It is widely assumed that the likelihood of invasion decreases with increased species richness in the recipient community. However, the invasion paradox supports a negative and a positive relationship between native biodiversity and the success of an invader. Here, we show that for a host-parasite system (Anguilla anguilla as host and Anguillicoloides crassus as parasitic invader), invasion increases with native micro- and macroparasitic species richness. In fact, about 30% of the A. crassus intensity in eels could be explained by the number of both micro- and macroparasite species. This pattern could be due to the fact that A. crassus exploits a niche (the swim bladder) that is unoccupied by native parasite species and by the Th1/Th2 trade-off between native microparasites and the invader. We conclude that the host-parasite system resistance to invasion may depend on both niche availability and the Th1/Th2 trade-off. As well, we encourage researchers to incorporate native parasite richness as a risk factor in epidemiological models of A. crassus. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.