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, 8 (10), e1000524

Parasite Evolution and Life History Theory


Parasite Evolution and Life History Theory

Beth F Kochin et al. PLoS Biol.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Figure 1
Figure 1. The life history of the filarial nematode.
The L3 stage of the pathogen enters the vertebrate natural host (the cotton rat) by the bite of a mite where it matures via the L4 stage into adults that produce many tiny Mf (microfilariae) that are responsible for transmission. Mf are taken up by the arthropod vector and mature via the L2 stage to the L3 stage that is transmitted to the vertebrate host. The experimental system uses subcutaneous injection of L3 to to start the infection in inbred laboratory mice.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Predictions and observed results.
A sketch of how the density of the transmission (Mf) stage is altered by IL-5 treatment. The adaptive phenotypic plasticity hypothesis predicts that in the presence of additional IL-5 the parasite should produce Mf earlier and/or at a more rapid rate, but the total amount of Mf produced should be less than in the controls. In contrast with the prediction of the adaptive phenotypic plasticity hypothesis, total Mf production was much greater in the IL-5–treated mice.

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