About this Research Topic
Host manipulation by parasites is a widespread strategy by which parasites alter the phenotype of their hosts to increase transmission success. Alterations can range from subtle changes in behaviour to profound traits modifications. From an ecological point of view, parasitically modified hosts can be considered as new organisms, entailing new interactions and links with the rest of organisms in the ecosystem. From an evolutionary perspective they are viewed as an example of the extended phenotype sensu Dawkins (1982). This topic has generated much interest among researchers of different disciplines, including ecologists, parasitologists, evolutionary biologists, epidemiologists, etc, and has evolved from simple descriptions of new cases to a full integration of the complexity of the phenomenon at different scales of biological organization, from subcellular to the ecosystem. However, although substantial advances have been made in the last decade, there are still important knowledge gaps and new challenges to face. With this research topic we aim to facilitate progress in the study of parasite manipulation, addressing the new challenges presented by current global change, development of new technologies and increasing communication among scientists of different disciplines. Manuscripts that address the following themes are particularly welcome: - Parasite manipulation in a multi-stress context. For example, studies addressing interactions between pollution and manipulative parasites (environmental parasitology), the effect of climate change or other anthropogenic or natural stressors. - Parasite manipulation in the context of biological invasions. - New approaches to the study of parasite manipulation. - Multiple infection contexts where a single host is infected with several interacting parasites. - Therapeutic implications of host manipulation by parasites. - Proximate mechanisms underlying parasite manipulation using omic tools and other approaches. - Host-parasite systems for which new knowledge have been recently acquired - Ecological implications - Integrating different spatial and temporal scales. - Multidimensionality of host manipulation by parasites (alteration of multiple characteristics of the host phenotype) -Do microbiota manipulate host behaviour or not, according to the assumptions of manipulation theory? We invite authors to submit empirical or theoretical studies on any type of organisms, at any organisation level and in any kind of environment.
Keywords: parasite manipulation, biological invasions, multidimensionality, proximate mechanisms, ecological consequences
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