trypanosomes Crithidia bombi bumblebees Bombus terrestris host nutrition population dynamics
Cambridge University Press
Logan A, Ruiz-Gonzalez MX & Brown MJF, The impact of host starvation on parasite development and population dynamics in an intestinal trypanosome parasite of bumble bees, Parasitology, 130, (6), 2005, p637 - 642
Parasitology 130 (6)
Host nutrition plays an important role in determining the development and success of parasitic infections. While studies of
vertebrate hosts are accumulating, little is known about how host nutrition affects parasites of invertebrate hosts. Crithidia
bombi is a gut trypanosome parasite of the bumble bee, Bombus terrestris and here we use it as a model system to determine
the impact of host nutrition on the population dynamics and development of micro-parasites in invertebrates. Pollenstarved
bees supported significantly smaller populations of the parasite. In pollen-fed bees the parasite showed a temporal
pattern in development, with promastigote transmission stages appearing at the start of the infection and gradually being
replaced by choanomastigote and amastigote forms. In pollen-starved bees this developmental process was disrupted, and
there was no pattern in the appearance of these three forms. We discuss the implications of these results for parasite
transmission, and speculate about the mechanisms behind these changes.
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