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Age-dependent flea (Siphonaptera) parasitism in rodents: a host's life history matters.
J Parasitol. 2006 Apr; 92(2):242-8.JP

Abstract

We studied age-dependent patterns of flea infestation in 7 species of rodents from Slovakia (Apodemus agrarius, A. flavicollis, A. sylvaticus, A. uralensis, Clethrionomys glareolus, Microtus arvalis, and M. subterraneus). We estimated the age of the host from its body mass and expected the host age-dependent pattern of flea abundance, the level of aggregation, and prevalence to be in agreement with theoretical predictions. We expected that the mean abundance and the level of aggregation of fleas would be lowest in hosts of smallest and largest size classes and highest in hosts of medium size classes, whereas pattern of variation of prevalence with host age would be either convex or asymptotic. In general, mean abundance and species richness of fleas increased with an increase in host age, although the pressure of flea parasitism in terms of number of fleas per unit host body surface decreased with host age. We found 2 clear patterns of the change in flea aggregation and prevalence with host age. The first pattern demonstrated a peak of flea aggregation and a trough of flea prevalence in animals of middle age classes (Apodemus species and C. glareolus). The second pattern was an increase of both flea aggregation and flea prevalence with host age (both Microtus species). Consequently, we did not find unequivocal evidence for the main role of either parasite-induced host mortality or acquired resistance in host age-dependent pattern of flea parasitism. Our results suggest that this pattern can be generated by various processes and is strongly affected by natural history parameters of a host species such as dispersal pattern, spatial distribution, and structure of shelters.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Ramon Science Center and Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, P.O. Box 194, Mizpe Ramon 80600, Israel. krasnov@bgu.ac.ilNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

16729679

Citation

Krasnov, Boris R., et al. "Age-dependent Flea (Siphonaptera) Parasitism in Rodents: a Host's Life History Matters." The Journal of Parasitology, vol. 92, no. 2, 2006, pp. 242-8.
Krasnov BR, Stanko M, Morand S. Age-dependent flea (Siphonaptera) parasitism in rodents: a host's life history matters. J Parasitol. 2006;92(2):242-8.
Krasnov, B. R., Stanko, M., & Morand, S. (2006). Age-dependent flea (Siphonaptera) parasitism in rodents: a host's life history matters. The Journal of Parasitology, 92(2), 242-8.
Krasnov BR, Stanko M, Morand S. Age-dependent Flea (Siphonaptera) Parasitism in Rodents: a Host's Life History Matters. J Parasitol. 2006;92(2):242-8. PubMed PMID: 16729679.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Age-dependent flea (Siphonaptera) parasitism in rodents: a host's life history matters. AU - Krasnov,Boris R, AU - Stanko,Michal, AU - Morand,Serge, PY - 2006/5/30/pubmed PY - 2006/6/7/medline PY - 2006/5/30/entrez SP - 242 EP - 8 JF - The Journal of parasitology JO - J Parasitol VL - 92 IS - 2 N2 - We studied age-dependent patterns of flea infestation in 7 species of rodents from Slovakia (Apodemus agrarius, A. flavicollis, A. sylvaticus, A. uralensis, Clethrionomys glareolus, Microtus arvalis, and M. subterraneus). We estimated the age of the host from its body mass and expected the host age-dependent pattern of flea abundance, the level of aggregation, and prevalence to be in agreement with theoretical predictions. We expected that the mean abundance and the level of aggregation of fleas would be lowest in hosts of smallest and largest size classes and highest in hosts of medium size classes, whereas pattern of variation of prevalence with host age would be either convex or asymptotic. In general, mean abundance and species richness of fleas increased with an increase in host age, although the pressure of flea parasitism in terms of number of fleas per unit host body surface decreased with host age. We found 2 clear patterns of the change in flea aggregation and prevalence with host age. The first pattern demonstrated a peak of flea aggregation and a trough of flea prevalence in animals of middle age classes (Apodemus species and C. glareolus). The second pattern was an increase of both flea aggregation and flea prevalence with host age (both Microtus species). Consequently, we did not find unequivocal evidence for the main role of either parasite-induced host mortality or acquired resistance in host age-dependent pattern of flea parasitism. Our results suggest that this pattern can be generated by various processes and is strongly affected by natural history parameters of a host species such as dispersal pattern, spatial distribution, and structure of shelters. SN - 0022-3395 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16729679/Age_dependent_flea__Siphonaptera__parasitism_in_rodents:_a_host's_life_history_matters_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1645/GE-637R1.1 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -