There are many impressive examples of host manipulation by parasites, but mechanisms underlying these ethological changes, as well as their physiological consequences, are not well characterized. Here, we analyzed part of the cerebral proteome of brine shrimp Artemia infected by manipulative cestodes, using for the first time the ProteinChip Surface-Enhanced Laser Desorption Ionization and Time of Fly Mass Spectrometry (SELDI-TOF MS) system, which has been proposed as an excellent way to analyze the host genome during the host–parasite interaction processes. We found 2 peptides downregulated in individuals infected by the dilepidid, Anomotaenia tringae (4.5 kDa), and by the 2 hymenolepidids, Flamingolepis liguloides and Confluaria podicipina (3.9 kDa), which are potential candidates for involvement with the manipulation process. The identification of 2 head peptides (4.1 and 4.2 kDa) overexpressed in all the categories in brine shrimp living at the surface (both infected individuals and uninfected controls) suggests its association with the different environmental conditions experienced at the water surface. In parallel, brine shrimp infected by C. podicipina showed significant values of triglycerides, potentially augmenting their profitability and attractiveness for the predaceous definitive host (grebes). We discuss our findings in relationship with current ideas on the complexity of parasitically modified organisms.
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