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Effects of experimental Schistocephalus solidus infections on growth, morphology and sexual development of female three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus
2003 (English)In: Parasitology, ISSN 0031-1820, E-ISSN 1469-8161, Vol. 126, 359-367 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The use of naturally infected hosts in studies attempting to identify parasite-induced changes in host biology is problematical because it does not eliminate the possibility that infection may be a consequence, rather than a cause, of host trait variation. In addition, uncontrolled concomitant infections may confound results. In this study we experimentally infected individual laboratory-bred female three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus L. with the pseudophyllidean cestode Schistocephalus solidus [Muller], and compared the morphology and growth patterns of infected females with sham-exposed controls over a 16-week period. Fish were fed a ration of 8% body weight per day. Non-invasive image analysis techniques allowed the growth of individual plerocercoids to be tracked in vivo throughout the course of infection, and patterns of host and parasite growth were determined. Females that developed infections diverged morphometrically from unexposed control females and exposed-uninfected females at 6 weeks post-infection, with the width of the body at the pectoral fins giving the earliest indication of infection success. When including the plerocercoid, infected females gained weight more quickly than controls, but when plerocercoid weight was removed this trend was reversed. There was no effect of infection on the increase in fish length. Plerocercoids grew at different rates in individual hosts, and exhibited measurable sustained weight increases of up to 10% per day. Final estimates of plerocercoid weight from morphometric analysis prior to autopsy were accurate to within +/-17% of actual plerocercoid weight. At autopsy, infected female sticklebacks had significantly lower perivisceral fat reserves but had developed significantly larger ovaries than controls. The results are discussed in relation to previous studies examining natural infections, and the value of utilizing experimental infections to examine ecological aspects of host-parasite interactions is discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 126, 359-367 p.
National Category
Ecology Behavioral Sciences Biology Zoology Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Natural Science, Aquatic Ecology; Natural Science, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-18762OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-18762DiVA: diva2:527864
Available from: 2012-05-22 Created: 2012-05-22 Last updated: 2016-05-03Bibliographically approved

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Svensson, P. A.
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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