Population variation in the metabolic response of deer mice to infection with Capillaria hepatica (Nematoda)

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Abstract:

The effects of parasites on their hosts can vary among host populations, but few studies have examined geographic variation in host-parasite interactions. We examined the effects of Capillaria hepatica (Nematoda) infection on deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus gracilis) from two different populations. Specifically, we measured the basal metabolic rate (BMR), cold-stress maximum oxygen consumption (MRpeak), metabolic scope (MRpeak/BMR), and thermogenic endurance of infected and uninfected mice from one population with, and a second population without, a history with C. hepatica. Infection had no effect on BMR, but did have effects on cold-stress measures. A previous study documented a significant relationship between survival and MRpeak in wild deer mice; hence, the effects of infection on the parameters that we measured could influence fitness. Only mice that had no historical association with C. hepatica displayed negative consequences of infection, which suggests that the historical host population has evolved mechanisms to cope with infection. Models of the evolution of virulence should include evolutionary responses of both hosts and parasites, particularly when systems involve macroparasites that have long generation times.

Les effets des parasites sur leurs hôtes peuvent varier d'une population d'hôtes à une autre, mais peu de chercheurs se sont attardés à étudier la variation géographique des interactions hôtes-parasites. Nous avons examiné les effets d'infections de Capillaria hepatica (Nematoda) sur des Souris sylvestres (Peromyscus maniculatus gracilis) appartenant à deux populations. Plus spécifiquement, nous avons mesuré le taux de métabolisme de base (BMR), la consommation maximale d'oxygène au froid (MRpeak), l'amplitude métabolique (MRpeak/BMR) et l'endurance thermogène chez des souris infectées et des souris saines d'une population infectée antérieurement par C. hepatica et une autre qui ne l'avait jamais été. L'infection est restée sans effet sur le métabolisme de base, mais affectait les mesures au froid. Une étude antérieure a signalé l'existence d'une relation significative entre la survie et MRpeak chez des souris sylvestres en nature; les effets des infections sur les variables que nous avons mesurées peuvent affecter le fitness. Seules les souris jamais infectées antérieurement par C. hepatica ont subi des conséquences négatives à la suite des infections, ce qui indique que la population hôte ancestrale a développé des mécanismes qui permettent de combattre les infections. Les modèles de l'évolution de la virulence doivent tenir compte de réponses évolutives des hôtes et des parasites, particulièrement dans les systèmes qui comportent des microparasites dont les temps de génération sont longs.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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