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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 136:51-62 (2019)  -  DOI:

Podocotyle atomon (Trematoda: Digenea) impacts reproductive behaviour, survival and physiology in Gammarus zaddachi (Amphipoda)

Katherine L. Arundell1, Aurore Dubuffet2, Nina Wedell3, Jamie Bojko4, Martin S. J. Rogers5, Alison M. Dunn1,*

1School of Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2Université Clermont Auvergne, CNRS, Laboratoire Microorganismes: Génome et Environnement, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
3Centre for Ecology & Conservation, School of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Exeter EX4 4SB, UK
4Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
5Cambridge Coastal Research Unit, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EN, UK
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The Trematoda are a group of phylogenetically diverse metazoan parasites that exhibit complex life cycles that often pass through invertebrate and vertebrate hosts. Some trematodes influence their host’s behaviour to benefit transmission. Their parasitic influence may impact host population size by inhibiting an individual’s reproductive capacity. We assessed the impact of infection by Podocotyle atomon on the reproductive behaviour and fecundity of its amphipod intermediate host, Gammarus zaddachi, using laboratory and field studies. Parasite prevalence was high in the field, with males more likely to be infected (prevalence in males 64%, in females 39%). Males also suffered a higher parasite burden than females. Infected females were less active, but we found no evidence for a reduction in female reproductive success. Infected females also had comparable pairing success to uninfected females. In males, infection reduced survival and fecundity, with mortality being highest, and sperm numbers lowest, in heavily infected individuals. Trematode parasites are sometimes associated with altered host fecundity, but studies often lack the relevant experimental data to explore the evolution of the trait. We discuss this among information specific to the effect of P. atomon infection in G. zaddachi.

KEY WORDS: Breeding · Disease · Host-parasite interaction · Reproductive success · Parasite · Aquatic

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Cite this article as: Arundell KL, Dubuffet A, Wedell N, Bojko J, Rogers MSJ, Dunn AM (2019) Podocotyle atomon (Trematoda: Digenea) impacts reproductive behaviour, survival and physiology in Gammarus zaddachi (Amphipoda). Dis Aquat Org 136:51-62.

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