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Invasive slipper limpets <i>Crepidula fornicata</i> are hosts for sterilizing digenean parasites
Parasitology, Volume: 149, Issue: 6, Pages: 811 - 819
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Invasion and spread of alien species can drive ecosystem changes, such as, the dynamics ofinfectious diseases. The non-native, marine gastropod Crepidula fornicata has become established across European coastlines over the last century, but there remains little insight into itsdisease carrying capac...
Cambridge University Press (CUP)
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Invasion and spread of alien species can drive ecosystem changes, such as, the dynamics ofinfectious diseases. The non-native, marine gastropod Crepidula fornicata has become established across European coastlines over the last century, but there remains little insight into itsdisease carrying capacity and potential role as a source/sink of parasites. To address thisknowledge gap, we surveyed limpets from two sites in South Wales, UK for signatures of disease/pathology using polymerase chain reaction-based methods (haemolymph) and histology(solid tissue). We encountered trematode-like parasites in ∼1% individuals (5 out of 462).Three limpets displayed gross damage in the gonad, i.e. castration, and encysted metacercariaewere found in the muscle of two other individuals. On the basis of 28S rDNA and internaltranscribed spacer 2 genomic targets, we identified the gonad-infecting trematodes asmembers of the family Microphallidae – putative novel species related to the genusLongiductotrema. Earlier reports suggest that C. fornicata is not a host for trematodeparasites in either its native or alien range but may act as a sink due to its filter feedinglifestyle. We provide clear evidence that C. fornicata is parasitized by at least one trematodespecies at two sites in Wales, UK, and likely act as a spillback or accidental host among nativelittorinids
Disease connectivity; epizootiology; invertebrate pathology; microphallids; parasitic castration
College of Science
Operations were part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland–Wales Cooperation programme, BLUEFISH, awarded to C. J. C. and A. F. R. A BLUEFISH innovation bursary
and a College of Science (Swansea University) doctoral training grant supported E. A. Q.