Life history and biology of Fascioloides magna (Trematoda) and its native and exotic hosts

M. Malcicka

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Host-parasite interactions are model systems in a wide range of ecological and evolutionary fields and may be utilized for testing numerous theories and hypotheses in terms of both applied and fundamental research. For instance, they are important in terms of studying coevolutionary arms races, species invasions, and in economic terms the health of livestock and humans. Here, I present a comprehensive description of the life history, biogeography, and biology of the giant liver fluke, Fascioloides magna, and both its intermediate and definitive hosts. F. magna is native to North America where it uses several species of freshwater snails (Lymnaeidae) as intermediate hosts and four main species of ungulates as definitive hosts. The fluke has also been introduced into parts of Europe where it is now established in two lymnaeid snail species and three ungulate species. This study gives a comprehensive description of different developmental stages of the fluke in its two host classes, as well as detailed notes on historical and present distributions of F. magna in North America and Europe as well as in its snail and deer hosts (with range maps provided). Aberrant and dead-end hosts are also discussed in detail, and descriptive phylogenies are provided for all of the organisms. I briefly discuss how F. magna represents a model example of multiple-level ecological fitting, a phenomenon not yet described in the empirical literature. Lastly, I explore possible future scenarios for fluke invasion in Europe, where it is currently expanding its range.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1381-1397
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume5
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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