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The Effect of Parasitism by Trypanorhynch Plerocercoids (Cestoda, Trypanorhyncha) on the Digestive Enzyme Activity of Carcinus Maenas (Linnaeus, 1758) (Decapoda, Portunidae)

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European green crabs, Carcinus maenas, infected with trypanorhynch plerocercoids, Dollfusiella martini were studied to determine whether larval cestodiasis had an effect on the digestive enzyme activity of the green crab host. We collected 28 green crabs from Swan Bay, Victoria, removed their digestive glands, counted the plerocercoids and assayed the digestive gland for three enzymes: trypsin, lipase, and α-glucosidase. Regression analysis showed a significant negative relationship between levels of infection and the specific activity of trypsin (r2 = 0.17, d.f. = 1,22, p < 0.05, y = −3.91E-06 x + 1.683E-04) and lipase (r2 = 0.40, d.f. = 1,23, p < 0.001, y = −2.89E-05 x + 1.615E-03), i.e., the higher the level of infection, the lower the trypsin and lipase activity. No relationship was found for α-glucosidase activity. We also found a positive correlation (r2 = 0.41, d.f. = 27, p < 0.05) between intensity of infection and host size, a common host/parasite phenomenon. We conclude that infection by plerocercoids of the trypanorhynch, Dollfusiella martini, adversely affects digestive gland function of green crabs by reducing the specific activity of the digestive enzymes trypsin and lipase. This reduction in enzyme activity may be attributed to the destruction of enzyme producing F-cells resulting from plerocercoid infection of the digestive gland. Des crabes verts européens, Carcinus maenas, infectés par des plérocercoïdes Dollfusiella martini, ont été étudiés afin de déterminer si les cestodoses larvaires avaient un effet sur l'activité des enzymes digestives de l'hôte crabe vert. Nous avons collecté 28 crabes à Swan Bay, Victoria, prélevé leurs glandes digestives, compté les plérocercoïdes et testé la glande digestive pour trois enzymes : la trypsine, la lipase et l' α-glucosidase. L'analyse de régression a montré une relation négative significative entre les niveaux d'infection et l'activité spécifique de la trypsine (r2 = 0,17; d.f. = 1,22; p < 0,05; y = −3,91E-06x + 1,683E-04) et de la lipase (r2 = 0, 40; d.f. = 1,23; p < 0,001; y = −2,89E-05x + 1,615E-03); plus le niveau d'infection est élevé, plus l'activité de la trypsine et celle de la lipase sont faibles. Aucune relation n'a été trouvée concernant l'activité de l' α-glucosidase. Nous avons trouvé une corrélation positive (r2 = 0,41, d.f. = 27, p < 0,05) entre l'intensité de l'infection et la taille de l'hôte, un phénomène commun de la relation hôte/parasite. Nous concluons que l'infection par les plérocercoïdes du trypanorhynque Dollfusiella martini, affecte la fonction de la glande digestive des crabes verts en réduisant l'activité spécifique des enzymes digestives, trypsine et lipase. Cette réduction de l'activité enzymatique peut être attribuée à la destruction des cellules F secrétant les enzymes, résultat de l'infection de la glande digestive par les plérocercoïdes.


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