplinary studies paying attention to the fact that under natural conditions no organism will only be affected by either parasites or pollution. PMID:18814718
Humans and animals often become coinfected with pathogen strains that differ in virulence. The ensuing interaction between these strains can, in theory, be a major determinant of the direction of selection on virulence genes in pathogen populations. Many mathematical analyses of this assume that virulent pathogen lineages have a competitive advantage within coinfected hosts and thus predict that pathogens will evolve to become more virulent where genetically diverse infections are common. Although the implications of these studies are relevant to both fundamental biology and medical science, direct empirical tests for relationships between virulence and competitive ability are lacking. Here we use newly developed strain-specific real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction protocols to determine the pairwise competitiveness of genetically divergent Plasmodium chabaudi clones that represent a wide range of innate virulences in their rodent host. We found that even against their background of widely varying genotypic and antigenic properties, virulent clones had a competitive advantage in the acute phase of mixed infections. The more virulent a clone was relative to its competitor, the less it suffered from competition. This result confirms our earlier work with parasite lines derived from a single clonal lineage by serial passage and supports the virulence-competitive ability assumption of many theoretical models. To the extent that our rodent model captures the essence of the natural history of malaria parasites, public health interventions which reduce the incidence of mixed malaria infections should have beneficial consequences by reducing the selection for high virulence. PMID:16929653
Bell, Andrew S; de Roode, Jacobus C; Sim, Derek; Read, Andrew F
The potato rot nematode, Ditylenchus destructor, is a very destructive nematode pest on many agriculturally important crops worldwide, but the molecular characterization of its parasitism of plant has been limited. The effectors involved in nematode parasitism of plant for several sedentary endo-parasitic nematodes such as Heterodera glycines, Globodera rostochiensis and Meloidogyne incognita have been identified and extensively studied over the past two decades. Ditylenchus destructor, as a migratory plant parasitic nematode, has different feeding behavior, life cycle and host response. Comparing the transcriptome and parasitome among different types of plant-parasitic nematodes is the way to understand more fully the parasitic mechanism of plant nematodes. We undertook the approach of sequencing expressed sequence tags (ESTs) derived from a mixed stage cDNA library of D. destructor. This is the first study of D. destructor ESTs. A total of 9800 ESTs were grouped into 5008 clusters including 3606 singletons and 1402 multi-member contigs, representing a catalog of D. destructor genes. Implementing a bioinformatics' workflow, we found 1391 clusters have no match in the available gene database; 31 clusters only have similarities to genes identified from D. africanus, the most closely related species to D. destructor; 1991 clusters were annotated using Gene Ontology (GO); 1550 clusters were assigned enzyme commission (EC) numbers; and 1211 clusters were mapped to 181 KEGG biochemical pathways. 22 ESTs had similarities to reported nematode effectors. Interestedly, most of the effectors identified in this study are involved in host cell wall degradation or modification, such as 1,4-beta-glucanse, 1,3-beta-glucanse, pectate lyase, chitinases and expansin, or host defense suppression such as calreticulin, annexin and venom allergen-like protein. This result implies that the migratory plant-parasitic nematode D. destructor secrets similar effectors to those of sedentary plant nematodes. Finally we further characterized the two D. destructor expansin proteins. PMID:23922743
Peng, Huan; Gao, Bing-li; Kong, Ling-an; Yu, Qing; Huang, Wen-kun; He, Xu-feng; Long, Hai-bo; Peng, De-liang
Although much insight is to be gained through the comparison of the population genetic structures of parasites and hosts, there are, at present, few studies that take advantage of the information on vertebrate life histories available through the consideration of their parasites. Here, we examined the genetic structure of a colonial seabird, the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) using seven polymorphic microsatellite markers to make inferences about population functioning and intercolony dispersal. We sampled kittiwakes from 22 colonies across the species' range and, at the same time, collected individuals of one of its common ectoparasites, the tick Ixodes uriae. Parasites were genotyped at eight microsatellite markers and the population genetic structure of host and parasite were compared. Kittiwake populations are only genetically structured at large spatial scales and show weak patterns of isolation by distance. This may be due to long-distance dispersal events that erase local patterns of population subdivision. However, important additional information is gained by comparing results with those of the parasite. In particular, tick populations are strongly structured at regional scales and show a stepping-stone pattern of gene flow. Due to the parasite's life history, its population structure is directly linked to the frequency and spatial extent of within-breeding season movements of kittiwakes. The comparison of host and parasite gene flow therefore helps us to disentangle the intercolony movements of birds from that of true dispersal events (movement followed by reproduction). In addition, such data can provide essential elements for predicting the outcome of local co-evolutionary interactions. PMID:16029481
McCoy, Karen D; Boulinier, Thierry; Tirard, Claire
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.
Zander, C. D.; Strohbach, U.; Groenewold, S.
Controlling parasites that infect multiple host species often requires targeting single species that dominate transmission. Yet, it is rarely recognised that such 'key hosts' can arise through disparate mechanisms, potentially requiring different approaches for control. We identify three distinct, but not mutually exclusive, processes that underlie host species heterogeneity: infection prevalence, population abundance and infectiousness. We construct a theoretical framework to isolate the role of each process from ecological data and to explore the outcome of different control approaches. Applying this framework to data on 11 gastrointestinal parasites in small mammal communities across the eastern United States reveals variation not only in the magnitude of transmission asymmetries among host species but also in the processes driving heterogeneity. These differences influence the efficiency by which different control strategies reduce transmission. Identifying and tailoring interventions to a specific type of key host may therefore enable more effective management of multihost parasites. PMID:23714379
Streicker, Daniel G; Fenton, Andy; Pedersen, Amy B
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite that can infect most warm-blooded animals and cause severe and life-threatening disease in developing fetuses and in immune-compromised patients. Although Toxoplasma was discovered over 100 years ago, we are only now beginning to appreciate the importance of the role that parasite modulation of its host has on parasite growth, bradyzoite development, immune evasion, and virulence. The goal of this review is to highlight these findings, to develop an integrated model for communication between Toxoplasma and its host, and to discuss new questions that arise out of these studies.
BLADER, IRA J.; SAEIJ, JEROEN P.
