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Sample records for host parasite interactions

  1. Coevolutionary interactions between host and parasite genotypes.

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    This review assesses and examines the work conducted to date concerning host and parasite interactions between marine bivalve molluscs and protozoan parasites, belonging to Perkinsus species. The review focuses on two well-studied host-parasite interaction models: the two clam species, Ruditapes philippinarum and R. decussatus, and the parasite Perkinsus olseni, and the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, and the parasite Perkinsus marinus. Cellular and humoral defense responses of the host in combating parasitic infection, the mechanisms (e.g., antioxidant enzymes, extracellular products) employed by the parasite in evading host defenses as well as the role of environmental factors in modulating the host-parasite interactions are described. PMID:23871855

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

    PubMed

    Langhorne, Jean; Duffy, Patrick E

    2016-02-01

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

  5. Host-Parasite Interactions in Some Fish Species

    PubMed Central

    Khan, R. A.

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Using metabolomics to dissect host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  9. Interacting parasites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hilbe, Christian; Traulsen, Arne

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Background Infection incidence increases with the average number of contacts between susceptible and infected individuals. Contact rates are normally assumed to increase linearly with host density. However, social species seek out each other at low density and saturate their contact rates at high densities. Although predicting epidemic behaviour requires knowing how contact rates scale with host density, few empirical studies have investigated the effect of host density. Also, most theory assumes each host has an equal probability of transmitting parasites, even though individual parasite load and infection duration can vary. To our knowledge, the relative importance of characteristics of the primary infected host vs. the susceptible population has never been tested experimentally. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we examine epidemics using a common ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus turnbulli infecting its guppy host (Poecilia reticulata). Hosts were maintained at different densities (3, 6, 12 and 24 fish in 40 L aquaria), and we monitored gyrodactylids both at a population and individual host level. Although parasite population size increased with host density, the probability of an epidemic did not. Epidemics were more likely when the primary infected fish had a high mean intensity and duration of infection. Epidemics only occurred if the primary infected host experienced more than 23 worm days. Female guppies contracted infections sooner than males, probably because females have a higher propensity for shoaling. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that in social hosts like guppies, the frequency of social contact largely governs disease epidemics independent of host density. PMID:21897838

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

    Background: Infection incidence increases with the average number of contacts between susceptible and infected individuals. Contact rates are normally assumed to increase linearly with host density. However, social species seek out each other at low density and saturate their contact rates at high densities. Although predicting epidemic behaviour requires knowing how contact rates scale with host density, few empirical studies have investigated the effect of host density. Also, most theory assumes each host has an equal probability of transmitting parasites, even though individual parasite load and infection duration can vary. To our knowledge, the relative importance of characteristics of the primary infected host vs. the susceptible population has never been tested experimentally. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here, we examine epidemics using a common ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus turnbulli infecting its guppy host (Poecilia reticulata). Hosts were maintained at different densities (3, 6, 12 and 24 fish in 40 L aquaria), and we monitored gyrodactylids both at a population and individual host level. Although parasite population size increased with host density, the probability of an epidemic did not. Epidemics were more likely when the primary infected fish had a high mean intensity and duration of infection. Epidemics only occurred if the primary infected host experienced more than 23 worm days. Female guppies contracted infections sooner than males, probably because females have a higher propensity for shoaling. Conclusions/Significance: These findings suggest that in social hosts like guppies, the frequency of social contact largely governs disease epidemics independent of host density. ?? 2011 Johnson et al.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

    Background Infection incidence increases with the average number of contacts between susceptible and infected individuals. Contact rates are normally assumed to increase linearly with host density. However, social species seek out each other at low density and saturate their contact rates at high densities. Although predicting epidemic behaviour requires knowing how contact rates scale with host density, few empirical studies have investigated the effect of host density. Also, most theory assumes each host has an equal probability of transmitting parasites, even though individual parasite load and infection duration can vary. To our knowledge, the relative importance of characteristics of the primary infected host vs. the susceptible population has never been tested experimentally. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we examine epidemics using a common ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus turnbulli infecting its guppy host (Poecilia reticulata). Hosts were maintained at different densities (3, 6, 12 and 24 fish in 40 L aquaria), and we monitored gyrodactylids both at a population and individual host level. Although parasite population size increased with host density, the probability of an epidemic did not. Epidemics were more likely when the primary infected fish had a high mean intensity and duration of infection. Epidemics only occurred if the primary infected host experienced more than 23 worm days. Female guppies contracted infections sooner than males, probably because females have a higher propensity for shoaling. Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that in social hosts like guppies, the frequency of social contact largely governs disease epidemics independent of host density.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1986-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2001-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bashey, Farrah

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Several parasite species are known to manipulate the phenotype of their hosts in ways that enhance their own transmission. Co-occurrence of manipulative parasites, belonging to the same species or to more than one species, in a single host has been regularly observed. Little is known, however, on interactions between co-occurring manipulative parasites with same or different transmission routes. Several models addressing this problem have provided predictions on how cooperation and conflict between parasites could emerge from multiple infections. Here, we review the empirical evidence in favor of the existence of synergistic or antagonistic interactions between co-occurring parasites, and highlight the neglected role of micro-organisms. We particularly discuss the actual importance of selective forces shaping the evolution of interactions between manipulative parasites in relation to parasite prevalence in natural populations, efficiency in manipulation, and type of transmission (i.e., horizontal versus vertical), and we emphasize the potential for future research. PMID:24966851

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Megan A.; Dheilly, Nolwenn M.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hahn, Megan A; Dheilly, Nolwenn M

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-31

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Antagonistic coevolution between hosts and parasites can have a major impact on host population structures, and hence on the evolution of social traits. Using stochastic modelling techniques in the context of bacteria–virus interactions, we investigate the impact of coevolution across a continuum of host–parasite genetic specificity (specifically, where genotypes have the same infectivity/resistance ranges (matching alleles, MA) to highly variable ranges (gene-for-gene, GFG)) on population genetic structure, and on the social behaviour of the host. We find that host cooperation is more likely to be maintained towards the MA end of the continuum, as the more frequent bottlenecks associated with an MA-like interaction can prevent defector invasion, and can even allow migrant cooperators to invade populations of defectors. PMID:22740644

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Coen, Loren D; Bishop, Melanie J

