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J Parasitol. 1998 Oct;84(5):1050-2.

Hosts manipulated by one parasite incur additional costs from infection by another parasite.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


Manipulation of host phenotype by parasites often serves to increase the predation rate of definitive hosts on intermediate hosts. For intermediate hosts, the indirect consequences of manipulation may extend beyond the direct increase in predation, however. Metacercariae of the trematode Curtuteria australis encyst in the foot of New Zealand cockles, Austrovenus stutchburyi, and stunt its growth, rendering cockles incapable of burrowing into the sediments. Here, we show that cockles manipulated by C. australis are 5 times more likely to be infected by the castrating sporocysts of another trematode than normal, nonmanipulated cockles. Our results indicate that the consequences for C. australis-manipulated cockles are far more important than a simple increase in the risk of predation and that indirect repercussions of manipulation can be as severe as direct ones.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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