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Sample records for invasive avian parasite

  1. Genetic variation in the invasive avian parasite, Philornis downsi (Diptera, Muscidae on the Galápagos archipelago

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    Donnellan Steve

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the dispersal and genetic structure of invasive insects across islands is important for designing management plans that are appropriate at spatial and temporal scales. For invasive parasites, population dynamics are largely determined by the distribution and density of their host species. The introduced parasitic fly, Philornis downsi, parasitises nestlings of endemic birds on all major islands of the Galápagos archipelago. The fly's high mortality and fitness impacts are of conservation concern for vulnerable and declining species of Darwin's finches. Using microsatellite data in Bayesian clustering and landscape genetic analyses, we examine gene flow and dispersal in P. downsi between three islands and across habitats (highlands, lowlands and examine for the presence of population bottlenecks. We also examine variation at the mitochondrial gene CO1 across islands to establish if cryptic species were present. Results Both the mitochondrial and microsatellite data were consistent with there being a single species across islands. We found low genetic differentiation between islands and strong evidence for inter-island gene flow, or shared recent ancestry among individuals. Landscape genetic analysis identified two genetic clusters: one encompassing Santa Cruz and Isabela, and one on Floreana Island. There was no evidence of genetic differentiation between habitats and molecular variance was mainly attributable to within individuals. The combined P. downsi population was found to have undergone a population bottleneck. Conclusion Philornis downsi populations have high connectivity within and between islands, with low levels of genetic differentiation between Floreana and the other two islands examined. The genetic bottleneck found across islands suggests there was a small founding population or few introduction events of P. downsi. The high dispersal capacity and wide habitat use of P. downsi highlights the

  2. A transmission model for the ecology of an avian blood parasite in a temperate ecosystem.

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    Courtney C Murdock

    Full Text Available Most of our knowledge about avian haemosporidian parasites comes from the Hawaiian archipelago, where recently introduced Plasmodiumrelictum has contributed to the extinction of many endemic avian species. While the ecology of invasive malaria is reasonably understood, the ecology of endemic haemosporidian infection in mainland systems is poorly understood, even though it is the rule rather than the exception. We develop a mathematical model to explore and identify the ecological factors that most influence transmission of the common avian parasite, Leucocytozoonfringillinarum (Apicomplexa. The model was parameterized from White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichialeucophrys and S. silvestre / craigi black fly populations breeding in an alpine ecosystem. We identify and examine the importance of altricial nestlings, the seasonal relapse of infected birds for parasite persistence across breeding seasons, and potential impacts of seasonal changes in black fly emergence on parasite prevalence in a high elevation temperate system. We also use the model to identify and estimate the parameters most influencing transmission dynamics. Our analysis found that relapse of adult birds and young of the year birds were crucial for parasite persistence across multiple seasons. However, distinguishing between nude nestlings and feathered young of the year was unnecessary. Finally, due to model sensitivity to many black fly parameters, parasite prevalence and sparrow recruitment may be most affected by seasonal changes in environmental temperature driving shifts in black fly emergence and gonotrophic cycles.

  3. Shiny cowbird parasitism in two avian communities in Puerto Rico

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    Wiley, J.W.

    1985-01-01

    The shiny cowbird (M. bonariensis), a brood parasite, has recently expanded its range from South America to Puerto Rico via the Lesser Antilles. This species is a host generalist and, on reaching Puerto Rico, encounteed avian species with no history of social parasitism. In mangrove habitat study areas, 42% of the resident non-raptorial land bird species were parasitized. Some species were heavily parasitized; e.g., yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia), 76% of nests parasitized black-whiskered vireo (Vireo altiloquus), 82%, Puerto Rican flycatcher (Myiarchus antillarum), 85%, yellow-shouldered blackbird (Agelaius xanthomus), 95%, troupial (Icterus icterus), 100%, black-cowled oriole (I. dominicensis), 100%. Others suffered low rates of parasitism (2-17% of nests examined); e.g., gray kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis), red-legged thrush (Turdus plumbeus), bronze mannikin (Lonchura cucullata), northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), greater antillean grackle (Quiscalus niger). Cowbird parasitism affected hosts by depressing nest success an average of 41% below non-parasitized nests and reducing host productivity. Parasitized host nests hatched 12% fewer eggs an fledged 67% fewer of their own chicks than non-parasitized pairs.

  4. Impact of the invasive parasitic copepod

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    Goedknegt, M.A.; Bedolfe; Drent, J.; van der Meer, J.; Thieltges, D.W.

    2018-01-01

    Invasive species can indirectly affect native species by modifying parasite–host dynamics and disease occurrence. This scenario applies to European coastal waters where the invasive Pacific oyster (Magallana gigas) co-introduced the parasitic copepod Mytilicola orientalis that spills

  5. Biological invasions and host-parasite coevolution: different coevolutionary trajectories along separate parasite invasion fronts

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    Feis, M.E.; Goedknegt, M.A.; Thieltges, D.W.; Buschbaum, C.; Wegner, K.M.

    2016-01-01

    Host–parasite coevolution has rarely been observed in natural systems. Its study often relies on microparasitic infections introducing a potential bias in the estimation of the evolutionary change of host and parasite traits. Using biological invasions as a tool to study host–parasite coevolution in

  6. Ecology of avian brood parasitism at an early interfacing of host and parasite populations

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    Wiley, J.W.

    1982-01-01

    The shiny cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis), a brood parasite, has recently spread into the Greater Antilles from South America via the Lesser Antilles. This species is a host generalist and upon reaching Puerto Rico exploited avian communities with no history of social parasitism. Forty-two percent of the resident non-raptorial land bird species were parasitized in mangrove habitat study areas. Cowbird parasitism affected hosts by (1) depressing nest success an average of 41 percent below non-parasitized nests, and (2) reducing host productivity. Parasitized hosts produced 12 percent fewer eggs and fledged 67 percent fewer of their own chicks than non-parasitized pairs. Growth rates of chicks of some host species were lower in parasitized nests compared with non-parasitized nests while growth of others was not affected by brood parasitism. Cowbird chick growth varied directly with host size; i.e., cowbird chicks grew faster and attained greater fledging weight and body size in nests of larger hosts. Factors important in shiny cowbird host selection were examined within the mangrove study community. Cowbirds did not parasitize avian species in proportion to their abundance. The cowbird breeding season coincided with that of its major hosts, which were high quality foster species, and did not extend into other periods even though nests of poor quality species were available. Food habits and egg size of cowbirds were similar to those of their hosts, suggesting that cowbirds choose hosts partly on the basis of this alignment. Cowbirds locate nests by cryptically watching activities of birds in likely habitat. Despite the recency of the cowbird's arrival in Puerto Rico, some nesting species have effective anti-parasite strategies, including alien egg rejection and nest guarding. Behavior effective in avoiding parasitism is similar to that used by certain birds in evading nest predators. It is suggested that anti-predator behavior is preadaptive to countering cowbird

  7. Effects of invasive woody plants on avian nest site selection and nesting success in shrublands

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    S. Schlossberg; D.I. King

    2010-01-01

    Exotic, invasive plants are a growing conservation problem. Birds frequently use invasive plants as nest substrates, but effects of invasives on avian nesting success have been equivocal in past studies. In 2004 and 2005, we assessed effects of invasive woody plants on avian nest-site selection and nesting success in western Massachusetts shrublands. At the nest scale...

  8. The role of sialyl glycan recognition in host tissue tropism of the avian parasite Eimeria tenella.

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    Livia Lai

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Eimeria spp. are a highly successful group of intracellular protozoan parasites that develop within intestinal epithelial cells of poultry, causing coccidiosis. As a result of resistance against anticoccidial drugs and the expense of manufacturing live vaccines, it is necessary to understand the relationship between Eimeria and its host more deeply, with a view to developing recombinant vaccines. Eimeria possesses a family of microneme lectins (MICs that contain microneme adhesive repeat regions (MARR. We show that the major MARR protein from Eimeria tenella, EtMIC3, is deployed at the parasite-host interface during the early stages of invasion. EtMIC3 consists of seven tandem MAR1-type domains, which possess a high specificity for sialylated glycans as shown by cell-based assays and carbohydrate microarray analyses. The restricted tissue staining pattern observed for EtMIC3 in the chicken caecal epithelium indicates that EtMIC3 contributes to guiding the parasite to the site of invasion in the chicken gut. The microarray analyses also reveal a lack of recognition of glycan sequences terminating in the N-glycolyl form of sialic acid by EtMIC3. Thus the parasite is well adapted to the avian host which lacks N-glycolyl neuraminic acid. We provide new structural insight into the MAR1 family of domains and reveal the atomic resolution basis for the sialic acid-based carbohydrate recognition. Finally, a preliminary chicken immunization trial provides evidence that recombinant EtMIC3 protein and EtMIC3 DNA are effective vaccine candidates.

  9. Coevolution is linked with phenotypic diversification but not speciation in avian brood parasites.

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    Medina, Iliana; Langmore, Naomi E

    2015-12-22

    Coevolution is often invoked as an engine of biological diversity. Avian brood parasites and their hosts provide one of the best-known examples of coevolution. Brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other species, selecting for host defences and reciprocal counteradaptations in parasites. In theory, this arms race should promote increased rates of speciation and phenotypic evolution. Here, we use recently developed methods to test whether the three largest avian brood parasitic lineages show changes in rates of phenotypic diversity and speciation relative to non-parasitic lineages. Our results challenge the accepted paradigm, and show that there is little consistent evidence that lineages of brood parasites have higher speciation or extinction rates than non-parasitic species. However, we provide the first evidence that the evolution of brood parasitic behaviour may affect rates of evolution in morphological traits associated with parasitism. Specifically, egg size and the colour and pattern of plumage have evolved up to nine times faster in parasitic than in non-parasitic cuckoos. Moreover, cuckoo clades of parasitic species that are sympatric (and share similar host genera) exhibit higher rates of phenotypic evolution. This supports the idea that competition for hosts may be linked to the high phenotypic diversity found in parasitic cuckoos. © 2015 The Author(s).

  10. Diversity, loss, and gain of malaria parasites in a globally invasive bird.

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    Alfonso Marzal

    Full Text Available Invasive species can displace natives, and thus identifying the traits that make aliens successful is crucial for predicting and preventing biodiversity loss. Pathogens may play an important role in the invasive process, facilitating colonization of their hosts in new continents and islands. According to the Novel Weapon Hypothesis, colonizers may out-compete local native species by bringing with them novel pathogens to which native species are not adapted. In contrast, the Enemy Release Hypothesis suggests that flourishing colonizers are successful because they have left their pathogens behind. To assess the role of avian malaria and related haemosporidian parasites in the global spread of a common invasive bird, we examined the prevalence and genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites (order Haemosporida, genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infecting house sparrows (Passer domesticus. We sampled house sparrows (N = 1820 from 58 locations on 6 continents. All the samples were tested using PCR-based methods; blood films from the PCR-positive birds were examined microscopically to identify parasite species. The results show that haemosporidian parasites in the house sparrows' native range are replaced by species from local host-generalist parasite fauna in the alien environments of North and South America. Furthermore, sparrows in colonized regions displayed a lower diversity and prevalence of parasite infections. Because the house sparrow lost its native parasites when colonizing the American continents, the release from these natural enemies may have facilitated its invasion in the last two centuries. Our findings therefore reject the Novel Weapon Hypothesis and are concordant with the Enemy Release Hypothesis.

  11. Parasite spillover: indirect effects of invasive Burmese pythons.

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    Miller, Melissa A; Kinsella, John M; Snow, Ray W; Hayes, Malorie M; Falk, Bryan G; Reed, Robert N; Mazzotti, Frank J; Guyer, Craig; Romagosa, Christina M

    2018-01-01

    Identification of the origin of parasites of nonindigenous species (NIS) can be complex. NIS may introduce parasites from their native range and acquire parasites from within their invaded range. Determination of whether parasites are non-native or native can be complicated when parasite genera occur within both the NIS' native range and its introduced range. We explored potential for spillover and spillback of lung parasites infecting Burmese pythons ( Python bivittatus ) in their invasive range (Florida). We collected 498 indigenous snakes of 26 species and 805 Burmese pythons during 2004-2016 and examined them for lung parasites. We used morphology to identify three genera of pentastome parasites, Raillietiella , a cosmopolitan form, and Porocephalus and Kiricephalus , both New World forms. We sequenced these parasites at one mitochondrial and one nuclear locus and showed that each genus is represented by a single species, R. orientalis , P. crotali , and K. coarctatus . Pythons are host to R. orientalis and P. crotali , but not K. coarctatus ; native snakes are host to all three species. Sequence data show that pythons introduced R. orientalis to North America, where this parasite now infects native snakes. Additionally, our data suggest that pythons are competent hosts to P. crotali , a widespread parasite native to North and South America that was previously hypothesized to infect only viperid snakes. Our results indicate invasive Burmese pythons have affected parasite-host dynamics of native snakes in ways that are consistent with parasite spillover and demonstrate the potential for indirect effects during invasions. Additionally, we show that pythons have acquired a parasite native to their introduced range, which is the initial condition necessary for parasite spillback.

  12. Spillover but no spillback of two invasive parasitic copepods from invasive Pacific oysters (

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    Goedknegt, M.A.; Schuster, A.-K.; Buschbaum, C.; Gergs, R.; Jung, A.; Luttikhuizen, P.C.; Van der Meer, J.; Troost, K.; Wegner, K.M.; Thieltges, D.W.

    2017-01-01

    Invasive species can cause indirect effects on native biota by modifying parasite-host interactions and disease occurrence in native species. This study investigated the role of the invasive Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) in potential spillover (co-introduced parasites infect native hosts) and

  13. Diversity and distribution of avian haematozoan parasites in the western Indian Ocean region: a molecular survey.

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    Ishtiaq, Farah; Beadell, Jon S; Warren, Ben H; Fleischer, Robert C

    2012-02-01

    The genetic diversity of haematozoan parasites in island avifauna has only recently begun to be explored, despite the potential insight that these data can provide into the history of association between hosts and parasites and the possible threat posed to island endemics. We used mitochondrial DNA sequencing to characterize the diversity of 2 genera of vector-mediated parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) in avian blood samples from the western Indian Ocean region and explored their relationship with parasites from continental Africa. We detected infections in 68 out of 150 (45·3%) individuals and cytochrome b sequences identified 9 genetically distinct lineages of Plasmodium spp. and 7 lineages of Haemoproteus spp. We found considerable heterogeneity in parasite lineage composition across islands, although limited sampling may, in part, be responsible for perceived differences. Two lineages of Plasmodium spp. and 2 lineages of Haemoproteus spp. were shared by hosts in the Indian Ocean and also on mainland Africa, suggesting that these lineages may have arrived relatively recently. Polyphyly of island parasites indicated that these parasites were unlikely to constitute an endemic radiation and instead probably represent multiple colonization events. This study represents the first molecular survey of vector-mediated parasites in the western Indian Ocean, and has uncovered a diversity of parasites. Full understanding of parasite community composition and possible threats to endemic avian hosts will require comprehensive surveys across the avifauna of this region.

  14. The evolution of acceptance and tolerance in hosts of avian brood parasites.

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    Medina, Iliana; Langmore, Naomi E

    2016-08-01

    Avian brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of their hosts, which rear the parasite's progeny. The costs of parasitism have selected for the evolution of defence strategies in many host species. Most research has focused on resistance strategies, where hosts minimize the number of successful parasitism events using defences such as mobbing of adult brood parasites or rejection of parasite eggs. However, many hosts do not exhibit resistance. Here we explore why some hosts accept parasite eggs in their nests and how this is related to the virulence of the parasite. We also explore the extent to which acceptance of parasites can be explained by the evolution of tolerance; a strategy in which the host accepts the parasite but adjusts its life history or other traits to minimize the costs of parasitism. We review examples of tolerance in hosts of brood parasites (such as modifications to clutch size and multi-broodedness), and utilize the literature on host-pathogen interactions and plant herbivory to analyse the prevalence of each type of defence (tolerance or resistance) and their evolution. We conclude that (i) the interactions between brood parasites and their hosts provide a highly tractable system for studying the evolution of tolerance, (ii) studies of host defences against brood parasites should investigate both resistance and tolerance, and (iii) tolerance and resistance can lead to contrasting evolutionary scenarios. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  15. Mechanisms of CNS invasion and damage by parasites.

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    Kristensson, Krister; Masocha, Willias; Bentivoglio, Marina

    2013-01-01

    Invasion of the central nervous system (CNS) is a most devastating complication of a parasitic infection. Several physical and immunological barriers provide obstacles to such an invasion. In this broad overview focus is given to the physical barriers to neuroinvasion of parasites provided at the portal of entry of the parasites, i.e., the skin and epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract, and between the blood and the brain parenchyma, i.e., the blood-brain barrier (BBB). A description is given on how human pathogenic parasites can reach the CNS via the bloodstream either as free-living or extracellular parasites, by embolization of eggs, or within red or white blood cells when adapted to intracellular life. Molecular mechanisms are discussed by which parasites can interact with or pass across the BBB. The possible targeting of the circumventricular organs by parasites, as well as the parasites' direct entry to the brain from the nasal cavity through the olfactory nerve pathway, is also highlighted. Finally, examples are given which illustrate different mechanisms by which parasites can cause dysfunction or damage in the CNS related to toxic effects of parasite-derived molecules or to immune responses to the infection. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. A shared chemical basis of avian host–parasite egg colour mimicry

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    Igic, Branislav; Cassey, Phillip; Grim, Tomáš; Greenwood, David R.; Moskát, Csaba; Rutila, Jarkko; Hauber, Mark E.