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Background Climate change potentially has important effects on distribution, abundance, transmission and virulence of parasites in wild populations of animals. Methodology/Principal Finding Here we analyzed paired information on 89 parasite populations for 24 species of bird hosts some years ago and again in 2010 with an average interval of 10 years. The parasite taxa included protozoa, feather parasites, diptera, ticks, mites and fleas. We investigated whether change in abundance and prevalence of parasites was related to change in body condition, reproduction and population size of hosts. We conducted analyses based on the entire dataset, but also on a restricted dataset with intervals between study years being 5–15 years. Parasite abundance increased over time when restricting the analyses to datasets with an interval of 5–15 years, with no significant effect of changes in temperature at the time of breeding among study sites. Changes in host body condition and clutch size were related to change in temperature between first and second study year. In addition, changes in clutch size, brood size and body condition of hosts were correlated with change in abundance of parasites. Finally, changes in population size of hosts were not significantly related to changes in abundance of parasites or their prevalence. Conclusions/Significance Climate change is associated with a general increase in parasite abundance. Variation in laying date depended on locality and was associated with latitude while body condition of hosts was associated with a change in temperature. Because clutch size, brood size and body condition were associated with change in parasitism, these results suggest that parasites, perhaps mediated through the indirect effects of temperature, may affect fecundity and condition of their hosts. The conclusions were particularly in accordance with predictions when the restricted dataset with intervals of 5–15 years was used, suggesting that short

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    In humans, infections contribute highly to mortality and morbidity rates worldwide. Malaria tropica is one of the major infectious diseases globally and is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Plasmodia have accompanied human beings since the emergence of humankind. Due to its pathogenicity, malaria is a powerful selective force on the human genome. Genetic epidemiology approaches such as family and twin studies, candidate gene studies, and disease-association studies have identified a number of genes that mediate relative protection against the severest forms of the disease. New molecular approaches, including genome-wide association studies, have recently been performed to expand our knowledge on the functional effect of human variation in malaria. For the future, a systematic determination of gene-dosage effects and expression profiles of protective genes might unveil the functional impact of structural alterations in these genes on either side of the host-parasite interaction. PMID:19725943

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    The health of the honeybee and, indirectly, global crop production are threatened by several biotic and abiotic factors, which play a poorly defined role in the induction of widespread colony losses. Recent descriptive studies suggest that colony losses are often related to the interaction between pathogens and other stress factors, including parasites. Through an integrated analysis of the population and molecular changes associated with the collapse of honeybee colonies infested by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we show that this parasite can de-stabilise the within-host dynamics of Deformed wing virus (DWV), transforming a cryptic and vertically transmitted virus into a rapidly replicating killer, which attains lethal levels late in the season. The de-stabilisation of DWV infection is associated with an immunosuppression syndrome, characterized by a strong down-regulation of the transcription factor NF-κB. The centrality of NF-κB in host responses to a range of environmental challenges suggests that this transcription factor can act as a common currency underlying colony collapse that may be triggered by different causes. Our results offer an integrated account for the multifactorial origin of honeybee losses and a new framework for assessing, and possibly mitigating, the impact of environmental challenges on honeybee health. PMID:22719246

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-22

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Riddiford, Lynn M; Webb, Bruce A

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Méthot, Pierre-Olivier; Alizon, Samuel

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Host Sexual Dimorphism and Parasite Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Duneau, David; Ebert, Dieter

    2012-01-01

    In species with separate sexes, parasite prevalence and disease expression is often different between males and females. This effect has mainly been attributed to sex differences in host traits, such as immune response. Here, we make the case for how properties of the parasites themselves can also matter. Specifically, we suggest that differences between host sexes in many different traits, such as morphology and hormone levels, can impose selection on parasites. This selection can eventually lead to parasite adaptations specific to the host sex more commonly encountered, or to differential expression of parasite traits depending on which host sex they find themselves in. Parasites adapted to the sex of the host in this way can contribute to differences between males and females in disease prevalence and expression. Considering those possibilities can help shed light on host–parasite interactions, and impact epidemiological and medical science. PMID:22389630

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ezenwa, V.O.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ezenwa, Vanessa O

    2004-03-29

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

  20. Host age modulates within-host parasite competition.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Eosinophils are one of the major mammalian effector cells encountered by helminths during infection. In the present study, we investigated the effects of eosinophil granule exposure on the sheep parasitic nematode Haemonchus contortus as a model. H. contortus eggs exposed to eosinophil granule products showed increased rhodamine 123 efflux and this effect was not due to loss of egg integrity. Rh123 is known to be a specific P-glycoprotein (Pgp) substrate and led to the hypothesis that in addition to their critical role in xenobiotic resistance, helminth ABC transporters such as Pgp may also be involved in the detoxification of host cytotoxic products. We showed by quantitative RT-PCR that, among nine different H. contortus Pgp genes, Hco-pgp-3, Hco-pgp-9.2, Hco-pgp-11 and, Hco-pgp-16 were specifically up-regulated in parasitic life stages suggesting a potential involvement of these Pgps in the detoxification of eosinophil granule products. Using exsheathed L3 larvae that mimic the first life stage in contact with the host, we demonstrated that eosinophil granules induced a dose dependent overexpression of Hco-pgp-3 and the closely related Hco-pgp-16. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence that a subset of helminth Pgps interact with, and could be involved in the detoxification of, host products. This opens the way for further studies aiming to explore the role of helminth Pgps in the host-parasite interaction, including evasion of the host immune response. PMID:24498376

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

    Many biotic interactions can affect the prevalence and intensity of parasite infections in aquatic snails. Historically, these studies have centered on interactions between trematode parasites or between trematodes and other organisms. The present investigation focuses on the nematode parasite Daubaylia potomaca and its interactions with a commensal, Chaetogaster limnaei limnaei , and a variety of trematode species. It was found that the presence of C. l. limnaei indirectly increased the mean intensity of D. potomaca infections, apparently by acting as a restraint for various trematode parasites, particularly the rediae of Echinostoma sp. In turn, Echinostoma sp. rediae adversely affected the mean intensity of D. potomaca by their consumption of both juvenile and adult nematodes present in tissues of the snail. These organisms not only belong to 3 different phyla but occupy distinct trophic levels as well. The complex interactions among these 3 organisms in the snail host provide an excellent example of biotic interactions influencing the infection dynamics of parasites in aquatic snails. PMID:21506797

  6. Mechanisms of host seeking by parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Gang, Spencer S; Hallem, Elissa A

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Klemme, Ines; Karvonen, Anssi

    2016-09-14

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Calegaro-Marques, Cláudia; Amato, Suzana B.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Calegaro-Marques, Cláudia; Amato, Suzana B

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Hosts and parasites as aliens.

