eCite Digital Repository

Parasitized snails take the heat: a case of host manipulation?


Bates, AE and Leiterer, ML and Poulin, R, Parasitized snails take the heat: a case of host manipulation?, Oecologia, 167, (2011) pp. 613-621. ISSN 0029-8549 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Not available

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 Springer-Verlag

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00442-011-2014-0


Infection-induced changes in a host’s thermal physiology can represent (1) a generalized host response to infection, (2) a pathological side-eVect of infection, or (3), provided the parasite’s development is temperature-dependent, a subtle case of host manipulation. This study investigates parasite-induced changes in the thermal biology of a Wrst intermediate host infected by two castrating trematodes (genera Maritrema and Philophthalmus) using laboratory experiments and Weld surveys. The heat tolerance and temperatures selected by the snail, Zeacumantus subcarinatus, displayed alterations upon infection that diVered between the two trematodes. Upon heating, snails infected by Maritrema sustained activity for longer durations than uninfected snails, followed by a more rapid recovery, and selected higher temperatures in a thermal gradient. These snails were also relatively abundant in high shore localities in the summer only, corresponding with seasonal elevated microhabitat temperatures. By contrast, Philophthalmusinfected snails fell rapidly into a coma upon heating and did not display altered thermal preferences. The respective heat tolerance of each trematode corresponded with the thermal responses induced in the snail: Maritrema survived exposure to 40°C, while Philophthalmus was less heat tolerant. Although both trematodes infect the same tissues, Philophthalmus leads to a reduction in the host’s thermal tolerance, a response consistent with a pathological side eVect. By contrast, Maritrema induces heat tolerance in the snail and withstood exposure to high heat. As the developmental rate and infectivity of Maritrema increase with temperature up to 25°C, one adaptive explanation for our Wndings is that Maritrema manipulates the snail’s thermal responses to exploit warm microhabitats.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Temperature · Tolerance limit · Thermal preference · Trematode · Zeacumantus · Maritrema
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fish pests and diseases
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in coastal and estuarine environments
UTAS Author:Bates, AE (Dr Amanda Bates)
ID Code:76442
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:30
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2012-03-06
Last Modified:2012-05-24

Repository Staff Only: item control page