Do cleaner fish control fish infections transmitted by parasites? (2004–2005)

Cleaner fish dramatically reduce parasitic gnathiid isopod numbers on fish. Recent studies however suggest cleaners may help control or possibly promote transmission of blood infections among fishes because the gnathiids cleaners remove can harbour blood parasites. We will: examine the effects of blood parasites of fish; identify the endoparasites of gnathiids; determine the role of gnathiids as vectors of infections; investigate the role of cleaners in controlling these infections; and determine whether cleaners become infected with parasites and could therefore act as infection vectors. This study will deliver a completely different view of one of the most popular examples of mutualism.
Grant type:
UQ External Support Enabling Grant
Funded by:
The University of Queensland