Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Professor Sarah Budischak

Reader 2

Professor Matthew Faldyn

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Rights Information

© 2020 Ananya Sagar



Co-infections occur frequently across humans & wildlife, and can have effects on host health. Despite the prevalence of microparasite-helminth co-infections, majority of the research focuses either on singular infections or on concurrent infections in a laboratory setting. This fails to take into account the interspecific interactions between the multiple parasites and the host in natural settings. The interactions could be direct by resource competition, or indirect via the host immune system. In our research, we studied the relationship between nematodes and coccidia in their host, Peromyscus leucopus mice, at the Mountain Lake Biological Station, Virginia. We further evaluated the effects of deworming treatment on the mice to determine the underlying interactions of the parasites in their natural habitat. Our study indicates that although interactions are difficult to study without any perturbation, deworming treatment can be used as an effective tool to infer the mechanisms of parasite interactions. Our results from the cross-sectional analysis point to immune mediated interactions within the host, but this is complicated by our findings from deworming treatment analysis which suggest resource competition as the interaction. Overall, the major trends are consistent with previous literature on co-infections in mice species.