Journal article

Variation of parasite load and immune parameters in two species of New Zealand shore crabs

Jessica Dittmer, Anson V Koehler, Freddie-Jeanne Richard, Robert Poulin, Mathieu Sicard



While parasites are likely to encounter several potential intermediate hosts in natural communities, a parasite's actual range of compatible hosts is limited by numerous biological factors ranging from behaviour to immunology. In crustaceans, two major components of immunity are haemocytes and the prophenoloxidase system involved in the melanisation of foreign particles. Here, we analysed metazoan parasite prevalence and loads in the two sympatric crab species Hemigrapsus crenulatus and Macrophthalmus hirtipes at two sites. In parallel, we analysed the variation in haemocyte concentration and amount of circulating phenoloxidase (PO) in the haemolymph of the same individuals in an attempt to ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the entire parasitology research group at the University of Otago; Karen Judge for providing equipment; Charlotte Seifert for assistance during field work and Jean-Baptiste Ferdy as well as Ning Liu for help with the programming in R. This project was funded by the Erasmus Mundus Program "European Master in Applied Ecology" (EMAE).