    2012-01-01

    Avian brood parasites lay their eggs in other birds' nests and impose considerable fitness costs on their hosts. Historically and scientifically, the best studied example of circumventing host defences is the mimicry of host eggshell colour by the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Yet the chemical basis of eggshell colour similarity, which impacts hosts' tolerance towards parasitic eggs, remains unknown. We tested the alternative scenarios that (i) cuckoos replicate host egg pigment chemistry, or (ii) cuckoos use alternative mechanisms to produce a similar perceptual effect to mimic host egg appearance. In parallel with patterns of similarity in avian-perceived colour mimicry, the concentrations of the two key eggshell pigments, biliverdin and protoporphyrin, were most similar between the cuckoo host-races and their respective hosts. Thus, the chemical basis of avian host–parasite egg colour mimicry is evolutionarily conserved, but also intraspecifically flexible. These analyses of pigment composition reveal a novel proximate dimension of coevolutionary interactions between avian brood parasites and hosts, and imply that alternative phenotypes may arise by the modifications of already existing biochemical and physiological mechanisms and pathways. PMID:21920975

  17. Manifold habitat effects on the prevalence and diversity of avian blood parasites

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    Ravinder N.M. Sehgal

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Habitats are rapidly changing across the planet and the consequences will have major and long-lasting effects on wildlife and their parasites. Birds harbor many types of blood parasites, but because of their relatively high prevalence and ease of diagnosis, it is the haemosporidians – Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon – that are the best studied in terms of ecology and evolution. For parasite transmission to occur, environmental conditions must be permissive, and given the many constraints on the competency of parasites, vectors and hosts, it is rather remarkable that these parasites are so prevalent and successful. Over the last decade, a rapidly growing body of literature has begun to clarify how environmental factors affect birds and the insects that vector their hematozoan parasites. Moreover, several studies have modeled how anthropogenic effects such as global climate change, deforestation and urbanization will impact the dynamics of parasite transmission. This review highlights recent research that impacts our understanding of how habitat and environmental changes can affect the distribution, diversity, prevalence and parasitemia of these avian blood parasites. Given the importance of environmental factors on transmission, it remains essential that researchers studying avian hematozoa document abiotic factors such as temperature, moisture and landscape elements. Ultimately, this continued research has the potential to inform conservation policies and help avert the loss of bird species and threatened habitats.

  18. Avian brood parasitism and ectoparasite richness-scale-dependent diversity interactions in a three-level host-parasite system.

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    Vas, Zoltán; Fuisz, Tibor I; Fehérvári, Péter; Reiczigel, Jenő; Rózsa, Lajos

    2013-04-01

    Brood parasitic birds, their foster species and their ectoparasites form a complex coevolving system composed of three hierarchical levels. However, effects of hosts' brood parasitic life-style on the evolution of their louse (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, Ischnocera) lineages have never been tested. We present two phylogenetic analyses of ectoparasite richness of brood parasitic clades. Our hypothesis was that brood parasitic life-style affects louse richness negatively across all avian clades due to the lack of vertical transmission routes. Then, narrowing our scope to brood parasitic cuckoos, we explored macroevolutionary factors responsible for the variability of their louse richness. Our results show that taxonomic richness of lice is lower on brood parasitic clades than on their nonparasitic sister clades. However, we found a positive covariation between the richness of cuckoos' Ischnoceran lice and the number of their foster species, possibly due to the complex and dynamic subpopulation structure of cuckoo species that utilize several host species. We documented diversity interactions across a three-level host parasite system and we found evidence that brood parasitism has opposing effects on louse richness at two slightly differing macroevolutionary scales, namely the species richness and the genera richness. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  19. Establishment of exotic parasites: the origins and characteristics of an avian malaria community in an isolated island avifauna.

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    Ewen, John G; Bensch, Staffan; Blackburn, Tim M; Bonneaud, Camille; Brown, Ruth; Cassey, Phillip; Clarke, Rohan H; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2012-10-01

    Knowledge of the processes favouring the establishment of exotic parasites is poor. Herein, we test the characteristics of successful exotic parasites that have co-established in the remote island archipelago of New Zealand, due to the introduction of numerous avian host species. Our results show that avian malaria parasites (AM; parasites of the genus Plasmodium) that successfully invaded are more globally generalist (both geographically widespread and with a broad taxonomic range of hosts) than AM parasites not co-introduced to New Zealand. Furthermore, the successful AM parasites are presently more prevalent in their native range than AM parasites found in the same native range but not co-introduced to New Zealand. This has resulted in an increased number and greater taxonomic diversity of AM parasites now in New Zealand. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  20. The avian tail reduces body parasite drag by controlling flow separation and vortex shedding.

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    Maybury, W. J.; Rayner, J. M.

    2001-01-01

    The aerodynamic effect of the furled avian tail on the parasite drag of a bird's body was investigated on mounted, frozen European starling Sturnus vulgaris in a wind tunnel at flight speeds between 6 and 14 m s(-1). Removal of tail rectrices and dorsal and ventral covert feathers at the base of the tail increased the total parasite drag of the body and tail by between 25 and 55%. Flow visualization and measurements of dynamic pressure in the tail boundary layer showed that in the intact bird...

  1. Spatial patterns, ecological niches, and interspecific competition of avian brood parasites: inferring from a case study of Korea.

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    Lee, Jin-Won; Noh, Hee-Jin; Lee, Yunkyoung; Kwon, Young-Soo; Kim, Chang-Hoe; Yoo, Jeong-Chil

    2014-09-01

    Since obligate avian brood parasites depend completely on the effort of other host species for rearing their progeny, the availability of hosts will be a critical resource for their life history. Circumstantial evidence suggests that intense competition for host species may exist not only within but also between species. So far, however, few studies have demonstrated whether the interspecific competition really occurs in the system of avian brood parasitism and how the nature of brood parasitism is related to their niche evolution. Using the occurrence data of five avian brood parasites from two sources of nationwide bird surveys in South Korea and publically available environmental/climatic data, we identified their distribution patterns and ecological niches, and applied species distribution modeling to infer the effect of interspecific competition on their spatial distribution. We found that the distribution patterns of five avian brood parasites could be characterized by altitude and climatic conditions, but overall their spatial ranges and ecological niches extensively overlapped with each other. We also found that the predicted distribution areas of each species were generally comparable to the realized distribution areas, and the numbers of individuals in areas where multiple species were predicted to coexist showed positive relationships among species. In conclusion, despite following different coevolutionary trajectories to adapt to their respect host species, five species of avian brood parasites breeding in South Korea occupied broadly similar ecological niches, implying that they tend to conserve ancestral preferences for ecological conditions. Furthermore, our results indicated that contrary to expectation interspecific competition for host availability between avian brood parasites seemed to be trivial, and thus, play little role in shaping their spatial distributions and ecological niches. Future studies, including the complete ranges of avian brood

  2. Avian Hemosporidian Parasite Lineages in Four Species of Free-ranging Migratory Waterbirds from Mongolia, 2008.

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    Seimon, Tracie A; Gilbert, Martin; Neabore, Scott; Hollinger, Charlotte; Tomaszewicz, Ania; Newton, Alisa; Chang, Tylis; McAloose, Denise

    2016-07-01

    Avian hemosporidian parasites have been detected in Asia, but little information is known about the hemosporidian parasite lineages that circulate in waterbirds that migrate along the East Asian and Central Asian migratory flyways to breed in Mongolia. To gather baseline data on hemosporidian parasite presence in Mongolian waterbirds, 151 blood-spot samples (81 hatch year [HY] and 70 after hatch year [AHY]) from Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus), Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), Great Cormorant ( Phalacrocorax carbo ), and Mongolian Gull (Larus mongolicus) were screened for three genera of apicomplexan parasites, Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon, using nested PCR. Of these, 17 samples (11%, 95% confidence interval: 7.1-17.4%), representing all four species, were positive. We identified 10 species (six Plasmodium, one Haemoproteus, and three Leucocytozoon) through mitochondrial DNA sequencing of the cytochrome b gene and BLAST analysis. One lineage shared 100% nucleotide identity to a hemosporidian parasite lineage that has been previously identified as Plasmodium relictum (SGS1). Six lineages were found in AHY birds and five in HY birds, the latter confirming that infection with some of the identified hemosporidian parasites occurred on the breeding grounds. Our data provide important baseline information on hemosporidian parasite lineages found in AHY waterbirds that breed and migrate through Mongolia as well as in HY offspring.

  3. The Evolution of Clutch Size in Hosts of Avian Brood Parasites.

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    Medina, Iliana; Langmore, Naomi E; Lanfear, Robert; Kokko, Hanna

    2017-11-01

    Coevolution with avian brood parasites shapes a range of traits in their hosts, including morphology, behavior, and breeding systems. Here we explore whether brood parasitism is also associated with the evolution of host clutch size. Several studies have proposed that hosts of highly virulent parasites could decrease the costs of parasitism by evolving a smaller clutch size, because hosts with smaller clutches will lose fewer progeny when their clutch is parasitized. We describe a model of the evolution of clutch size, which challenges this logic and shows instead that an increase in clutch size (or no change) should evolve in hosts. We test this prediction using a broad-scale comparative analysis to ask whether there are differences in clutch size within hosts and between hosts and nonhosts. Consistent with our model, this analysis revealed that host species do not have smaller clutches and that hosts that incur larger costs from raising a parasite lay larger clutches. We suggest that brood parasitism might be an influential factor in clutch-size evolution and could potentially select for the evolution of larger clutches in host species.

  4. Individual patterns of habitat and nest-site use by hosts promote transgenerational transmission of avian brood parasitism status.

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    Hoover, Jeffrey P; Hauber, Mark E

    2007-11-01

    Brood parasitic birds impose variable fitness costs upon their hosts by causing the partial or complete loss of the hosts' own brood. Growing evidence from multiple avian host-parasite taxa indicates that exposure of individual hosts to parasitism is not necessarily random and varies with habitat use, nest-site selection, age or other phenotypic attributes. For instance, nonrandom patterns of brood parasitism had similar evolutionary consequences to those of limited horizontal transmission of parasites and pathogens across space and time and altered the dynamics of both population productivity and co-evolutionary interactions of hosts and parasites. We report that brood parasitism status of hosts of brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater is also transmitted across generations in individually colour-banded female prothonotary warblers Protonotaria citrea. Warbler daughters were more likely to share their mothers' parasitism status when showing natal philopatry at the scale of habitat patch. Females never bred in their natal nestboxes but daughters of parasitized mothers had shorter natal dispersal distances than daughters of nonparasitized mothers. Daughters of parasitized mothers were more likely to use nestboxes that had been parasitized by cowbirds in both the previous and current years. Although difficult to document in avian systems, different propensities of vertical transmission of parasitism status within host lineages will have critical implications both for the evolution of parasite tolerance in hosts and, if found to be mediated by lineages of parasites themselves, for the difference in virulence between such extremes as the nestmate-tolerant and nestmate-eliminator strategies of different avian brood parasite species.

  5. Invasive processes, mosaics and the structure of helminth parasite faunas.

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    Hoberg, E P

    2010-08-01

    The biosphere in evolutionary and ecological time has been structured by episodes of geographic and host colonisation that have determined distributions of complex assemblages of microparasites and macroparasites, including helminths circulating among vertebrates. Biological invasion is an intricate phenomenon often involving 'extra-range dispersal' and establishment of exotic (non-indigenous) species and populations substantially beyond their native range. Invasion may also involve the expansion or shifting of host and geographic distributions of an endemic (indigenous) species or fauna under changing environmental conditions. Invasions result in faunal interchange occurring under influences from both natural and anthropogenic forces where expansion on spatial/temporal continua bridges continents, regions and landscapes. Drivers for invasion are idiosyncratic, multifactorial, interactive, and opportunistic, with a powerful role for historical contingency. The life history patterns of helminths interact with invasion pathways to determine the potential for introduction. Human-mediated events, such as the global expansion of pathogens linked to development of agriculture, domestication of food animals, and European exploration have had a pervasive influence on the distribution of helminths. Globalisation, broad transport networks and environmental perturbation linked to climate change, along with other drivers, have accelerated these processes. A consequence of invasion and establishment of exotic species is that faunal structure will be a mosaic that includes admixtures of indigenous and non-indigenous species and populations; exemplified by helminth faunas among domestic and free-ranging ungulates and a diversity of host-parasite systems among vertebrates. Contemporary mosaics are evident where human-mediated events have brought assemblages of new invaders and relatively old endemic species into sympatry, highlighting interactions at ecotones, particularly those

  6. The avian tail reduces body parasite drag by controlling flow separation and vortex shedding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maybury, W J; Rayner, J M

    2001-07-07

    The aerodynamic effect of the furled avian tail on the parasite drag of a bird's body was investigated on mounted, frozen European starling Sturnus vulgaris in a wind tunnel at flight speeds between 6 and 14 m s(-1). Removal of tail rectrices and dorsal and ventral covert feathers at the base of the tail increased the total parasite drag of the body and tail by between 25 and 55%. Flow visualization and measurements of dynamic pressure in the tail boundary layer showed that in the intact bird a separation bubble forms on the ventral side of the body, and reattaches to the ventral side of the tail. This bubble is a consequence of the morphology of the body, with a rapid contraction posterior to the pelvis and hind legs. The tail and the covert feathers at its base act as a combined splitter plate and wedge to control vortex shedding and body wake development, and thereby are important to minimize drag. This hitherto unsuspected mechanism is central to understanding the morphology of the avian body, and may have had a significant influence on the evolution of avian tail morphology by pre-adapting the tail for radiation and specialization as an aerodynamic lifting structure and as an organ of communication in sexual selection.

  7. Patterns of avian nest predators and a brood parasite among restored riparian habitats in agricultural watersheds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maul, Jonathan D; Smiley, Peter C; Cooper, Charles M

    2005-09-01

    In fragmented edge-dominated landscapes, nest predation and brood parasitism may reduce avian reproductive success and, ultimately, populations of some passerine species. In the fragmented agroecosystem of northwest Mississippi, placement of drop-pipe structures has been used as a restoration technique for abating gully erosion along stream banks. These actions have formed small herbaceous and woody habitat extensions into former agricultural lands. We quantified species relative abundances, species richness, and evenness of avian nest predators and a brood parasite within four categories of constructed habitat resulting from drop-pipe installation. Differences in the abundance of two nest predators, cotton mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus) and blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata), were observed among constructed habitats. However, relative abundances of other predators such as common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), and hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus), and the obligate brood parasite brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) did not differ among four habitat categories. Although species richness, abundance, and evenness of potential nest predators were generally similar among the constructed habitats, predator species composition varied, suggesting that these habitats supported different predator communities. This difference is important because as each predator species is added to or deleted from the community, variation may occur in the framework of prey search methods, predator strategies, and potentially overall predation pressure. We suggest that land managers using drop-pipes as part of stream restoration projects allow for the development of the constructed habitat with the largest area and greatest vegetative structure.

  8. Effects of nutrients on interaction between the invasive bidens pilosa the parasitic cusuta australis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, B.; Li, J.; Yan, M.

    2015-01-01

    Parasitic plants have been identified as potential biological agents to control invasive plants. Understanding the interaction between invasive plants and their novel natural enemies is important for understanding mechanisms underlying plant invasion success and thus taking measures to control invasion. We conducted a factorial experiment to test the interactive effects of nutrient addition (low vs. high) and parasitism (with vs. without Cuscuta australis) on the growth of the invasive Bidens pilosa. Parasitism significantly decreased leaf, stem and root biomass of the host invasive plant, and nutrient addition increased leaf and stem biomass of the host. A synergistic effect of parasitism and nutrient addition was found on stem and leaf biomass of the hosts. Nutrient addition significantly increased vegetative biomass of the parasitic plant and caused a more deleterious effect on the invasive host. Reproductive biomass of the parasitic plant was significantly positively related with net photosynthetic rate, light-utilisation efficiency and apparent carboxylation efficiency. Vegetative biomass and total biomass of the parasitic plants were significantly positively related with specific leaf area and the relative chlorophyll content of the host plant. The deleterious effect of the parasite on the growth of the host plant was significantly positively correlated with vegetative biomass of the parasitic plant. Nutrient addition increased the negative effect of the parasitic plant on the invasive host, indicating that the parasitic plant is potentially a biological control agent for the invasive plant even in the context of changing global resources. (author)

  9. Nanomimics of host cell membranes block invasion and expose invasive malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najer, Adrian; Wu, Dalin; Bieri, Andrej; Brand, Françoise; Palivan, Cornelia G; Beck, Hans-Peter; Meier, Wolfgang

    2014-12-23

    The fight against most infectious diseases, including malaria, is often hampered by the emergence of drug resistance and lack or limited efficacies of vaccines. Therefore, new drugs, vaccines, or other strategies to control these diseases are needed. Here, we present an innovative nanotechnological strategy in which the nanostructure itself represents the active substance with no necessity to release compounds to attain therapeutic effect and which might act in a drug- and vaccine-like dual function. Invasion of Plasmodium falciparum parasites into red blood cells was selected as a biological model for the initial validation of this approach. Stable nanomimics-polymersomes presenting receptors required for parasite attachment to host cells-were designed to efficiently interrupt the life cycle of the parasite by inhibiting invasion. A simple way to build nanomimics without postformation modifications was established. First, a block copolymer of the receptor with a hydrophobic polymer was synthesized and then mixed with a polymersome-forming block copolymer. The resulting nanomimics bound parasite-derived ligands involved in the initial attachment to host cells and they efficiently blocked reinvasion of malaria parasites after their egress from host cells in vitro. They exhibited efficacies of more than 2 orders of magnitude higher than the soluble form of the receptor, which can be explained by multivalent interactions of several receptors on one nanomimic with multiple ligands on the infective parasite. In the future, our strategy might offer interesting treatment options for severe malaria or a way to modulate the immune response.