Parasites can alter the physiology and behaviour of host species and negatively impact on their fitness thus affecting population densities. This is the first investigation into the presence of blood parasites in the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber); a species that has been the subject of many translocation and reintroduction programmes. Two hundred and seventy blood slides prepared from the blood of 27 beavers from southern Norway were microscopically analysed for the presence of blood parasites. This study reports an absence of blood parasites in the Norwegian Eurasian beavers sampled. PMID:22770707
Cross, Hannah B; Campbell-Palmer, Róisín; Girling, Simon; Rosell, Frank
Biomagnification and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congener distribution was examined in a predator-prey, host-parasite system, in which Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) preyed upon sprat (Sprattus sprattus). Eubothrium crassum was an intestinal parasite in salmon that also "preyed upon" sprat, because the parasites gained access to foodstuffs via the host (salmon) gut. Salmon contained significantly higher concentrations of total PCBs compared to both parasites and prey (sprat), but no difference in PCB concentration was found between sprat and E. crassum. Salmon biomagnified several PCB congeners from their diet (sprat), whereas parasites did not, despite the fact that both salmon and their parasites ingested the same prey. Differences in nutrient uptake mechanisms between the host and their parasites, in addition to the lack of a gastrointestinal tract in the cestode, may explain the lack of biomagnification in E. crassum. No difference was found in PCB congener distribution between parasites, salmon, and sprat, and none of the animal types showed a preference for accumulating more or less lipophilic congeners (congeners with a high or low octanol/water partition coefficient [K(ow)]). Biomagnification factors for individual congeners in salmon did not increase with K(ow); rather, they were constant, as shown by a linear relationship for congener concentration in prey and predator. PMID:17521127
Persson, Maria E; Larsson, Per; Stenroth, Patrik
Hatchlings of the obligate brood parasite common cuckoo Cuculus canorus typically evict eggs and nestmates but, rarely, host and parasite nestlings may grow up together. As part of previous experiments, we manipulated host clutches by inducing two great reed warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus and one parasite young to share a nest from 4 days posthatch, when the cuckoo's eviction behaviour is
Csaba Moskát; Márk E. Hauber
Parasites have evolved a plethora of mechanisms to ensure their propagation and evade antagonistic host responses. The intracellular protozoan parasite Theileria is the only eukaryote known to induce uncontrolled host cell proliferation. Survival of Theileria-transformed leukocytes depends strictly on constitutive nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) activity. We found that this was mediated by recruitment of the multisubunit IkappaB kinase (IKK) into large, activated foci on the parasite surface. IKK signalosome assembly was specific for the transforming schizont stage of the parasite and was down-regulated upon differentiation into the nontransforming merozoite stage. Our findings provide insights into IKK activation and how pathogens subvert host-cell signaling pathways. PMID:12411708
Heussler, Volker T; Rottenberg, Sven; Schwab, Rebekka; Küenzi, Peter; Fernandez, Paula C; McKellar, Susan; Shiels, Brian; Chen, Zhijian J; Orth, Kim; Wallach, David; Dobbelaere, Dirk A E
The host-parasite relationships of Leptomonas ctenocephali from Ctenocephalides canis and Leptomonas sp. from Orchopeas h. howardi and Palaeopsylla m. minor are described. The latter two species of fleas are new host records for kinetoplastid flagellates. Attachment to pylorus and hindgut is by modification of the flagellum; hemidesmosomes are formed on the inner leaflet of the flagellar membrane and flagella-flagella desmosomes
D. H. Molyneux; S. L. Croft; D. R. Lavin
The host selection process ofBlepharipa pratensis (Meigen), a tachinid parasite of the gypsy moth,Lymantria dispar L., was investigated. Once in the host's habitat, and following contact with a recently damaged leaf edge (cut, torn, eaten), the fly orients perpendicular to the edge and moves back and forth with the front tarsi grasping the damaged edge. Oviposturing (oviposition intention) may occur.
Thomas M. Odell; Paul A. Godwin
Ecological and evolutionary theory predicts that genetic diversity of microparasites within infected hosts will influence the parasite replication rate, parasitemia, transmission strategy, and virulence. We manipulated clonal diversity (number of genotypes) of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium mexicanum, in its natural lizard host and measured important features of the infection dynamics, the first such study for any natural Plasmodium-host association. Hosts harboring either a single P. mexicanum clone or various combinations of clones (scored via three microsatellite markers) were established. Production of asexually replicating stages (meronts) and maximal meront parasitemia did not differ by clonal diversity, nor did timing of first production of transmission stages (gametocytes). However, mean rate of gametocyte increase and maximal gametocyte parasitemia were greater for hosts with mixed-clone infections. Characteristics of infections were more variable in hosts with mixed-clone infections than with single-clone infections except for first production of gametocytes. One or more of the parasite reproductive traits were extreme in 20 of 52 hosts with mixed-clone infections. This was not associated with specific clones, but diversity itself. The overall pattern from studies of clonal diversity for human, rodent, and now reptile malaria parasites confirms that the genetic diversity of infections in the vertebrate host is of central importance for the ecology of Plasmodium. PMID:19323236
Vardo-Zalik, Anne M; Schall, Jos J
Local adaptation within host-parasite systems can evolve by several non-exclusive drivers (e.g., host species-genetic adaptation; ecological conditions-ecological adaptation, and time-temporal adaptation). Social insects, especially bumblebees, with an annual colony life history not only provide an ideal system to test parasite transmission within and between different host colonies, but also parasite adaptation to specific host species and environments. Here, we study local adaptation in a multiple-host parasite characterized by high levels of horizontal transmission. Crithidia bombi occurs as a gut parasite in several bumblebee species. Parasites were sampled from five different host species in two subsequent years. Population genetic tools were used to test for the several types of adaptation. Although we found no evidence for local adaptation of the parasite toward host species, there was a slight temporal differentiation of the parasite populations, which might have resulted from severe bottlenecks during queen hibernation. Parasite populations were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and showed no signs of linkage disequilibrium suggesting that sexual reproduction is an alternative strategy in this otherwise clonal parasite. Moreover, high levels of multiple infections were found, which might facilitate sexual genetic exchange. The detection of identical clones in different host species suggested that horizontal transmission occurs between host species and underpins the lack of host-specific adaptation.
Erler, Silvio; Popp, Mario; Wolf, Stephan; Lattorff, H Michael G
Sex allocation theory and empirical evidence both suggest that natural selection should favour maternal control of offspring sex ratio in relation to their ability to invest in the offspring. Generalist parasites constitute a particularly interesting group to test this theory as different females commonly utilize different host species showing large variation in provisioning ability. The common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is a generalist brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nest of many different passerine birds, but each female tends to specialize on one particular host species giving rise to highly specialized host races. The different host species show large variation in their ability to invest in the parasitic offspring, presenting an opportunity for female cuckoos to bias offspring sex ratio in relation to host species quality. Here, we investigate host-race specific sex allocation controlling for maternal identity in the common cuckoo. We found no evidence of any significant relationship between host race and sex ratio in one sympatric population harbouring three different host races, or in a total of five geographically separated populations. There was also no significant association between host quality, as determined by species-specific female host body mass, and cuckoo sex ratio. Finally, we found no significant relationship between individual cuckoo maternal quality, as determined by her egg volume, and sex ratio within each host race. We conclude that the generalist brood-parasitic common cuckoo show no significant sex-ratio bias in relation to host race and discuss this finding in light of gene flow and host adaptations.
Foss?y, Frode; Moksnes, Arne; R?skaft, Eivin; Antonov, Anton; Dyrcz, Andrzej; Moskat, Csaba; Ranke, Peter S.; Rutila, Jarkko; Vikan, Johan R.; Stokke, Bard G.
