SS1.08 Sensory Ecology, Neurophysiology and Behavior of Zooplankton
Date: Monday, June 10, 2002
Time: 11:30:00 AM
Location: Carson B
 
FingerutJT, UCLA, Dept of Biology, Los Angeles, USA, jtf@ucla.edu
Zimmer, C, A, UCLA, Dept of Biology, Los Angeles, USA, cazimmer@obee.ucla.edu
Zimmer, R, K, UCLA, Dept of Biology, Los Angeles, USA, z@protos.lifesci.ucla.edu
 
FROM HOST TO HOST: INTERACTION OF BEHAVIOR AND ENVIRONMENT ON PARASITE TRANSMISSION
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The trematode Himasthla rhigedana moves from its 1st to 2nd intermediary hosts as a short-lived (~4hr) free-swimming cercarial larva. Here we quantify the interaction between cercaria and their environment throughout the entire transmission process: emergence from the first host (production), transport in the water column, and subsequent recognition and infection of the second host (settlement). Through experimentation in the lab and real-time in-situ studies of all three stages, we have defined what cues and behaviors are important to localize larval distributions where their chance of encountering a suitable host is maximized. Additionally, we are able to predict when such behaviors are relevant in the face of variability in their physical environment (particularly turbulence). As the transmission of parasite infection between hosts through free-swimming larvae has broad similarities with the dispersal and settlement of other (non-parasitic) larvae, the results of this study are relevant to topics beyond the parasite studied here. Questions regarding larval transport and settlement can be addressed in this tractable system, as well as parasite specific issues such as the control of medically and agriculturally important trematode species.