  10. Visual modeling shows that avian host parents use multiple visual cues in rejecting parasitic eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spottiswoode, Claire N; Stevens, Martin

    2010-05-11

    One of the most striking outcomes of coevolution between species is egg mimicry by brood parasitic birds, resulting from rejection behavior by discriminating host parents. Yet, how exactly does a host detect a parasitic egg? Brood parasitism and egg rejection behavior provide a model system for exploring the relative importance of different visual cues used in a behavioral task. Although hosts are discriminating, we do not know exactly what cues they use, and to answer this it is crucial to account for the receiver's visual perception. Color, luminance ("perceived lightness") and pattern information have never been simultaneously quantified and experimentally tested through a bird's eye. The cuckoo finch Anomalospiza imberbis and its hosts show spectacular polymorphisms in egg appearance, providing a good opportunity for investigating visual discrimination owing to the large range of patterns and colors involved. Here we combine field experiments in Africa with modeling of avian color vision and pattern discrimination to identify the specific visual cues used by hosts in making rejection decisions. We found that disparity between host and foreign eggs in both color and several aspects of pattern (dispersion, principal marking size, and variability in marking size) were important predictors of rejection, especially color. These cues correspond exactly to the principal differences between host and parasitic eggs, showing that hosts use the most reliable available cues in making rejection decisions, and select for parasitic eggs that are increasingly mimetic in a range of visual attributes.

  11. Spillover but no spillback of two invasive parasitic copepods from invasive Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) to native bivalve hosts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goedknegt, M.A.; Schuster, A.-K.; Buschbaum, C.; Gergs, R.; Jung, A.S.; Luttikhuizen, P.C.; van der Meer, J.; Troost, K.; Wegner, K.M.; Thieltges, D.W.

    2017-01-01

    Invasive species can cause indirect effects on native biota by modifying parasite-host interactions and disease occurrence in native species. This study investigated the role of the invasive Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) in potential spillover (co-introduced parasites infect native hosts) and

  12. Spillover but no spillback of two invasive parasitic copepods from invasive Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) to native bivalve hosts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goedknegt, M.A.; Schuster, Anne Karin; Buschbaum, Christian; Gergs, René; Jung, A.S.; Luttikhuizen, Pieternella C.; Meer, van der Jaap; Troost, Karin; Wegner, K.M.; Thieltges, David W.

    2016-01-01

    Invasive species can cause indirect effects on native biota by modifying parasite-host interactions and disease occurrence in native species. This study investigated the role of the invasive Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) in potential spillover (co-introduced parasites infect native hosts)

  13. Prevalence and diversity patterns of avian blood parasites in degraded African rainforest habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chasar, Anthony; Loiseau, Claire; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2009-10-01

    Land use changes including deforestation, road construction and agricultural encroachments have been linked to the increased prevalence of several infectious diseases. In order to better understand how deforestation affects the prevalence of vector-borne infectious diseases in wildlife, nine paired sites were sampled (disturbed vs. undisturbed habitats) in Southern Cameroon. We studied the diversity, prevalence and distribution of avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) and other related haemosporidians (species of Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon) from these sites in two widespread species of African rainforest birds, the yellow-whiskered greenbul (Andropadus latirostris, Pycnonotidae) and the olive sunbird (Cyanomitra olivacea, Nectariniidae). Twenty-six mitochondrial cytochrome b lineages were identified: 20 Plasmodium lineages and 6 Haemoproteus lineages. These lineages showed no geographic specificity, nor significant differences in lineage diversity between habitat types. However, we found that the prevalence of Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus infections were significantly higher in undisturbed than in deforested habitats (Leucocytozoon spp. 50.3% vs. 35.8%, Haemoproteus spp. 16.3% vs. 10.8%). We also found higher prevalence for all haemosporidian parasites in C. olivacea than in A. latirostris species (70.2% vs. 58.2%). Interestingly, we found one morphospecies of Plasmodium in C. olivacea, as represented by a clade of related lineages, showed increased prevalence at disturbed sites, while another showed a decrease, testifying to different patterns of transmission, even among closely related lineages of avian malaria, in relation to deforestation. Our work demonstrates that anthropogenic habitat change can affect host-parasite systems and result in opposing trends in prevalence of haemosporidian parasites in wild bird populations.

  14. Description of the first cryptic avian malaria parasite, Plasmodium homocircumflexum n. sp., with experimental data on its virulence and development in avian hosts and mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palinauskas, Vaidas; Žiegytė, Rita; Ilgūnas, Mikas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Bernotienė, Rasa; Bolshakov, Casimir; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2015-01-01

    For over 100 years studies on avian haemosporidian parasite species have relied on similarities in their morphology to establish a species concept. Some exceptional cases have also included information about the life cycle and sporogonic development. More than 50 avian Plasmodium spp. have now been described. However, PCR-based studies show a much broader diversity of haemosporidian parasites, indicating the possible existence of a diverse group of cryptic species. In the present study, using both similarity and phylogenetic species definition concepts, we believe that we report the first characterised cryptic speciation case of an avian Plasmodium parasite. We used sequence information on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and constructed phylogenies of identified Plasmodium spp. to define their position in the phylogenetic tree. After analysis of blood stages, the morphology of the parasite was shown to be identical to Plasmodium circumflexum. However, the geographic distribution of the new parasite, the phylogenetic information, as well as patterns of development of infection, indicate that this parasite differs from P. circumflexum. Plasmodium homocircumflexum n. sp. was described based on information about genetic differences from described lineages, phylogenetic position and biological characters. This parasite develops parasitemia in experimentally infected birds - the domestic canary Serinus canaria domestica, siskin Carduelis spinus and crossbill Loxia curvirostra. Anaemia caused by high parasitemia, as well as cerebral paralysis caused by exoerythrocytic stages in the brain, are the main reasons for mortality. Exoerythrocytic stages also form in other organs (heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, spleen, intestines and pectoral muscles). DNA amplification was unsuccessful from faecal samples of heavily infected birds. The sporogonic development initiates, but is abortive, at the oocyst stage in two common European mosquito species, Culex pipiens pipiens (forms

  15. Digestive efficiency of indigenous and invasive avian species fed ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... Knysna (Tauraco corythaix) and Purple-crested (Gallirex porphyreolophus) Turacos and invasive alien Rose-ringed Parakeets (Psittacula krameri) met their energy demands when fed fruits of four fleshyfruited invasive alien plant species: Solanum mauritianum, Cinnamomum camphora, Psidium guajava and Morus alba.

  16. Molecular identity and heterogeneity of Trichomonad parasites in a closed avian population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspar da Silva, Daniela; Barton, Emma; Bunbury, Nancy; Lunness, Patricia; Bell, Diana J; Tyler, Kevin M

    2007-07-01

    Columbids (pigeons and doves) are the primary host of Trichomonas gallinae, the flagellate protozoon which causes avian trichomoniasis, a widespread, often lethal disease. Although predominantly apathogenic, the organism is paradigmatic for the study of strain-specific virulence, with some strains causing greater than 75% mortality and epizootic die-offs in wildlife populations. In recent years, research on this important emerging pathogen has been neglected and genetic variation within the parasite has not hitherto been investigated. The pink pigeon (Columba mayeri), endemic to Mauritius and one of the world's rarest pigeons, suffers high levels of nestling/fledgling mortality from trichomoniasis. As a closed oceanic island population with recorded life-history parameters for all birds, this species represents a unique resource for the study of this host-parasite interaction. To investigate genetic variation within T. gallinae in Mauritian columbids, isolates were collected from pink pigeons and another widespread species, the Madagascar turtle-dove (Streptopelia picturata). Comparison of the 5.8S region of rDNA and surrounding internally transcribed spacer regions (ITS) showed no sequence variation between isolates or with an unrelated but previously sequenced T. gallinae isolate (Genbank). This confirmed all 24 isolates as T. gallinae, and defined this section of the genome as a good species marker. In contrast, Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis of the isolates revealed considerable genotypic variation between isolates. RAPD genotypes appeared to correlate with geographic distribution and host species, suggesting inter-species transmission and rapid host adaptation by the parasite.

  17. Parasite spillover: indirect effects of invasive Burmese pythons

    OpenAIRE

    Miller, Melissa A.; Kinsella, John M.; Snow, Ray W.; Hayes, Malorie M.; Falk, Bryan G.; Reed, Robert N.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Guyer, Craig; Romagosa, Christina M.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Identification of the origin of parasites of nonindigenous species (NIS) can be complex. NIS may introduce parasites from their native range and acquire parasites from within their invaded range. Determination of whether parasites are non‐native or native can be complicated when parasite genera occur within both the NIS’ native range and its introduced range. We explored potential for spillover and spillback of lung parasites infecting Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) in their inv...

  18. Do native parasitic plants cause more damage to exotic invasive hosts than native non-invasive hosts? An implication for biocontrol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Junmin; Jin, Zexin; Song, Wenjing

    2012-01-01

    Field studies have shown that native, parasitic plants grow vigorously on invasive plants and can cause more damage to invasive plants than native plants. However, no empirical test has been conducted and the mechanism is still unknown. We conducted a completely randomized greenhouse experiment using 3 congeneric pairs of exotic, invasive and native, non-invasive herbaceous plant species to quantify the damage caused by parasitic plants to hosts and its correlation with the hosts' growth rate and resource use efficiency. The biomass of the parasitic plants on exotic, invasive hosts was significantly higher than on congeneric native, non-invasive hosts. Parasites caused more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to congeneric, native, non-invasive hosts. The damage caused by parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the biomass of parasitic plants. The damage of parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the relative growth rate and the resource use efficiency of its host plants. It may be the mechanism by which parasitic plants grow more vigorously on invasive hosts and cause more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to native, non-invasive hosts. These results suggest a potential biological control effect of native, parasitic plants on invasive species by reducing the dominance of invasive species in the invaded community.

  19. The Haustorium, a Specialized Invasive Organ in Parasitic Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Satoko; Cui, Songkui; Ichihashi, Yasunori; Shirasu, Ken

    2016-04-29

    Parasitic plants thrive by infecting other plants. Flowering plants evolved parasitism independently at least 12 times, in all cases developing a unique multicellular organ called the haustorium that forms upon detection of haustorium-inducing factors derived from the host plant. This organ penetrates into the host stem or root and connects to its vasculature, allowing exchange of materials such as water, nutrients, proteins, nucleotides, pathogens, and retrotransposons between the host and the parasite. In this review, we focus on the formation and function of the haustorium in parasitic plants, with a specific emphasis on recent advances in molecular studies of root parasites in the Orobanchaceae and stem parasites in the Convolvulaceae.

  20. Parasitic anemone infects the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in the North East Atlantic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Selander, Erik; Møller, Lene Friis; Sundberg, Per

    2010-01-01

    We report of the first finding of parasitic sea anemone larvae infecting the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in the North East Atlantic. Parasitic anemone larvae are common in the native habitat of Mnemiopsis, but have not previously been reported from any of the locations where Mnemiopsis...

  1. Ectoparasitic mite and fungus on an invasive lady beetle: parasite coexistence and influence on host survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmonia axyridis is an invasive generalist predator originating in Asia, but now distributed in North and South America, Europe and southern Africa. The naturally occurring enemies (parasites, pathogens, parasitoids) that attack H. axyridis are not well-known. A parasitic mite, Coccipolipus hippoda...

  2. Parasites of the shore crab Carcinus maenas (L.): implications for reproductive potential and invasion success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zetlmeisl, C; Hermann, J; Petney, T; Glenner, H; Griffiths, C; Taraschewski, H

    2011-03-01

    The European shore crab, Carcinus maenas, is one of the most successful marine invasive species. Its success has been in part attributed to the loss of parasites, rekindling an interest in host-parasite interactions and impacts on host fitness in this crab. In the present study, we investigated C. maenas populations from Europe, South Africa and Australia for parasites, and assessed their impact on the fitness of male crabs. For the shore crab, testes weight along with success in mating competition is traded off against other life-history traits. We therefore used this parameter as an indicator both for reproductive fitness and a possible resource trade-off in response to parasite infestation. In the native range, crabs infested with Sacculina carcini showed significantly lower testes weight than uninfected crabs. However, helminth parasites did not generally cause reduced testes weights. Crab populations from South Africa and Australia were either parasitized at very low prevalences, or were completely parasite free. However, no population level effect of this parasite release was reflected in testes weight. These findings do not support a severe fitness impact of helminth parasites on C. maenas, which questions the role of parasites on its population dynamics, both in the native area and for invasive success.

  3. Molecular mechanisms that mediate invasion and egress of malaria parasites from red blood cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaganan, Aditi; Singh, Pallavi; Chitnis, Chetan E

    2017-05-01

    Malaria parasites invade and multiply in diverse host cells during their complex life cycle. Some blood stage parasites transform into male and female gametocytes that are transmitted by female anopheline mosquitoes. The gametocytes are activated in the mosquito midgut to form male and female gametes, which egress from RBCs to mate and form a zygote. Here, we will review our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms that mediate invasion and egress by malaria parasites at different life cycle stages. A number of key effector molecules such as parasite protein ligands for receptor-engagement during invasion as well as proteases and perforin-like proteins that mediate egress have been identified. Interestingly, these parasite-encoded effectors are located in internal, vesicular organelles and are secreted in a highly regulated manner during invasion and egress. Here, we will review our current understanding of the functional roles of these effectors as well as the signaling pathways that regulate their timely secretion with accurate spatiotemporal coordinates. Understanding the molecular basis of key processes such as host cell invasion and egress by malaria parasites could provide novel targets for development of inhibitors to block parasite growth and transmission.

  4. Interactions between the Avian Parasite, Philornis downsi (Diptera: Muscidae) and the Galapagos Flycatcher, Myiarchus magnirostris Gould (Passeriformes: Tyrannidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lincango, Piedad; Causton, Charlotte; Cedeño, Daniel; Castañeda, Johanna; Hillstrom, Alexandra; Freund, Deborah

    2015-10-01

    An incidental observation of the fly Philornis downsi parasitizing a Galapagos Flycatcher (Myiarchus magnirostris) nest has revealed new insights into the searching behavior and biology of this invasive fly parasite and its interactions with endemic landbirds in the Galapagos Islands. Observations suggest that P. downsi relies on olfactory cues, or olfactory cues combined with the activity of adult birds, to locate nests and that flies continue to visit nests when chicks are >3 d old. At least 200 eggs were laid by P. downsi in different parts of the nest and >40 early-instar larvae were found inside the head of one chick, with additional larvae found in the base of the nest. Parasitism was the likely cause of mortality of both chicks found in or near the nest. This description of P. downsi parasitizing chicks of M. magnirostris highlights the vulnerability of this endemic bird species to this invasive fly.

  5. Rapid loss of antipredatory behaviour in captive-bred birds is linked to current avian invasions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrete, Martina; Tella, José L

    2015-12-15

    Despite the importance of behaviour in conservation biology, there have been few studies that address behaviour in areas such as invasion ecology. There is an urgent need to identify specific traits that facilitate the establishment and spread of alien species to prevent biological invasions and their impact on biodiversity. Changes in antipredatory behaviour in captivity have been proposed to explain the higher invasiveness of wild-caught exotic species. We experimentally tested this hypothesis by assessing the response of wild-caught and captive-bred cage birds facing an approaching predator and their ability to escape from human capture, using species available in the Spanish pet market. Results showed the loss of antipredatory responses and escape abilities in captive-bred birds compared with wild-caught ones. An intraspecific comparison between wild-caught and the first generation of captive-bred birds pointed to a rapid behavioural loss in captivity (individual lifetime) rather than to differences among species (evolutionary exposure). In the context of current avian invasions, the proportion of individuals showing antipredatory responses within a species was positively related to the likelihood of the species being found escaped and breeding in the wild. These results offer a link between behaviour, fitness, and the invasion syndrome in birds.

  6. Prevalence and diversity of avian malaria parasites in migratory Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger, Laridae, Charadriiformes) from the Brazilian Amazon Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roos, F L; Belo, N O; Silveira, P; Braga, E M

    2015-10-01

    The Medium Solimões River region in the Brazilian Amazon Basin is an area utilized for reproduction and nesting by a variety of species of migratory aquatic birds such as Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger). These migratory birds form mixed-species reproductive colonies with high population densities and exhibit a large range of migration routes. This study aimed to describe the prevalence and diversity of the avian malaria parasites Plasmodium and Haemoproteus in Black Skimmers, on the basis of the association between microscopic observation of blood smears and amplification of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (mtDNA cyt-b). The overall prevalence rates of the parasites for juvenile and adult bird specimens were 16% (5/31) and 22% (15/68), respectively. Sequencing the mtDNA cyt-b marker revealed two Plasmodium lineages, which had been previously described in different regions of the American continent, including a Neotropical region in Southeast Brazil, and one Haemoproteus lineage. The fact that avian malarial parasites have been found infecting the Black Skimmers in the Brazilian Amazon ecosystem, which exhibits considerable diversity, highlights the importance of these migratory birds as a potential source of infection and dispersion of pathogens to other susceptible birds of the Nearctic and Neotropical regions.

