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Distance covered by uninfected and infected hosts.
Cumulative distance (mm) covered by uninfected and P. minutus infected G. roeseli after contact with non-host predator D. villosus (redrawn from Table 1, p<0.001, Medoc 2008).

Discussion questions

  1. How can a parasite both increase the possibility of being eaten by a definitive host and decrease the possibility of being consumed by a non-host predator?
  2. Why is behavior modification so important for many parasites?

Glossary

  • Cystacanth - developed acanthocephalan larva, which is able to infect its definitive host (Moore 1983).
  • Co-evolution - phenomenon when a change in one species causes a change in another species, which triggers a counter-adaptation in the first species again, so that the two species evolve together.
  • Definitive host - an organism in which parasite reproduces and resides until death.
  • Extended phenotype - term coined by Richard Dawkins to describe the phenomenon of genes not only determining physical phenotypes but also various behaviors of an organism.
  • Free-living stage - a stage in parasite’s life when following a signal from the environment or the host’s body the parasite escapes the host’s body and lives outside (Sukhdeo 1995).
  • Intermediate host - an organism that contains the parasite for a limited amount of time, when the parasite life cycle requires more than one host.
  • Invasive host - a potential host for a parasite that is not native to the area, often harder to invade than local hosts
  • Neuromodulators - can alter the neural circuits and allow the organism to be flexible in its responses to the environment (Adamo 2002).
  • Oddity selection - when conspicuous appearance of an organism causes it to becomes more vulnerable to predation.
  • Serotonin - a neurotrasmitter and hormone, also known as 5-HT, that is known to constrict blood vessels and have an effect on mood (Medicinenet.com)
  • Parasitism - a relationship between two species in which one benefits and another suffers losses to fitness.

References

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  • Baldauf S., Thunken T., Frommen J., Bakker T., Heupel O., Kullmann H., 2007. Infection with an acanthocephalan manipulates an amphipod’s reaction to a fish predator’s odours. International Journal of Parasitology. 37:61-65.
  • Bauer A., Trouve S., Gregoire A., Bollanche L., Cezilly F. 2000. Differential influence of Pomphorhynchus laevis (Acanthocephala) on the behavior of native and invader gammarid species. International Journal and Parasitology. 30:1453-1457.
  • Benesh, D., Duclos L., and Nickol B. 2005. The behavioral response of amphipods harboring Corynosoma constrictum (acanthocephala) to various components of light. American Society of Parasitologists. 91: 731-36.
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  • Benesh D., Valtonen E. 2007. Effects of Acanthocepalus lucii (Acanthocephala) on intermediate host survival and growth: implications for exploitation strategies. J. Parasitol. 93:735-741.
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  • Gottrop M. 2005. “Corynosoma drawing.” Wikipedia Commons. (External Link)
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  • Helluy S., Holmes J. 1990. Serotonin, octopamine, and the clinging behavior induced by the parasite Polymorphus paradoxus (Acanthocephala) in Gammarus lacustris (Crustacea). Can. J. Zool. 68:1214-1220.
  • Kaldonski N., Perrot-Minnot M.-J., Cezilly F. 2007. Differential influence of two acanthocephalan parasites on the antipredator behavior of their common intermediate host. Animal Behavior. 74: 1311-1317.
  • Kaldonski N., Perrot-Minnot M.-J., Motreuil S., Cezilly F. 2008. Infection with acanthocephalans increases the vulnerability of Gammarus pulex (Crustacea, Amphipoda) to non-host invertebrate predators. Parasitology. 135:627-631.
  • Kennedy C. 2006. Ecology of the Acanthocephala. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
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  • Medoc V., Biesel J.-N. 2008. An acanthocephalan parasite boosts the escape performance of its intermediate host facing non-host predators. International Journal of Parasitology. 977-983.
  • Moore J. 1983. Responses to an avian predator and its isopod prey to an acanthocephalan parasite. Ecology. 64:1000-1015.
  • Moret Y., Bollanche L., Wattier R., Rigaud T. 2007. Is the host or the parasite the most locally adapted in an amphipod-acanthocephalan relationship? A case study in a biological invasion context. International Journal of Parasitology. 37:637-644.
  • Perrot-Minnot M.-J. 2004. Larval morphology, genetic divergence, and contrasting levels of host manipulation between forms of Pomphorhynchus laevis (Acanthocephala). International Journal for Parasitology. 34:45-54.
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  • Plaistow S., Troussaud J.-P., Cezilly F. 2001. The effect of the acanthocephalan parasite Pomphorhynchus laevis on the lipid and glycogen content of its intermediate host Gammarus pulex. International Journal of Parasitology.31:346-351.
  • Raschka A. 2007. “Acanthocephala Pomphorhynchus.” Wikipedia Commons. (External Link)
  • Rigaud T., Moret Y. 2003. Differential phenoloxidase activity between native and invasive gammarids infected by local acanthocephalans: different immunosuppression? Parasitology. 127:571-577.
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  • Tain L., Perrot-Minnot M.-J., Cezilly F. 2006. Altered behavior and brain serotonergic activity caused by acanthocephalans: evidence for specificity. Proceeding of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. 273:3039-3045.
  • Tain L., Perrot-Minnot M.-J., Cezilly F. 2007. Differential influence of Pomphorhynchus laevis (Acanthocephala) on brain serotonergic activity in two congeneric host species. Biology Letters. 3:68-71.

About the author

picture of the author.
Dina Yangirova

I was born in Russia, but have lived in Houston, Texas for nine years. I am a junior biochemistry major and I have taken the Animal Behavior class because I dearly love all animals, even the ugly ones. In my spare time, I like to dance, take pictures, draw, watch movies, and read. The hardest part of writing this chapter was putting together all the disparate, disjoined pieces of information and constructing a coherent picture of how the acanthocephalans operate. In the process, I have realized yet again that even the smallest and slimiest creatures can be incredibly complex and exciting.

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Source:  OpenStax, Mockingbird tales: readings in animal behavior. OpenStax CNX. Jan 12, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11211/1.5
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