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Atlantic salmon infected with salmon lice are more susceptible to new lice infections

Abstract : Aggregation is commonly observed for macroparasites, but its adaptive value remains unclear. Heavy infestations intensities may lead to a decrease in some fitness-related traits of parasites (e.g. parasite fecundity or survival). However, to a dioecious parasite, increased aggregation could also increase the chance of finding individuals of the opposite sex. In a laboratory experiment, we tested if previous experience with salmon lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) affected susceptibility of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) to later exposure to the same parasite species. We found that currently infected fish got higher intensities of new lice than naive fish. This suggests that hosts already carrying parasites are more susceptible to new lice infections. For this dioecious parasite, such positive density dependence might be adaptive, ensuring successful reproduction under conditions of low lice densities by increasing the probability of both sexes infecting the same host.
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Soumis le : mardi 22 mars 2022 - 16:49:56
Dernière modification le : samedi 17 septembre 2022 - 16:12:26




M. S. Ugelvik, T. Mo, Adèle Mennerat, A. Skorping. Atlantic salmon infected with salmon lice are more susceptible to new lice infections. Journal of Fish Diseases, Wiley, 2017, 40 (3), pp.311-317. ⟨10.1111/jfd.12514⟩. ⟨hal-03616644⟩



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