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Title: Intra-host competition between co-infecting digeneans within a bivalve second intermediate host: Dominance by priority-effect or taking advantage of others?
Contributor(s): Leung, Tommy  (author); Poulin, Robert (author)
Publication Date: 2011
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2010.11.004
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Abstract: We experimentally investigated the interactions between two parasites known to manipulate their host's phenotype, the trematodes 'Acanthoparyphium' sp. and 'Curtuteria australis', which infect the cockle 'Austrovenus stutchburyi'. The larval stages of both species encyst within the tissue of the bivalve's muscular foot, with a preference for the tip of the foot. As more individuals accumulate at that site, they impair the burrowing behaviour of cockles and increase the probability of the parasites' transmission to a bird definitive host. However, individuals at the foot tip are also vulnerable to non-host predators in the form of foot-cropping fish which selectively bite off the foot tip of exposed cockles. Parasites encysted at the foot base are safe from such predators although they do not contribute to altering host behaviour, but nevertheless benefit from host manipulation as all parasites within the cockle are transmitted if it is ingested by a bird. Experimental infection revealed that 'Acanthoparyphium' sp. and 'C. australis' have different encystment patterns within the host, with proportionally fewer 'Acanthoparyphium' metacercariae encysting at the foot tip than 'C. australis'. This indicates that 'Acanthoparyphium' may benefit indirectly from 'C. australis' and incur a lower risk of non-host predation. However, in co-infections, not only did 'C. australis' have higher infectivity than 'Acanthoparyphium', it also severely affected the latter's infection success. The asymmetrical strategies and interactions between the two species suggest that the advantages obtained from exploiting the host manipulation efforts of another parasite might be offset by traits such as reduced competitiveness in co-infections.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: International Journal for Parasitology, 41(3-4), p. 449-454
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1879-0135
Field of Research (FOR): 060808 Invertebrate Biology
060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified
060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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