Parasitol Res 2021 Feb 15;120(2):451-459. Epub 2021 Jan 15.
Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Swiss Institute for Dryland Environmental and Energy Research, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Midreshet Ben-Gurion, Sede Boqer Campus, 8499000, Beersheba, Israel.
We studied the success of fleas, Synosternus cleopatrae and Xenopsylla ramesis, in switching to a novel host by establishing experimental lines maintained on different hosts for 18 generations. Fleas fed on principal (P-line) or novel hosts, either sympatric with (S-line) or allopatric to (A-line) a flea and its principal host, then we assessed their reproductive performance via the number and size of eggs. We compared reproductive performance between hosts within a line and between lines within a host asking: (a) whether fleas adapt to a novel host species after multiple generations; (b) if yes, whether the pattern of adaptation differs between novel host species sympatric with or allopatric to a flea and its principal host; and (c) adaptation to a novel host is accompanied with a loss of success in exploitation of an original host. Read More