Sex allocation theory and empirical evidence both suggest that natural selection should favour maternal control of offspring sex ratio in relation to their ability to invest in the offspring. Generalist parasites constitute a particularly interesting group to test this theory as different females commonly utilize different host species showing large variation in provisioning ability. The common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is a generalist brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nest of many different passerine birds, but each female tends to specialize on one particular host species giving rise to highly specialized host races. The different host species show large variation in their ability to invest in the parasitic offspring, presenting an opportunity for female cuckoos to bias offspring sex ratio in relation to host species quality. Here, we investigate host-race specific sex allocation controlling for maternal identity in the common cuckoo. We found no evidence of any significant relationship between host race and sex ratio in one sympatric population harbouring three different host races, or in a total of five geographically separated populations. There was also no significant association between host quality, as determined by species-specific female host body mass, and cuckoo sex ratio. Finally, we found no significant relationship between individual cuckoo maternal quality, as determined by her egg volume, and sex ratio within each host race. We conclude that the generalist brood-parasitic common cuckoo show no significant sex-ratio bias in relation to host race and discuss this finding in light of gene flow and host adaptations. PMID:22615833
Fossřy, Frode; Moksnes, Arne; Rřskaft, Eivin; Antonov, Anton; Dyrcz, Andrzej; Moskat, Csaba; Ranke, Peter S; Rutila, Jarkko; Vikan, Johan R; Stokke, Bĺrd G
Chicks of the brood parasitic common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) typically monopolize host parental care by evicting all eggs and nestmates from the nest. To assess the benefits of parasitic eviction behaviour throughout the full nestling period, we generated mixed broods of one cuckoo and one great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) to study how hosts divide care between own and parasitic young. We also recorded parental provisioning behaviour at nests of singleton host nestlings or singleton cuckoo chicks. Host parents fed the three types of broods with similar-sized food items. The mass of the cuckoo chicks was significantly reduced in mixed broods relative to singleton cuckoos. Yet, after the host chick fledged from mixed broods, at about 10-12 days, cuckoo chicks in mixed broods grew faster and appeared to have compensated for the growth costs of prior cohabitation by fledging at similar weights and ages compared to singleton cuckoo chicks. These results are contrary to suggestions that chick competition in mixed broods of cuckoos and hosts causes an irrecoverable cost for the developing brood parasite. Flexibility in cuckoos' growth dynamics may provide a general benefit to ecological uncertainty regarding the realized successes, failures, and costs of nestmate eviction strategies of brood parasites. PMID:22521709
Geltsch, Nikoletta; Hauber, Márk E; Anderson, Michael G; Bán, Miklós; Moskát, Csaba
Four helminth parasites out of 19 species found in the Lübeck Bight, Baltic Sea, were chosen for investigations on the transfer from invertebrate to small-sized fish hosts: larvae of the tapeworms Schistocephalus sp. and Bothriocephalus sp. (Cestoda) living in planktonic copepods as primary hosts; Podocotyle atomon (Digenea) and Hysterothylacium sp. (Nematoda) were found in benthic crustaceans, especially Gammarus spp. These hosts were the prey of 3 gobiid fishes, Gobiusculus flavescens (feeding mainly on plankton), Pomatoschistus minutus (preferring benthos), and P. pictus (feeding more on plankton than benthos). Because the fishes selected smaller sizes of crustaceans, they ingested all stages of the copepods but only the smaller-sized groups of gammarids which were often less infested by parasites. In order to evaluate the probability for a fish to be parasitized by a helminth, an infestation potential index (IP) was calculated. Podocotyle atomon and Hysterothylacium sp. revealed an IP which was far lower in gobies than expected when the prevalences of the previous hosts were taken into consideration. The IP of tapeworm larvae was mainly influenced by the feeding pressure of the gobiid predators, which might change with developmental stage and season. It is concluded that parasite transfer to the next host decreases when sizes of prey and predator differ only moderately. This mechanism can reduce the numbers of parasites transferred to less suitable or wrong hosts.
Zander, C. D.; Groenewold, S.; Strohbach, U.
The impact of community complexity on pairwise coevolutionary dynamics is theoretically dependent on the extent to which species evolve generalised or specialised adaptations to the multiple species they interact with. Here, we show that the bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens diversifies into defence specialists, when coevolved simultaneously with a virus and a predatory protist, as a result of fitness trade-offs between defences against the two enemies. Strong bacteria-virus pairwise coevolution persisted, despite strong protist-imposed selection. However, the arms race dynamic (escalation of host resistance and parasite infectivity ranges) associated with bacteria-virus coevolution broke down to a greater extent in the presence of the protist, presumably through the elevated genetic and demographic costs of increased bacteria resistance ranges. These findings suggest that strong pairwise coevolution can persist even in complex communities, when conflicting selection leads to evolutionary diversification of different defence strategies. PMID:23013242
Friman, Ville-Petri; Buckling, Angus
Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas' disease, is an obligate intracellular parasite that invades various organs including several cell types in the nervous system that express the Trk receptor tyrosine kinase. Activation of Trk is a major cell-survival and repair mechanism, and parasites could use Trks to invade cells as a strategy to protect their habitat and prolong parasitism of vertebrate hosts. We show that T. cruzi binds to TrkA specifically and activates TrkA-dependent survival mechanisms. This interaction facilitates parasite adherence and promotes efficient invasion of neuronal, epithelial, and phagocytic cells via a process that requires TrkA kinase activity. Diffusible TrkA and TrkA-blocking agents neutralized infection in cellular and animal models of acute Chagas' disease, suggesting cellular receptors as therapeutic targets against parasitic diseases. Thus, TrkA, the nerve growth factor receptor commonly associated with neural survival and protection, may also underlie clinical progression of an important human parasitic disease. PMID:18005706
de Melo-Jorge, Milena; PereiraPerrin, Mercio
The 'enemy release' theory predicts that parasites will be lost during invasion through selection against hosts with parasite'reduced fitness. The North American amphipod Crangonyx pseudogracilis has successfully invaded European waterways and we have recently described the vertically transmitted, ...
Oral Treponema species, most notably T. denticola, are implicated in the destructive effects of human periodontal disease. Progress in the molecular analysis of interactions between T. denticola and host proteins is reviewed here, with particular emphasis on the characterization of surface-expressed and secreted proteins of T. denticola involved in interactions with host cells, extracellular matrix components, and components of the innate immune system.
Fenno, J. Christopher
Parasites often have shorter generation times and, in some cases, faster mutation rates than their hosts, which can lead to greater population differentiation in the parasite relative to the host. Here we present a population genetic study of two ectoparasitic flies, Olfersia spinifera and Olfersia aenescens compared with their respective bird hosts, great frigatebirds (Fregata minor) and Nazca boobies (Sula granti). Olfersia spinifera is the vector of a haemosporidian parasite, Haemoproteus iwa, which infects frigatebirds throughout their range. Interestingly, there is no genetic differentiation in the haemosporidian parasite across this range despite strong genetic differentiation between Galapagos frigatebirds and their non-Galapagos conspecifics. It is possible that the broad distribution of this one H. iwa lineage could be facilitated by movement of infected O. spinifera. Therefore, we predicted more gene flow in both fly species compared with the bird hosts. Mitochondrial DNA sequence data from three genes per species indicated that despite marked differences in the genetic structure of the bird hosts, gene flow was very high in both fly species. A likely explanation involves non-breeding movements of hosts, including movement of juveniles, and movement by adult birds whose breeding attempt has failed, although we cannot rule out the possibility that closely related host species may be involved. PMID:23659306
Levin, Iris I; Parker, Patricia G
SUMMARYWe investigated whether parasites or hosts benefit from reduced reproduction in infected hosts. When parasites castrate their hosts, the regain of host reproduction is necessary for castration to be a host adaptation. When infecting Daphnia magna with Pasteuria ramosa, in a lake water based medium, 49·2% of the castrated females regained reproduction. We investigated the relationship between castration level, and parasite and host fitness proxies to determine the adaptive value of host castration. Hosts which regained reproduction contained less spores and had a higher lifetime reproduction than permanently castrated hosts. We also found a negative correlation between parasite and host lifetime reproduction. For hosts which regained reproduction we found no optimal level of castration associated with lifetime reproduction. These results support the view that host castration only is adaptive to the parasite in this system. In addition, we suggest that permanent castration might not be the norm under natural conditions in this system. Finally, we argue that a reduction in host reproduction is more likely to evolve as a property favouring parasites rather than hosts. To our knowledge this is the only experimental study to investigate the adaptive value of reduced host reproduction when castrated hosts can regain reproduction. PMID:21854675
Mageroy, Jon H; Grepperud, Eldfrid J; Jensen, Knut Helge
The effects of temperature on growth and development of the cabbage butterfly, Pieris rapae, and three wasp parasites: Apanteles rubecula, Apanteles glomeratus and Pteromalus puparum in Vancouver, Canada, and Canberra, Australia, are examined. We compare the estimates of temperature threshold for development and the number of degree-days above this threshold required to complete development for the immature stages of all
V. G. Nealis; R. E. Jones; W. G. Wellington
Several epidemiological models predict a positive relationship between host population density and abundance of directly transmitted macroparasites. Here, we generalize these, and test the prediction by a comparative study. We used data on communities of gastrointestinal strongylid nematodes from 19 mammalian species, representing examination of 6670 individual hosts. We studied both the average abundance of all strongylid nematodes within a
Per Arneberg; Arne Skorping; Bryan Grenfell; Andrew F. Read
For hundreds of years, the unmanaged Soay sheep population on St Kilda has survived despite enduring presumably deleterious co-infections of helminth, protozoan and arthropod parasites and intermittent periods of starvation. Important parasite taxa in young Soay sheep are strongyles (Trichostrongylus axei, Trichostrongylus vitrinus and Teladorsagia circumcincta), coccidia (11 Eimeria species) and keds (Melophagus ovinus) and in older animals, Teladorsagia circumcincta. In this research, associations between the intensity of different parasite taxa were investigated. Secondly, the intensities of different parasite taxa were tested for associations with variation in host weight, which is itself a determinant of over-winter survival in the host population. In lambs, the intensity of strongyle eggs was positively correlated with that of Nematodirus spp. eggs, while in yearlings and adults strongyle eggs and coccidia oocysts were positively correlated. In lambs and yearlings, of the parasite taxa tested, only strongyle eggs were significantly and negatively associated with host weight. However, in adult hosts, strongyles and coccidia were independently and negatively associated with host weight. These results are consistent with the idea that strongyles and coccidia are exerting independent selection on Soay sheep. PMID:18215336
Craig, B H; Tempest, L J; Pilkington, J G; Pemberton, J M
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.
