Jun 12, 2013

Does timing matter? How priority effects influence the outcome of parasite interactions within hosts

Oecologia
Jason T HovermanPieter T J Johnson

Abstract

In nature, hosts are exposed to an assemblage of parasite species that collectively form a complex community within the host. To date, however, our understanding of how within-host-parasite communities assemble and interact remains limited. Using a larval amphibian host (Pacific chorus frog, Pseudacris regilla) and two common trematode parasites (Ribeiroia ondatrae and Echinostoma trivolvis), we experimentally examined how the sequence of host exposure influenced parasite interactions within hosts. While there was no evidence that the parasites interacted when hosts were exposed to both parasites simultaneously, we detected evidence of both intraspecific and interspecific competition when exposures were temporally staggered. However, the strength and outcome of these priority effects depended on the sequence of addition, even after accounting for the fact that parasites added early in host development were more likely to encyst compared to parasites added later. Ribeiroia infection success was reduced by 14 % when Echinostoma was added prior to Ribeiroia, whereas no such effect was noted for Echinostoma when Ribeiroia was added first. Using a novel fluorescent-labeling technique that allowed us to track Ribeiroia infections fro...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Immune Response
Cerebellar Decompression Injury
Host-Parasite Interactions
Echinostoma trivolvis
Salientia
Ribeiroia ondatrae
Secondary Infections
Trematoda
Hyla regilla
Fluorescent stain

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