    PubMed

    Taraschewski, H

    2006-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Helke, K L; Poynton, S L

    2005-02-28

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal transfer (HT) of transposable elements has been recognized to be a major force driving genomic variation and biological innovation of eukaryotic organisms. However, the mechanisms of HT in eukaryotes remain poorly appreciated. The non-autonomous Helitron family, Lep1, has been found to be widespread in lepidopteran species, and showed little interspecific sequence similarity of acquired sequences at 3′ end, which makes Lep1 a good candidate for the study of HT. In this study, we describe the Lep1-like elements in multiple non-lepidopteran species, including two aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum and Aphis gossypii, two parasitoid wasps, Cotesia vestalis, and Copidosoma floridanum, one beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, as well as two bracoviruses in parasitoid wasps, and one intracellular microsporidia parasite, Nosema bombycis. The patchy distribution and high sequence similarity of Lep1-like elements among distantly related lineages as well as incongruence of Lep1-like elements and host phylogeny suggest the occurrence of HT. Remarkably, the acquired sequences of both NbLep1 from N. bombycis and CfLep1 from C. floridanum showed over 90% identity with their lepidopteran host Lep1. Thus, our study provides evidence of HT facilitated by host-parasite interactions. Furthermore, in the context of these data, we discuss the putative directions and vectors of HT of Lep1 Helitrons. PMID:24874102

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal transfer (HT) of transposable elements has been recognized to be a major force driving genomic variation and biological innovation of eukaryotic organisms. However, the mechanisms of HT in eukaryotes remain poorly appreciated. The non-autonomous Helitron family, Lep1, has been found to be widespread in lepidopteran species, and showed little interspecific sequence similarity of acquired sequences at 3' end, which makes Lep1 a good candidate for the study of HT. In this study, we describe the Lep1-like elements in multiple non-lepidopteran species, including two aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum and Aphis gossypii, two parasitoid wasps, Cotesia vestalis, and Copidosoma floridanum, one beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, as well as two bracoviruses in parasitoid wasps, and one intracellular microsporidia parasite, Nosema bombycis. The patchy distribution and high sequence similarity of Lep1-like elements among distantly related lineages as well as incongruence of Lep1-like elements and host phylogeny suggest the occurrence of HT. Remarkably, the acquired sequences of both NbLep1 from N. bombycis and CfLep1 from C. floridanum showed over 90% identity with their lepidopteran host Lep1. Thus, our study provides evidence of HT facilitated by host-parasite interactions. Furthermore, in the context of these data, we discuss the putative directions and vectors of HT of Lep1 Helitrons. PMID:24874102

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Striberny, Bernd; Krause, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Striberny, Bernd; Krause, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hafer, Nina; Milinski, Manfred

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-15

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Shaw, Jenny C.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nichol, Sarah; Tracey, Alan; Holroyd, Nancy; Cotton, James A.; Stanley, Eleanor J.; Zarowiecki, Magdalena; Liu, Jimmy Z.; Huckvale, Thomas; Cooper, Philip J.; Grencis, Richard K.; Berriman, Matthew

    2014-01-01

    Whipworms are common soil-transmitted helminths that cause debilitating chronic infections in man. These nematodes are only distantly related to Caenorhabditis elegans and have evolved to occupy an unusual niche, tunneling through epithelial cells of the large intestine. Here we present the genome sequences of the human-infective Trichuris trichiura and the murine laboratory model T. muris. Based on whole transcriptome analyses we identify many genes that are expressed in a gender- or life stage-specific manner and characterise the transcriptional landscape of a morphological region with unique biological adaptations, namely bacillary band and stichosome, found only in whipworms and related parasites. Using RNAseq data from whipworm-infected mice we describe the regulated Th1-like immune response of the chronically infected cecum in unprecedented detail. In silico screening identifies numerous potential new drug targets against trichuriasis. Together, these genomes and associated functional data elucidate key aspects of the molecular host-parasite interactions that define chronic whipworm infection. PMID:24929830

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Interactions involving several parasite species (multi-parasitized hosts) or several host species (multi-host parasites) are the rule in nature. Only a few studies have investigated these realistic, but complex, situations from an evolutionary perspective. Consequently, their impact on the evolution of parasite virulence and transmission remains poorly understood. The mechanisms by which multiple infections may influence virulence and transmission include the dynamics of intrahost competition, mediation by the host immune system and an increase in parasite genetic recombination. Theoretical investigations have yet to be conducted to determine which of these mechanisms are likely to be key factors in the evolution of virulence and transmission. In contrast, the relationship between multi-host parasites and parasite virulence and transmission has seen some theoretical investigation. The key factors in these models are the trade-off between virulence across different host species, variation in host species quality and patterns of transmission. The empirical studies on multi-host parasites suggest that interspecies transmission plays a central role in the evolution of virulence, but as yet no complete picture of the phenomena involved is available. Ultimately, determining how complex host–parasite interactions impact the evolution of host–parasite relationships will require the development of cross-disciplinary studies linking the ecology of quantitative networks with the evolution of virulence. PMID:20667874

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-21

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Marsolier, Justine; Weitzman, Jonathan B

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Anderson, Warwick

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Møller, A P; Christe, P; Lux, E

    1999-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Background 9 million people are infected with Trypanosoma cruzi in Latin America, plus more than 300,000 in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Approximately 30% of infected individuals develop circulatory or digestive pathology. While in underdeveloped countries transmission is mainly through hematophagous arthropods, transplacental infection prevails in developed ones. Methodology/Principal Findings During infection, T. cruzi calreticulin (TcCRT) translocates from the endoplasmic reticulum to the area of flagellum emergence. There, TcCRT acts as virulence factor since it binds maternal classical complement component C1q that recognizes human calreticulin (HuCRT) in placenta, with increased parasite infectivity. As measured ex vivo by quantitative PCR in human placenta chorionic villi explants (HPCVE) (the closest available correlate of human congenital T. cruzi infection), C1q mediated up to a 3–5-fold increase in parasite load. Because anti-TcCRT and anti-HuCRT F(ab′)2 antibody fragments are devoid of their Fc-dependent capacity to recruit C1q, they reverted the C1q-mediated increase in parasite load by respectively preventing its interaction with cell-bound CRTs from both parasite and HPCVE origins. The use of competing fluid-phase recombinant HuCRT and F(ab′)2 antibody fragments anti-TcCRT corroborated this. These results are consistent with a high expression of fetal CRT on placental free chorionic villi. Increased C1q-mediated infection is paralleled by placental tissue damage, as evidenced by histopathology, a damage that is ameliorated by anti-TcCRT F(ab′)2 antibody fragments or fluid-phase HuCRT. Conclusions/Significance T. cruzi infection of HPCVE is importantly mediated by human and parasite CRTs and C1q. Most likely, C1q bridges CRT on the parasite surface with its receptor orthologue on human placental cells, thus facilitating the first encounter between the parasite and the fetal derived placental tissue. The results

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Host population bottlenecks drive parasite extinction during antagonistic coevolution

    PubMed Central

    Hesse, Elze; Buckling, Angus

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Parasitism and phenotypic change in colonial hosts.