  7. Parasite community dynamics in an invasive vole – From focal introduction to wave front

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah E. Perkins

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Multiple parasite species simultaneously infecting a host can interact with one another, which has the potential to influence host-parasite interactions. Invasive species typically lose members of their parasite community during the invasion process. Not only do the founding population escape their parasites, but the rapid range expansion of invaders once in the invaded range can lead to additional stochastic loss of parasites. As such, parasite community dynamics may change along an invasion gradient, with consequences for host invasion success. Here, we use the bank vole, Myodes glareolus, introduced as a small founding population at a point source in the Republic of Ireland in c.1920's and its ecto- and endoparasites to ask: i how does the parasite community vary across an invasion gradient, and ii are parasite community associations driven by host traits and/or distance from the point of host introduction? We sampled the parasite community of M. glareolus at the proposed focal site of introduction, at mid-wave and the invasion front, and used a parasite interactivity index and statistical models to determine the potential for the parasite community to interact. Bank voles harboured up to six different parasite taxa, with a significantly higher parasite interactivity index at the foci of introduction (z = 2.33, p = 0.02 than elsewhere, suggesting the most established parasite community has greater opportunities to interact. All but one of four synergistic parasite community associations were driven by host traits; sex and body mass. The remaining parasite-parasite associations occurred at the mid-point of the invasion wave, suggesting that specific parasite-parasite interactions are not mediated by distance from a focal point of host introduction. We propose that host traits rather than location along an invasion gradient are more likely to determine parasite-parasite interactions in the invasive bank vole. Keywords: Enemy

  8. Living on the Edge: Parasite Prevalence Changes Dramatically across a Range Edge in an Invasive Gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Andrew; Barnett, Louise K; Hoskin, Conrad; Phillips, Ben L

    2017-02-01

    Species interactions can determine range limits, and parasitism is the most intimate of such interactions. Intriguingly, the very conditions on range edges likely change host-parasite dynamics in nontrivial ways. Range edges are often associated with clines in host density and with environmental transitions, both of which may affect parasite transmission. On advancing range edges, founder events and fitness/dispersal costs of parasitism may also cause parasites to be lost on range edges. Here we examine the prevalence of three species of parasite across the range edge of an invasive gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus, in northeastern Australia. The gecko's range edge spans the urban-woodland interface at the edge of urban areas. Across this edge, gecko abundance shows a steep decline, being lower in the woodland. Two parasite species (a mite and a pentastome) are coevolved with H. frenatus, and these species become less prevalent as the geckos become less abundant. A third species of parasite (another pentastome) is native to Australia and has no coevolutionary history with H. frenatus. This species became more prevalent as the geckos become less abundant. These dramatic shifts in parasitism (occurring over 3.5 km) confirm that host-parasite dynamics can vary substantially across the range edge of this gecko host.

  9. Paternity-parasitism trade-offs: a model and test of host-parasite cooperation in an avian conspecific brood parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Bruce E; Hochachka, Wesley M; Eadie, John M

    2002-06-01

    Efforts to evaluate the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of conspecific brood parasitism in birds and other animals have focused on the fitness costs of parasitism to hosts and fitness benefits to parasites. However, it has been speculated recently that, in species with biparental care, host males might cooperate with parasitic females by allowing access to the host nest in exchange for copulations. We develop a cost-benefit model to explore the conditions under which such host-parasite cooperation might occur. When the brood parasite does not have a nest of her own, the only benefit to the host male is siring some of the parasitic eggs (quasi-parasitism). Cooperation with the parasite is favored when the ratio of host male paternity of his own eggs relative to his paternity of parasitic eggs exceeds the cost of parasitism. When the brood parasite has a nest of her own, a host male can gain additional, potentially more important benefits by siring the high-value, low-cost eggs laid by the parasite in her own nest. Under these conditions, host males should be even more likely to accept parasitic eggs in return for copulations with the parasitic female. We tested these predictions for American coots (Fulica americana), a species with a high frequency of conspecific brood parasitism. Multilocus DNA profiling indicated that host males did not sire any of the parasitic eggs laid in host nests, nor did they sire eggs laid by the parasite in her own nest. We used field estimates of the model parameters from a four-year study of coots to predict the minimum levels of paternity required for the costs of parasitism to be offset by the benefits of mating with brood parasites. Observed levels of paternity were significantly lower than those predicted under a variety of assumptions, and we reject the hypothesis that host males cooperated with parasitic females. Our model clarifies the specific costs and benefits that influence host-parasite cooperation and, more generally

  10. The impact of parasites during range expansion of an invasive gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Louise K; Phillips, Ben L; Heath, Allen C G; Coates, Andrew; Hoskin, Conrad J

    2018-02-14

    Host-parasite dynamics can play a fundamental role in both the establishment success of invasive species and their impact on native wildlife. The net impact of parasites depends on their capacity to switch effectively between native and invasive hosts. Here we explore host-switching, spatial patterns and simple fitness measures in a slow-expanding invasion: the invasion of Asian house geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus) from urban areas into bushland in Northeast Australia. In bushland close to urban edges, H. frenatus co-occurs with, and at many sites now greatly out-numbers, native geckos. We measured prevalence and intensity of Geckobia mites (introduced with H. frenatus), and Waddycephalus (a native pentastome). We recorded a new invasive mite species, and several new host associations for native mites and geckos, but we found no evidence of mite transmission between native and invasive geckos. In contrast, native Waddycephalus nymphs were commonly present in H. frenatus, demonstrating this parasite's capacity to utilize H. frenatus as a novel host. Prevalence of mites on H. frenatus decreased with distance from the urban edge, suggesting parasite release towards the invasion front; however, we found no evidence that mites affect H. frenatus body condition or lifespan. Waddycephalus was present at low prevalence in bushland sites and, although its presence did not affect host body condition, our data suggest that it may reduce host survival. The high relative density of H. frenatus at our sites, and their capacity to harbour Waddycephalus, suggests that there may be impacts on native geckos and snakes through parasite spillback.

  11. Coevolutionary interactions between farmers and mafia induce host acceptance of avian brood parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abou Chakra, Maria; Hilbe, Christian; Traulsen, Arne

    2016-05-01

    Brood parasites exploit their host in order to increase their own fitness. Typically, this results in an arms race between parasite trickery and host defence. Thus, it is puzzling to observe hosts that accept parasitism without any resistance. The 'mafia' hypothesis suggests that these hosts accept parasitism to avoid retaliation. Retaliation has been shown to evolve when the hosts condition their response to mafia parasites, who use depredation as a targeted response to rejection. However, it is unclear if acceptance would also emerge when 'farming' parasites are present in the population. Farming parasites use depredation to synchronize the timing with the host, destroying mature clutches to force the host to re-nest. Herein, we develop an evolutionary model to analyse the interaction between depredatory parasites and their hosts. We show that coevolutionary cycles between farmers and mafia can still induce host acceptance of brood parasites. However, this equilibrium is unstable and in the long-run the dynamics of this host-parasite interaction exhibits strong oscillations: when farmers are the majority, accepters conditional to mafia (the host will reject first and only accept after retaliation by the parasite) have a higher fitness than unconditional accepters (the host always accepts parasitism). This leads to an increase in mafia parasites' fitness and in turn induce an optimal environment for accepter hosts.

  12. Prevalence and differential host-specificity of two avian blood parasite genera in the Australo-Papuan region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beadell, J.S.; Gering, E.; Austin, J.; Dumbacher, J.P.; Peirce, M.A.; Pratt, T.K.; Atkinson, C.T.; Fleischer, R.C.

    2004-01-01

    The degree to which widespread avian blood parasites in the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus pose a threat to novel hosts depends in part on the degree to which they are constrained to a particular host or host family. We examined the host distribution and host-specificity of these parasites in birds from two relatively understudied and isolated locations: Australia and Papua New Guinea. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we detected infection in 69 of 105 species, representing 44% of individuals surveyed (n = 428). Across host families, prevalence of Haemoproteus ranged from 13% (Acanthizidae) to 56% (Petroicidae) while prevalence of Plasmodium ranged from 3% (Petroicidae) to 47% (Ptilonorhynchidae). We recovered 78 unique mitochondrial lineages from 155 sequences. Related lineages of Haemoproteus were more likely to derive from the same host family than predicted by chance at shallow (average LogDet genetic distance = 0, n = 12, P = 0.001) and greater depths (average distance = 0.014, n = 11, P parasite phylogeny. Within two major Haemoproteus subclades identified in a maximum likelihood phylogeny, host-specificity was evident up to parasite genetic distances of 0.029 and 0.007 based on logistic regression. We found no significant host relationship among lineages of Plasmodium by any method of analysis. These results support previous evidence of strong host-family specificity in Haemoproteus and suggest that lineages of Plasmodium are more likely to form evolutionarily-stable associations with novel hosts.

  13. Egg recognition and counting reduce costs of avian conspecific brood parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Bruce E

    2003-04-03

    Birds parasitized by interspecific brood parasites often adopt defences based on egg recognition but such behaviours are puzzlingly rare in species parasitized by members of the same species. Here I show that conspecific egg recognition is frequent, accurate and used in three defences that reduce the high costs of conspecific brood parasitism in American coots. Hosts recognized and rejected many parasitic eggs, reducing the fitness costs of parasitism by half. Recognition without rejection also occurred and some hosts banished parasitic eggs to inferior outer incubation positions. Clutch size comparisons revealed that females combine egg recognition and counting to make clutch size decisions--by counting their own eggs, while ignoring distinctive parasitic eggs, females avoid a maladaptive clutch size reduction. This is clear evidence that female birds use visual rather than tactile cues to regulate their clutch sizes, and provides a rare example of the ecological and evolutionary context of counting in animals.

  14. Exploring the diversity and distribution of neotropical avian malaria parasites--a molecular survey from Southeast Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacorte, Gustavo A; Félix, Gabriel M F; Pinheiro, Rafael R B; Chaves, Anderson V; Almeida-Neto, Gilberto; Neves, Frederico S; Leite, Lemuel O; Santos, Fabrício R; Braga, Erika M

    2013-01-01

    Southeast Brazil is a neotropical region composed of a mosaic of different tropical habitats and mountain chains, which allowed for the formation of bird-rich communities with distinct ecological niches. Although this region has the potential to harbor a remarkable variety of avian parasites, there is a lack of information about the diversity of malarial parasites. We used molecular approaches to characterize the lineage diversity of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus in bird communities from three different habitats in southeast Brazil based on the prevalence, richness and composition of lineages. We observed an overall prevalence of 35.3%, with a local prevalence ranging from 17.2% to 54.8%. Moreover, no significant association between prevalence and habitat type could be verified (p>0.05). We identified 89 Plasmodium and 22 Haemoproteus lineages, with 86% of them described for the first time here, including an unusual infection of a non-columbiform host by a Haemoproteus (Haemoproteus) parasite. The composition analyses of the parasite communities showed that the lineage composition from Brazilian savannah and tropical dry forest was similar, but it was different from the lineage composition of Atlantic rainforest, reflecting the greater likeness of the former habitats with respect to seasonality and forest density. No significant effects of habitat type on lineage richness were observed based on GLM analyses. We also found that sites whose samples had a greater diversity of bird species showed a greater diversity of parasite lineages, providing evidence that areas with high bird richness also have high parasite richness. Our findings point to the importance of the neotropical region (southeast Brazil) as a major reservoir of new haemosporidian lineages.

  15. A flow cytometric assay to quantify invasion of red blood cells by rodent Plasmodium parasites in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lelliott, Patrick M; Lampkin, Shelley; McMorran, Brendan J; Foote, Simon J; Burgio, Gaetan

    2014-03-17

    Malaria treatments are becoming less effective due to the rapid spread of drug resistant parasites. Increased understanding of the host/parasite interaction is crucial in order to develop treatments that will be less prone to resistance. Parasite invasion of the red blood cell (RBC) is a critical aspect of the parasite life cycle and is, therefore, a promising target for the development of malaria treatments. Assays for analysing parasite invasion in vitro have been developed, but no equivalent assays exist for in vivo studies. This article describes a novel flow cytometric in vivo parasite invasion assay. Experiments were conducted with mice infected with erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium chabaudi adami strain DS. Exogenously labelled blood cells were transfused into infected mice at schizogony, and collected blood samples stained and analysed using flow cytometry to specifically detect and measure proportions of labelled RBC containing newly invaded parasites. A combination of antibodies (CD45 and CD71) and fluorescent dyes, Hoechst (DNA) and JC-1 (mitochondrial membrane potential), were used to differentiate parasitized RBCs from uninfected cells, RBCs containing Howell-Jolly bodies, leukocytes and RBC progenitors. Blood cells were treated ex vivo with proteases to examine the effects on in vivo parasite invasion. The staining and flow cytometry analysis method was accurate in determining the parasitaemia down to 0.013% with the limit of detection at 0.007%. Transfused labelled blood supported normal rates of parasite invasion. Protease-treated red cells resulted in 35% decrease in the rate of parasite invasion within 30 minutes of introduction into the bloodstream of infected mice. The invasion assay presented here is a versatile method for the study of in vivo red cell invasion efficiency of Plasmodium parasites in mice, and allows direct comparison of invasion in red cells derived from two different populations. The method also serves as an accurate

  16. Foreign egg retention by avian hosts in repeated brood parasitism : Why do rejecters accept?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moskat, Csaba; Hauber, Mark E.; Elek, Zoltan; Gommers, Moniek; Ban, Miklos; Groenewoud, Frank; Versluijs, Tom S. L.; Hoetz, Christiaan W. A.; Komdeur, Jan

    Great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) are frequently parasitized by egg-mimetic common cuckoos (Cuculus canorus) in Hungary, and these hosts reject about a third of parasitic eggs. The timing of parasitism is important, in that the probability of rejection decreases with advancing breeding

  17. Rates of parasitism, but not allocation of egg resources, vary among and within hosts of a generalist avian brood parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Loren; Chiavacci, Scott J; Paitz, Ryan T; Benson, Thomas J

    2017-06-01

    Brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) deposit their eggs into the nests of other birds, which then raise the cowbird chick. Female cowbirds thus have limited options for impacting their offspring's development via maternal effects compared to most other passerines. Cowbirds can impact their offspring's phenotype by choosing among potential host nests, and by adjusting egg resources based on host characteristics. To examine whether cowbirds exhibit either or both of these strategies, we investigated rates of cowbird parasitism and egg investment (egg size, yolk-to-albumen ratio, and yolk testosterone and androstenedione) among and within host species in a shrubland bird community. We found that the probability of being parasitized by cowbirds, controlling for host status as a cowbird egg accepter or rejecter and ordinal date, varied significantly among host species, indicating an apparent preference for some hosts. Parasitism rates did not differ with host size, however, and despite variation in cowbird egg size among host species, this variation was not related to host size or cowbird preference. Among host species with eggs that are larger than those of the cowbird, cowbirds were significantly more likely to parasitize nests with relatively smaller eggs, whereas parasitism rates did not vary with relative egg size in host species with smaller eggs. There was no evidence for variation in cowbird egg components among or within host species. Our data indicate that cowbirds discriminate among host nests, but do not appear to adjust the composition of their eggs based on inter- or intraspecific host variation.

  18. Ecoimmunity in Darwin's finches: invasive parasites trigger acquired immunity in the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah K Huber

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Invasive parasites are a major threat to island populations of animals. Darwin's finches of the Galápagos Islands are under attack by introduced pox virus (Poxvirus avium and nest flies (Philornis downsi. We developed assays for parasite-specific antibody responses in Darwin's finches (Geospiza fortis, to test for relationships between adaptive immune responses to novel parasites and spatial-temporal variation in the occurrence of parasite pressure among G. fortis populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs for the presence of antibodies in the serum of Darwin's finches specific to pox virus or Philornis proteins. We compared antibody levels between bird populations with and without evidence of pox infection (visible lesions, and among birds sampled before nesting (prior to nest-fly exposure versus during nesting (with fly exposure. Birds from the Pox-positive population had higher levels of pox-binding antibodies. Philornis-binding antibody levels were higher in birds sampled during nesting. Female birds, which occupy the nest, had higher Philornis-binding antibody levels than males. The study was limited by an inability to confirm pox exposure independent of obvious lesions. However, the lasting effects of pox infection (e.g., scarring and lost digits were expected to be reliable indicators of prior pox infection. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first demonstration, to our knowledge, of parasite-specific antibody responses to multiple classes of parasites in a wild population of birds. Darwin's finches initiated acquired immune responses to novel parasites. Our study has vital implications for invasion biology and ecological immunology. The adaptive immune response of Darwin's finches may help combat the negative effects of parasitism. Alternatively, the physiological cost of mounting such a response could outweigh any benefits, accelerating population decline. Tests

  19. Experimental shifts in intraclutch egg color variation do not affect egg rejection in a host of a non-egg-mimetic avian brood parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Croston

    Full Text Available Avian brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, and impose the costs associated with rearing parasitic young onto these hosts. Many hosts of brood parasites defend against parasitism by removing foreign eggs from the nest. In systems where parasitic eggs mimic host eggs in coloration and patterning, extensive intraclutch variation in egg appearances may impair the host's ability to recognize and reject parasitic eggs, but experimental investigation of this effect has produced conflicting results. The cognitive mechanism by which hosts recognize parasitic eggs may vary across brood parasite hosts, and this may explain variation in experimental outcome across studies investigating egg rejection in hosts of egg-mimicking brood parasites. In contrast, for hosts of non-egg-mimetic parasites, intraclutch egg color variation is not predicted to co-vary with foreign egg rejection, irrespective of cognitive mechanism. Here we tested for effects of intraclutch egg color variation in a host of nonmimetic brood parasite by manipulating egg color in American robins (Turdus migratorius, hosts of brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater. We recorded robins' behavioral responses to simulated cowbird parasitism in nests where color variation was artificially enhanced or reduced. We also quantified egg color variation within and between unmanipulated robin clutches as perceived by robins themselves using spectrophotometric measures and avian visual modeling. In unmanipulated nests, egg color varied more between than within robin clutches. As predicted, however, manipulation of color variation did not affect rejection rates. Overall, our results best support the scenario wherein egg rejection is the outcome of selective pressure by a nonmimetic brood parasite, because robins are efficient rejecters of foreign eggs, irrespective of the color variation within their own clutch.

