First data on the genetic diversity of avian haemosporidians in China: cytochrome b lineages of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Haemosporida) from Gansu Province.

  • publication
  • 16-07-2013

Zehtindjiev P, Ivanova K, Mariaux J, Georgiev BB. Parasitol. Res. 2013 Oct;112(10):3509-15. 10.1007/s00436-013-3533-x.

A total of 76 birds belonging to 23 species and 14 families was examined for the presence of Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. Birds were trapped at four localities in Gansu Province, China, in June-July 2011. DNA was isolated from blood samples and parasite detection, and identification was based on PCR assays and sequences of 479 bp of cyt b gene. The total prevalence of haemosporidians was 21.0%. Haemoproteus spp. were detected in 14 birds (prevalence 18.4%). The lineage CYAPIC1 from Cyanopica cyanus, Parus major, Passer montanus and Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax was new; it is genetically distinct and probably represents a new species of the genus Haemoproteus. Three lineages represented known species: RBS4 (from Lanius tephronotus), a lineage of Haemoproteus lanii; COLL2 (from Turdus mupinensis), a lineage of Haemoproteus pallidus and TURDUS2 (from Turdus rubrocanus), a lineage of Haemoproteus minutus. The lineage RBS5 (from Lanius cristatus and L. tephronotus) differs by 1.4% from RBS4 and probably represents an intraspecific entity of H. lanii. The lineages TUCHR1 (recorded from T. mupinensis), WW1 (recorded from Upupa epops) and YWT2 (recorded from Motacilla flava) have not been linked to any known species for the moment. Only one bird was positive for Plasmodium (prevalence 1.4%), i.e. P. major infected with the lineage GRW4 of Plasmodium relictum. The latter lineage has been considered by previous studies as typical for migratory birds and having transmission in tropical areas only; its record in a sedentary bird in China suggests its transmission in temperate latitudes.

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