    PubMed

    Hartikainen, Hanna; Fontes, Inês; Okamura, Beth

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    De Mársico, María C; Reboreda, Juan C

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Medoc, V; Beisel, J-N

    2008-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yoder, John I; Scholes, Julie D

    2010-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Medina, Iliana; Langmore, Naomi E

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Møller, A P; Saino, N

    1994-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

  11. Complex Daphnia interactions with parasites and competitors.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-13

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

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

    PubMed

    Spencer, Hamish G; Zuk, Marlene

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Feeney, William E; Langmore, Naomi E

    2013-08-23

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

  17. Social learning of a brood parasite by its host

    PubMed Central

    Feeney, William E.; Langmore, Naomi E.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-01

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

  20. Trichinella inflammatory myopathy: host or parasite strategy?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  1. The host-parasite relationship in neosporosis.

    PubMed

    Hemphill, A

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Duffy, Patrick E.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

    Parasites have developed myriad strategies to reach and infect their specific hosts. One of the most common mechanisms for non-vector transmitted parasites to reach the internal host environment is by ingestion during feeding. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of oyster host colonization by the alveolate Perkinsus marinus and focused on how oysters process infective waterborne P. marinus cells during feeding in order to determine the portal(s) of entry of this parasite to its host. We also compared the infectivity of freely-suspended cells of P. marinus with that of cells incorporated into marine aggregates to link changes in particle processing by the feeding organs with infection success and route. Finally, we evaluated the effect of oyster secretions (mucus) covering the feeding organs on P. marinus physiology because these host factors are involved in the processing of waterborne particles. The ensemble of results shows a unique mechanism for infection by which the parasite is mostly acquired during the feeding process, but not via ingestion. Rather, infection commonly occurs during the rejection of material as pseudofeces before reaching the mouth. The pseudofeces discharge area, a specialized area of the mantle where unwanted particles are accumulated for rejection as pseudofeces, showed significantly higher parasite loads than other host tissues including other parts of the mantle. Aggregated P. marinus cells caused significantly higher disease prevalence and infection intensities when compared to freely-suspended parasite cells. Mucus covering the mantle caused a quick and significant increase in parasite replication rates suggesting rapid impact on P. marinus physiology. A new model for P. marinus acquisition in oysters is proposed. PMID:23274079

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nagler, Christina; Haug, Joachim T

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  8. Malaria: targeting parasite and host cell kinomes.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Di Genova, Bruno M; Tonelli, Renata R

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Ecological genomics of host behavior manipulation by parasites.

    PubMed

    Hébert, François Olivier; Aubin-Horth, Nadia

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    Selection, as a major driver for evolution in host-parasite interactions, may act on two levels; the virulence of the pathogen, and the hosts' defence system. Effectors of the host defence system might evolve faster than other genes e.g. those involved in adaptation to changes in life history or environmental fluctuations. Host-parasite interactions at the level of hosts and their specific social parasites, present a special setting for evolutionarily driven selection, as both share the same environmental conditions and pathogen pressures. Here, we study the evolution of antimicrobial peptide (AMP) genes, in six host bumblebee and their socially parasitic cuckoo bumblebee species. The selected AMP genes evolved much faster than non-immune genes, but only defensin-1 showed significant differences between host and social parasite. Nucleotide diversity and codon-by-codon analyses confirmed that purifying selection is the main selective force acting on bumblebee defence genes. PMID:24530902

  12. Diversification and host switching in avian malaria parasites.

    PubMed Central

    Ricklefs, Robert E; Fallon, Sylvia M

    2002-01-01

    The switching of parasitic organisms to novel hosts, in which they may cause the emergence of new diseases, is of great concern to human health and the management of wild and domesticated populations of animals. We used a phylogenetic approach to develop a better statistical assessment of host switching in a large sample of vector-borne malaria parasites of birds (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) over their history of parasite-host relations. Even with sparse sampling, the number of parasite lineages was almost equal to the number of avian hosts. We found that strongly supported sister lineages of parasites, averaging 1.2% sequence divergence, exhibited highly significant host and geographical fidelity. Event-based matching of host and parasite phylogenetic trees revealed significant cospeciation. However, the accumulated effects of host switching and long distance dispersal cause these signals to disappear before 4% sequence divergence is achieved. Mitochondrial DNA nucleotide substitution appears to occur about three times faster in hosts than in parasites, contrary to findings on other parasite-host systems. Using this mutual calibration, the phylogenies of the parasites and their hosts appear to be similar in age, suggesting that avian malaria parasites diversified along with their modern avian hosts. Although host switching has been a prominent feature over the evolutionary history of avian malaria parasites, it is infrequent and unpredictable on time scales germane to public health and wildlife management. PMID:12028770

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  14. Inflammasomes in host response to protozoan parasites.

    PubMed

    Zamboni, Dario S; Lima-Junior, Djalma S

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-02-01

    Despite the fact that parasite dispersal is likely to be one of the most important processes influencing the dynamics and coevolution of host-parasite interactions, little information is available on the factors that affect it. In most cases, opportunities for parasite dispersal should be closely linked to host biology. Here we use microsatellite genetic markers to compare the population structure and dispersal of two host races of the seabird tick Ixodes uriae at the scale of the North Atlantic. Interestingly, tick populations showed high within-population genetic variation and relatively low population differentiation. However, gene flow at different spatial scales seemed to depend on the host species exploited. The black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) had structured tick populations showing patterns of isolation by distance, whereas tick populations of the Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) were only weakly structured at the largest scale considered. Host-dependent rates of tick dispersal between colonies will alter infestation probabilities and local dynamics and may thus modify the adaptation potential of ticks to local hosts. Moreover, as I. uriae is a vector of the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in both hemispheres, the large-scale movements of birds and the subsequent dispersal of ticks will have important consequences for the dynamics and coevolutionary interactions of this microparasite with its different vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. PMID:12683525

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Stumbo, Anthony D; Poulin, Robert

    2016-09-01

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

  18. Microsporidia-Host Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Szumowski, Suzannah C.; Troemel, Emily R.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vuitton, Dominique Angèle; Gottstein, Bruno

    2010-01-01

    Host-parasite interactions in the E. multilocularis-intermediate host model depend on a subtle balance between cellular immunity, which is responsible for host's resistance towards the metacestode, the larval stage of the parasite, and tolerance induction and maintenance. The pathological features of alveolar echinococcosis. the disease caused by E. multilocularis, are related both to parasitic growth and to host's immune response, leading to fibrosis and necrosis, The disease spectrum is clearly dependent on the genetic background of the host as well as on acquired disturbances of Th1-related immunity. The laminated layer of the metacestode, and especially its carbohydrate components, plays a major role in tolerance induction. Th2-type and anti-inflammatory cytokines, IL-10 and TGF-β, as well as nitric oxide, are involved in the maintenance of tolerance and partial inhibition of cytotoxic mechanisms. Results of studies in the experimental mouse model and in patients suggest that immune modulation with cytokines, such as interferon-α, or with specific antigens could be used in the future to treat patients with alveolar echinococcosis and/or to prevent this very severe parasitic disease. PMID:20339517

