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Experimental infections with the tropical monogenean, Gyrodactylus bullatarudis: Potential invader or experimental fluke?

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Abstract

Introduced exotic species have the potential to spread their associated parasites to native species which can be catastrophic if these hosts are immunologically naïve to the novel parasite. The guppy (Poecilia reticulata) has been disseminated worldwide outside of its native habitat and therefore could be an important source of infection to native fish species. Its parasite fauna is dominated by the ectoparasitic monogeneans, Gyrodactylus turnbulli and Gyrodactylus bullatarudis. The current study tested the host specificity of G. bullatarudis by experimentally infecting a range of isolated fish hosts, including temperate species. Surprisingly, the parasite was capable of establishing and reproducing, for several days, on the three-spined stickleback when transferred directly to this host. We also established that G. bullatarudis could be transmitted under aquarium conditions at both 25 °C and 15 °C. At the higher temperature, the parasite was even capable of reproducing on this atypical host. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of host specificity, host switching and climate change.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalParasitology International
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Peer-reviewedYes

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