Naive, full-sibling juveniles of Xenopus laevis laevis were exposed to 10, 30, or 50 larvae of the monogenean Protopolystoma xenopodis from an isolate known to produce relatively low adult establishment (typically less than 25% prevalence) in hosts of the same pedigree. Postlarval survival (worms per host) 7 days postinfection (PI), timing from the end of a 10-day infection window, was significantly related and proportional (∼31%) to infection dose. Establishment of newly mature adults 90 days PI was low (0–3 worms/host) and unrelated to infection dose. Results confirm that postlarval mortality is severe in primary infections, and that surviving adult infrapopulations appear to be regulated to a very low level (most often 1 worm/host), even at relatively high larval infection pressures. This density-dependent process could involve direct antagonistic parasite–parasite interactions or indirect interference mediated by parasite-induced host defenses.

You do not currently have access to this content.