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Trends Parasitol. 2010 Jun;26(6):311-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Apr 12.

Host-manipulation by parasites with complex life cycles: adaptive or not?

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Université de Bourgogne, UMR CNRS 5561 Biogéosciences, 6 blvd. Gabriel, Dijon, France.


The effect of host manipulation by parasites on trophic transmission to final hosts remains unclear. The transmission benefits gained by manipulative parasites are difficult to assess, and evidence for a causal link between manipulation and trophic transmission is missing. In addition, infected intermediate hosts can also be more vulnerable to predation by nonhosts, whereas recent theoretical advances indicate that the evolution of host manipulation does not require increased specificity in trophic transmission. We propose that a deeper consideration of the evolution of complex life cycles in helminth parasites might provide a different perspective on the evolution of host manipulation by parasites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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