We report the first isotopic study of an animal host-parasite system. Parasitic, intestinal nematodes, Graphidium strigosum and Passalurus ambiguus, were N-enriched relative to their host, the European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus, while parasitic cestodes, Cittataenia denticulata and Mosgovoyia pectinata, were N-depleted, suggesting different trophic relationships. Host embryos were more similar in their ?C and ?N values to maternal muscle than were
B. Boag; R. Neilson; D. Robinson; C. M. Scrimgeour; L. L. Handley
Cophylogenetic studies investigate the evolutionary trends within host-parasite associations. Examination of the different levels of fidelity between host and parasite phylogenies provides a powerful tool to inspect patterns and processes of parasite diversification over host evolution and geological times. Within the phylum Platyhelminthes, the monogeneans are mainly fish parasites. The Polystomatidae, however, are known from the sarcopterygian Australian lungfish and tetrapods such as amphibians, freshwater turtles, and the African hippopotamus. Cophylogenetic and biogeographic vicariance analyses, supplemented by molecular calibrations, showed that the Polystomatidae may track the evolutionary history of the first aquatic tetrapods in the Palaeozoic age. Evolutionary lines of the major polystome lineages would also be intimately related to the evolution of their hosts over hundreds of millions years. Since the Mesozoic, evolution of polystomes would have been shaped mainly by plate tectonics during the break-up of Gondwanaland and subsequent dispersal of ancestral neobatrachian host lineages. Therefore the Polystomatidae could serve as a novel model to improve cophylogenetic tools and to inspect a suite of questions about the evolution of vertebrate hosts. PMID:19281948
Verneau, Olivier; Du Preez, Louis; Badets, Mathieu
Large-bodied species of hosts often harbor large-bodied parasites, a pattern known as Harrison's rule. Harrison's rule has been documented for a variety of animal parasites and herbivorous insects, yet the adaptive basis of the body-size correlation is poorly understood. We used phylogenetically independent methods to test for Harrison's rule across a large assemblage of bird lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera). The analysis
Kevin P. Johnson; Sarah E. Bush; Dale H. Clayton
The host parasite relationship in the brains of asymptomatic mice chronically infected withToxoplasma gondii was examined at 3, 6 and 12 months post-infection (PI) using electron microscopy. The parasites were located in large numbers within tissue cysts which ranged in size from 10–50 µm in diameter. The cysts were predominantly found in the grey matter. The toxoplasms were enclosed by
D. J. P. Ferguson; W. M. Hutchison
Despite their importance to offspring fitness outcomes, there has been little previous work on egg-mediated maternal effects\\u000a in avian brood parasites which lay their eggs in the nests of other species. Here, we examine patterns of egg yolk antioxidant\\u000a deposition in an avian host (red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus) and their brood parasite (brown-headed cowbird, Molothrus ater). Cowbird nestlings compete directly
Nick J. Royle; Margaret E. Hall; Jonathan D. Blount; Scott Forbes
Among the host fruits of the Caribbean fruit fly there are a variety of sizes and shapes. These morphological differences\\u000a may influence the vulnerability of the larvae to parasites. In the laboratory, Caribbean fruit fly larvae placed in the smaller\\u000a of 2 different sizes of artificial ‘fruit’ (cloth spheres filled with a diet material) were parasitized at a higher rate
Proteolytic enzymes of the caspase family, which reside as latent precursors in most nucleated metazoan cells, are core effectors of apoptosis. Of them, the executioner caspases- 3 and -7 exist within the cytosol as inactive dimers and are activated by a process called dimerization. Caspase inhibition is looked upon as a promising approach for treating multiple diseases. Though caspases have been extensively studied in the human system, their role in eukaryotic pathogens and parasites of human hosts has not drawn enough attention. In protein sequence analysis, caspases of blood flukes (Schistosoma spp) were revealed to have a low sequence identity with their counterparts in human and other mammalian hosts, which encouraged us to analyse interacting domains that participate in dimerization of caspases in the parasite and to reveal differences, if any, between the host-parasite systems. Significant differences in the molecular surface arrangement of the dimer interfaces reveal that in schistosomal caspases only eight out of forty dimer conformations are similar to human caspase structures. Thus, the parasite-specific dimer conformations (that are different from caspases of the host) may emerge as potential drug targets of therapeutic value against schistosomal infections. Three important factors namely, the size of amino acids, secondary structures and geometrical arrangement of interacting domains influence the pattern of caspase dimer formation, which, in turn, is manifested in varied structural conformations of caspases in the parasite and its human hosts.
