Genetic diversity of avian haemosporidians in Malaysia: cytochrome b lineages of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Haemosporida) from Selangor.

  • publication
  • 13-01-2015

Ivanova K, Zehtindjiev P, Mariaux J, Georgiev BB. Infect. Genet. Evol. 2015 Apr;31():33-9. S1567-1348(15)00008-8. 10.1016/j.meegid.2015.01.004.

The knowledge of the diversity of haemosporidian parasites is of primary importance as their representatives include agents of bird malaria. We investigated the occurrence of Haemoproteus spp. and Plasmodium spp. in bird populations from a single locality in the State of Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia, and report on the parasite prevalence of the two genera. A combination of methods (molecular and morphological) was used for detecting these parasites. Seventy-nine bird individuals were caught using mist-nets in July and August 2010 at Gombak Field Station of the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. In total, 23 birds were identified as positive for Haemoproteus or Plasmodium infection and one individual was recognized as carrying mixed infection. The total prevalence of haemosporidians in the collected samples was 30.3%. Infections with parasites of the genus Haemoproteus were predominant compared to those of the genus Plasmodium. In total, 10 new cyt b lineages of Haemoproteus spp. and 3 new cyt b lineages of Plasmodium spp. were recorded in this study. From all recorded haemosporidian lineages (16 in total), 3 were known from previous studies - hCOLL2, hYWT2 and pNILSUN1. Two of them are linked with their corresponding morphospecies - Haemoproteus pallidus (COLL2) and Haemoproteus motacillae (YWT2). The morphological analysis in the present study confirmed the results obtained by the PCR method relative to prevalence, with 25.3% total prevalence of Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites. The intensities of infection varied between 0.01% and 19%. Most infections were light, with intensities below 0.1%. The present study is the first molecular survey of the protozoan blood parasites of the order Haemosporida recorded in Malaysia.

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