Use of molecular markers to investigate epidemiology of and host manipulation by the invasive parasite Dicrocoelium dendriticum

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van Paridon, Bradley
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Biological Sciences
Parasite distributions are rapidly expanding, in large part due to human mediated translocations of hosts. Thus, instances of parasite-spread to new hosts are common. Management of these emerging parasites depends on understanding the host-shifts occurring within invasive areas and the pathway of invasion; both of which can be investigated using molecular markers. Dicrocoelium dendriticum is one such emerging parasite, which has invaded Alberta. Here, I use molecular markers to identify two local Albertan hosts colonized by D. dendriticum; the snail Oreohelix subrudis and the ant Formica aserva. I also developed a panel of nine microsatellite markers that showed two separate introductions of the parasite into Canada. Furthermore, the markers also identified “clumped clonal transmission” throughout the life-cycle, which has implications for the potential evolution of cooperation via kin selection, in this behaviour altering parasite.
complex life cycle trematodes , host manipulation , lancet liver fluke , microsatellite markers , molecular markers , terrestrial life cycle , Liver flukes -- Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (Alta. and Sask.) , Parasites -- Behavior -- Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (Alta. and Sask.) , Parasites -- Life cycles -- Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (Alta. and Sask.) , Host-parasite relationships , Trematoda -- Life cycles -- Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (Alta. and Sask.) , Microsatellites (Genetics) , Molecular parasitology , Molecular epidemiology , Parasitology -- Research