Parasitic nematodes simultaneously suppress and benefit from coccidian coinfection in their natural mouse host

Clerc, M., Fenton, A., Babayan, S. A. and Pedersen, A. B. (2019) Parasitic nematodes simultaneously suppress and benefit from coccidian coinfection in their natural mouse host. Parasitology, 146(8), pp. 1096-1106. (doi: 10.1017/S0031182019000192) (PMID:30915927) (PMCID:PMC6603796)

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Within-host interactions among coinfecting parasites are common and have important consequences for host health and disease dynamics. However, these within-host interactions have traditionally been studied in laboratory mouse models, which often exclude important variation and use unnatural host–parasite combinations. Conversely, the few wild studies of within-host interactions often lack knowledge of parasite exposure and infection history. Here we exposed laboratory-reared wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) that were derived from wild-caught animals to two naturally-occurring parasites (nematode: Heligmosomoides polygyrus, coccidia: Eimeria hungaryensis) to investigate the impact of coinfection on parasite infection dynamics, and to determine if the host immune response mediates this interaction. Coinfection led to delayed worm expulsion and prolonged egg shedding in H. polygyrus infections and lower peak E. hungaryensis oocyst burdens. By comparing antibody levels between wild and colony-housed mice, we also found that wild mice had elevated H. polygyrus-IgG1 titres even if currently uninfected with H. polygyrus. Using this unique wild-laboratory system, we demonstrate, for the first time, clear evidence for a reciprocal interaction between these intestinal parasites, and that there is a great discrepancy between antibody levels measured in the wild vs those measured under controlled laboratory conditions in relation to parasite infection and coinfection.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the grants from the National Environment Research Council to ABP and AF (grant numbers NE/G006830/1, NE/G007349/1, NE/I024038/1 and NE/I026367/1), grants from the Wellcome Trust awarded to ABP (CIIE: grant number 095831 and ISSF 2014), and SAB (grant number 097821/Z/11/Z), and a Torrance Bequest scholarship from the University of Edinburgh awarded to MC.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Babayan, Dr Simon
Authors: Clerc, M., Fenton, A., Babayan, S. A., and Pedersen, A. B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Parasitology
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1469-8161
Published Online:27 March 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Cambridge University Press
First Published:First published in Parasitology 146(8):1096-1106
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
645621Wild Immunomics: characterising protective immunity to helminth infection by integrating transcriptomes and metabolomes of wild rodents (ISSF Catalyst)Simon BabayanWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)097821/Z/11/ARI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED