Skip to main content

Lund University Publications

LUND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

Variation in host specificity between species of avian haemosporidian parasites: evidence from parasite morphology and cytochrome b gene sequences

Križanauskiene, A ; Hellgren, Olof LU ; Kosarev, V ; Sokolov, L ; Bensch, Staffan LU and Valkiūnas, G (2006) In The Journal of Parasitology 92(6). p.1319-1324
Abstract
A parasite's shift to a new host may have serious evolutionary consequences, since host switching usually is associated with a change in virulence and may lead to the evolution of emerging diseases. This phenomenon remains insufficiently studied in wildlife. Here, we combine microscopic examination of blood films and PCR-based methods to investigate the natural host specificity of Haemoproteus and Plasmodium spp. in birds of 4 families of the Passeriformes within a small geographic area. The material was collected on the Curonian Spit in the Baltic Sea between May and July in 2003–2004. A nested-PCR protocol was used for amplifying and sequencing a fragment of 480 nucleotides of the cytochrome b gene of the mtDNA of these parasites. Blood... (More)
A parasite's shift to a new host may have serious evolutionary consequences, since host switching usually is associated with a change in virulence and may lead to the evolution of emerging diseases. This phenomenon remains insufficiently studied in wildlife. Here, we combine microscopic examination of blood films and PCR-based methods to investigate the natural host specificity of Haemoproteus and Plasmodium spp. in birds of 4 families of the Passeriformes within a small geographic area. The material was collected on the Curonian Spit in the Baltic Sea between May and July in 2003–2004. A nested-PCR protocol was used for amplifying and sequencing a fragment of 480 nucleotides of the cytochrome b gene of the mtDNA of these parasites. Blood samples from 282 birds, which were positive both by microscopic examination of blood films and mtDNA amplification, were used in this study. We found that Haemoproteus majoris (lineages hPARUS1, hCCF5, hWW2, and hPHSIB1), Haemoproteus sp. (hWW1), Plasmodium (Haemamoeba) sp. (pSGS1), and Plasmodium (Haemamoeba) sp. (pGRW11) are capable of infecting birds belonging to different families of passeriform birds. Some species of Haemoproteus are less specific than have been traditionally believed. Haemoproteus majoris appears to have a genetic predisposition to have a broad host range. The level of host specificity varies markedly among different species of hemosporidian parasites of birds. The natural host range is thus not a reliable taxonomic character in the systematics of these parasites in the form in which it is still accepted in some recent taxonomic studies. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
; ; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
The Journal of Parasitology
volume
92
issue
6
pages
1319 - 1324
publisher
American Society of Parasitologists
external identifiers
  • scopus:33846999335
ISSN
0022-3395
DOI
10.1645/GE-873R.1
project
Malaria in birds
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c4092615-3d2d-4c54-a99e-8c8e6e18702e (old id 631249)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 12:01:16
date last changed
2021-07-27 02:41:51
@article{c4092615-3d2d-4c54-a99e-8c8e6e18702e,
  abstract     = {A parasite's shift to a new host may have serious evolutionary consequences, since host switching usually is associated with a change in virulence and may lead to the evolution of emerging diseases. This phenomenon remains insufficiently studied in wildlife. Here, we combine microscopic examination of blood films and PCR-based methods to investigate the natural host specificity of Haemoproteus and Plasmodium spp. in birds of 4 families of the Passeriformes within a small geographic area. The material was collected on the Curonian Spit in the Baltic Sea between May and July in 2003–2004. A nested-PCR protocol was used for amplifying and sequencing a fragment of 480 nucleotides of the cytochrome b gene of the mtDNA of these parasites. Blood samples from 282 birds, which were positive both by microscopic examination of blood films and mtDNA amplification, were used in this study. We found that Haemoproteus majoris (lineages hPARUS1, hCCF5, hWW2, and hPHSIB1), Haemoproteus sp. (hWW1), Plasmodium (Haemamoeba) sp. (pSGS1), and Plasmodium (Haemamoeba) sp. (pGRW11) are capable of infecting birds belonging to different families of passeriform birds. Some species of Haemoproteus are less specific than have been traditionally believed. Haemoproteus majoris appears to have a genetic predisposition to have a broad host range. The level of host specificity varies markedly among different species of hemosporidian parasites of birds. The natural host range is thus not a reliable taxonomic character in the systematics of these parasites in the form in which it is still accepted in some recent taxonomic studies.},
  author       = {Križanauskiene, A and Hellgren, Olof and Kosarev, V and Sokolov, L and Bensch, Staffan and Valkiūnas, G},
  issn         = {0022-3395},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {1319--1324},
  publisher    = {American Society of Parasitologists},
  series       = {The Journal of Parasitology},
  title        = {Variation in host specificity between species of avian haemosporidian parasites: evidence from parasite morphology and cytochrome b gene sequences},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/GE-873R.1},
  doi          = {10.1645/GE-873R.1},
  volume       = {92},
  year         = {2006},
}