The relationship between a parasite and its host will have an energy cost for the host at some point; however, this basic hypothesis has seldom been evaluated. Using Emerita analoga as a model species, we investigated the aerobic metabolism, ammonia excretion rate, and locomotor performance patterns of crabs both uninfected and infected with the acanthocephalan Profilicollis altmani. Our results show that infected Emerita had a lower metabolic rate compared to uninfected ones. Whether or not this decrease is a result of the pathology of the parasite infection or due to manipulation of the host by the parasite is still unknown. We discuss the importance of using anaerobic and aerobic metabolism and more-complex scenarios in order to understand the effects on host fitness and not only on the immediate response of the host.
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Vol. 105 • No. 1