Kumar, Shakti; Biswal, Devendra Kumar; Tandon, Veena
When 171 sea lampreys Petromyzon marinus were each offered a onetime choice of one large and two small lake trout Salvelinus namaycush, the ratio of their attacks (49.1%:27.5%: 23.4%) was similar to the ratio of host surface areas (51.4%:26.3%:22.3%) in laboratory tests conducted over 9 months in 1988–1989. When the smallest offered host was 560 mm total length (TL) or
William D. Swink
The genetic mechanisms underlying host specificity of parasitic infections are largely unknown. After hatching, the larvae of the monogenean parasite, Heterobothrium okamotoi, attach to the gill filaments of hosts and the post-larval worms develop there by consuming nutrients from the host. The susceptibility to H. okamotoi infection differs markedly among fish species. While this parasite can grow on tiger pufferfish (also called fugu), Takifugu rubripes, it appears to be rejected by a close congener, grass pufferfish, Takifugu niphobles, after initial attachment to the gills. To determine the genetic architecture of the pufferfish responsible for this host specificity, we performed genome-wide quantitative trait loci analysis. We raised second generation (F2) hybrids of the two pufferfish species and experimentally infected them with the monogenean in vivo. To assess possible differences in host mechanisms between early and later periods of infection, we sampled fish three h and 21days after exposure. Genome scanning of fish from the 3h infection trial revealed suggestive quantitative trait loci on linkage groups 2 and 14, which affected the number of parasites on the gill. However, analysis of fish 21days p.i. detected a significant quantitative trait locus on linkage group 9 and three other suggestive quantitative trait loci on linkage groups 7, 18 and 22. These results indicated the polygenic nature of the host mechanisms involved in the infection/rejection of H. okamotoi. Moreover the analyses suggested that host factors may play a more important role during the growth period of the parasite than during initial host recognition at the time of attachment. Within the 95% confidence interval of the linkage group 9 quantitative trait locus in the fugu genome, there were 214 annotated protein-coding genes, including immunity-related genes such as Irak4, Muc2 and Muc5ac. PMID:23872522
Hosoya, Sho; Kido, Shinichi; Hirabayashi, Yo; Kai, Wataru; Kinami, Ryuhei; Yoshinaga, Tomoyoshi; Ogawa, Kazuo; Suetake, Hiroaki; Kikuchi, Kiyoshi; Suzuki, Yuzuru
Background The link between host MHC (major histocompatibility complex) genotype and malaria is largely based on correlative data with little or no experimental control of potential confounding factors. We used an experimental mouse model to test for main effects of MHC-haplotypes, MHC heterozygosity, and MHC × parasite clone interactions. We experimentally infected MHC-congenic mice (F2 segregants, homo- and heterozygotes, males and females) with one of two clones of Plasmodium chabaudi and recorded disease progression. Results We found that MHC haplotype and parasite clone each have a significant influence on the course of the disease, but there was no significant host genotype by parasite genotype interaction. We found no evidence for overdominance nor any other sort of heterozygote advantage or disadvantage. Conclusion When tested under experimental conditions, variation in the MHC can significantly influence the course of malaria. However, MHC heterozygote advantage through overdominance or dominance of resistance cannot be assumed in the case of single-strain infections. Future studies might focus on the interaction between MHC heterozygosity and multiple-clone infections.
Wedekind, Claus; Walker, Mirjam; Little, Tom J
Environmental fluctuations are important for parasite spread and persistence. However, the effects of the spatial and temporal structure of environmental fluctuations on host-parasite dynamics are not well understood. Temporal fluctuations can be random but positively autocorrelated, such that the environment is similar to the recent past (red noise), or random and uncorrelated with the past (white noise). We imposed red or white temporal temperature fluctuations on experimental metapopulations of Paramecium caudatum, experiencing an epidemic of the bacterial parasite Holospora undulata. Metapopulations (two subpopulations linked by migration) experienced fluctuations between stressful (5°C) and permissive (23°C) conditions following red or white temporal sequences. Spatial variation in temperature fluctuations was implemented by exposing subpopulations to the same (synchronous temperatures) or different (asynchronous temperatures) temporal sequences. Red noise, compared with white noise, enhanced parasite persistence. Despite this, red noise coupled with asynchronous temperatures allowed infected host populations to maintain sizes equivalent to uninfected populations. It is likely that this occurs because subpopulations in permissive conditions rescue declining subpopulations in stressful conditions. We show how patterns of temporal and spatial environmental fluctuations can impact parasite spread and host population abundance. We conclude that accurate prediction of parasite epidemics may require realistic models of environmental noise. PMID:23966645
Duncan, Alison B; Gonzalez, Andrew; Kaltz, Oliver
Summary Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease of significant medical and veterinary importance in many regions of the world. Recent shifts in global health policy have led towards the implementation of mass chemotherapeutic control programmes at the national scale in previously ‘neglected’ countries such as those within sub-Saharan Africa. Evolutionary theory has an important role to play in the design, application and interpretation of such programmes. Whilst celebrating the rapid success achieved to date by such programmes, in terms of reduced infection prevalence, intensity and associated human morbidity, evolutionary change in response to drug selection pressure may be predicted under certain circumstances, particularly in terms of the development of potential drug resistance, evolutionary changes in parasite virulence, transmission and host use, and/or competitive interactions with co-infecting pathogens. Theoretical and empirical data gained to date serve to highlight the importance of careful monitoring and evaluation of parasites and their hosts whenever and wherever chemotherapy is applied and where parasite transmission remains.
Webster, Joanne P; Gower, Charlotte M; Norton, Alice J
The fate of host defensive behaviour in the absence of selection from brood parasitism is critical to long-term host-parasite coevolution. We investigated whether New World Bohemian waxwings Bombycilla garrulus that are allopatric from brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater and common cuckoo Cuculus canorus parasitism have retained egg rejection behaviour. We found that egg rejection was expressed by 100 per cent of Bohemian waxwings. Our phylogeny revealed that Bohemian and Japanese waxwings Bombycilla japonica were sister taxa, and this clade was sister to the cedar waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum. In addition, there was support for a split between Old and New World Bohemian waxwings. Our molecular clock estimates suggest that egg rejection may have been retained for 2.8-3.0 Myr since New World Bohemian waxwings inherited it from their common ancestor with the rejecter cedar waxwings. These results support the 'single trajectory' model of host-brood parasite coevolution that once hosts evolve defences, they are retained, forcing parasites to become more specialized over time. PMID:21493623
Peer, Brian D; Kuehn, Michael J; Rothstein, Stephen I; Fleischer, Robert C
The fate of host defensive behaviour in the absence of selection from brood parasitism is critical to long-term host–parasite coevolution. We investigated whether New World Bohemian waxwings Bombycilla garrulus that are allopatric from brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater and common cuckoo Cuculus canorus parasitism have retained egg rejection behaviour. We found that egg rejection was expressed by 100 per cent of Bohemian waxwings. Our phylogeny revealed that Bohemian and Japanese waxwings Bombycilla japonica were sister taxa, and this clade was sister to the cedar waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum. In addition, there was support for a split between Old and New World Bohemian waxwings. Our molecular clock estimates suggest that egg rejection may have been retained for 2.8–3.0 Myr since New World Bohemian waxwings inherited it from their common ancestor with the rejecter cedar waxwings. These results support the ‘single trajectory’ model of host–brood parasite coevolution that once hosts evolve defences, they are retained, forcing parasites to become more specialized over time.
Peer, Brian D.; Kuehn, Michael J.; Rothstein, Stephen I.; Fleischer, Robert C.
