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Parasitology. 2006 Sep;133(Pt 3):313-9. Epub 2006 May 24.

Geographical variations in infectivity and susceptibility in the host-parasite system Schistosoma mansoni/Biomphalaria glabrata: no evidence for local adaptation.

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  • 1GEMI, Equipe ESS, UMR-2274 CNRS-IRD, centre IRD, 911 avenue Agropolis, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


We investigated local adaptation in the spatially structured natural Biomphalaria glabrata/Schistosoma mansoni host-parasite system in the marshy forest focus of Guadeloupe using cross-transplantation experiments. We demonstrated strong and highly significant variations in susceptibility/infectivity of host and parasite populations, respectively, but found no evidence of local adaptation neither for S. mansoni nor for B. glabrata. Environmental as well as genetic factors are discussed to explain susceptibility/infectivity variations between both host and parasite populations. The absence of local adaptation is discussed in relation to the metapopulation dynamics of both host and parasite, in particular their relative rates of dispersal at the scale under scrutiny. Our study constitutes the first cross-transplantation experiment concerning this host-parasite system of which both hosts and parasites came directly from the wild, excluding laboratory generations and experimental host passages.

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