Transmission of Corynosoma australe (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) from fishes to South American sea lions Otaria flavescens in Patagonia, Argentina.
Parasitol Res. 2019 Jan 04;:
Authors: Hernández-Orts JS, Montero FE, García NA, Crespo EA, Raga JA, García-Varela M, Aznar FJ
Acanthocephalans display a two-host life cycle that involves arthropods as intermediate hosts and vertebrates as definitive hosts. Some species also use paratenic hosts to bridge the trophic gap between both obligatory hosts. However, the relative role of these paratenic hosts in the transmission to definitive hosts has seldom been assessed quantitatively. We report on infection patterns of cystacanths of Corynosoma australe Johnston, 1937 in 20 common teleost species and the Argentine shortfin squid Illex argentinus (Castellanos) from the Patagonian shelf of Argentina. We also explore the role of different fish species in the transmission of C. australe to the most important definitive host in the area, i.e. the South American sea lion Otaria flavescens Shaw. Cystacanths of C. australe were found in all host species except Heliconus lahillei Norman, Merluccius hubbsi Marini and I. argentinus. In eight fish species, the prevalence of C. australe was > 50% and mean intensity > 4, i.e. Acanthistius patachonicus (Jenyns), Nemadactylus bergi (Norman), Paralichthys isosceles Jordan, Percophis brasiliensis Quoy & Gaimard, Prionotus nudigula Ginsburg, Scomber colias Gmelin, Raneya brasiliensis (Kaup) and Xystreurys rasile (Jordan). Two surveys on the trophic ecology of South American sea lions in the study area consistently found a generalist diet dominated by M. hubbsi, and data on the frequency of occurrence and number of other fish and cephalopod species in stomach contents strongly suggest that only R. brasiliensis may play a prominent role in the transmission of C. australe. This result raises interesting questions on the costs of paratenicity.