The mechanisms by which mammalian hosts eliminate microparasites such as bacteria and viruses are well established. In viral infections, these mechanisms include the interferons, neutralizing and opsonizing antibodies, and cytotoxic T lymphocytes. In bacterial infections, polymorphonuclear leukocytes and macrophages, often facilitated by opsonizing antibodies, ingest the infectious agent and mediate host defense. In addition, complement, in the presence of specific antibodies directed against surface antigens, can lyse certain bacterial pathogens. In contrast, our understanding of the host defenses against metazoan, extracellular parasites is less well grounded. We obtained data by two different approaches to document the role of nitric oxide (NO) as a mediator of host defense against a human nematode parasite. First, treatment of immunocompetent, nonpermissive mice with an inhibitor of NO synthase abrogated resistance to Brugia malayi, one of the causative agents of human lymphatic filariasis. Second, treatment of permissive, immunodeficient mice with a compound that releases NO conferred resistance to infection. These data reinforce studies by James and her coworkers (I. P. Oswald, T. A. Wynn, A. Sher, and S. L. James, Comp. Biochem. Physiol. Pharmacol. Toxicol. Endocrinol. 108:11-18, 1994) on the role of NO in defense against trematode parasites and of Kanazawa et al. (T. Kanazawa, H. Asahi, H. Hata; K. Machida, N. Kagei, and M. J. Stadecker, Parasite Immunol. 15: 619-623, 1993) on cestode parasites.
Rajan, T V; Porte, P; Yates, J A; Keefer, L; Shultz, L D
The life cycle of the parasitic copepod Lernaeocera branchialis involves 2 hosts, typically a pleuronectiform host upon which development of larvae and mating of adults occurs and a subsequent gadoid host, upon which the adult female feeds and reproduces. Both the copepodid and adult female stages must therefore locate and identify a suitable host to continue the life cycle. Several mechanisms are potentially involved in locating a host and ensuring its suitability for infection. These may include mechano-reception to detect host movement and chemo-reception to recognize host-associated chemical cues, or kairomones. The aim of this study was to identify the role of kairomones in host location by adult L. branchialis, by analysing their behaviour in response to fish-derived chemicals. Experiments demonstrated that water conditioned by immersion of whiting, Merlangius merlangus, elicited host-seeking behaviour in L. branchialis, whereas cod- (Gadus morhua) conditioned water did not. Lernaeocera branchialis are considered a genetically homogeneous population infecting a range of gadoids. However, their differential response to whiting- and cod-derived chemicals in this study suggests that either there are genetically determined subspecies of L. branchialis or there is some form of environmental pre-conditioning that allows the parasite to preferentially recognize the host species from which it originated. PMID:23369461
Brooker, A J; Shinn, A P; Souissi, S; Bron, J E
Much research has focused on effects of plant parasites on host-plant physiology and growth, but little is known about effects of host physiological condition on parasite growth. Using the parasitic dwarf mistletoe Arceuthobium vaginatum subsp. cryptopodum (Viscaceae) and its host Pinus ponderosa, we investigated whether changes in host physiological condition influenced mistletoe shoot development in northern Arizona forests. We conducted two studies in two consecutive years and used forest thinning (i.e., competitive release) to manipulate host physiological condition. We removed dwarf mistletoe shoots in April, before the onset of the growing season, and measured the amount of regrowth in the first season after forest thinning (Study I: n=38 trees; Study II: n=35 trees). Thinning increased tree uptake of water and carbon in both studies, but had no effect on leaf N concentration or delta13C. Mistletoe shoot growth was greater on trees with high uptake of water and carbon in thinned stands than trees with low uptake in unthinned stands. These findings show that increased resource uptake by host trees increases resources to these heterotrophic dwarf mistletoes, and links mistletoe performance to changes in host physiological condition. PMID:16086165
Bickford, Christopher P; Kolb, Thomas E; Geils, Brian W
The negative consequences of parasitic infection (virulence) were examined for two lizard malaria parasite-host associations: Plasmodium agamae and P. giganteum, parasites of the rainbow lizard, Agama agama, in Sierra Leone, West Africa; and P. mexicanum in the western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, in northern California. These malaria species vary greatly in their reproductive characteristics: P. agamae produces only 8 merozoites per schizont, P. giganteum yields over 100, and P. mexicanum an intermediate number. All three parasites appear to have had an ancient association with their host. In fence lizards, infection with malaria is associated with increased numbers of immature erythrocytes, decreased haemoglobin levels, decreased maximal oxygen consumption, and decreased running stamina. Not affected were numbers of erythrocytes, resting metabolic rate, and sprint running speed which is supported by anaerobic means in lizards. Infected male fence lizards had smaller testes, stored less fat in preparation for winter dormancy, were more often socially submissive and, unexpectedly, were more extravagantly coloured on the ventral surface (a sexually dimorphic trait) than non-infected males. Females also stored less fat and produced smaller clutches of eggs, a directly observed reduction in fitness. Infected fence lizards do not develop behavioural fevers. P. mexicanum appears to have broad thermal buffering abilities and thermal tolerance; the parasite's population growth was unaffected by experimental alterations in the lizard's body temperature. The data are less complete for A. agama, but infected lizards suffered similar haematological and physiological effects. Infected animals may be socially submissive because they appear to gather less insect prey, possibly a result of being forced into inferior territories. Infection does not reduce clutch size in rainbow lizards, but may lengthen the time between clutches. These results are compared with predictions emerging from several models of the evolution of parasite virulence. The lack of behavioural fevers in fence lizards may represent a physiological constraint by the lizards in evolving a thermal tolerance large enough to allow elimination of the parasite via fever. Such constraints may be important in determining the outcome of parasite-host coevolution. Some theory predicts low virulence in old parasite-host systems and higher virulence in parasites with greater reproductive output. However, in conflict with this argument, all three malarial species exhibited similar high costs to their hosts. PMID:2235062
Schall, J J
The oral microbial flora comprises one of the most diverse human-associated biofilms. Its development is heavily influenced by oral streptococci, which are considered the main group of early colonizers. Their initial attachment determines the composition of later colonizers in the oral biofilm and impacts the health or disease status of the host. Thus, the role of streptococci in the development of oral diseases is best described in the context of bacterial ecology, which itself is further influenced by interactions with host epithelial cells, the immune system, and salivary components. The tractability of the oral biofilm makes it an excellent model system for studies of complex, biofilm-associated polymicrobial diseases. Using this system, numerous cooperative and antagonistic bacterial interactions have been demonstrated to occur within the community and with the host. In this review, several recent identified interactions are presented.