  20. Experimental Shifts in Intraclutch Egg Color Variation Do Not Affect Egg Rejection in a Host of a Non-Egg-Mimetic Avian Brood Parasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croston, Rebecca; Hauber, Mark E.

    2015-01-01

    Avian brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, and impose the costs associated with rearing parasitic young onto these hosts. Many hosts of brood parasites defend against parasitism by removing foreign eggs from the nest. In systems where parasitic eggs mimic host eggs in coloration and patterning, extensive intraclutch variation in egg appearances may impair the host’s ability to recognize and reject parasitic eggs, but experimental investigation of this effect has produced conflicting results. The cognitive mechanism by which hosts recognize parasitic eggs may vary across brood parasite hosts, and this may explain variation in experimental outcome across studies investigating egg rejection in hosts of egg-mimicking brood parasites. In contrast, for hosts of non-egg-mimetic parasites, intraclutch egg color variation is not predicted to co-vary with foreign egg rejection, irrespective of cognitive mechanism. Here we tested for effects of intraclutch egg color variation in a host of nonmimetic brood parasite by manipulating egg color in American robins (Turdus migratorius), hosts of brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater). We recorded robins’ behavioral responses to simulated cowbird parasitism in nests where color variation was artificially enhanced or reduced. We also quantified egg color variation within and between unmanipulated robin clutches as perceived by robins themselves using spectrophotometric measures and avian visual modeling. In unmanipulated nests, egg color varied more between than within robin clutches. As predicted, however, manipulation of color variation did not affect rejection rates. Overall, our results best support the scenario wherein egg rejection is the outcome of selective pressure by a nonmimetic brood parasite, because robins are efficient rejecters of foreign eggs, irrespective of the color variation within their own clutch. PMID:25831051

  1. Experimental shifts in intraclutch egg color variation do not affect egg rejection in a host of a non-egg-mimetic avian brood parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croston, Rebecca; Hauber, Mark E

    2015-01-01

    Avian brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, and impose the costs associated with rearing parasitic young onto these hosts. Many hosts of brood parasites defend against parasitism by removing foreign eggs from the nest. In systems where parasitic eggs mimic host eggs in coloration and patterning, extensive intraclutch variation in egg appearances may impair the host's ability to recognize and reject parasitic eggs, but experimental investigation of this effect has produced conflicting results. The cognitive mechanism by which hosts recognize parasitic eggs may vary across brood parasite hosts, and this may explain variation in experimental outcome across studies investigating egg rejection in hosts of egg-mimicking brood parasites. In contrast, for hosts of non-egg-mimetic parasites, intraclutch egg color variation is not predicted to co-vary with foreign egg rejection, irrespective of cognitive mechanism. Here we tested for effects of intraclutch egg color variation in a host of nonmimetic brood parasite by manipulating egg color in American robins (Turdus migratorius), hosts of brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater). We recorded robins' behavioral responses to simulated cowbird parasitism in nests where color variation was artificially enhanced or reduced. We also quantified egg color variation within and between unmanipulated robin clutches as perceived by robins themselves using spectrophotometric measures and avian visual modeling. In unmanipulated nests, egg color varied more between than within robin clutches. As predicted, however, manipulation of color variation did not affect rejection rates. Overall, our results best support the scenario wherein egg rejection is the outcome of selective pressure by a nonmimetic brood parasite, because robins are efficient rejecters of foreign eggs, irrespective of the color variation within their own clutch.

  2. The invasive fish tapeworm Atractolytocestus huronensis (Cestoda), a parasite of carp, colonises Africa

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Scholz, Tomáš; Tavakol, S.; Halajlan, A.; Luus-Powell, W.J.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 114, č. 9 (2015), s. 3521-3524 ISSN 0932-0113 R&D Projects: GA ČR GBP505/12/G112 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Biological invasions * Helminth parasites * Fish * Common carp * Cyprinus carpio * Africa Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.027, year: 2015

  3. Parasite invasion following host reintroduction: a case of Yellowstone’s wolves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Paul C.; Almberg, Emily S.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Smith, Douglas W.; Hudson, Peter J.

    2012-01-01

    Wildlife reintroductions select or treat individuals for good health with the expectation that these individuals will fare better than infected animals. However, these individuals, new to their environment, may also be particularly susceptible to circulating infections and this may result in high morbidity and mortality, potentially jeopardizing the goals of recovery. Here, using the reintroduction of the grey wolf (Canis lupus) into Yellowstone National Park as a case study, we address the question of how parasites invade a reintroduced population and consider the impact of these invasions on population performance. We find that several viral parasites rapidly invaded the population inside the park, likely via spillover from resident canid species, and we contrast these with the slower invasion of sarcoptic mange, caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. The spatio-temporal patterns of mange invasion were largely consistent with patterns of host connectivity and density, and we demonstrate that the area of highest resource quality, supporting the greatest density of wolves, is also the region that appears most susceptible to repeated disease invasion and parasite-induced declines. The success of wolf reintroduction appears not to have been jeopardized by infectious disease, but now shows signs of regulation or limitation modulated by parasites.

  4. Discordancy or template-based recognition? Dissecting the cognitive basis of the rejection of foreign eggs in hosts of avian brood parasites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moskat, Csaba; Ban, Miklos; Szekely, Tamas; Komdeur, Jan; Lucassen, Rim W. G.; van Boheemen, Lotte A.; Hauber, Mark E.

    2010-01-01

    Many avian hosts have evolved antiparasite defence mechanisms, including egg rejection, to reduce the costs of brood parasitism. The two main alternative cognitive mechanisms of egg discrimination are thought to be based on the perceived discordancy of eggs in a clutch or the use of recognition

  5. Multiple lineages of Avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium) in the Galapagos Islands and evidence for arrival via migratory birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, I I; Zwiers, P; Deem, S L; Geest, E A; Higashiguchi, J M; Iezhova, T A; Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G; Kim, D H; Morton, J P; Perlut, N G; Renfrew, R B; Sari, E H R; Valkiunas, G; Parker, P G

    2013-12-01

    Haemosporidian parasites in the genus Plasmodium were recently detected through molecular screening in the Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus). We summarized results of an archipelago-wide screen of 3726 endemic birds representing 22 species for Plasmodium spp. through a combination of molecular and microscopy techniques. Three additional Plasmodium lineages were present in Galapagos. Lineage A-infected penguins, Yellow Warblers (Setophaga petechia aureola), and one Medium Ground Finch (Geospiza fortis) and was detected at multiple sites in multiple years [corrected]. The other 3 lineages were each detected at one site and at one time; apparently, they were transient infections of parasites not established on the archipelago. No gametocytes were found in blood smears of infected individuals; thus, endemic Galapagos birds may be dead-end hosts for these Plasmodium lineages. Determining when and how parasites and pathogens arrive in Galapagos is key to developing conservation strategies to prevent and mitigate the effects of introduced diseases. To assess the potential for Plasmodium parasites to arrive via migratory birds, we analyzed blood samples from 438 North American breeding Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), the only songbird that regularly migrates through Galapagos. Two of the ephemeral Plasmodium lineages (B and C) found in Galapagos birds matched parasite sequences from Bobolinks. Although this is not confirmation that Bobolinks are responsible for introducing these lineages, evidence points to higher potential arrival rates of avian pathogens than previously thought. Linajes Múltiples de Parásitos de Malaria Aviar (Plasmodium) en las Islas Galápagos y Evidencia de su Arribo por Medio de Aves Migratorias. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  6. Effects of endolithic parasitism on invasive and indigenous mussels in a variable physical environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerardo Ivan Zardi

    Full Text Available Biotic stress may operate in concert with physical environmental conditions to limit or facilitate invasion processes while altering competitive interactions between invaders and native species. Here, we examine how endolithic parasitism of an invasive and an indigenous mussel species acts in synergy with abiotic conditions of the habitat. Our results show that the invasive Mytilus galloprovincialis is more infested than the native Perna perna and this difference is probably due to the greater thickness of the protective outer-layer of the shell of the indigenous species. Higher abrasion due to waves on the open coast could account for dissimilarities in degree of infestation between bays and the more wave-exposed open coast. Also micro-scale variations of light affected the level of endolithic parasitism, which was more intense at non-shaded sites. The higher levels of endolithic parasitism in Mytilus mirrored greater mortality rates attributed to parasitism in this species. Condition index, attachment strength and shell strength of both species were negatively affected by the parasites suggesting an energy trade-off between the need to repair the damaged shell and the other physiological parameters. We suggest that, because it has a lower attachment strength and a thinner shell, the invasiveness of M. galloprovincialis will be limited at sun and wave exposed locations where endolithic activity, shell scouring and risk of dislodgement are high. These results underline the crucial role of physical environment in regulating biotic stress, and how these physical-biological interactions may explain site-to-site variability of competitive balances between invasive and indigenous species.

  7. Discovering potential sources of emerging pathogens: South America is a reservoir of generalist avian blood parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moens, Michaël A J; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Generalist pathogens are capable of infecting a wide range of host species, and may pose serious disease emergence threats if accidentally moved outside their native areas. To date little effort has been devoted to identifying geographic areas that may act as reservoirs of generalist pathogens. According to current theory, where host diversity is high, parasite specialisation in one host species may be penalised by reduced host availability, while generalist parasites may benefit from the exploitation of various host species. Therefore natural selection could favor generalist parasites where host diversity is high. Here we explored if, in a highly diverse bird community in Ecuador, a generalist strategy is promoted among local Haemoproteus and Plasmodium blood-borne parasites compared with similar parasite communities throughout the world. We reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships of every parasite lineage in order to understand the evolution of host specificity in this megadiverse area. We found high levels of host generalisation for both parasite genera, and the mean host range of the Haemoproteus community in Ecuador was significantly higher than other parasite communities in other areas outside the Neotropics. Generalist Haemoproteus parasites in this bird community had diverse phylogenetic ancestry, were closely related to specialist parasites and were apparently endemic to the Amazon, showing that different parasites have independently evolved into host generalists in this region. Finally we show that Haemoproteus communities in Ecuador and South America are more generalist than in temperate areas, making this continent a hotspot of generalist Haemoproteus parasites for wild birds. Copyright © 2015 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. On the study of the transmission networks of blood parasites from SW Spain: diversity of avian haemosporidians in the biting midge Culicoides circumscriptus and wild birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraguti, Martina; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Ruiz, Santiago; Soriguer, Ramón; Figuerola, Jordi

    2013-07-15

    Blood-sucking flying insects play a key role in the transmission of pathogens of vector-borne diseases. However, at least for the case of avian malaria parasites, the vast majority of studies focus on the interaction between parasites and vertebrate hosts, but there is a lack of information regarding the interaction between the parasites and the insect vectors. Here, we identified the presence of malaria and malaria-like parasite lineages harbored by the potential vector Culicoides circumscriptus (Kieffer). Also, we identified some nodes of the transmission network connecting parasite lineages, potential insect vectors and avian hosts by comparing Haemoproteus and Plasmodium lineages isolated from insects with those infecting wild birds in this and previous studies. Using a molecular approach, we analysed the presence of blood parasites in a total of 97 biting midges trapped in the Doñana National Park (SW Spain) and surrounding areas. Also, 123 blood samples from 11 bird species were analyzed for the presence of blood parasite infections. Blood parasites Haemoproteus and Plasmodium were identified by amplification of a 478 bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gen. Thirteen biting midges harboured blood parasites including six Haemoproteus and two Plasmodium lineages, supporting the potential role of these insects on parasite transmission. Moreover, ten (8.1%) birds carried blood parasites. Seven Plasmodium and one Haemoproteus lineages were isolated from birds. Overall, six new Haemoproteus lineages were described in this study. Also, we identified the transmission networks of some blood parasites. Two Haemoproteus lineages, hCIRCUM03 and GAGLA03, were identical to those isolated from Corvus monedula in southern Spain and Garrulus glandarius in Bulgaria, respectively. Furthermore, the new Haemoproteus lineage hCIRCUM05 showed a 99% similarity with a lineage found infecting captive penguins in Japan. The comparison of the parasite lineages isolated in

  9. Alternative mechanisms of increased eggshell hardness of avian brood parasites relative to host species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igic, Branislav; Braganza, Kim; Hyland, Margaret M; Silyn-Roberts, Heather; Cassey, Phillip; Grim, Tomas; Rutila, Jarkko; Moskát, Csaba; Hauber, Mark E

    2011-11-07

    Obligate brood parasitic birds lay their eggs in nests of other species and parasite eggs typically have evolved greater structural strength relative to host eggs. Increased mechanical strength of the parasite eggshell is an adaptation that can interfere with puncture ejection behaviours of discriminating hosts. We investigated whether hardness of eggshells is related to differences between physical and chemical traits from three different races of the parasitic common cuckoo Cuculus canorus, and their respective hosts. Using tools developed for materials science, we discovered a novel correlate of increased strength of parasite eggs: the common cuckoo's egg exhibits a greater microhardness, especially in the inner region of the shell matrix, relative to its host and sympatric non-host species. We then tested predictions of four potential mechanisms of shell strength: (i) increased relative thickness overall, (ii) greater proportion of the structurally harder shell layers, (iii) higher concentration of inorganic components in the shell matrix, and (iv) elevated deposition of a high density compound, MgCO(3), in the shell matrix. We confirmed support only for hypothesis (i). Eggshell characteristics did not differ between parasite eggs sampled from different host nests in distant geographical sites, suggesting an evolutionarily shared microstructural mechanism of stronger parasite eggshells across diverse host-races of brood parasitic cuckoos.

  10. Pacific oysters and parasites: Species invasions and their impact on parasite-host interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goedknegt, M.A.

    2017-01-01

    Human-aided introductions of species affect natural communities and ecosystems worldwide. These biological invasions can be considered to be ‘experiments in nature’ to study general ecological and evolutionary processes at large spatial and temporal scales.Studies on biological

  11. Hosts of avian brood parasites have evolved egg signatures with elevated information content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caves, Eleanor M.; Stevens, Martin; Iversen, Edwin S.; Spottiswoode, Claire N.

    2015-01-01

    Hosts of brood-parasitic birds must distinguish their own eggs from parasitic mimics, or pay the cost of mistakenly raising a foreign chick. Egg discrimination is easier when different host females of the same species each lay visually distinctive eggs (egg ‘signatures’), which helps to foil mimicry by parasites. Here, we ask whether brood parasitism is associated with lower levels of correlation between different egg traits in hosts, making individual host signatures more distinctive and informative. We used entropy as an index of the potential information content encoded by nine aspects of colour, pattern and luminance of eggs of different species in two African bird families (Cisticolidae parasitized by cuckoo finches Anomalospiza imberbis, and Ploceidae by diederik cuckoos Chrysococcyx caprius). Parasitized species showed consistently higher entropy in egg traits than did related, unparasitized species. Decomposing entropy into two variation components revealed that this was mainly driven by parasitized species having lower levels of correlation between different egg traits, rather than higher overall levels of variation in each individual egg trait. This suggests that irrespective of the constraints that might operate on individual egg traits, hosts can further improve their defensive ‘signatures' by arranging suites of egg traits into unpredictable combinations. PMID:26085586

  12. The costs of avian brood parasitism explain variation in egg rejection behaviour in hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Iliana; Langmore, Naomi E

    2015-07-01

    Many bird species can reject foreign eggs from their nests. This behaviour is thought to have evolved in response to brood parasites, birds that lay their eggs in the nest of other species. However, not all hosts of brood parasites evict parasitic eggs. In this study, we collate data from egg rejection experiments on 198 species, and perform comparative analyses to understand the conditions under which egg rejection evolves. We found evidence, we believe for the first time in a large-scale comparative analysis, that (i) non-current host species have rejection rates as high as current hosts, (ii) egg rejection is more likely to evolve when the parasite is relatively large compared with its host and (iii) egg rejection is more likely to evolve when the parasite chick evicts all the host eggs from the nest, such as in cuckoos. Our results suggest that the interactions between brood parasites and their hosts have driven the evolution of egg rejection and that variation in the costs inflicted by parasites is fundamental to explaining why only some host species evolve egg rejection. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Hosts of avian brood parasites have evolved egg signatures with elevated information content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caves, Eleanor M; Stevens, Martin; Iversen, Edwin S; Spottiswoode, Claire N

    2015-07-07

    Hosts of brood-parasitic birds must distinguish their own eggs from parasitic mimics, or pay the cost of mistakenly raising a foreign chick. Egg discrimination is easier when different host females of the same species each lay visually distinctive eggs (egg 'signatures'), which helps to foil mimicry by parasites. Here, we ask whether brood parasitism is associated with lower levels of correlation between different egg traits in hosts, making individual host signatures more distinctive and informative. We used entropy as an index of the potential information content encoded by nine aspects of colour, pattern and luminance of eggs of different species in two African bird families (Cisticolidae parasitized by cuckoo finches Anomalospiza imberbis, and Ploceidae by diederik cuckoos Chrysococcyx caprius). Parasitized species showed consistently higher entropy in egg traits than did related, unparasitized species. Decomposing entropy into two variation components revealed that this was mainly driven by parasitized species having lower levels of correlation between different egg traits, rather than higher overall levels of variation in each individual egg trait. This suggests that irrespective of the constraints that might operate on individual egg traits, hosts can further improve their defensive 'signatures' by arranging suites of egg traits into unpredictable combinations.

