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Journal Article

Differences in parasite susceptibility and costs of resistance between naturally exposed and unexposed host populations

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56593

Benesh,  D. P.
Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hasu, T., Benesh, D. P., & Valtonen, E. T. (2009). Differences in parasite susceptibility and costs of resistance between naturally exposed and unexposed host populations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 22(4), 699-707. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01704.x.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-D5CA-3
Abstract
It is generally assumed that resistance to parasitism entails costs. Consequently, hosts evolving in the absence of parasites are predicted to invest less in costly resistance mechanisms than hosts consistently exposed to parasites. This prediction has, however, rarely been tested in natural populations. We studied the susceptibility of three naive, three parasitized and one recently isolated Asellus aquaticus isopod populations to an acanthocephalan parasite. We found that parasitized populations, with the exception of the isopod population sympatric with the parasite strain used, were less susceptible to the parasite than the naive populations. Exposed but uninfected (resistant) isopods from naive populations, but not from parasitized populations, exhibited greater mortality than controls, implying that resistance entails survival costs primarily for naive isopods. These results suggest that parasites can drive the evolution of host resistance in the wild, and that co-existence with parasites may increase the cost-effectiveness of defence mechanisms.