This is a report of the prevalence, transmission and intensity of infection of a microsporidian sex ratio distorter in natural populations of its crustacean host Gammarus duebeni. Prevalence in the adult host population reflects differences in the intensity of infection in transovarially infected embryos and in adult gonadal tissue. The efficiency of transovarial parasite transmission to young also differs between populations, but this alone is insufficient to explain observed patterns of prevalence. Infection intensity may be important in determining future infection of target tissue in the adult and subsequent transmission to future host generations. We consider patterns of parasite infection in terms of selection on transmission and virulence.
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