  2. Coevolution of parasite virulence and host mating strategies

    PubMed Central

    Ashby, Ben; Boots, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Izhar, Rony; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Grooved Carpet shell clam Ruditapes decussatus is the autochthonous European clam and the most appreciated from a gastronomic and economic point of view. The production is in decline due to several factors such as Perkinsiosis and habitat invasion and competition by the introduced exotic species, the manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum. After we sequenced R. decussatus transcriptome we have designed an oligo microarray capable of contributing to provide some clues on molecular response of the clam to Perkinsiosis. Results A database consisting of 41,119 unique transcripts was constructed, of which 12,479 (30.3%) were annotated by similarity. An oligo-DNA microarray platform was then designed and applied to profile gene expression in R. decussatus heavily infected by Perkinsus olseni. Functional annotation of differentially expressed genes between those two conditionswas performed by gene set enrichment analysis. As expected, microarrays unveil genes related with stress/infectious agents such as hydrolases, proteases and others. The extensive role of innate immune system was also analyzed and effect of parasitosis upon expression of important molecules such as lectins reviewed. Conclusions This study represents a first attempt to characterize Ruditapes decussatus transcriptome, an important marine resource for the European aquaculture. The trancriptome sequencing and consequent annotation will increase the available tools and resources for this specie, introducing the possibility of high throughput experiments such as microarrays analysis. In this specific case microarray approach was used to unveil some important aspects of host-parasite interaction between the Carpet shell clam and Perkinsus, two non-model species, highlighting some genes associated with this interaction. Ample information was obtained to identify biological processes significantly enriched among differentially expressed genes in Perkinsus infected versus non-infected gills. An

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiley, J.W.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hafer, Nina; Milinski, Manfred

    2016-02-10

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hafer, Nina; Milinski, Manfred

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gregory, William F; Maizels, Rick M

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hoover, Jeffrey P; Robinson, Scott K

    2007-03-13

    Why do many hosts accept costly avian brood parasitism even when parasitic eggs and nestlings differ dramatically in appearance from their own? Scientists argue that evolutionary lag or equilibrium can explain this evolutionary enigma. Few, however, consider the potential of parasitic birds to enforce acceptance by destroying eggs or nestlings of hosts that eject parasitic eggs and thereby reject parasitism. This retaliatory "mafia" behavior has been reported in one species of parasitic cuckoo but never in parasitic cowbirds. Here we present experimental evidence of mafia behavior in the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), a widely distributed North American brood parasite. We manipulated ejection of cowbird eggs and cowbird access to predator-proof nests in a common host to test experimentally for mafia behavior. When cowbird access was allowed, 56% of "ejector" nests were depredated compared with only 6% of "accepter" nests. No nests were destroyed when cowbird access was always denied or when access was denied after we removed cowbird eggs, indicating that cowbirds were responsible. Nonparasitized nests were depredated at an intermediate rate (20%) when cowbirds were allowed access, suggesting that cowbirds may occasionally "farm" hosts to create additional opportunities for parasitism. Cowbirds parasitized most (85%) renests of the hosts whose nests were depredated. Ejector nests produced 60% fewer host offspring than accepter nests because of the predatory behavior attributed to cowbirds. Widespread predatory behaviors in cowbirds could slow the evolution of rejection behaviors and further threaten populations of some of the >100 species of regular cowbird hosts. PMID:17360549

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Despite the costs to avian parents of rearing brood parasitic offspring, many species do not reject foreign eggs from their nests. We show that where multiple parasitism occurs, rejection itself can be costly, by increasing the risk of host egg loss during subsequent parasite attacks. Chalk-browed mockingbirds (Mimus saturninus) are heavily parasitized by shiny cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis), which also puncture eggs in host nests. Mockingbirds struggle to prevent cowbirds puncturing and laying, but seldom remove cowbird eggs once laid. We filmed cowbird visits to nests with manipulated clutch compositions and found that mockingbird eggs were more likely to escape puncture the more cowbird eggs accompanied them in the clutch. A Monte Carlo simulation of this ‘dilution effect’, comparing virtual hosts that systematically either reject or accept parasite eggs, shows that acceptors enjoy higher egg survivorship than rejecters in host populations where multiple parasitism occurs. For mockingbirds or other hosts in which host nestlings fare well in parasitized broods, this benefit might be sufficient to offset the fitness cost of rearing parasite chicks, making egg acceptance evolutionarily stable. Thus, counterintuitively, high intensities of parasitism might decrease or even reverse selection pressure for host defence via egg rejection. PMID:22158956

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

    PubMed

    Medina, Iliana; Langmore, Naomi E

    2016-09-01

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

  18. Interactions between hemiparasitic plants and their hosts

    PubMed Central

    Plavcová, Lenka; Cameron, Duncan D

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Blood-feeding arthropod vectors are responsible for transmitting many parasites between vertebrate hosts. While arthropod vectors often feed on limited subsets of potential host species, little is known about the extent to which this influences the distribution of vector-borne parasites in some systems. Here, we test the hypothesis that different vector species structure parasite–host relationships by restricting access of certain parasites to a subset of available hosts. Specifically, we investigate how the feeding patterns of Culex mosquito vectors relate to distributions of avian malaria parasites among hosts in suburban Chicago, IL, USA. We show that Plasmodium lineages, defined by cytochrome b haplotypes, are heterogeneously distributed across avian hosts. However, the feeding patterns of the dominant vectors (Culex restuans and Culex pipiens) are similar across these hosts, and do not explain the distributions of Plasmodium parasites. Phylogenetic similarity of avian hosts predicts similarity in their Plasmodium parasites. This effect was driven primarily by the general association of Plasmodium parasites with particular host superfamilies. Our results suggest that a mosquito-imposed encounter rate does not limit the distribution of avian Plasmodium parasites across hosts. This implies that compatibility between parasites and their avian hosts structure Plasmodium host range. PMID:23595266

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

    PubMed

    Davies, Nicholas B; Welbergen, Justin A

    2009-06-01

    Coevolutionary arms races between brood parasites and hosts involve genetic adaptations and counter-adaptations. However, hosts sometimes acquire defenses too rapidly to reflect genetic change. Our field experiments show that observation of cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) mobbing by neighbors on adjacent territories induced reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) to increase the mobbing of cuckoos but not of parrots (a harmless control) on their own territory. In contrast, observation of neighbors mobbing parrots had no effect on reed warblers' responses to either cuckoos or parrots. These results indicate that social learning provides a mechanism by which hosts rapidly increase their nest defense against brood parasites. Such enemy-specific social transmission enables hosts to track fine-scale spatiotemporal variation in parasitism and may influence the coevolutionary trajectories and population dynamics of brood parasites and hosts. PMID:19498167

