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Population screening and transmission experiments indicate paramyxid-microsporidian co-infection in Echinogammarus marinus represents a non-hyperparasitic relationship between specific parasite strains

Guler, Yasmin; Short, Stephen; Green Etxabe, Amaia; Kille, Peter; Ford, Alex T.. 2018 Population screening and transmission experiments indicate paramyxid-microsporidian co-infection in Echinogammarus marinus represents a non-hyperparasitic relationship between specific parasite strains. Scientific Reports, 8, 4691. 8, pp. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-22276-y

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Abstract/Summary

Phylogenetically distant parasites often infect the same host. Indeed, co-infections can occur at levels greater than expected by chance and are sometimes hyperparasitic. The amphipod Echinogammarus marinus presents high levels of co-infection by two intracellular and vertically transmitted parasites, a paramyxid (Paramarteilia sp. Em) and a microsporidian strain (Dictyocoela duebenum Em). This co-infection may be hyperparasitic and result from an exploitative ‘hitchhiking’ or a symbiotic relationship between the parasites. However, the best-studied amphipod species are often collected from contaminated environments and may be immune-compromised. Immune-challenged animals frequently present co-infections and contaminant-exposed amphipods present significantly higher levels of microsporidian infection. This suggests the co-infections in E. marinus may result from contaminant-associated compromised immunity. Inconsistent with hyperparasitism, we find that artificial infections transmit Paramarteilia without microsporidian. Our population surveys reveal the co-infection relationship is geographically widespread but find only chance co-infection between the Paramarteilia and another species of microsporidian, Dictyocoela berillonum. Furthermore, we identify a haplotype of the Paramarteilia that presents no co-infection, even in populations with otherwise high co-infection levels. Overall, our results do not support the compromised-immunity hypothesis but rather that the co-infection of E. marinus, although non-hyperparasitic, results from a relationship between specific Paramarteilia and Dictyocoela duebenum strains.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-22276-y
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pollution (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: animal physiology, parasite biology, parasite host response
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 03 Apr 2018 15:07 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/519731

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