Document Detail

Distribution of Pholeter gastrophilus (Digenea) within the stomach of four odontocete species: the role of the diet and digestive physiology of hosts.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16719957     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We compared the distribution of the digenean Pholeter gastrophilus in the stomach of 27 harbour porpoises, Phocoena phocoena, 27 striped dolphins, Stenella coeruleoalba, 18 bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, and 100 long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas. The stomach of these species is composed of 4 chambers of different size, structure and function. In all species, P. gastrophilus was largely restricted to the glandular region of the stomach, but the parasite tended to favour the fundic chamber in bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises, the pyloric chamber in pilot whales, and none in striped dolphins. However, predictability at infrapopulation level was generally low, suggesting a weak preference of P. gastrophilus for any of the chambers. Three hypotheses were tested to investigate a common cause for the distribution of P. gastrophilus in all host species, namely, colonization of chambers was (1) sequential, (2) dependent on chamber size, or (3) dependent on the passage time of food through the whole stomach. The latter hypothesis was indirectly tested by assuming, based on previous evidence from other vertebrates, that the greater the size of the stomach and/or the energy content of prey, the greater the delay of food passage. We found no compelling evidence that chamber colonization was sequential, or related to chamber size in any species. However, the distribution of P. gastrophilus was significantly more anteriad when the host species had larger stomachs and, particularly, when hosts fed on prey with higher caloric content. Accordingly, the stomach distribution of P. gastrophilus at this scale seems to be passively driven by features of the diet and digestive physiology of each host species. This study provides a general framework to formulate null hypotheses in future studies on microhabitat choice by parasites.
F J Aznar; P Fognani; J A Balbuena; M Pietrobelli; J A Raga
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2006-05-24
Journal Detail:
Title:  Parasitology     Volume:  133     ISSN:  0031-1820     ISO Abbreviation:  Parasitology     Publication Date:  2006 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-08-09     Completed Date:  2007-09-10     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401121     Medline TA:  Parasitology     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  369-80     Citation Subset:  IM    
Marine Zoology Unit, Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Valencia, P.O. Box 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain.
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MeSH Terms
Computer Simulation
Confounding Factors (Epidemiology)
Diet / veterinary*
Digestive System Physiological Phenomena*
Dolphins / parasitology*
Models, Biological
Models, Statistical
Stomach / anatomy & histology,  parasitology*
Trematoda / classification,  isolation & purification*
Trematode Infections / epidemiology,  parasitology,  veterinary*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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