Publication
Title
Differential virulence in two congeneric ticks infesting songbird nestlings
Author
Abstract
Virulence is part of the proximate base to the understanding of hostparasite interactions, and therefore it is crucial to interpret parasite-induced damage as an outcome of co-evolution between parasite and host. We experimentally investigated the impact of 2 congeneric ticks with contrasting transmission modes and host specificity, on the health of songbird nestlings (Parus major). The nidicolous Ixodes arboricola lives in tree holes where it obtains blood from adult birds and their nestlings, hence is prone to vertical transmission. All developmental stages of the field-dwelling Ixodes ricinus feed on different host taxa, hence are prone to horizontal transmission. Within each nest we infested 3 nestlings with varying loads of I. ricinus and 3 with Ixodes arboricola. Ixodes arboricola had no negative effects on nestling health (haematocrit, inflammation, body size, body condition). Body size was positively associated with the number of feeding I. arboricola adults. In contrast, I. ricinus infestations by nymphs and adult ticks led to haematocrit reductions. Furthermore, I. arboricola was a more prudent feeder, with longer feeding durations for smaller bloodmeals. Although the negative effects on nestling health were limited, our results are in line with current theories, stating that virulence increases with horizontal transmission, reduced dependence on individual hosts and reduced relatedness among co-exploiting ticks.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Parasitology. - London, 1908, currens
Publication
London : 2011
ISSN
0031-1820 [print]
1469-8161 [online]
Volume/pages
138:8(2011), p. 1011-1021
ISI
000292615100007
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 16.06.2011
Last edited 06.08.2017
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