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20 September 2021 Quantifying Bilateral Infection Patterns in the Trematode Alloglossidium renale
Jenna M. Hulke, William H. Ellenburg, Derek A. Zelmer, Charles D. Criscione
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Within-host distributions of parasites can have relevance to parasite competition, parasite mating, transmission, and host health. We examined the within-host distribution of the adult trematode Alloglossidium renale infecting the paired antennal glands of grass shrimp. There are 4 possible parasite distributions for infections of paired organs: random, uniform, biased aggregation to 1 particular organ (e.g., left vs. right), or inconsistently biased (aggregated, but does not favor 1 side). Previous work has shown that morphological asymmetries in hosts can lead to biased infections of paired organs. Apparent symmetry between the antennal glands of grass shrimp leads to the prediction that there would be no bias for 1 particular organ. However, an alternative prediction stems from the fact that A. renale is hermaphroditic: aggregation between glands would increase outcrossing opportunities and thus, avoid inbreeding via self-mating. Existing methods to test for an overall pattern did not apply to the A. renale system because of low-intensity infections as well as many 0 values for abundance per unit of the antennal gland. Hence, we used Monte Carlo simulations to determine if the observed overall patterns differed from those expected by randomly allocating parasites into groups of 2. We found that in 3 of 4 data sets, A. renale infections did not deviate from random distributions. The fourth data set had a more uniform pattern than expected by chance. As there was no aggregation between glands and the proportion of worms in single gland infections did not differ from that expected by chance alone, we found no evidence of inbreeding avoidance as might be manifested via a within-host distribution. Given the large proportion of worms in single infections, we predict as a major evolutionary outcome that populations of A. renale will be largely inbred.

© American Society of Parasitologists 2021
Jenna M. Hulke, William H. Ellenburg, Derek A. Zelmer, and Charles D. Criscione "Quantifying Bilateral Infection Patterns in the Trematode Alloglossidium renale," Journal of Parasitology 107(5), 731-738, (20 September 2021).
Published: 20 September 2021

Alloglossidium renale
Antennal gland
Bilateral asymmetry
Monte Carlo simulation
Paired organs
Palaemonetes kadiakensis
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