Section: Infections
Topic: Biology of interactions, Ecology, Evolution

Differences in specificity, development time and virulence between two acanthocephalan parasites, infecting two cryptic species of Gammarus fossarum

10.24072/pcjournal.434 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 4 (2024), article no. e61.

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Multi-host parasites can exploit various host species that differ in abundance and susceptibility to infection, which will contribute unequally to their transmission and fitness. Several species of acanthocephalan manipulative parasites (among which Pomphorhynchus laevis and P. tereticollis) use various amphipod species of the genus Gammarus as intermediate hosts. Many Gammarus pulex and G. fossarum cryptic lineages are living in sympatry in European rivers, questioning the spectrum of intermediate hosts that acanthocephalans can use, and their relative contribution to their life cycles. In this work, the respective roles of parasites species (P. laevis and, for the first time, P. tereticollis) and sympatric host cryptic species (the G. fossarum species complex) were studied experimentally on two traits: host susceptibility to infection and parasite virulence. Differences were found, both in terms of infectivity and virulence, between the cryptic hosts and between the two parasite species. We confirm that these acanthocephalans, previously considered as generalists, show specificities among their sympatric hosts. Differences in field prevalence and susceptibility after experimental exposures were more pronounced between cryptic G. fossarum species for P. tereticollis than for P. laevis. The mortality of infected individuals increased significantly after several weeks of development of both parasite species. P. tereticollis was less virulent than P. laevis, perhaps due to differences in host exploitation, since we evidenced that P. tereticollis had a much slower growth rate.

Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.434
Type: Research article
Keywords: experimental infection, Gammarus fossarum, Gammarus pulex, host specificity, infectivity, multi-host parasite, Pomphorhynchus laevis, Pomphorhynchus tereticollis, prevalence

Bauer, Alexandre 1; Develay Nguyen, Lucie 1; Motreuil, Sébastien 1; Teixeira, Maria 1; Debrosse, Nelly 1; Rigaud, Thierry 1

1 Biogéosciences, UMR 6282 CNRS, université de Bourgogne, 6 boulevard Gabriel, Dijon, France
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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     title = {Differences in specificity, development time and virulence between two acanthocephalan parasites, infecting two cryptic species of {\protect\emph{Gammarus} fossarum}},
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Bauer, Alexandre; Develay Nguyen, Lucie; Motreuil, Sébastien; Teixeira, Maria; Debrosse, Nelly; Rigaud, Thierry. Differences in specificity, development time and virulence between two acanthocephalan parasites, infecting two cryptic species of Gammarus fossarum. Peer Community Journal, Volume 4 (2024), article  no. e61. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.434.

PCI peer reviews and recommendation, and links to data, scripts, code and supplementary information: 10.24072/pci.infections.100198

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The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

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