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Dryad

Vindas et al. Brain-infecting parasites leave lasting effects on behaviour even in resistant hosts

Cite this dataset

Vindas, Marco (2022). Vindas et al. Brain-infecting parasites leave lasting effects on behaviour even in resistant hosts [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.s4mw6m99j

Abstract

Parasites can have profound effects on intra- and inter-specific interactions at the population and community levels through their influence on host behaviour, physiology, and fitness. While host phenotypic changes are typically thought of in terms of established infections, parasite encounters may be sufficient to induce behavioural changes, even when no viable infections are established. Here, we use the Japanese rice fish medaka Oryzias latipes and the brain-infecting microsporidan parasite Pseudoloma neurophilia to understand how parasite resistance influences behaviour. Although a previous study suggested that medaka are a suitable host for P. neurophilia, an eight-week parasite exposure regime resulted in no detectable infection in our study. Both parasite-exposed and control (no parasite exposure) medaka were tested in behavioural assays that assessed boldness, activity, and sociality. We detected considerable changes in medaka behaviour following parasite exposure, with parasite-exposed fish being more active, less bold, and more social when compared to control fish. These data indicate that parasite encounters may induce behavioural alterations even in non-susceptible hosts. In addition to established infection, individual differences in parasite exposure must also be considered in studies of host responses across ecological scales.

Methods

Collected by conducting controlled parasite exposures and subjecting fish to 2 behavioral paradigms. The behavioral data was analysed by Ethovision XT 13

Funding

The Research Council of Norway, Award: 250048

The Research Council of Norway, Award: 248828

The Research Council of Norway, Award: 255601

The Research Council of Norway, Award: 251307