Parasite transmission and cannibalism in an amphipod (Crustacea).

C. MacNeil, J.T.A. Dick, M.J. Hatcher, N.J. Fielding, K.D. Hume, A.M. Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


In its freshwater amphipod host Gammarus duebeni celticus, the microsporidian parasite Pleistophora mulleri showed 23% transmission efficiency when uninfected individuals were fed infected tissue, but 0% transmission by water-borne and coprophagous routes. Cannibalism between unparasitised and parasitised individuals was significantly in favour of the former (37% compared to 0%). In addition, cannibalism between parasitised individuals was significantly higher than between unparasitised individuals (27% compared to 0%). Thus, parasitised individuals were more likely to be cannibalised by both unparasitised and parasitised individuals. We discuss the conflicting selective forces within this host/parasite relationship, the implications of parasite mediated cannibalism for host population structure and the impacts this may have on the wider aquatic community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-798
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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