When should a trophically and vertically transmitted parasite manipulate its intermediate host? The case of Toxoplasma gondii. - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Biology Letters Year : 2013

When should a trophically and vertically transmitted parasite manipulate its intermediate host? The case of Toxoplasma gondii.

Abstract

Parasites with complex life cycles are expected to manipulate the behaviour of their intermediate hosts (IHs), which increase their predation rate and facilitate the transmission to definitive hosts (DHs). This ability, however, is a double-edged sword when the parasite can also be transmitted vertically in the IH. In this situation, as the manipulation of the IH behaviour increases the IH death rate, it conflicts with vertical transmission, which requires healthy and reproducing IHs. The protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, a widespread pathogen, combines both trophic and vertical transmission strategies. Is parasite manipulation of host behaviour still adaptive in this situation? We model the evolution of the IH manipulation by T. gondii to study the conflict between these two routes of transmission under different epidemiological situations. Model outputs show that manipulation is particularly advantageous for virulent strains and in epidemic situations, and that different levels of manipulation may evolve depending on the sex of the IH and the transmission routes considered. These results may help to understand the variability of strain characteristics encountered for T. gondii and may extend to other trophically transmitted parasites.

Dates and versions

hal-00972562 , version 1 (03-04-2014)

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Maud Lélu, Michel Langlais, Marie-Lazarine Poulle, Emmanuelle Gilot-Fromont, Sylvain Gandon. When should a trophically and vertically transmitted parasite manipulate its intermediate host? The case of Toxoplasma gondii.. Biology Letters, 2013, 280 (1765), pp.20131143. ⟨10.1098/rspb.2013.1143⟩. ⟨hal-00972562⟩
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