  14. The costs of avian brood parasitism explain variation in egg rejection behaviour in hosts

    OpenAIRE

    Medina, Iliana; Langmore, Naomi E.

    2015-01-01

    Many bird species can reject foreign eggs from their nests. This behaviour is thought to have evolved in response to brood parasites, birds that lay their eggs in the nest of other species. However, not all hosts of brood parasites evict parasitic eggs. In this study, we collate data from egg rejection experiments on 198 species, and perform comparative analyses to understand the conditions under which egg rejection evolves. We found evidence, we believe for the first time in a large-scale co...

  15. Proteins involved in invasion of human red blood cells by malaria parasites

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    Ewa Jaśkiewicz

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a disease caused by parasites of Plasmodium species. It is responsible for around 1-2 million deaths annually, mainly children under the age of 5. It occurs mainly in tropical and subtropical areas.Malaria is caused by five Plasmodium species:[i] P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. vivax, P. knowlesi[/i] and [i]P. ovale[/i]. Mosquitoes spread the disease by biting humans. The malaria parasite has two stages of development: the human stage and the mosquito stage. The first stage occurs in the human body and is divided into two phases: the liver phase and the blood phase.The invasion of erythrocytes by [i]Plasmodium[/i] merozoites is a multistep process of specific protein interactions between the parasite and red blood cell. The first step is the reversible merozoite attachment to the erythrocyte followed by its apical reorientation, then formation of an irreversible “tight” junction and finally entry into the red cell in a parasitophorous vacuole.The blood phase is supported by a number of proteins produced by the parasite. The merozoite surface GPI-anchored proteins (MSP-1, 2, 4, 5, 8 and 10 assist in the process of recognition of susceptible erythrocytes, apical membrane antigen (AMA-1 may be directly responsible for apical reorientation of the merozoite and apical proteins which function in tight junction formation. These ligands are members of two families: Duffy binding-like (DBL and reticulocyte binding-like (RBL proteins. In [i]Plasmodium[/i] [i]falciparum[/i] the DBL family includes: EBA-175, EBA-140 (BAEBL, EBA-181 (JESEBL, EBA-165 (PEBL and EBL-1 ligands.To date, no effective antimalarial vaccine has been developed, but there are several studies for this purpose. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the molecular basis of host cells invasion by parasites. Major efforts are focused on developing a multiantigenic and multiepitope vaccine preventing all steps of [i]Plasmodium[/i] invasion.

  16. Temperature rise and parasitic infection interact to increase the impact of an invasive species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laverty, Ciaran; Brenner, David; McIlwaine, Christopher; Lennon, Jack J; Dick, Jaimie T A; Lucy, Frances E; Christian, Keith A

    2017-04-01

    Invasive species often detrimentally impact native biota, e.g. through predation, but predicting such impacts is difficult due to multiple and perhaps interacting abiotic and biotic context dependencies. Higher mean and peak temperatures, together with parasites, might influence the impact of predatory invasive host species additively, synergistically or antagonistically. Here, we apply the comparative functional response methodology (relationship between resource consumption rate and resource supply) in one experiment and conduct a second scaled-up mesocosm experiment to assess any differential predatory impacts of the freshwater invasive amphipod Gammarus pulex, when uninfected and infected with the acanthocephalan Echinorhynchus truttae, at three temperatures representative of current and future climate. Individual G. pulex showed Type II predatory functional responses. In both experiments, infection was associated with higher maximum feeding rates, which also increased with increasing temperatures. Additionally, infection interacted with higher temperatures to synergistically elevate functional responses and feeding rates. Parasitic infection also generally increased Q 10 values. We thus suggest that the differential metabolic responses of the host and parasite to increasing temperatures drives the synergy between infection and temperature, elevating feeding rates and thus enhancing the ecological impact of the invader. Copyright © 2017 Australian Society for Parasitology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Avian blood parasite infection during the non-breeding season: an overlooked issue in declining populations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Pathogens and parasites can have major impacts on host population dynamics, both through direct mortality and via indirect effects. Both types of effect may be stronger in species whose populations are already under pressure. We investigated the potential for blood parasites to impact upon their hosts at the immunological, physiological and population level during the non-breeding season using a declining population of yellowhammers Emberiza citrinella as a model. Results Yellowhammers infected by Haemoproteus spp. showed both a reduced heterophil to lymphocyte (H:L) ratio, and an elevated standardised white blood cell (WBC) count compared to uninfected birds, indicating an immunological response to infection. Infected birds had shorter wings during the first winter of sampling but not during the second, colder, winter; survival analysis of 321 birds sampled across four winters indicated that increased wing length conferred a survival advantage. Conclusions We suggest that the potential impacts of blood parasite infections on over-wintering birds may have been underestimated. Further research should consider the potential impacts of sub-clinical parasite infections on the dynamics of vulnerable populations, and we suggest using declining populations as model systems within which to investigate these relationships as well as examining interactions between sub-clinical disease and other environmental stressors. JEL Code Q5 PMID:24011390

  18. Chemical defence in avian brood parasites: production and function of repulsive secretions in common cuckoo chicks

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Trnka, A.; Požgayová, Milica; Procházka, Petr; Čapek, Miroslav; Honza, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 47, č. 2 (2016), s. 288-293 ISSN 0908-8857 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2404 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : brood parasitism * common cuckoo Cuculus canorus * malodorous secretion * nest predation * repellency Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.228, year: 2016

  19. Museum material reveals a frog parasite emergence after the invasion of the cane toad in Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phalen David N

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A parasite morphologically indistinguishable from Myxidium immersum (Myxozoa: Myxosporea found in gallbladders of the invasive cane toad (Bufo marinus was identified in Australian frogs. Because no written record exists for such a parasite in Australian endemic frogs in 19th and early 20th century, it was assumed that the cane toad introduced this parasite. While we cannot go back in time ourselves, we investigated whether material at the museum of natural history could be used to retrieve parasites, and whether they were infected at the time of their collection (specifically prior to and after the cane toad translocation to Australia in 1935. Results Using the herpetological collection at the Australian Museum we showed that no myxospores were found in any animals (n = 115 prior to the cane toad invasion (1879-1935. The green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea, the Peron's tree frog (Litoria peronii, the green tree frog (Litoria caerulea and the striped marsh frog (Limnodynastes peronii were all negative for the presence of the parasite using microscopy of the gallbladder content and its histology. These results were sufficient to conclude that the population was free from this disease (at the expected minimum prevalence of 5% at 99.7% confidence level using the 115 voucher specimens in the Australian Museum. Similarly, museum specimens (n = 29 of the green and golden bell frog from New Caledonia, where it was introduced in 19th century, did not show the presence of myxospores. The earliest specimen positive for myxospores in a gallbladder was a green tree frog from 1966. Myxospores were found in eight (7.1%, n = 112 frogs in the post cane toad introduction period. Conclusion Australian wildlife is increasingly under threat, and amphibian decline is one of the most dramatic examples. The museum material proved essential to directly support the evidence of parasite emergence in Australian native frogs. This parasite can be

  20. Regional Variation in Parasite Species Richness and Abundance in the Introduced Range of the Invasive Lionfish, Pterois volitans.

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    Andrew J Sellers

    Full Text Available Parasites can play an important role in biological invasions. While introduced species often lose parasites from their native range, they can also accumulate novel parasites in their new range. The accumulation of parasites by introduced species likely varies spatially, and more parasites may shift to new hosts where parasite diversity is high. Considering that parasitism and disease are generally more prevalent at lower latitudes, the accumulation of parasites by introduced hosts may be greater in tropical regions. The Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans has become widely distributed across the Western Atlantic. In this study, we compared parasitism across thirteen locations in four regions, spanning seventeen degrees of latitude in the lionfish's introduced range to examine potential spatial variation in parasitism. In addition, as an initial step to explore how indirect effects of parasitism might influence interactions between lionfish and ecologically similar native hosts, we also compared parasitism in lionfish and two co-occurring native fish species, the graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata, and the lizardfish, Synodus intermedius, in the southernmost region, Panama. Our results show that accumulation of native parasites on lionfish varies across broad spatial scales, and that colonization by ectoparasites was highest in Panama, relative to the other study sites. Endoparasite richness and abundance, on the other hand, were highest in Belize where lionfish were infected by twice as many endoparasite species as lionfish in other regions. The prevalence of all but two parasite species infecting lionfish was below 25%, and we did not detect an association between parasite abundance and host condition, suggesting a limited direct effect of parasites on lionfish, even where parasitism was highest. Further, parasite species richness and abundance were significantly higher in both native fishes compared to lionfish, and parasite

  1. Invasive parasites, habitat change and heavy rainfall reduce breeding success in Darwin's finches.

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    Arno Cimadom

    Full Text Available Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus, on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundanceis lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss.

  2. Application of in-situ hybridization for the detection and identification of avian malaria parasites in paraffin wax-embedded tissues from captive penguins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinhopl, Nora; Mostegl, Meike M.; Richter, Barbara; Nedorost, Nora; Maderner, Anton; Fragner, Karin; Weissenböck, Herbert

    2011-01-01

    In captive penguins, avian malaria due to Plasmodium parasites is a well-recognized disease problem as these protozoa may cause severe losses among valuable collections of zoo birds. In blood films from naturally infected birds, identification and differentiation of malaria parasites based on morphological criteria are difficult because parasitaemia is frequently light and blood stages, which are necessary for identification of parasites, are often absent. Post-mortem diagnosis by histological examination of tissue samples is sometimes inconclusive due to the difficulties in differentiating protozoal tissue stages from fragmented nuclei in necrotic tissue. The diagnosis of avian malaria would be facilitated by a technique with the ability to specifically identify developmental stages of Plasmodium in tissue samples. Thus, a chromogenic in-situ hybridization (ISH) procedure with a digoxigenin-labelled probe, targeting a fragment of the 18S rRNA, was developed for the detection of Plasmodium parasites in paraffin wax-embedded tissues. This method was validated in comparison with traditional techniques (histology, polymerase chain reaction), on various tissues from 48 captive penguins that died at the zoological garden Schönbrunn, Vienna, Austria. Meronts of Plasmodium gave clear signals and were easily identified using ISH. Potential cross-reactivity of the probe was ruled out by the negative outcome of the ISH against a number of protozoa and fungi. Thus, ISH proved to be a powerful, specific and sensitive tool for unambiguous detection of Plasmodium parasites in paraffin wax-embedded tissue samples. PMID:21711191

  3. Avian Haemosporidian blood parasite infections at a migration hotspot in Eilat, Israel

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    Paperna Ilan

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Haemosporidian blood parasites are frequent amongst passerines. Though they often do not cause detectable consequences to host health, however, their presence or absence and also their prevalence across host populations may potentially carry meaningful information about the health, stress, body condition and viability of bird individuals or populations. The study of migratory birds captured in Eilat, Israel, allowed us to evaluate the prevalence of blood parasite infections in a wide range of both migrant and resident species in spring (N = 1,950 and autumn (N = 538 of 2004 and 2005. According to blood film microscopy, Haemoproteus spp. and Leucocytozoon spp. were more prevalent in the spring than in the autumn (0.289, 0.082 vs. 0.132, 0.033, respectively, whilst Plasmodium spp. exhibited a slight opposite trend (0.034, 0.056. All other parasites (such as trypanosomes, microfilaria and haemococcidians were rare. During the spring seasons, prevalences were significantly higher in migrant than in resident species, whilst this difference was only marginally significant in the autumn. Given that Eilat is a migration hotspot for several Palearctic passerine species, the present descriptive study may hopefully serve to set the baseline values for future long-term epidemiological monitoring.

  4. Parasites reduce food web robustness because they are sensitive to secondary extinction as illustrated by an invasive estuarine snail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2009-01-01

    A robust food web is one in which few secondary extinctions occur after removing species. We investigated how parasites affected the robustness of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh food web by conducting random species removals and a hypothetical, but plausible, species invasion. Parasites were much more likely than free-living species to suffer secondary extinctions following the removal of a free-living species from the food web. For this reason, the food web was less robust with the inclusion of parasites. Removal of the horn snail, Cerithidea californica, resulted in a disproportionate number of secondary parasite extinctions. The exotic Japanese mud snail, Batillaria attramentaria, is the ecological analogue of the native California horn snail and can completely replace it following invasion. Owing to the similarities between the two snail species, the invasion had no effect on predator–prey interactions. However, because the native snail is host for 17 host-specific parasites, and the invader is host to only one, comparison of a food web that includes parasites showed significant effects of invasion on the native community. The hypothetical invasion also significantly reduced the connectance of the web because the loss of 17 native trematode species eliminated many links.

  5. Metazoan parasite communities: support for the biological invasion of Barbus barbus and its hybridization with the endemic Barbus meridionalis

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    L. Gettová

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recently, human intervention enabled the introduction of Barbus barbus from the Rhône River basin into the Barbus meridionalis habitats of the Argens River. After an introduction event, parasite loss and lower infection can be expected in non-native hosts in contrast to native species. Still, native species might be endangered by hybridization with the incomer and the introduction of novel parasite species. In our study, we aimed to examine metazoan parasite communities in Barbus spp. populations in France, with a special emphasis on the potential threat posed by the introduction of novel parasite species by invasive B. barbus to local B. meridionalis. Methods Metazoan parasite communities were examined in B. barbus, B. meridionalis and their hybrids in three river basins in France. Microsatellites were used for the species identification of individual fish. Parasite abundance, prevalence, and species richness were compared. Effects of different factors on parasite infection levels and species richness were tested using GLM. Results Metazoan parasites followed the expansion range of B. barbus and confirmed its introduction into the Argens River. Here, the significantly lower parasite number and lower levels of infection found in B. barbus in contrast to B. barbus from the Rhône River supports the enemy release hypothesis. Barbus barbus × B. meridionalis hybridization in the Argens River basin was confirmed using both microsatellites and metazoan parasites, as hybrids were infected by parasites of both parental taxa. Trend towards higher parasite diversity in hybrids when compared to parental taxa, and similarity between parasite communities from the Barbus hybrid zone suggest that hybrids might represent “bridges” for parasite infection between B. barbus and B. meridionalis. Risk of parasite transmission from less parasitized B. barbus to more parasitized B. meridionalis indicated from our study in the Argens River

  6. Avian malaria in Brazilian passerine birds: parasitism detected by nested PCR using DNA from stained blood smears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, S F; Sebaio, F; Branquinho, F C S; Marini, M A; Vago, A R; Braga, E M

    2005-03-01

    The microscopical examination of Giemsa-stained thin blood smears and a nested PCR were performed to detect avian Plasmodium in 275 passerine birds from small and large fragments of Atlantic Forest, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The 275 blood smears were used both for the microscopical examination and nested PCR providing the DNA template used for the reactions. The sensitivity of the nested PCR assay was higher than that observed for blood smears through microscopical examination. High prevalence (39.6%) of Plasmodium infections was detected by nested PCR while the microscopical examination detected only 16.5 % positive birds. Poor agreement was observed between the results of the two different tests. The PCR data obtained were correlated to the forest fragment size of the Atlantic Forest and also correlated to the biological characteristics of the birds (nest type construction, diet, participation in mixed-species flocks, age and sex). Birds captured in the large forest areas were more infected than birds captured in the small areas (51.9 % and 28.5 %, respectively). Diet and participation in mixed-species flocks were correlated to the Plasmodium parasitism. The insectivorous birds and those that participated in mixed-species flocks were more frequently infected (47% and 41.5%, respectively) than the other groups.

  7. Biology of the invasive ascidian Ascidiella aspersa in its native habitat: Reproductive patterns and parasite load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Sharon A.; Darmody, Grainne; O'Dwyer, Katie; Gallagher, Mary Catherine; Nolan, Sinead; McAllen, Rob; Culloty, Sarah C.

