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Host defense or parasite cue: Skin secretions mediate interactions between amphibians and their parasites
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  • Martin Mayer,
  • Lia Schlippe Justicia,
  • Richard Shine,
  • Gregory Brown
Martin Mayer
Aarhus University
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Lia Schlippe Justicia
University of La Laguna
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Richard Shine
Macquarie University
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Gregory Brown
Macquarie University
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Abstract

Amphibian skin secretions (substances produced by the amphibian plus microbiota) plausibly act as a first line of defense against pathogen attack, but may also provide chemical cues for pathogens. To clarify the role of skin secretions in host-parasite interactions, we conducted experiments using cane toads (Rhinella marina) and their lungworms (Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala) from the range-core and invasion-front of the introduced anurans’ range in Australia. Depending on the geographic area, toad skin secretions can reduce the longevity and infection success of parasite larvae, or attract lungworm larvae and enhance their infection success. These striking differences between the two regions were due both to differential responses of the larvae, and differential effects of the skin secretions. Our data suggest that skin secretions play an important role in host-parasite interactions in anurans, and that the arms race between a host and parasite can rapidly generate spatial variation in critical features of that interaction.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

06 Mar 2021Submitted to Ecology Letters
08 Mar 2021Submission Checks Completed
08 Mar 2021Assigned to Editor
23 Mar 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
18 Apr 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Apr 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
28 Apr 20211st Revision Received
28 Apr 2021Assigned to Editor
28 Apr 2021Submission Checks Completed
30 Apr 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
11 May 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
16 May 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
19 May 20212nd Revision Received
19 May 2021Assigned to Editor
19 May 2021Submission Checks Completed
26 May 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
26 May 2021Editorial Decision: Accept