2020-12-03Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1111/jfd.13301
Encapsulation of Anguillicola crassus reduces the abundance of adult parasite stages in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla)
Encapsulation of the parasitic nematode Anguillicola crassus Kuwahara, Niimi & Hagaki is commonly observed in its native host, the Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica Temminck & Schlegel). Encapsulation has also been described in a novel host, the European eel (A. anguilla L.), and there is evidence that encapsulation frequency has increased since the introduction of A. crassus. We examined whether encapsulation of A. crassus provides an advantage to its novel host in Lake Müggelsee, NE Germany. We provide the first evidence that encapsulation was associated with reduced abundance of adult A. crassus. This pattern was consistent in samples taken 3 months apart. There was no influence of infection on the expression of the two metabolic genes studied, but the number of capsules was negatively correlated with the expression of two mhc II genes of the adaptive immune response, suggesting a reduced activation. Interestingly, eels that encapsulated A. crassus had higher abundances of two native parasites compared with non‐encapsulating eels. We propose that the response of A. anguilla to infection by A. crassus may interfere with its reaction to other co‐occurring parasites.