    2016-11-01

    The European sea squirt Ascidiella aspersa is a solitary tunicate native to the northeastern Atlantic, commonly found in shallow and sheltered marine ecosystems where it is capable of forming large clumps and outcompeting other invertebrate fauna at settlement. To date, there have been relatively few studies looking at the reproductive biology and health status of this invasive species. Between 2006 and 2010 sampling of a native population took place to investigate gametogenesis and reproductive cycle and to determine the impact of settlement depth on reproduction. In addition, parasite diversity and impact was assessed. A staging system to assess reproductive development was determined. The study highlighted that from year to year the tunicate could change its reproductive strategy from single sex to hermaphrodite, with spawning possible throughout the year. Depth did not impact on sex determination, however, gonad maturation and spawning occurred earlier in individuals in deeper waters compared to shallow depth and it also occurred later in A. aspersa at sites further away from the open sea. Four significant parasite groups including eugregarines, ciliates, trematodes and turbellarians were detected and prevalence of parasite infections increased in A. aspersa at sites with a reduced water flow rate. This study demonstrates the high biotic potential of this ascidian bioinvader to have a negative impact on native fauna in an introduced ecosystem, due to its highly efficient reproductive and resource allocation strategies. Artificial structures such as mooring lines can harbour large aggregations of A. aspersa, however, these manmade habitats may facilitate the colonisation and establishment of this invasive species in the benthos. Additionally, the parasite communities that A. aspersa harbour may also exacerbate its negative impact, both ecologically and economically, in an introduced area by possibly leading to the emergence of new disease in native species i

  8. Naïve hosts of avian brood parasites accept foreign eggs, whereas older hosts fine-tune foreign egg discrimination during laying

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Many potential hosts of social parasites recognize and reject foreign intruders, and reduce or altogether escape the negative impacts of parasitism. The ontogenetic basis of whether and how avian hosts recognize their own and the brood parasitic eggs remains unclear. By repeatedly parasitizing the same hosts with a consistent parasitic egg type, and contrasting the responses of naïve and older breeders, we studied ontogenetic plasticity in the rejection of foreign eggs by the great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), a host species of the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Results In response to experimental parasitism before the onset of laying, first time breeding hosts showed almost no egg ejection, compared to higher rates of ejection in older breeders. Young birds continued to accept foreign eggs when they were subjected to repeated parasitism, whereas older birds showed even higher ejection rates later in the same laying cycle. Conclusions Our results are consistent with the hypotheses that (i) naïve hosts need to see and learn the appearance of their own eggs to discriminate and reject foreign eggs, whereas (ii) experienced breeders possess a recognition template of their own eggs and reject parasitic eggs even without having to see their own eggs. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that other external cues and internal processes, accumulated simply with increasing age, may also modify age-specific patterns in egg rejection (e.g. more sightings of the cuckoo by older breeders). Future research should specifically track the potential role of learning in responses of individual hosts between first and subsequent breeding attempts by testing whether imprinting on a parasitized clutch reduces the rates of rejecting foreign eggs in subsequent parasitized clutches. PMID:25024736

  9. Naïve hosts of avian brood parasites accept foreign eggs, whereas older hosts fine-tune foreign egg discrimination during laying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskát, Csaba; Bán, Miklós; Hauber, Márk E

    2014-01-01

    Many potential hosts of social parasites recognize and reject foreign intruders, and reduce or altogether escape the negative impacts of parasitism. The ontogenetic basis of whether and how avian hosts recognize their own and the brood parasitic eggs remains unclear. By repeatedly parasitizing the same hosts with a consistent parasitic egg type, and contrasting the responses of naïve and older breeders, we studied ontogenetic plasticity in the rejection of foreign eggs by the great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), a host species of the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). In response to experimental parasitism before the onset of laying, first time breeding hosts showed almost no egg ejection, compared to higher rates of ejection in older breeders. Young birds continued to accept foreign eggs when they were subjected to repeated parasitism, whereas older birds showed even higher ejection rates later in the same laying cycle. Our results are consistent with the hypotheses that (i) naïve hosts need to see and learn the appearance of their own eggs to discriminate and reject foreign eggs, whereas (ii) experienced breeders possess a recognition template of their own eggs and reject parasitic eggs even without having to see their own eggs. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that other external cues and internal processes, accumulated simply with increasing age, may also modify age-specific patterns in egg rejection (e.g. more sightings of the cuckoo by older breeders). Future research should specifically track the potential role of learning in responses of individual hosts between first and subsequent breeding attempts by testing whether imprinting on a parasitized clutch reduces the rates of rejecting foreign eggs in subsequent parasitized clutches.

  10. Normocyte-binding protein required for human erythrocyte invasion by the zoonotic malaria parasitePlasmodium knowlesi

    KAUST Repository

    Moon, Robert W.

    2016-06-15

    The dominant cause of malaria in Malaysia is now Plasmodium knowlesi, a zoonotic parasite of cynomolgus macaque monkeys found throughout South East Asia. Comparative genomic analysis of parasites adapted to in vitro growth in either cynomolgus or human RBCs identified a genomic deletion that includes the gene encoding normocyte-binding protein Xa (NBPXa) in parasites growing in cynomolgus RBCs but not in human RBCs. Experimental deletion of the NBPXa gene in parasites adapted to growth in human RBCs (which retain the ability to grow in cynomolgus RBCs) restricted them to cynomolgus RBCs, demonstrating that this gene is selectively required for parasite multiplication and growth in human RBCs. NBPXa-null parasites could bind to human RBCs, but invasion of these cells was severely impaired. Therefore, NBPXa is identified as a key mediator of P. knowlesi human infection and may be a target for vaccine development against this emerging pathogen.

  11. Parasites of native Cichlidae populations and invasive Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758) in tributary of Amazonas River (Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bittencourt, Luana Silva; Pinheiro, Douglas Anadias; Cárdenas, Melissa Querido; Fernandes, Berenice Maria; Tavares-Dias, Marcos

    2014-03-01

    This study provides the first investigation on acquisition of parasites in invasive O. niloticus by parasite species of native Cichlidae from the Igarapé Fortaleza basin, Northern Brazil. There were examined 576 specimens of 16 species of native cichlids and invasive O. niloticus collected in the main channel and the floodplain area of this tributary of Amazon River. The invasive O. niloticus was poorly parasitized having only Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, Trichodina centrostrigeata, Paratrichodina africana, Trichodina nobilis (Protozoa) and Cichlidogyrus tilapiae (Monogenoidea), and this host has not acquired any parasite species common to the native ichthyofauna region. In contrast, species of native cichlids showed rich fauna of parasites with predominance of Monogenoidea species, larvae and adults of Nematoda, Digenea, Cestoidea and Acanthocephala, besides four species of Protozoa and four Crustacea. However, only T. nobilis was acquired by native fish, the Aequidens tetramerus, which is a new host for this exotic Trichodinidae. In O. niloticus, well established in the region, the small number of helminth species may be associated with its rusticity, good adaptation in the new environment and also the presence of native parasites with relative specificity, but without ability to complete its life cycle in this invasive host of this ecosystem.

  12. Parasites of native Cichlidae populations and invasive Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758 in tributary of Amazonas River (Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luana Silva Bittencourt

    Full Text Available This study provides the first investigation on acquisition of parasites in invasive O. niloticus by parasite species of native Cichlidae from the Igarapé Fortaleza basin, Northern Brazil. There were examined 576 specimens of 16 species of native cichlids and invasive O. niloticus collected in the main channel and the floodplain area of this tributary of Amazon River. The invasive O. niloticus was poorly parasitized having only Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, Trichodina centrostrigeata, Paratrichodina africana, Trichodina nobilis (Protozoa and Cichlidogyrus tilapiae (Monogenoidea, and this host has not acquired any parasite species common to the native ichthyofauna region. In contrast, species of native cichlids showed rich fauna of parasites with predominance of Monogenoidea species, larvae and adults of Nematoda, Digenea, Cestoidea and Acanthocephala, besides four species of Protozoa and four Crustacea. However, only T. nobilis was acquired by native fish, the Aequidens tetramerus, which is a new host for this exotic Trichodinidae. In O. niloticus, well established in the region, the small number of helminth species may be associated with its rusticity, good adaptation in the new environment and also the presence of native parasites with relative specificity, but without ability to complete its life cycle in this invasive host of this ecosystem.

  13. Genetic signatures in an invasive parasite of Anguilla anguilla correlate with differential stock management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wielgoss, S; Hollandt, F; Wirth, T; Meyer, A

    2010-07-01

    In this article, it is shown that available genetic tools for the omnipresent parasite Anguillicoloides crassus in European eels Anguilla anguilla are sensitive to different immigration rates into local A. anguilla stocks for two separated river systems. Relying on four highly polymorphic microsatellite markers, it was inferred that under natural recruitment, nematode samples meet Hardy-Weinberg expectations for a single panmictic population, while genetic signals show signs for a strong Wahlund effect most likely due to very recent population mixing under frequent restocking of young A. anguilla. This was indicated by a low but significant F(ST) value among within-host populations (infrapopulations) along with high inbreeding indices F(IS) consistent over all loci. The latter signal is shown to stem from high levels of admixture and the presence of first-generation migrants, and alternative explanations such as marker- and sex-specific biases in the nematode populations could be dismissed. Moreover, the slightly increased degree of relatedness within infrapopulations in the stocked river system cannot explain the excessive inbreeding values found and are most likely a direct consequence of recent influx of already infected fish harbouring parasites with different genetic signatures. Applying a simulation approach using known variables from the nematode's invasion history, only the artificial introduction of a Wahlund effect leads to a close match between simulated and real data, which is a strong argument for using the parasite as a biological tag for detecting and characterizing fish translocation.

  14. First report of the intracellular fish parasite Sphaerothecum destruens associated with the invasive topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva in France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charrier Amélie

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Sphaerothecum destruens has emerged as a serious parasite of fish. Its life cycle, as well as its association with Asian cyprinids, allows it to infect a wide range of hosts. The topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva, an invasive species that has rapidly colonized Europe, has been shown to be a healthy carrier of the parasite. However, in France, the presence of S. destruens and its possible association with P. parva have not yet been demonstrated. Here, we screened topmouth gudgeon DNA for S. destruens using PCR amplification of an 18S rRNA gene fragment of the parasite. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis confirmed the presence of S. destruens in the invasive fish species. Our results suggest that P. parva can be a potent vector of the parasite, and has the potential to become a major ecological and economic threat to the French fish population.

  15. Parasites

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2010-05-06

    In this podcast, a listener wants to know what to do if he thinks he has a parasite or parasitic disease.  Created: 5/6/2010 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 5/6/2010.

  16. Subcompartmentalisation of proteins in the rhoptries correlates with ordered events of erythrocyte invasion by the blood stage malaria parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth S Zuccala

    Full Text Available Host cell infection by apicomplexan parasites plays an essential role in lifecycle progression for these obligate intracellular pathogens. For most species, including the etiological agents of malaria and toxoplasmosis, infection requires active host-cell invasion dependent on formation of a tight junction - the organising interface between parasite and host cell during entry. Formation of this structure is not, however, shared across all Apicomplexa or indeed all parasite lifecycle stages. Here, using an in silico integrative genomic search and endogenous gene-tagging strategy, we sought to characterise proteins that function specifically during junction-dependent invasion, a class of proteins we term invasins to distinguish them from adhesins that function in species specific host-cell recognition. High-definition imaging of tagged Plasmodium falciparum invasins localised proteins to multiple cellular compartments of the blood stage merozoite. This includes several that localise to distinct subcompartments within the rhoptries. While originating from the same organelle, however, each has very different dynamics during invasion. Apical Sushi Protein and Rhoptry Neck protein 2 release early, following the junction, whilst a novel rhoptry protein PFF0645c releases only after invasion is complete. This supports the idea that organisation of proteins within a secretory organelle determines the order and destination of protein secretion and provides a localisation-based classification strategy for predicting invasin function during apicomplexan parasite invasion.

  17. The parasites of the invasive Chinese sleeper Perccottus glenii (Fam. Odontobutidae, with the first report of Nippotaenia mogurndae in Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kvach Y.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The parasites of the Asian invasive fish, Chinese sleeper Perccottus glenii, were studied in 6 localities in different parts of Ukraine. In total, 15 taxa of parasites were registered; among them were 1 species of Microsporidia, 5 species of ciliates, 2 species of cestodes, 2 species of trematodes, 2 species of nematodes, 1 species of acanthocephalan, 1 species of parasitic crustacean and 1 mollusk (glochidia. The invasive Chinese sleeper is included as a paratenic host in the life cycle of the parasites of indigenous reptiles in Europe. The non-indigenous cestode Nippotaenia mogurndae occurred in the intestine of the Chinese sleeper from the Ivachiv Reservoir (Dniester River basin. This cestode is recorded for Ukrainian fauna for the first time. In addition, 3 species of parasites were recorded in the Chinese sleeper for the first time: Nicolla skrjabini, Cosmocephalus obvelatus and Pomphorhynchus laevis. We note the low similarity among the different localities and the low parasite richness, that suggest that the parasite fauna of the Chinese sleeper in Ukraine is in transition.

  18. The transcriptome of the invasive eel swimbladder nematode parasite Anguillicola crassus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heitlinger, Emanuel; Bridgett, Stephen; Montazam, Anna; Taraschewski, Horst; Blaxter, Mark

    2013-02-08

    Anguillicola crassus is an economically and ecologically important parasitic nematode of eels. The native range of A. crassus is in East Asia, where it infects Anguilla japonica, the Japanese eel. A. crassus was introduced into European eels, Anguilla anguilla, 30 years ago. The parasite is more pathogenic in its new host than in its native one, and is thought to threaten the endangered An. anguilla across its range. The molecular bases for the increased pathogenicity of the nematodes in their new hosts is not known. A reference transcriptome was assembled for A. crassus from Roche 454 pyrosequencing data. Raw reads (756,363 total) from nematodes from An. japonica and An. anguilla hosts were filtered for likely host contaminants and ribosomal RNAs. The remaining 353,055 reads were assembled into 11,372 contigs of a high confidence assembly (spanning 6.6 Mb) and an additional 21,153 singletons and contigs of a lower confidence assembly (spanning an additional 6.2 Mb). Roughly 55% of the high confidence assembly contigs were annotated with domain- or protein sequence similarity derived functional information. Sequences conserved only in nematodes, or unique to A. crassus were more likely to have secretory signal peptides. Thousands of high quality single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified, and coding polymorphism was correlated with differential expression between individual nematodes. Transcripts identified as being under positive selection were enriched in peptidases. Enzymes involved in energy metabolism were enriched in the set of genes differentially expressed between European and Asian A. crassus. The reference transcriptome of A. crassus is of high quality, and will serve as a basis for future work on the invasion biology of this important parasite. The polymorphisms identified will provide a key tool set for analysis of population structure and identification of genes likely to be involved in increased pathogenicity in European eel hosts. The

  19. Variations in infection levels and parasite-induced mortality among sympatric cryptic lineages of native amphipods and a congeneric invasive species: Are native hosts always losing?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Galipaud

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Shared parasites can strongly influence the outcome of competition between congeneric, sympatric hosts, and thus host population dynamics. Parasite-mediated competition is commonly hypothesized as an important factor in biological invasion success; invasive species often experience lower infection levels and/or parasite-induced mortality than native congeneric hosts. However, variation in infection levels among sympatric hosts can be due to contrasting abilities to avoid infection or different parasite-induced mortality rates following infection. Low parasite infection levels in a specific host can be due to either factor but have drastically different implications in interaction outcomes between sympatric hosts.We assessed acanthocephalan infection levels (prevalence and abundance among cryptic molecular taxonomic units (MOTU of the native G. pulex/G. fossarum species complex from multiple populations where they occur in sympatry. We concomitantly estimated the same parameters in the invasive Gammarus roeseli commonly found in sympatry with G. pulex/G. fossarum MOTUs. We then tested for potential differences in parasite-induced mortality among these alternative hosts. As expected, the invasive G. roeseli showed relatively low infection level and was not subject to parasite-induced mortality. We also found that both acanthocephalan infection levels and parasite-induced mortality varied greatly among cryptic MOTUs of the native amphipods. Contrary to expectations, some native MOTUs displayed levels of resistance to their local parasites similar to those observed in the invasive G. roeseli. Overall, cryptic diversity in native amphipods coupled with high levels of variability in infection levels and parasite-induced mortality documented here may strongly influence inter-MOTU interactions and native population dynamics as well as invasion success and population dynamics of the congeneric invasive G. roeseli. Keywords: Biological invasion

  20. Rapid loss of antipredatory behaviour in captive-bred birds is linked to current avian invasions

    OpenAIRE

    Carrete, Martina; Tella, Jos? L.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the importance of behaviour in conservation biology, there have been few studies that address behaviour in areas such as invasion ecology. There is an urgent need to identify specific traits that facilitate the establishment and spread of alien species to prevent biological invasions and their impact on biodiversity. Changes in antipredatory behaviour in captivity have been proposed to explain the higher invasiveness of wild-caught exotic species. We experimentally tested this hypothe...

  1. Mortality and pathology in birds due to Plasmodium (Giovannolaia) homocircumflexum infection, with emphasis on the exoerythrocytic development of avian malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilgūnas, Mikas; Bukauskaitė, Dovilė; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Dinhopl, Nora; Nedorost, Nora; Weissenbacher-Lang, Christiane; Weissenböck, Herbert; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2016-05-04

    Species of avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium) are widespread, but their virulence has been insufficiently investigated, particularly in wild birds. During avian malaria, several cycles of tissue merogony occur, and many Plasmodium spp. produce secondary exoerythrocytic meronts (phanerozoites), which are induced by merozoites developing in erythrocytic meronts. Phanerozoites markedly damage organs, but remain insufficiently investigated in the majority of described Plasmodium spp. Avian malaria parasite Plasmodium (Giovannolaia) homocircumflexum (lineage pCOLL4) is virulent and produces phanerozoites in domestic canaries Serinus canaria, but its pathogenicity in wild birds remains unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the pathology caused by this infection in species of common European birds. One individual of Eurasian siskin Carduelis spinus, common crossbill Loxia curvirostra and common starling Sturnus vulgaris were exposed to P. homocircumflexum infection by intramuscular sub-inoculation of infected blood. The birds were maintained in captivity and parasitaemia was monitored until their death due to malaria. Brain, heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidney, and a piece of breast muscle were examined using histology and chromogenic in situ hybridization (ISH) methods. All exposed birds developed malaria infection, survived the peak of parasitaemia, but suddenly died between 30 and 38 days post exposure when parasitaemia markedly decreased. Numerous phanerozoites were visible in histological sections of all organs and were particularly easily visualized after ISH processing. Blockage of brain capillaries with phanerozoites may have led to cerebral ischaemia, causing cerebral paralysis and is most likely the main reason of sudden death of all infected individuals. Inflammatory response was not visible around the brain, heart and muscle phanerozoites, and it was mild in parenchymal organs. The endothelial damage likely causes dysfunction and failure of

  2. Contrasting determinants of abundance in ancestral and colonized ranges of an invasive brood parasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, D.C.; O'Connor, R.J.; Scott, J. Michael; Heglund, Patricia J.; Morrison, Michael L.; Haufler, Jonathan B.; Wall, William A.