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. A sensory code for host seeking in parasitic nematodes

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Cross-kingdom host shifts of phytomyxid parasites

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Phytomyxids (plasmodiophorids and phagomyxids) are cosmopolitan, obligate biotrophic protist parasites of plants, diatoms, oomycetes and brown algae. Plasmodiophorids are best known as pathogens or vectors for viruses of arable crops (e.g. clubroot in brassicas, powdery potato scab, and rhizomania in sugar beet). Some phytomyxid parasites are of considerable economic and ecologic importance globally, and their hosts include important species in marine and terrestrial environments. However most phytomyxid diversity remains uncharacterised and knowledge of their relationships with host taxa is very fragmentary. Results Our molecular and morphological analyses of phytomyxid isolates–including for the first time oomycete and sea-grass parasites–demonstrate two cross-kingdom host shifts between closely related parasite species: between angiosperms and oomycetes, and from diatoms/brown algae to angiosperms. Switching between such phylogenetically distant hosts is generally unknown in host-dependent eukaryote parasites. We reveal novel plasmodiophorid lineages in soils, suggesting a much higher diversity than previously known, and also present the most comprehensive phytomyxid phylogeny to date. Conclusion Such large-scale host shifts between closely related obligate biotrophic eukaryote parasites is to our knowledge unique to phytomyxids. Phytomyxids may readily adapt to a wide diversity of new hosts because they have retained the ability to covertly infect alternative hosts. A high cryptic diversity and ubiquitous distribution in agricultural and natural habitats implies that in a changing environment phytomyxids could threaten the productivity of key species in marine and terrestrial environments alike via host shift speciation. PMID:24559266

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    Host castration represents a mechanism used by parasites to exploit energy resources from their hosts by interfering with their reproductive development or to extend host lifespan by removing risks associated with reproductive activity. One of the most intriguing groups of parasitic castrators is represented by the insects belonging to the order Strepsiptera. The macroparasite Xenos vesparum can produce dramatic phenotypic alterations in its host, the paper wasp Polistes dominula. Parasitized female wasps have undeveloped ovaries and desert the colony without performing any social task. However, very little attention has been given to the parasitic impact of X. vesparum on the male phenotype. Here, we investigated the effects of this parasite on the sexual behaviour and the morpho-physiology of P. dominula males. We found that, differently from female wasps, parasitized males are not heavily affected by Xenos: they maintain their sexual behaviour and ability to discriminate between female castes. Furthermore, the structure of their reproductive apparatus is not compromised by the parasite. We think that our results, demonstrating that the definition of X. vesparum as a parasitoid does not apply to infected males of P. dominula, provide a new perspective to discuss and maybe reconsider the traditional view of strepsipteran parasites. PMID:24776461

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Success of trophically transmitted parasites depends to a great extent on their ability to manipulate their intermediate hosts in a way that makes them easier prey for target hosts. Parasite-induced behavioural changes are the most spectacular and diverse examples of manipulation. Most of the studies have been focused on individual behaviour of hosts including fish. We suggest that agonistic interactions and territoriality in fish hosts may affect their vulnerability to predators and thus the transmission efficiency of trophically transmitted parasites. The parasite Diplostomum spathaceum (Trematoda) and juvenile rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, were used to study whether infection can alter aggression rates and territorial behaviour of intermediate fish hosts. Results The changes in behaviour of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, infected with an eye fluke Diplostomum spathaceum (Trematoda), was monitored over the course of an experimental infection for 1.5 months. At the beginning of their development, not yet infective D. spathaceum metacercariae decreased the aggressiveness of rainbow trout. By the time that metacercariae were fully infective to their definitive hosts, the aggressiveness increased and exceeded that of control fish. Despite the increased aggressiveness, the experimentally infected fish lost contests for a territory (dark parts of the bottom) against the control fish. Conclusions The results obtained indicate that the parasitized fish pay the cost of aggressiveness without the benefit of acquiring a territory that would provide them with better protection against predators. This behaviour should increase transmission of the parasite as expected by the parasite manipulation hypothesis. PMID:20226098

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Orobanche minor is a root-holoparasitic angiosperm that attacks a wide range of host species, including a number of commonly cultivated crops. The extent to which genetic divergence among natural populations of O. minor is influenced by host specificity has not been determined previously. Here, the host specificity of natural populations of O. minor is quantified for the first time, and evidence that this species may comprise distinct physiological races is provided. Methods A tripartite approach was used to examine the physiological basis for the divergence of populations occurring on different hosts: (1) host–parasite interactions were cultivated in rhizotron bioassays in order to quantify the early stages of the infection and establishment processes; (2) using reciprocal-infection experiments, parasite races were cultivated on their natural and alien hosts, and their fitness determined in terms of biomass; and (3) the anatomy of the host–parasite interface was investigated using histochemical techniques, with a view to comparing the infection process on different hosts. Key Results Races occurring naturally on red clover (Trifolium pratense) and sea carrot (Daucus carota ssp. gummifer) showed distinct patterns of host specificity: parasites cultivated in cross-infection studies showed a higher fitness on their natural hosts, suggesting that races show local adaptation to specific hosts. In addition, histological evidence suggests that clover and carrot roots vary in their responses to infection. Different root anatomy and responses to infection may underpin a physiological basis for host specificity. Conclusions It is speculated that host specificity may isolate races of Orobanche on different hosts, accelerating divergence and ultimately speciation in this genus. The rapid life cycle and broad host range of O. minor make this species an ideal model with which to study the interactions of parasitic plants with their host associates. PMID

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hoover, Jeffrey P.; Robinson, Scott K.

