In recent studies of associations between host and parasite, there has been a tendency to consider the internal defence mechanisms of the mollusc as pivotal in the relationship. However, evolution is a population-based phenomenon, and it is by considering populations rather than individuals that the success of these associations can best be appreciated. Among susceptible host species within the biocoenosis, truly resistant strains appear to be remarkably rare. Clive Shiff here examines mechanisms of defence or avoidance among molluscan hosts of tremotodes from both the internal and ecological perspective.
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