Merritt, Justin; Qi, Fengxia
Streptococcal evolution has been shaped by human history, social change and microbial selection. Streptococci with pathogenicity for people likely diversified within the last 5–10,000 years, jumping from animal hosts to infect the larger aggregations of people seen in towns and cities following the rise of agriculture. Streptococci are subject to continuing selection through changes in population immunity, hygiene, living conditions,
John D. Mathews
For a facultative kleptoparasite, the decision to allocate time and energy to search for a prey or for a kleptoparasite opportunity\\u000a could be influenced by its prior experience. In this study, we investigated the influence of experience on the proportion\\u000a of the facultative kleptoparasitoid Eupelmus vuilleti females choosing an unparasitized host or a host parasitized by Dinarmus basalis. When exploiting
B. Jaloux; M. Deshayes; J.-P. Monge
The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii recog- nizes, binds, and penetrates virtually any kind of mamma- lian cell using a repertoire of proteins released from late secretory organelles and a unique form of gliding motility (also named glideosome) that critically depends on actin filaments and myosin. How T. gondii glycosylated proteins mediate host-parasite interactions remains elusive. To date, only limited evidence
Sylvain Fauquenoy; Willy Morelle; Agnes Hovasse; Audrey Bednarczyk; Christian Slomianny; Christine Schaeffer; Alain Van Dorsselaer; Stanislas Tomavo
BACKGROUND: AP65 is a prominent adhesin of Trichomonas vaginalis that mediates binding of parasites to host vaginal epithelial cells (VECs). AP65 with no secretion signal sequence, membrane targeting peptide, and anchoring motif was recently found to be secreted. RESULTS: We first wanted to demonstrate surface association of AP65 to the parasite followed by the identification of the binding epitope interacting
Ana F Garcia; JF Alderete
In many natural populations, hosts are found to be infected by more than one parasite species. When these parasites have different host exploitation strategies and transmission modes, a conflict among them may arise. Such a conflict may reduce the success of both parasites, but could work to the benefit of the host. For example, the less-virulent parasite may protect the host against the more-virulent competitor. We examine this conflict using the waterflea Daphnia magna and two of its sympatric parasites: the blood-infecting bacterium Pasteuria ramosa that transmits horizontally and the intracellular microsporidium Octosporea bayeri that can concurrently transmit horizontally and vertically after infecting ovaries and fat tissues of the host. We quantified host and parasite fitness after exposing Daphnia to one or both parasites, both simultaneously and sequentially. Under conditions of strict horizontal transmission, Pasteuria competitively excluded Octosporea in both simultaneous and sequential double infections, regardless of the order of exposure. Host lifespan, host reproduction and parasite spore production in double infections resembled those of single infection by Pasteuria. When hosts became first vertically (transovarilly) infected with O. bayeri, Octosporea was able to withstand competition with P. ramosa to some degree, but both parasites produced less transmission stages than they did in single infections. At the same time, the host suffered from reduced fecundity and longevity. Our study demonstrates that even when competing parasite species utilize different host tissues to proliferate, double infections lead to the expression of higher virulence and ultimately may select for higher virulence. Furthermore, we found no evidence that the less-virulent and vertically transmitting O. bayeri protects its host against the highly virulent P. ramosa. PMID:21481055
Ben-Ami, F; Rigaud, T; Ebert, D
The present study focuses on the helminth parasite community of the wild rabbit in a sand dune area in Portugal over a 5-year period. The influence of host sex and year on the composition of the helminth community is assessed, along with the potential effect of the detected helminths on host body condition. The basic structure of the helminth community comprises Mosgovoyia ctenoides, Graphidium strigosum, Trichostrongylus retortaeformis, Nematodiroides zembrae and Passalurus ambiguus. Mean intensities of G. strigosum varied between years. General G. strigosum intensities were also found to vary according to both year and host sex, but not according to the interaction of both factors. When assessing the effect of helminths on rabbit body condition (expressed by the kidney fat index), higher burdens of M. ctenoides, a cestode that presents a relatively large body mass, were found to induce a reduction in rabbit condition. PMID:17594739
Eira, C; Torres, J; Miquel, J; Vingada, J
Cysteine proteases of the Clan CA (papain) family are the predominant protease group in primitive invertebrates. Cysteine protease inhibitors arrest infection by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei. RNA interference studies implicated a cathepsin B-like protease, tbcatB, as a key inhibitor target. Utilizing parasites in which one of the two alleles of tbcatb has been deleted, the key role of this protease in degradation of endocytosed host proteins is delineated. TbcatB deficiency results in a decreased growth rate and dysmorphism of the flagellar pocket and the subjacent endocytic compartment. Western blot and microscopic analysis indicate that deficiency in tbcatB results in accumulation of both host and parasite proteins, including the lysosomal marker p67. A critical function for parasitism is the degradation of host transferrin, which is necessary for iron acquisition. Substrate specificity analysis of recombinant tbcatB revealed the optimal peptide cleavage sequences for the enzyme and these were confirmed experimentally using FRET-based substrates. Degradation of transferrin was validated by SDS-PAGE and the specific cleavage sites identified by N-terminal sequencing. Because even a modest deficiency in tbcatB is lethal for the parasite, tbcatB is a logical target for the development of new anti-trypanosomal chemotherapy. PMID:18701454
O'Brien, Theresa C; Mackey, Zachary B; Fetter, Richard D; Choe, Youngchool; O'Donoghue, Anthony J; Zhou, Min; Craik, Charles S; Caffrey, Conor R; McKerrow, James H
Cysteine proteases of the Clan CA (papain) family are the predominant protease group in primitive invertebrates. Cysteine protease inhibitors arrest infection by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei. RNA interference studies implicated a cathepsin B-like protease, tbcatB, as a key inhibitor target. Utilizing parasites in which one of the two alleles of tbcatb has been deleted, the key role of this protease in degradation of endocytosed host proteins is delineated. TbcatB deficiency results in a decreased growth rate and dysmorphism of the flagellar pocket and the subjacent endocytic compartment. Western blot and microscopic analysis indicate that deficiency in tbcatB results in accumulation of both host and parasite proteins, including the lysosomal marker p67. A critical function for parasitism is the degradation of host transferrin, which is necessary for iron acquisition. Substrate specificity analysis of recombinant tbcatB revealed the optimal peptide cleavage sequences for the enzyme and these were confirmed experimentally using FRET-based substrates. Degradation of transferrin was validated by SDS-PAGE and the specific cleavage sites identified by N-terminal sequencing. Because even a modest deficiency in tbcatB is lethal for the parasite, tbcatB is a logical target for the development of new anti-trypanosomal chemotherapy.
O'Brien, Theresa C.; Mackey, Zachary B.; Fetter, Richard D.; Choe, Youngchool; O'Donoghue, Anthony J.; Zhou, Min; Craik, Charles S.; Caffrey, Conor R.; McKerrow, James H.
Nest protection against intruders is an indispensable component of avian parental care. In species with biparental care, both mates should evolve nest defence behaviour to increase their reproductive success. In most host-parasite systems, host females are predicted to have more important roles in nest defence against brood parasites, because they typically are primarily responsible for clutch incubation. Male antiparasitic behaviour, on the other hand, is often underestimated or even not considered at all. Here we investigated sex-specific roles in four aspects of great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) nest defence against a brood parasite-the cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), namely (1) mobbing, (2) nest attendance/guarding, (3) nest checking and (4) egg ejection. Using dummy experiments, simulating brood parasitism and by video-monitoring of host nests we found that males took the key roles in cuckoo mobbing and nest guarding, while females were responsible for nest checking and egg ejection behaviours. Such partitioning of parental roles may provide a comprehensive clutch protection against brood parasitism. PMID:19154783
Pozgayová, Milica; Procházka, Petr; Honza, Marcel
Medicinal properties of parasitic plants were investigated by means of ethnobotanical study in some areas of northeastern Thailand. Important traditional usages are: Scurrula atropurpurea nourishes blood, Dendrophthoe pentandra decreases high blood pressure, and Helixanthera parasitica treats liver disease. Their systematics were also determined. The research is based on findings obtained from 100 parasite-host pairs. Of these, eight parasitic species were recorded; they are members of two families, viz. family Loranthaceae, namely D. lanosa, D. pentandra, H. parasitica, Macrosolen brandisianus, M. cochinchinensis and S. atropurpurea, and family Viscaceae, namely Viscum articulatum and V. ovalifolium. In addition, each parasitic species is found on diverse hosts, indicating non-host-parasitic specificity. Species-specific tagging of all species studied was carried out using the rbcL and psbA-trnH chloroplast regions. These tag sequences are submitted to GenBank databases under accession numbers JN687563-JN687578. Genetic distances calculated from nucleotide variations in a couple of species of each genus, Dendrophthoe, Macrosolen, and Viscum, were 0.032, 0.067 and 0.036 in the rbcL region, and 0.269, 0.073 and 0.264 in the psbA-trnH spacer region, respectively. These variations will be used for further identification of incomplete plant parts or other forms such as capsule, powder, dried or chopped pieces. PMID:22864809
Kwanda, Nantiya; Noikotr, Kowit; Sudmoon, Runglawan; Tanee, Tawatchai; Chaveerach, Arunrat
A major determinant of the rate at which drug-resistant malaria parasites spread through a population is the ecology of resistant and sensitive parasites sharing the same host. Drug treatment can significantly alter this ecology by removing the drug-sensitive parasites, leading to competitive release of resistant parasites. Here, we test the hypothesis that the spread of resistance can be slowed by reducing drug treatment and hence restricting competitive release. Using the rodent malaria model Plasmodium chabaudi, we found that low-dose chemotherapy did reduce competitive release. A higher drug dose regimen exerted stronger positive selection on resistant parasites for no detectable clinical gain. We estimated instantaneous selection coefficients throughout the course of replicate infections to analyze the temporal pattern of the strength and direction of within-host selection. The strength of selection on resistance varied through the course of infections, even in untreated infections, but increased immediately following drug treatment, particularly in the high-dose groups. Resistance remained under positive selection for much longer than expected from the half life of the drug. Although there are many differences between mice and people, our data do raise the question whether the aggressive treatment regimens aimed at complete parasite clearance are the best resistance-management strategies for humans.
