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The effects of infection by Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae (Myxozoa) and temperature on Fredericella sultana (Bryozoa)

Tops, S., Hartikainen, H. L. and Okamura, B. (2009) The effects of infection by Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae (Myxozoa) and temperature on Fredericella sultana (Bryozoa). International Journal for Parasitology, 39 (9). pp. 1003-1010. ISSN 0020-7519

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2009.01.007


The myxozoan, Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, exploits freshwater bryozoans as definitive hosts, occurring as cryptic stages in bryozoan colonies during covert infections and as spore-forming sacs during overt infections. Spores released from sacs are infective to salmonid fish, causing the devastating Proliferative Kidney Disease (PKD). We undertook laboratory studies using mesocosm systems running at 10, 14 and 20 degrees C to determine how infection by T bryosalmonae and water temperature influence fitness of one of its most important bryozoan hosts, Fredericella sultana, over a period of 4 weeks. The effects of infection were context-dependent and often undetectable. Covert infections appear to pose very low energetic costs. Thus, we found that growth of covertly infected F. sultana colonies was similar to that of uninfected colonies regardless of temperature, as was the propensity to produce dormant resting stages (statoblasts). Production of statoblasts, however, was associated with decreased growth. Overt infections imposed greater effects on correlates of host fitness by: (i) reducing growth rates at the two higher temperatures: (ii) increasing mortality rates at the highest temperature: (iii) inhibiting statoblast production. Our results indicate that parasitism should have a relatively small effect on host fitness in the field as the negative effects of infection were mainly expressed in environmentally extreme conditions (20 degrees C for 4 weeks). The generally low virulence of T. bryosalmonae is similar to that recently demonstrated for another myxozoan endoparasite of freshwater bryozoans. The unique opportunity for extensive vertical transmission in these colonial invertebrate hosts couples the reproductive interests of host and parasite and may well give rise to the low virulence that characterises these systems. Our study implies that climate change can be expected to exacerbate PKD outbreaks and increase the geographic range of PKD as a result of the combined responses of T. bryosalmonae and its bryozoan hosts to higher temperatures. Crown Copyright (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:9713
Uncontrolled Keywords:Colonial hosts, Malacosporea, Proliferative Kidney Disease, Covert, infection, Overt infection, Virulence, Vertical transmission, PROLIFERATIVE KIDNEY-DISEASE, TROUT SALMO-TRUTTA, ONCORHYNCHUS-MYKISS, WALBAUM, RAINBOW-TROUT, SWISS RIVERS, PKX ORGANISM, WATER, TRANSMISSION, MALACOSPOREA, HOSTS

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