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Bondy, France

Chouvenc T.,University of Florida | Su N.-Y.,University of Florida | Robert A.,University of Burgundy | Robert A.,Center France Nord
Florida Entomologist

We previously showed that in the subterranean termite Reticulitermes flavipes conidia of Metarhizium anisopliae did not germinate in the alimentary tract of living termites and the antifungal activity remained for 2 d post mortem in the gut. We have confirmed that this mechanism is common throughout the termite phylogeny by extending our observations to 5 additional species, from 5 different families. Grooming and ingestion of microorganisms from the cuticle of nestmate was found to be consistent in all the species and none of the conidia found in the alimentary tracts germinated. Source

Diouf M.,University Paris Est Creteil | Roy V.,University Paris Est Creteil | Mora P.,University Paris Est Creteil | Frechault S.,University Paris Est Creteil | And 5 more authors.

Previous surveys of the gut microbiota of termites have been limited to the worker caste. Termite gut microbiota has been well documented over the last decades and consists mainly of lineages specific to the gut microbiome which are maintained across generations. Despite this intimate relationship, little is known of how symbionts are transmitted to each generation of the host, especially in higher termites where proctodeal feeding has never been reported. The bacterial succession across life stages of the wood-feeding higher termite Nasutitermes arborum was characterized by 16S rRNA gene deep sequencing. The microbial community in the eggs, mainly affiliated to Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria, was markedly different from the communities in the following developmental stages. In the first instar and last instar larvae and worker caste termites, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria were less abundant than Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes, Fibrobacteres and the candidate phylum TG3 from the last instar larvae. Most of the representatives of these phyla (except Firmicutes) were identified as termite-gut specific lineages, although their relative abundances differed. The most salient difference between last instar larvae and worker caste termites was the very high proportion of Spirochaetes, most of which were affiliated to the Treponema Ic, Ia and If subclusters, in workers. The results suggest that termite symbionts are not transmitted from mother to offspring but become established by a gradual process allowing the offspring to have access to the bulk of the microbiota prior to the emergence of workers, and, therefore, presumably through social exchanges with nursing workers. Copyright: © 2015 Diouf et al. Source

Roche B.,Center France Nord | Roche B.,University of Michigan | Roche B.,IRD Montpellier | Rohani P.,University of Michigan | And 4 more authors.
American Naturalist

Vector-borne zoonotic disease agents, which are known to often infect multiple species in the wild, have been identified as an emerging threat to human health. Understanding the ecology of these pathogens is especially timely, given the continued anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity. Here, we integrate empirical scaling laws from community ecology within a theoretical reservoir-vectorpathogen framework to study the transmission consequences of host community structure and diversity within large assemblages. We show that heterogeneity in susceptibility of the reservoir species promotes transmission "dilution," while a greater vector species richness "amplifies" it. These contrasting transmission impacts of vector and reservoir communities can yield very different epidemiological patterns. We demonstrate that vector and reservoir species richness can explain per se most of the pathogen transmission observed for West Nile virus in different parts of the United States, giving empirical support for the validity of these opposing theoretically predicted effects. We conclude that, in the context of disease emergence, the integration of a community perspective can provide critical insights into the understanding of pathogen transmission in wildlife. © 2012 by The University of Chicago. Source

Chouvenc T.,University of Florida | Chouvenc T.,University of Burgundy | Robert A.,Center France Nord | Semon E.,University of Burgundy | Bordereau C.,University of Burgundy
Insectes Sociaux

In order to maintain healthy colonies, termite workers dispose of the cadavers of dead nest mates by cannibalism, burial, or necrophoresis. However, when multiple reproductives found a new colony by pleometrosis, there are no worker castes at the early stages of the foundation to eliminate or isolate the corpses. In this study, we showed that in young pleometrotic colonies, reproductives of Pseudacanthotermes spiniger had the ability to perform this task. Because of the claustral conditions, and the potential inability of the dealates to feed on their own, their behaviour was restricted to the burial of the cadaver within the initial chamber. This burial behaviour, previously not reported in the reproductive caste of termites, appeared to be induced by chemical signals released by the corpses during decomposition, among which various fatty acids, indole and phenol were the most active. The burial finally resulted in the physical isolation of corpses, thus reducing the chances for opportunistic pathogens to spread among the rest of the individuals. © 2011 International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI). Source

Roche B.,Center France Nord | Roche B.,University of Michigan | Roche B.,IRD Montpellier | Dobson A.P.,Princeton University | And 4 more authors.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

The increasing number of zoonotic diseases spilling over from a range of wild animal species represents a particular concern for public health, especially in light of the current dramatic trend of biodiversity loss. To understand the ecology of these multi-host pathogens and their response to environmental degradation and species extinctions, it is necessary to develop a theoretical framework that takes into account realistic community assemblages. Here, we present a multi-host species epidemiological model that includes empirically determined patterns of diversity and composition derived from community ecology studies. We use this framework to study the interaction between wildlife diversity and directly transmitted pathogen dynamics. First, we demonstrate that variability in community composition does not affect significantly the intensity of pathogen transmission. We also show that the consequences of community diversity can differentially impact the prevalence of pathogens and the number of infectious individuals. Finally, we show that ecological interactions among host species have a weaker influence on pathogen circulation than inter-species transmission rates. We conclude that integration of a community perspective to study wildlife pathogens is crucial, especially in the context of understanding and predicting infectious disease emergence events. © 2012 The Royal Society. Source

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