Correlation Engine 2.0
Clear Search sequence regions

Sizes of these terms reflect their relevance to your search.

Parasites can affect their hosts in various ways, and this implies that parasites may act as additional biotic stressors in a multiple-stressor scenario, resembling conditions often found in the field if, for example, pollutants and parasites occur simultaneously. Therefore, parasites represent important modulators of host reactions in ecotoxicological studies when measuring the response of organisms to stressors such as pollutants. In the present study, we introduce the most important groups of parasites occurring in organisms commonly used in ecotoxicological studies ranging from laboratory to field investigations. After briefly explaining their life cycles, we focus on parasite stages affecting selected ecotoxicologically relevant target species belonging to crustaceans, molluscs, and fish. We included ecotoxicological studies that consider the combination of effects of parasites and pollutants on the respective model organism with respect to aquatic host-parasite systems. We show that parasites from different taxonomic groups (e.g., Microsporidia, Monogenea, Trematoda, Cestoda, Acanthocephala, and Nematoda) clearly modulate the response to stressors in their hosts. The combined effects of environmental stressors and parasites can range from additive, antagonistic to synergistic. Our study points to potential drawbacks of ecotoxicological tests if parasite infections of test organisms, especially from the field, remain undetected and unaddressed. If these parasites are not detected and quantified, their physiological effects on the host cannot be separated from the ecotoxicological effects. This may render this type of ecotoxicological test erroneous. In laboratory tests, for example to determine effect or lethal concentrations, the presence of a parasite can also have a direct effect on the concentrations to be determined and thus on the subsequently determined security levels, such as predicted no-effect concentrations. Environ Toxicol Chem 2023;42:1946-1959. © 2023 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of SETAC. © 2023 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of SETAC.


Daniel Grabner, Louisa E Rothe, Bernd Sures. Parasites and Pollutants: Effects of Multiple Stressors on Aquatic Organisms. Environmental toxicology and chemistry. 2023 Sep;42(9):1946-1959

Expand section icon Mesh Tags

Expand section icon Substances

PMID: 37283208

View Full Text