    2007-01-01

    Why do many hosts accept costly avian brood parasitism even when parasitic eggs and nestlings differ dramatically in appearance from their own? Scientists argue that evolutionary lag or equilibrium can explain this evolutionary enigma. Few, however, consider the potential of parasitic birds to enforce acceptance by destroying eggs or nestlings of hosts that eject parasitic eggs and thereby reject parasitism. This retaliatory “mafia” behavior has been reported in one species of parasitic cuckoo but never in parasitic cowbirds. Here we present experimental evidence of mafia behavior in the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), a widely distributed North American brood parasite. We manipulated ejection of cowbird eggs and cowbird access to predator-proof nests in a common host to test experimentally for mafia behavior. When cowbird access was allowed, 56% of “ejector” nests were depredated compared with only 6% of “accepter” nests. No nests were destroyed when cowbird access was always denied or when access was denied after we removed cowbird eggs, indicating that cowbirds were responsible. Nonparasitized nests were depredated at an intermediate rate (20%) when cowbirds were allowed access, suggesting that cowbirds may occasionally “farm” hosts to create additional opportunities for parasitism. Cowbirds parasitized most (85%) renests of the hosts whose nests were depredated. Ejector nests produced 60% fewer host offspring than accepter nests because of the predatory behavior attributed to cowbirds. Widespread predatory behaviors in cowbirds could slow the evolution of rejection behaviors and further threaten populations of some of the >100 species of regular cowbird hosts. PMID:17360549

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

    PubMed

    Komeno, C A; Linhares, A X

    1999-01-01

    Ectoparasitic batflies were studied on 12 species of phyllostomid bats, by making 35 nightly collections of bats using mist nets at the "Panga" Ecological Reservation near Uberlândia, State of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil, from August 1989 to July 1990. Eleven species of Streblidae and one of Nycteribiidae were collected on 12 species of bats. Prevalence of ectoparasitic flies was lower than those reported by other authors for the New World and may be the result of the lack of caves in the study area, causing bats to roost in less favorable locations, forming smaller colonies. The fly, Trichobius joblingi Wenzel, was found on Carollia perspicillata (Linnaeus), showing preference for adult male bats. This could be explained by the predominance of males in the bat colonies, and by the fact that females rest in isolation during the reproductive period making them less exposed to the parasites. The streblid flies, Aspidoptera falcata Wenzel and Megistopoda proxima (Séguy), were found on Sturnira lilium (Geoffroy). A. falcata occurred mainly on young and adult females, whereas M. proxima did not show any preferences relative to the reproductive condition of the host. Ecological factors are important in determining differential numbers of parasites occurring on the different sexes, ages and reproductive state of the hosts. PMID:10224519

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Krüger, Oliver

    2011-09-22

    In coevolutionary arms races, like between cuckoos and their hosts, it is easy to understand why the host is under selection favouring anti-parasitism behaviour, such as egg rejection, which can lead to parasites evolving remarkable adaptations to 'trick' their host, such as mimetic eggs. But what about cases where the cuckoo egg is not mimetic and where the host does not act against it? Classically, such apparently non-adaptive behaviour is put down to evolutionary lag: given enough time, egg mimicry and parasite avoidance strategies will evolve. An alternative is that absence of egg mimicry and of anti-parasite behaviour is stable. Such stability is at first sight highly paradoxical. I show, using both field and experimental data to parametrize a simulation model, that the absence of defence behaviour by Cape bulbuls (Pycnonotus capensis) against parasitic eggs of the Jacobin cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) is optimal behaviour. The cuckoo has evolved massive eggs (double the size of bulbul eggs) with thick shells, making it very hard or impossible for the host to eject the cuckoo egg. The host could still avoid brood parasitism by nest desertion. However, higher predation and parasitism risks later in the season makes desertion more costly than accepting the cuckoo egg, a strategy aided by the fact that many cuckoo eggs are incorrectly timed, so do not hatch in time and hence do not reduce host fitness to zero. Selection will therefore prevent the continuation of any coevolutionary arms race. Non-mimetic eggs and absence of defence strategies against cuckoo eggs will be the stable, if at first sight paradoxical, result. PMID:21288944

  3. Glycoconjugates in Host-Helminth Interactions

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Helminths are multicellular parasitic worms that comprise a major class of human pathogens and cause an immense amount of suffering worldwide. Helminths possess an abundance of complex and unique glycoconjugates that interact with both the innate and adaptive arms of immunity in definitive and intermediate hosts. These glycoconjugates represent a major untapped reservoir of immunomodulatory compounds, which have the potential to treat autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, and antigenic glycans, which could be exploited as vaccines and diagnostics. This review will survey current knowledge of the interactions between helminth glycans and host immunity and highlight the gaps in our understanding which are relevant to advancing therapeutics, vaccine development, and diagnostics. PMID:24009607

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Stapp, Paul; Salkeld, Daniel J

    2009-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  12. Chemical interrogation of malarial host and parasite kinomes

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Nocardia species: host-parasite relationships.

    PubMed Central

    Beaman, B L; Beaman, L

    1994-01-01

    The nocardiae are bacteria belonging to the aerobic actinomycetes. They are an important part of the normal soil microflora worldwide. The type species, Nocardia asteroides, and N. brasiliensis, N. farcinica, N. otitidiscaviarum, N. nova, and N. transvalensis cause a variety of diseases in both normal and immunocompromised humans and animals. The mechanisms of pathogenesis are complex, not fully understood, and include the capacity to evade or neutralize the myriad microbicidal activities of the host. The relative virulence of N. asteroides correlates with the ability to inhibit phagosome-lysosome fusion in phagocytes; to neutralize phagosomal acidification; to detoxify the microbicidal products of oxidative metabolism; to modify phagocyte function; to grow within phagocytic cells; and to attach to, penetrate, and grow within host cells. Both activated macrophages and immunologically specific T lymphocytes constitute the major mechanisms for host resistance to nocardial infection, whereas B lymphocytes and humoral immunity do not appear to be as important in protecting the host. Thus, the nocardiae are facultative intracellular pathogens that can persist within the host, probably in a cryptic form (L-form), for life. Silent invasion of brain cells by some Nocardia strains can induce neurodegeneration in experimental animals; however, the role of nocardiae in neurodegenerative diseases in humans needs to be investigated. Images PMID:8055469

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  17. Phylogeny, host-parasite relationship and zoogeography

    PubMed Central

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tsuneoka, Yousuke

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  1. HOST INNATE IMMUNITY AGAINST INTESTINAL PARASITES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. Multiple host-switching of Haemosporidia parasites in bats

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-29

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

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

    PubMed

    Roberts, K E; Hughes, W O H

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Interactions of microfungi and plant parasitic nematodes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Fürst, Matthias A.; Nash, David R.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  16. Parasite molecules and host responses in cystic echinococcosis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Tseng, Michelle; Myers, Judith H.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-23

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

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

    PubMed

    Andersson, M; Ahlund, M

    2000-11-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1986-01-01

    Describes three experiments for undergraduates which illustrate associations of parasites with their host. Includes a table of parasite-induced alterations of selected host species. Instructional suggestions are also provided. (ML)