Huijben, Silvie; Nelson, William A.; Wargo, Andrew R.; Sim, Derek G.; Drew, Damien R.; Read, Andrew F.
The mechanism by which lung-stage schistosomula expose proteins at the host-parasite interface to nutrient, but not antibody, uptake has been obscure. We have found that Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma haematobium larvae emerging from host lung at a pH of around 7.5, and fixed with diluted formaldehyde (HCHO), readily bind specific antibodies in indirect membrane immunofluorescence. Data on inhibitors and activators of parasite tegument-bound, magnesium-dependent, neutral sphingomyelinase (nSMase), and sphingomyelin biosynthesis inhibitors revealed that equilibrium in schistosomular sphingomyelin breakdown and biosynthesis prevents antibody binding, yet permits access of small HO-CH2-OH polymers to interact with and cross-link proteins at the host-parasite interface, allowing for their serological visualization. PMID:16995389
El Ridi, Rashika; Tallima, Hatem
Simultaneous infection by multiple parasite species is ubiquitous in nature. Interactions among co-infecting parasites may have important consequences for disease severity, transmission and community-level responses to perturbations. However, our current view of parasite interactions in nature comes primarily from observational studies, which may be unreliable at detecting interactions. We performed a perturbation experiment in wild mice, by using an anthelminthic to suppress nematodes, and monitored the consequences for other parasite species. Overall, these parasite communities were remarkably stable to perturbation. Only one non-target parasite species responded to deworming, and this response was temporary: we found strong, but short-lived, increases in the abundance of Eimeria protozoa, which share an infection site with the dominant nematode species, suggesting local, dynamic competition. These results, providing a rare and clear experimental demonstration of interactions between helminths and co-infecting parasites in wild vertebrates, constitute an important step towards understanding the wider consequences of similar drug treatments in humans and animals.
Knowles, Sarah C. L.; Fenton, Andy; Petchey, Owen L.; Jones, Trevor R.; Barber, Rebecca; Pedersen, Amy B.
Apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii (the causative agents of malaria and toxoplasmosis, respectively), are responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide. These pathogenic protozoa replicate within an intracellular vacuole inside of infected host cells, from which they must escape to initiate a new lytic cycle. By integrating cell biological, pharmacological, and genetic approaches, we provide evidence that both Plasmodium and Toxoplasma hijack host cell calpain proteases to facilitate parasite egress. Immunodepletion or inhibition of calpain-1 in hypotonically lysed and resealed erythrocytes prevented the escape of P. falciparum parasites, which was restored by adding purified calpain-1. Similarly, efficient egress of T. gondii from mammalian fibroblasts was blocked by either small interfering RNA-mediated suppression or genetic deletion of calpain activity and could be restored by genetic complementation. PMID:19342550
Chandramohanadas, Rajesh; Davis, Paul H; Beiting, Daniel P; Harbut, Michael B; Darling, Claire; Velmourougane, Geetha; Lee, Ming Yeh; Greer, Peter A; Roos, David S; Greenbaum, Doron C
Apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii (the causative agents of malaria and toxoplasmosis, respectively), are responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide. These pathogenic protozoa replicate within an intracellular vacuole inside of infected host cells, from which they must escape to initiate a new lytic cycle. By integrating cell biological, pharmacological, and genetic approaches, we provide evidence that both Plasmodium and Toxoplasma hijack host cell calpain proteases to facilitate parasite egress. Immunodepletion or inhibition of calpain-1 in hypotonically lysed and resealed erythrocytes prevented the escape of P. falciparum parasites, which was restored by adding purified calpain-1. Similarly, efficient egress of T. gondii from mammalian fibroblasts was blocked by either small interfering RNA–mediated suppression or genetic deletion of calpain activity and could be restored by genetic complementation.
Chandramohanadas, Rajesh; Davis, Paul H.; Beiting, Daniel P.; Harbut, Michael B.; Darling, Claire; Velmourougane, Geetha; Lee, Ming Yeh; Greer, Peter A.; Roos, David S.; Greenbaum, Doron C.
Conspecific competition occurs in a multitude of organisms, particularly in parasites, where several clones are commonly sharing limited resources inside their host. In theory, increased or decreased transmission investment might maximize parasite fitness in the face of competition, but, to our knowledge, this has not been tested experimentally. We developed and used a clone-specific, stage-specific, quantitative PCR protocol to quantify Plasmodium chabaudi replication and transmission stage densities in mixed-clone infections. We co-infected mice from two strains with an avirulent and virulent parasite clone and found competitive suppression of in-host (blood-stage) parasite densities and generally corresponding reductions in transmission stage production, with the virulent clone obtaining overall competitive superiority. In response to competitive suppression, there was little evidence of any alteration in transmission stage investment, apart from a small reduction by one of the two clones in one of the two host strains. This alteration did not result in a competitive advantage, although it might have reduced the disadvantage. This study supports much of the current literature, which predicts that conspecific in-host competition will result in a competitive advantage and positive selection for virulent clones and thus the evolution of higher virulence. PMID:17711832
Wargo, Andrew R; de Roode, Jacobus C; Huijben, Silvie; Drew, Damien R; Read, Andrew F
Conspecific competition occurs in a multitude of organisms, particularly in parasites, where several clones are commonly sharing limited resources inside their host. In theory, increased or decreased transmission investment might maximize parasite fitness in the face of competition, but, to our knowledge, this has not been tested experimentally. We developed and used a clone-specific, stage-specific, quantitative PCR protocol to quantify Plasmodium chabaudi replication and transmission stage densities in mixed-clone infections. We co-infected mice from two strains with an avirulent and virulent parasite clone and found competitive suppression of in-host (blood-stage) parasite densities and generally corresponding reductions in transmission stage production, with the virulent clone obtaining overall competitive superiority. In response to competitive suppression, there was little evidence of any alteration in transmission stage investment, apart from a small reduction by one of the two clones in one of the two host strains. This alteration did not result in a competitive advantage, although it might have reduced the disadvantage. This study supports much of the current literature, which predicts that conspecific in-host competition will result in a competitive advantage and positive selection for virulent clones and thus the evolution of higher virulence.
Wargo, Andrew R; de Roode, Jacobus C; Huijben, Silvie; Drew, Damien R; Read, Andrew F