Parasitic infection of a single individual can affect an entire group: the case of sticklebacks fish

in Amazing Nature2 years ago

Hi #AmazingNature Community!

Always wishing everyone a good day. Let's remember that the sun rises for @everyone!😃🌞

Once again, I bring you content that I consider to be of quality, this takes several hours of reading, comprehension and writing.💡📚

But more than that, this is one more publication so that together we can appreciate and contemplate how wonderful our nature is! I prefer the marine and aquatic environment, that is my specialty🐬🐟🦈🦀🐢🐳🐙 I hope you enjoy!🐬🐟🦈🦀🐢🐳🐙🤗

I remember that I had already used a phrase like: "sometimes organisms that small can cause big problems" oh yep! I already remembered:

In that link I talked about how small organisms cause big catastrophes like the red tide. Here in this post something similar happens, but this time the catastrophe goes to a group of the individual who was infected...


Photo by Tegan Taylor

hive separador.png

A research published by Demandt and collaborators
Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, Germany


We all know the consequences of infection by a parasite, as it greatly affects the host. Parasites with complex life cycles have developed strategies so that they can affect an entire group and not just the host (Moore, 2002).

Fortunately for the host, parasites that have complex life cycles, and therefore long duration, are not transmitted directly between individuals of the same host species. However, if there is an infected individual in the group, it can have serious consequences, especially if it is a united group and where there is collective work. As I said before, the parasite alters the behavior of the infected individual, and this could lead to others trying to imitate this, or it simply affects others (Couzin, 2009).


Photo by James MacDonald

hive separador.png

To verify this, an experiment was carried out with sticklebacks fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and their infection with the tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus, a clear example that is used in parasitology (Barber, 2010).
The three-spined stickleback is a small teleost fish found in freshwater and coastal marine habitats throughout much of the world. They are fish that swim in large schools, this with the aim of not being predated (Wootton, 1976).


Photo by Aquafood UK "Gasterosteus aculeatus"

The tapeworm S. solidus is a frequent parasite in sticklebacks (Wootton, 1976). But with the characteristic that it does not reproduce inside the fish, if not in the stomach of the birds that eat the sticklebacks.


Photo by Nina Hafer "it's a sticklebacks and... tapeworm inside"😰

The eggs are then passed with the bird's feces into the water, where the larvae hatch and infect the first intermediate host, a small crustacean, the sticklebacks eat the small crustaceans, and so the cycle repeats(Hammerschmidt, 2009). Impressive, isn't it?😱🐟

hive separador.png

Experiment results

Three elements were used for the experiment:

A group of infected sticklebacks🐡

A group of uninfected sticklebacks🐟

An artificial bird located outside the habitat of sticklebacks🦆

It was observed that, indeed, the infected individuals had alterations in their behavior, even they were separated from the group. Thus, uninfected individuals were more likely to escape to a safe area after the bird attack. It seems as if the infected individuals did not care so much to move away from the area where the birds were attacking!
hive separador.png

Interesting fact! According to the results of this experiment, uninfected individuals behave as if they were!


Photo by Eizaguirre Lab

hive separador.png

I don't know about you, but I am impressed by how parasites design new methods to infect, the most impressive thing is that these methods turn out to be effective❗️

Hive Foot 2.png

hive separador.png

DNA - Densifying Nature-Appreciation :

Amazing Nature Curator - Moderator


DNA is an organization to foster and DENSIFY NATURE-APPRECIATION which aims to establish REPORTS OF BIODIVERSITY DATA that is contributed by all of us Hiveans and subsequently cataloged.

Admin: @adalger (leader/curator/ #amazingnaturecontest)📸

Therefore DNA searches for HIGH-QUALITY posts that aim to DESCRIBE and determine the BIODIVERSITY AROUND YOU with added EXPLANATIONS and INFORMATION. For these informative posts they offer a CURATION SERVICE using the account. It is also a CURATION TRAIL. Just add the #dna TAG if you think that any of your posts is what they are looking for.

AmBan.jpgClickable Banner for free usage. Redirects to the Amazing Nature Community

AmNaBa.pngClickable Banner by @barbara-orenya


Only saw this now and a very well detailed post here my friend.
Amazing discoveries that were made here


Thanks @papilloncharity! Blessings for you too😁😊

My pleasure!

Cheers and !BEER

Hey @juanbg, here is a little bit of BEER from @papilloncharity for you. Enjoy it!

Learn how to earn FREE BEER each day by staking your BEER.

Yes, this is one of the biggest mysteries in biology to me, how these parasites can influence the behavior of animals, like the lancet liver fluke (Dicrocoelium dendriticum) infects an ant and manipulates her somehow so that during daytime the ant climbs on the top of a grass blade and convulsivly locks her mandibles in it, thus increasing the chance of getting eaten by a cow. At evening she comes down and repeats the behavior on the next morning.

@stayoutofherz Yes, of course, it is most mysterious and spooky, but very interesting.
I specialize in marine biology but I imagine that also in land-environment there must be incredible cases such as that of "zombie" ants

Congratulations @juanbg! You have completed the following achievement on the Hive blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You distributed more than 3000 upvotes. Your next target is to reach 4000 upvotes.

You can view your badges on your board and compare yourself to others in the Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Do not miss the last post from @hivebuzz:

October 2020 is the World Mental Heath Month