CQUniversity
Browse
Cleaner fish are potential super-spreaders.pdf (2.13 MB)

Cleaner fish are potential super-spreaders

Download (2.13 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-08, 01:00 authored by P Narvaez, RA Morais, David VaughanDavid Vaughan, AS Grutter, KS Hutson
Cleaning symbiosis is critical for maintaining healthy biological communities in tropical marine ecosystems. However, potential negative impacts of mutualism, such as the transmission of pathogens and parasites during cleaning interactions, have rarely been evaluated. Here, we investigated whether the dedicated bluestreak cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, is susceptible to and can transmit generalist ectoparasites between client fish. In laboratory experiments, L. dimidiatus were exposed to infective stages of three generalist ectoparasite species with contrasting life histories. Labroides dimidiatus were susceptible to infection by the gnathiid isopod Gnathia aureamaculosa, but were significantly less susceptible to the ciliate protozoan Cryptocaryon irritans and the monogenean flatworm Neobenedenia girellae, compared with control host species (Coris batuensis or Lates calcarifer). The potential for parasite transmission from a client fish to the cleaner fish was simulated using experimentally transplanted mobile adult (i.e. egg-producing) monogenean flatworms on L. dimidiatus. Parasites remained attached to cleaners for an average of 2 days, during which parasite egg production continued, but was reduced compared with that on control fish. Over this timespan, a wild cleaner may engage in several thousand cleaning interactions, providing numerous opportunities for mobile parasites to exploit cleaners as vectors. Our study provides the first experimental evidence that L. dimidiatus exhibits resistance to infective stages of some parasites yet has the potential to temporarily transport adult parasites. We propose that some parasites that evade being eaten by cleaner fish could exploit cleaning interactions as a mechanism for transmission and spread.

Funding

Category 2 - Other Public Sector Grants Category

History

Volume

225

Issue

15

Start Page

1

End Page

12

Number of Pages

12

eISSN

1477-9145

ISSN

0022-0949

Publisher

Company of Biologists

Additional Rights

CC-BY

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • Yes

Acceptance Date

2022-07-05

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Medium

Print-Electronic

Journal

The Journal of Experimental Biology

Article Number

ARTN jeb244469