Skip to main content

Data from: Multidimensionality in host manipulation mimicked by serotonin injection

Cite this dataset

Perrot-Minnot, Marie-Jeanne; Sanchez-Thirion, Kevin; Cézilly, Frank (2014). Data from: Multidimensionality in host manipulation mimicked by serotonin injection [Dataset]. Dryad.


Manipulative parasites often alter the phenotype of their hosts along multiple dimensions. ‘Multidimensionality’ in host manipulation could consist in the simultaneous alteration of several physiological pathways independently of one another, or proceed from the disruption of some key physiological parameter, followed by a cascade of effects. We compared multidimensionality in ‘host manipulation’ between two closely related amphipods, Gammarus fossarum and Gammarus pulex, naturally and experimentally infected with Pomphorhynchus laevis (Acanthocephala), respectively. To that end, we calculated in each host–parasite association the effect size of the difference between infected and uninfected individuals for six different traits (activity, phototaxis, geotaxis, attraction to conspecifics, refuge use and metabolic rate). The effects sizes were highly correlated between host–parasite associations, providing evidence for a relatively constant ‘infection syndrome’. Using the same methodology, we compared the extent of phenotypic alterations induced by an experimental injection of serotonin (5-HT) in uninfected G. pulex to that induced by experimental or natural infection with P. laevis. We observed a significant correlation between effect sizes across the six traits, indicating that injection with 5-HT can faithfully mimic the ‘infection syndrome’. This is, to our knowledge, the first experimental evidence that multidimensionality in host manipulation can proceed, at least partly, from the disruption of some major physiological mechanism.

Usage notes