RMCA literature published elsewhere
Carolus, H., Muzarabani, K., Hammoud, C., Schols, R., Volckaert, F., Barson, M. & Huyse, T. 2019. ‘A cascade of biological invasions and parasite spillback in man-made Lake Kariba’. Science of the Total Environment 659: 1283 - 1292. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.307 . I.F. 4.6.
Article in a scientific Journal / Article in a Journal
Parasite spillback, the infection of a non-indigenous organism by a native parasite, is a highly important although understudied component of ecological invasion dynamics. Here, through the first analysis of the parasite fauna of lymnaeid gastropods of Lake Kariba (Zimbabwe). We illustrate how the creation of an artificial lake may lead to a cascade of biological invasions in which an invasive aquatic plant promotes the proliferation of invasive gastropods, which in turn alters the epidemiology of trematodiases of potential medical and veterinary importance. Using a new multiplex Rapid Diagnostic PCR assay, we assessed the prevalence of Fasciola sp. infections in the gastropod populations. Both gastropod hosts and trematode parasites were identified using DNA barcoding. We provide the first record of the invasive North-American gastropod Pseudosuccinea columella in Lake Kariba. This species was found at 14 out of 16 sampled sites and its abundance was strongly positively correlated with the abundance of the invasive South-American water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes). About 65% of the P. columella specimens analysed were infected with a hitherto unknown Fasciola species. Phylogenetic analyses indicate close affinity to Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica, which cause fasciolosis, an important liver disease affecting both ruminants and humans. In addition, another non-native Lymnaeid species was found: a Radix sp. that clustered closely with a Vietnamese Radix species. Radix sp. hosted both amphistome and Fasciola trematodes. By linking an invasion cascade and parasite spillback, this study shows how both processes can act in combination to lead to potentially important epidemiological changes.