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  Virulence in the three-spined stickleback specific parasite Schistocephalus solidus is inherited additively

Ritter, M., Kalbe, M., & Henrich, T. (2017). Virulence in the three-spined stickleback specific parasite Schistocephalus solidus is inherited additively. Experimental Parasitology, 180(Supplement C), 133-140. doi:10.1016/j.exppara.2017.02.016.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-894E-C Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-894F-A
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Ritter, Marc1, Author              
Kalbe, Martin1, 2, Author              
Henrich, Tina1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Research Group Parasitology, Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society, ou_1445643              
2Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society, ou_1445634              

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Free keywords: Experimental infection; Host–parasite interaction; Immune competence; Cost of infection; Antagonistic coevolution
 Abstract: Parasite virulence is a key trait in host-parasite interactions and plays a crucial role in infection dynamics. Our study system offers the rare opportunity to study the virulence of an individual macroparasite (Schistocephalus solidus) in its vertebrate fish host (Gasterosteus aculeatus). The size of the tapeworm in the fish can be regarded as a good proxy for individual parasite virulence, as parasite size correlates negatively with fitness traits of the stickleback host (i.e. the bigger the parasite, the lower the host's reproductive success) as well as directly with the number of parasite offspring to be expected. To investigate how virulence is inherited, laboratory bred, parasite-naïve stickleback were infected with a cross of two S. solidus populations of either high or low virulence, as well as one hybrid cross between the two. The relative weight of the parasite as expressed in the parasite index served as a measure of virulence. Furthermore, we measured several condition and immune related traits in the fish host to assess parasite impact on the stickleback. We hypothesized that parasite virulence is to a large extent genetically determined and correlated with several fitness traits in the stickleback host. We found that virulence is inherited additively in S. solidus, with hybrids of high and low virulence parasites displaying intermediate levels. However, contrary to expectation, infection rate of S. solidus in three-spined stickleback is not related to virulence. Even though the presence of the parasite caused differences in host condition, these were indistinguishable between the different levels of virulence in this experiment. Fish immune traits also showed a response to infection but had no correlation with level of parasite virulence. With this experiment we have taken the first step towards understanding how virulence is inherited and how it is driven in the Schistocephalus-stickleback system, even though virulence, as measured here, does not directly translate into cost for the host. A better understanding of the costs inflicted on the host by S. solidus infection is needed to understand this interaction in greater detail.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2017-02-142016-09-302017-02-232017-02-242017
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.exppara.2017.02.016
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Title: Experimental Parasitology
  Other : Exp. Parasitol.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Amsterdam : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 180 (Supplement C) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 133 - 140 Identifier: ISSN: 0014-4894
CoNE: /journals/resource/954922645019

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Title: Proceedings of the 27th Meeting of the German Society for Parasitology 2016
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: -
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 180 (Supplement C) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 133 - 140 Identifier: ISBN: 0014-4894