parasite populations

Rhonberg rhonberg at aol.com
Sun Jan 19 13:22:50 EST 1997


Recently I had an argument about a research proposal for the study of a
parasite host system. The host is a mammal species (chamois) with probably
more or less distinct population ( I know - a lot definition is involved
here). At least they should intrapopulation differences in isozyme
variations being quite high. In the course of the argument the question
arose where the "limitations" of the ectoparasite populations are (it is a
sarcoptic mite causing mange). Are there any studies on population
differentiation of parasites? Is the parasite population showng similar
intra pop. differences as their host populations do (if they do?) Does the
parasite population on (or in) each host individual show close genetic
relations differeing from the respective populations on the rest of the
host animals? I have never read any studies working on these questions
(which I guess is my fault), but I would be greatful, if you could give me
some help in catching up on relevant research. 
BTW the argument was about the idea of a collegue to investigate the
genetic "composition" of the host populations. If he finds populations
with less mange, he argues that he genetic makeup of the hosts is likely
responsable for the low prevalence of the disease - while I argued that
without data on the genetic make up of the parasite his data are very
difficult to discuss.

Any comments are welcome

Christine Miller



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