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Evolutionary implications of the adaptation to different immune systems in a parasite with a complex life cycle

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56711

Hammerschmidt,  Katrin
Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56788

Kurtz,  Joachim
Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hammerschmidt, K., & Kurtz, J. (2005). Evolutionary implications of the adaptation to different immune systems in a parasite with a complex life cycle. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 272(1580), 2511-2518. doi:10.1098/rspb.2005.3241.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-D949-5
Abstract
Many diseases are caused by parasites with complex life cycles that involve several hosts. If parasites cope better with only one of the different types of immune systems of their host species, we might expect a trade-off in parasite performance in the different hosts, that likely influences the evolution of virulence. We tested this hypothesis in a naturally co-evolving host-parasite system consisting of the tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus and its intermediate hosts, a copepod, Macrocyclops albidus, and the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. We did not find a trade-off between infection success in the two hosts. Rather, tapeworms seem to trade-off adaptation towards different parts of their hosts' immune systems. Worm sibships that performed better in the invertebrate host also seem to be able to evade detection by the fish innate defence systems, i.e. induce lower levels of activation of innate immune components. These worm variants were less harmful for the fish host likely due to reduced costs of an activated innate immune system. These findings substantiate the impact of both hosts' immune systems on parasite performance and virulence.