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-09-22

    Social parasites are able to exploit their host's communication code and achieve social integration. For colony foundation, a newly mated slave-making ant queen must usurp a host colony. The parasite's brood is cared for by the hosts and newly eclosed slave-making workers integrate to form a mixed ant colony. To elucidate the social integration strategy of the slave-making workers, Polyergus rufescens, behavioural and chemical analyses were carried out. Cocoons of P. rufescens were introduced into subcolonies of four potential host species: Formica subgenus Serviformica (Formica cunicularia and F. rufibarbis, usual host species; F. gagates, rare host; F. selysi, non-natural host). Slave-making broods were cared for and newly emerged workers showed several social interactions with adult Formica. We recorded the occurrence of abdominal trophallaxis, in which P. rufescens, the parasite, was the donor. Social integration of P. rufescens workers into host colonies appears to rely on the ability of the parasite to modify its cuticular hydrocarbon profile to match that of the rearing species. To study the specific P. rufescens chemical profile, newly emerged callows were reared in isolation from the mother colony (without any contact with adult ants). The isolated P. rufescens workers exhibited a chemical profile closely matching that of the primary host species, indicating the occurrence of local host adaptation in the slave-maker population. However, the high flexibility in the ontogeny of the parasite's chemical signature could allow for host switching. PMID:12350253

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Why have birds evolved the ability to reject eggs? Typically, foreign egg discrimination is interpreted as evidence that interspecific brood parasitism (IP) has selected for the host’s ability to recognize and eliminate foreign eggs. Fewer studies explore the alternative hypothesis that rejection of interspecific eggs is a by-product of host defenses, evolved against conspecific parasitism (CP). We performed a large scale study with replication across taxa (two congeneric Turdus thrushes), space (populations), time (breeding seasons), and treatments (three types of experimental eggs), using a consistent design of egg rejection experiments (n = 1057 nests; including controls), in areas with potential IP either present (Europe; native populations) or absent (New Zealand; introduced populations). These comparisons benefited from the known length of allopatry (one and a half centuries), with no gene flow between native and introduced populations, which is rarely available in host-parasite systems. Results Hosts rejected CP at unusually high rates for passerines (up to 60%). CP rejection rates were higher in populations with higher conspecific breeding densities and no risks of IP, supporting the CP hypothesis. IP rejection rates did not covary geographically with IP risk, contradicting the IP hypothesis. High egg rejection rates were maintained in the relatively long-term isolation from IP despite non-trivial rejection costs and errors. Conclusions These egg rejection patterns, combined with recent findings that these thrushes are currently unsuitable hosts of the obligate parasitic common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), are in agreement with the hypothesis that the rejection of IP is a by-product of fine-tuned egg discrimination evolved due to CP. Our study highlights the importance of considering both IP and CP simultaneously as potential drivers in the evolution of egg discrimination, and illustrates how populations introduced to novel ecological contexts

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  16. Host genetics and population structure effects on parasitic disease

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    The interaction of pathogenic bacteria with the host fibrinolytic system through the plasminogen molecule has been well documented. It has been shown, using animal models, to be important in invasion into the host and establishment of the infection. From a number of recent observations with parasitic protists and helminths, emerges evidence that also in these organisms the interaction with plasminogen may be important for infection and virulence. A group of molecules that act as plasminogen receptors have been identified in parasites. This group comprises the glycolytic enzymes enolase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and fructose-1,6-biphosphate aldolase, in common with the plasminogen receptors known in prokaryotic pathogens. The interaction with the fibrinolytic system may arm the parasites with the host protease plasmin, thus helping them to migrate and cross barriers, infect cells and avoid clot formation. In this context, plasminogen receptors on the parasite surface or as secreted molecules, may be considered virulence factors. A possible evolutionary scenario for the recruitment of glycolytic enzymes as plasminogen receptors by widely different pathogens is discussed. PMID:23850506

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Yuko; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    1. Parasites comprise a substantial proportion of global biodiversity and exert important ecological influences on hosts, communities and ecosystems, but our knowledge of how parasite populations respond to human impacts is in its infancy. 2. Here, we present the results of a natural experiment in which we used a system of highly successful marine protected areas and matched open-access areas in central Chile to assess the influence of fishing-driven biodiversity loss on parasites of exploited fish and invertebrate hosts. We measured the burden of gill parasites for two reef fishes (Cheilodactylus variegatus and Aplodactylus punctatus), trematode parasites for a keyhole limpet (Fissurella latimarginata), and pinnotherid pea crab parasites for a sea urchin (Loxechinus albus). We also measured host density for all four hosts. 3. We found that nearly all parasite species exhibited substantially greater density (# parasites m(-2)) in protected than in open-access areas, but only one parasite species (a gill monogenean of C. variegatus) was more abundant within hosts collected from protected relative to open-access areas. 4. These data indicate that fishing can drive declines in parasite abundance at the parasite population level by reducing the availability of habitat and resources for parasites, but less commonly affects the abundance of parasites at the infrapopulation level (within individual hosts). 5. Considering the substantial ecological role that many parasites play in marine communities, fishing and other human impacts could exert cryptic but important effects on marine community structure and ecosystem functioning via reductions in parasite abundance. PMID:23855822

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  5. Tree phylogenetic diversity promotes host-parasitoid interactions.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-13

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    Uncovering the ecological determinants of parasite host range is a central goal of comparative parasitology and infectious disease ecology. But while parasites are often distributed nonrandomly across the host phylogeny, such patterns are difficult to interpret without a genealogy for the parasite samples and without knowing what sorts of ecological dynamics might lead to what sorts of nonrandomness. We investigated inferences from comparative data, using presence/absence records from protozoan parasites of the New World monkeys. We first demonstrate several distinct types of phylogenetic signal in these data, showing, for example, that parasite species are clustered on the host tree and that closely related host species harbor similar numbers of parasite species. We then show that all of these patterns can be generated by a single, simple dynamical model, in which parasite host range changes more rapidly than host speciation/extinction and parasites preferentially colonize uninfected host species that are closely related to their existing hosts. Fitting this model to data, we then estimate its parameters. Finally, we caution that quite different ecological processes can lead to similar signatures but show how phylogenetic variation in host susceptibility can be distinguished from a tendency for parasites to colonize closely related hosts. Our new process-based analyses, which estimate meaningful parameters, should be useful for inferring the determinants of parasite host range and transmission success. PMID:24921601

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    main diversification mechanism of haemosporidians. Such dynamic host-parasite associations are relevant to the epidemiology of emerging diseases because low parasite host specificity is a prerequisite for the emergence of novel diseases. The evidence on host distributions suggests that haemosporidian parasites have the potential to rapidly develop novel host-associations. This pattern has also been recorded in fish-monogenean interactions, suggesting a general diversification mechanism for parasites when host choice is not restricted by ecological barriers. PMID:24957563

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

    PubMed

    Haven, James; Park, Andrew William

    2013-12-01

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

  10. Targeting Protein-Protein Interactions for Parasite Control

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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