    2002-01-01

    Avian species distributions are typically regarded as constrained by spatially extensive variables such as climate, habitat, spatial patchiness, and microhabitat attributes. We hypothesized that the distribution of a brood parasite depends as strongly on host distribution patterns as on biophysical factors and examined this hypothesis with respect to the national distribution of the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater). We applied a classification and regression (CART) analysis to data from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) and derived hierarchically organized statistical models of the influence of climate and weather, cropping and land use, and host abundance and distribution on the distribution of the Brown-headed Cowbird within the conterminous United States. The model accounted for 47.2% of the variation in cowbird incidence, and host abundance was the top predictor with an R2 of 18.9%. The other predictors identified by the model (crops 15.7%, weather and climate 14.3%, and region 9.6%) fit the ecological profile of this cowbird. We showed that host abundance was independent of these environmental predictors of cowbird distribution. At the regional scale host abundance played a very strong role in determining cowbird abundance in the cowbird?s colonized range east and west of their ancestral range in the Great Plains (26.6%). Crops were not a major predictor for cowbirds in their ancestral range, although they are the most important predictive factor (33%) for the grassland passerines that are the cowbird?s ancestral hosts. Consequently our findings suggest that the distribution of hosts does indeed take precedence over habitat attributes in shaping the cowbird?s distribution at a national scale, within an envelope of constraint set by biophysical factors.

  3. Getting what is served? Feeding ecology influencing parasite-host interactions in invasive round goby Neogobius melanostomus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emde, Sebastian; Kochmann, Judith; Kuhn, Thomas; Plath, Martin; Klimpel, Sven

    2014-01-01

    Freshwater ecosystems are increasingly impacted by alien invasive species which have the potential to alter various ecological interactions like predator-prey and host-parasite relationships. Here, we simultaneously examined predator-prey interactions and parasitization patterns of the highly invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in the rivers Rhine and Main in Germany. A total of 350 N. melanostomus were sampled between June and October 2011. Gut content analysis revealed a broad prey spectrum, partly reflecting temporal and local differences in prey availability. For the major food type (amphipods), species compositions were determined. Amphipod fauna consisted entirely of non-native species and was dominated by Dikerogammarus villosus in the Main and Echinogammarus trichiatus in the Rhine. However, the availability of amphipod species in the field did not reflect their relative abundance in gut contents of N. melanostomus. Only two metazoan parasites, the nematode Raphidascaris acus and the acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus sp., were isolated from N. melanostomus in all months, whereas unionid glochidia were only detected in June and October in fish from the Main. To analyse infection pathways, we examined 17,356 amphipods and found Pomphorhynchus sp. larvae only in D. villosus in the river Rhine at a prevalence of 0.15%. Dikerogammarus villosus represented the most important amphipod prey for N. melanostomus in both rivers but parasite intensities differed between rivers, suggesting that final hosts (large predatory fishes) may influence host-parasite dynamics of N. melanostomus in its introduced range.

  4. Getting What Is Served? Feeding Ecology Influencing Parasite-Host Interactions in Invasive Round Goby Neogobius melanostomus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emde, Sebastian; Kochmann, Judith; Kuhn, Thomas; Plath, Martin; Klimpel, Sven

    2014-01-01

    Freshwater ecosystems are increasingly impacted by alien invasive species which have the potential to alter various ecological interactions like predator-prey and host-parasite relationships. Here, we simultaneously examined predator-prey interactions and parasitization patterns of the highly invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in the rivers Rhine and Main in Germany. A total of 350 N. melanostomus were sampled between June and October 2011. Gut content analysis revealed a broad prey spectrum, partly reflecting temporal and local differences in prey availability. For the major food type (amphipods), species compositions were determined. Amphipod fauna consisted entirely of non-native species and was dominated by Dikerogammarus villosus in the Main and Echinogammarus trichiatus in the Rhine. However, the availability of amphipod species in the field did not reflect their relative abundance in gut contents of N. melanostomus. Only two metazoan parasites, the nematode Raphidascaris acus and the acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus sp., were isolated from N. melanostomus in all months, whereas unionid glochidia were only detected in June and October in fish from the Main. To analyse infection pathways, we examined 17,356 amphipods and found Pomphorhynchus sp. larvae only in D. villosus in the river Rhine at a prevalence of 0.15%. Dikerogammarus villosus represented the most important amphipod prey for N. melanostomus in both rivers but parasite intensities differed between rivers, suggesting that final hosts (large predatory fishes) may influence host-parasite dynamics of N. melanostomus in its introduced range. PMID:25338158

  5. Avian migrants facilitate invasions of neotropical ticks and tick-borne pathogens into the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Emily B; Auckland, Lisa D; Marra, Peter P; Hamer, Sarah A

    2015-12-01

    Migratory birds have the potential to transport exotic vectors and pathogens of human and animal health importance across vast distances. We systematically examined birds that recently migrated to the United States from the Neotropics for ticks. We screened both ticks and birds for tick-borne pathogens, including Rickettsia species and Borrelia burgdorferi. Over two spring seasons (2013 and 2014), 3.56% of birds (n = 3,844) representing 42.35% of the species examined (n = 85) were infested by ticks. Ground-foraging birds with reduced fuel stores were most commonly infested. Eight tick species were identified, including seven in the genus Amblyomma, of which only Amblyomma maculatum/Amblyomma triste is known to be established in the United States. Most ticks on birds (67%) were neotropical species with ranges in Central and South America. Additionally, a single Ixodes genus tick was detected. A total of 29% of the ticks (n = 137) and no avian blood samples (n = 100) were positive for infection with Rickettsia species, including Rickettsia parkeri, an emerging cause of spotted fever in humans in the southern United States, a species in the group of Rickettsia monacensis, and uncharacterized species and endosymbionts of unknown pathogenicity. No avian tick or blood samples tested positive for B. burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease. An extrapolation of our findings suggests that anywhere from 4 to 39 million exotic neotropical ticks are transported to the United States annually on migratory songbirds, with uncertain consequences for human and animal health if the current barriers to their establishment and spread are overcome. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  6. Identification and Optimization of Microbial Attractants for Philornis downsi, an Invasive Fly Parasitic on Galapagos Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Dong H; Mieles, Alejandro E; Lahuatte, Paola F; Cahuana, Andrea; Lincango, Marie Piedad; Causton, Charlotte E; Tebbich, Sabine; Cimadom, Arno; Teale, Stephen A

    2016-11-01

    We investigated the role of olfactory cues from actively fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) in attraction of adult Philornis downsi and identified two synergistically attractive yeast volatiles. Larvae of this invasive fly parasitize the hatchlings of passerines and threaten the Galapagos avifauna. Gas chromatography coupled with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD), coupled gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and field trapping experiments were used to identify volatile compounds from a yeast-sugar solution. EAD responses were consistently elicited by 14 yeast volatiles. In a series of field trapping experiments, a mixture of the 14 EAD-active compounds was similarly attractive to P. downsi when compared to the yeast-sugar solution, and we found that acetic acid and ethanol were essential for attraction. A mixture of 0.03 % acetic acid and 3 % ethanol was as attractive as the 14-component blend, but was not as attractive as the yeast-sugar solution. Philornis downsi showed positive and negative dose-responses to acetic acid in the ranges of 0.01 ~ 0.3 % and 0.3 ~ 9 %, respectively. Further optimization showed that the mixture of 1 % acetic acid and 3 % ethanol was as attractive as the yeast-sugar solution. Both mixtures of acetic acid and ethanol were more selective than the yeast-sugar solution in terms of non-target moths and Polistes versicolor wasps captured. These results indicate that acetic acid and ethanol produced by yeasts are crucial for P. downsi attraction to fermented materials on which they feed as adults and can be used to manage this invasive fly in Galapagos.

  7. Local parasite lineage sharing in temperate grassland birds provides clues about potential origins of Galapagos avian Plasmodium

    OpenAIRE

    Levin, Iris I.; Colborn, Rachel E.; Kim, Daniel; Perlut, Noah G.; Renfrew, Rosalind B.; Parker, Patricia G.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Oceanic archipelagos are vulnerable to natural introduction of parasites via migratory birds. Our aim was to characterize the geographic origins of two Plasmodium parasite lineages detected in the Galapagos Islands and in North American breeding bobolinks ( Dolichonyx oryzivorus) that regularly stop in Galapagos during migration to their South American overwintering sites. We used samples from a grassland breeding bird assemblage in Nebraska, United States, and parasite DNA sequences...

  8. An invasive species as an additional parasite reservoir: Trichinella in introduced American mink (Neovison vison).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurníková, Zuzana; Kołodziej-Sobocińska, Marta; Dvorožňáková, Emília; Niemczynowicz, Agnieszka; Zalewski, Andrzej

    2016-11-15

    The American mink (Neovison vison Schreber, 1777) is one of the most invasive alien mammal species which has been introduced to many countries in Europe, Asia and South America. As a predator which feeds on various prey, American mink carry many endoparasites; however, data about infection rate and prevalence of different parasites in mink are limited, especially concerning Trichinella spp. The aim of our study was to evaluate the role of American mink in the circulation of Trichinella species in its introduced range. In total, 812 muscle samples of mink from six feral populations and three farms in Poland were examined for presence of Trichinella muscle larvae using the artificial HCl-pepsin digestion method. Muscle larvae were found in 27 out of 812 individuals (3.3%) from six localities in western and north-eastern Poland. The intensity of infection varied from 0.1 to 274.8 LPG. The majority of Trichinella-positive individuals - 15 (55.6%) were infected with T. britovi, one with T. spiralis, and one with T. pseudospiralis. Two animals harboured T. britovi and T. spiralis in co-infection and this data confirmed the first report of a mixed Trichinella infection in American mink. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Protein kinase a dependent phosphorylation of apical membrane antigen 1 plays an important role in erythrocyte invasion by the malaria parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin Leykauf

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Apicomplexan parasites are obligate intracellular parasites that infect a variety of hosts, causing significant diseases in livestock and humans. The invasive forms of the parasites invade their host cells by gliding motility, an active process driven by parasite adhesion proteins and molecular motors. A crucial point during host cell invasion is the formation of a ring-shaped area of intimate contact between the parasite and the host known as a tight junction. As the invasive zoite propels itself into the host-cell, the junction moves down the length of the parasite. This process must be tightly regulated and signalling is likely to play a role in this event. One crucial protein for tight-junction formation is the apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1. Here we have investigated the phosphorylation status of this key player in the invasion process in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. We show that the cytoplasmic tail of P. falciparum AMA1 is phosphorylated at serine 610. We provide evidence that the enzyme responsible for serine 610 phosphorylation is the cAMP regulated protein kinase A (PfPKA. Importantly, mutation of AMA1 serine 610 to alanine abrogates phosphorylation of AMA1 in vivo and dramatically impedes invasion. In addition to shedding unexpected new light on AMA1 function, this work represents the first time PKA has been implicated in merozoite invasion.

  10. Do male and female cowbirds see their world differently? Implications for sex differences in the sensory system of an avian brood parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esteban Fernández-Juricic

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Male and female avian brood parasites are subject to different selection pressures: males compete for mates but do not provide parental care or territories and only females locate hosts to lay eggs. This sex difference may affect brain architecture in some avian brood parasites, but relatively little is known about their sensory systems and behaviors used to obtain sensory information. Our goal was to study the visual resolution and visual information gathering behavior (i.e., scanning of brown-headed cowbirds. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured the density of single cone photoreceptors, associated with chromatic vision, and double cone photoreceptors, associated with motion detection and achromatic vision. We also measured head movement rates, as indicators of visual information gathering behavior, when exposed to an object. We found that females had significantly lower density of single and double cones than males around the fovea and in the periphery of the retina. Additionally, females had significantly higher head-movement rates than males. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, we suggest that female cowbirds have lower chromatic and achromatic visual resolution than males (without sex differences in visual contrast perception. Females might compensate for the lower visual resolution by gazing alternatively with both foveae in quicker succession than males, increasing their head movement rates. However, other physiological factors may have influenced the behavioral differences observed. Our results bring up relevant questions about the sensory basis of sex differences in behavior. One possibility is that female and male cowbirds differentially allocate costly sensory resources, as a recent study found that females actually have greater auditory resolution than males.

  11. Do male and female cowbirds see their world differently? Implications for sex differences in the sensory system of an avian brood parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Juricic, Esteban; Ojeda, Agustin; Deisher, Marcella; Burry, Brianna; Baumhardt, Patrice; Stark, Amy; Elmore, Amanda G; Ensminger, Amanda L

    2013-01-01

    Male and female avian brood parasites are subject to different selection pressures: males compete for mates but do not provide parental care or territories and only females locate hosts to lay eggs. This sex difference may affect brain architecture in some avian brood parasites, but relatively little is known about their sensory systems and behaviors used to obtain sensory information. Our goal was to study the visual resolution and visual information gathering behavior (i.e., scanning) of brown-headed cowbirds. We measured the density of single cone photoreceptors, associated with chromatic vision, and double cone photoreceptors, associated with motion detection and achromatic vision. We also measured head movement rates, as indicators of visual information gathering behavior, when exposed to an object. We found that females had significantly lower density of single and double cones than males around the fovea and in the periphery of the retina. Additionally, females had significantly higher head-movement rates than males. Overall, we suggest that female cowbirds have lower chromatic and achromatic visual resolution than males (without sex differences in visual contrast perception). Females might compensate for the lower visual resolution by gazing alternatively with both foveae in quicker succession than males, increasing their head movement rates. However, other physiological factors may have influenced the behavioral differences observed. Our results bring up relevant questions about the sensory basis of sex differences in behavior. One possibility is that female and male cowbirds differentially allocate costly sensory resources, as a recent study found that females actually have greater auditory resolution than males.

  12. Local parasite lineage sharing in temperate grassland birds provides clues about potential origins of Galapagos avian Plasmodium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Iris I; Colborn, Rachel E; Kim, Daniel; Perlut, Noah G; Renfrew, Rosalind B; Parker, Patricia G

    2016-02-01

    Oceanic archipelagos are vulnerable to natural introduction of parasites via migratory birds. Our aim was to characterize the geographic origins of two Plasmodium parasite lineages detected in the Galapagos Islands and in North American breeding bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) that regularly stop in Galapagos during migration to their South American overwintering sites. We used samples from a grassland breeding bird assemblage in Nebraska, United States, and parasite DNA sequences from the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, to compare to global data in a DNA sequence registry. Homologous DNA sequences from parasites detected in bobolinks and more sedentary birds (e.g., brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater, and other co-occurring bird species resident on the North American breeding grounds) were compared to those recovered in previous studies from global sites. One parasite lineage that matched between Galapagos birds and the migratory bobolink, Plasmodium lineage B, was the most common lineage detected in the global MalAvi database, matching 49 sequences from unique host/site combinations, 41 of which were of South American origin. We did not detect lineage B in brown-headed cowbirds. The other Galapagos-bobolink match, Plasmodium lineage C, was identical to two other sequences from birds sampled in California. We detected a close variant of lineage C in brown-headed cowbirds. Taken together, this pattern suggests that bobolinks became infected with lineage B on the South American end of their migratory range, and with lineage C on the North American breeding grounds. Overall, we detected more parasite lineages in bobolinks than in cowbirds. Galapagos Plasmodium had similar host breadth compared to the non-Galapagos haemosporidian lineages detected in bobolinks, brown-headed cowbirds, and other grassland species. This study highlights the utility of global haemosporidian data in the context of migratory bird-parasite connectivity. It is possible that migratory bobolinks

  13. Community-level patterns of population recruitment in a generalist avian brood parasite, the brown-headed cowbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curson, David R; Goguen, Christopher B; Mathews, Nancy E

    2010-07-01

    The brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) is a generalist brood parasite that typically parasitizes many host species in a single bird community. Population recruitment in a generalist parasite should be diverse with respect to host species; however, host-specific rates of cowbird recruitment have not been reported in any host community, and the determinants of host quality are poorly known. We studied the combined influence of parasitism level, nest abundance, and host quality on community-level patterns of cowbird recruitment in New Mexico, USA. Our objectives were to: (1) evaluate patterns of host use and quality; (2) compare cowbird egg investment and recruitment among host species; (3) identify host species of most importance to cowbird recruitment. Cowbirds parasitized 11 host species, with five "major" hosts experiencing high parasitism levels (>or=1 cowbird egg/nest) and six minor hosts experiencing low parasitism levels (Parasitism level was not correlated with host species abundance, host mass, host nestling period length, or host success at fledging cowbirds. However, tree-nesting hosts were parasitized more than ground-nesters, and foliage-gleaners more than sally-foragers and ground-foragers. Average estimated survival to fledging of cowbird eggs laid in active host nests was 0.19. Cowbird recruitment was diverse with respect to hosts but was less evenly distributed across the host community than was cowbird egg investment because western tanagers (Piranga ludovicianus) fledged cowbirds more successfully than other hosts. This success in western tanagers was due to high cowbird survivorship in tanager nests and may be associated with the larger body size of tanagers relative to other hosts.

  14. Urban landscape genomics identifies fine-scale gene flow patterns in an avian invasive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low, G W; Chattopadhyay, B; Garg, K M; Irestedt, M; Ericson, Pgp; Yap, G; Tang, Q; Wu, S; Rheindt, F E

    2018-01-01

    Invasive species exert a serious impact on native fauna and flora and have been the target of many eradication and management efforts worldwide. However, a lack of data on population structure and history, exacerbated by the recency of many species introductions, limits the efficiency with which such species can be kept at bay. In this study we generated a novel genome of high assembly quality and genotyped 4735 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) markers from 78 individuals of an invasive population of the Javan Myna Acridotheres javanicus across the island of Singapore. We inferred limited population subdivision at a micro-geographic level, a genetic patch size (~13-14 km) indicative of a pronounced dispersal ability, and barely an increase in effective population size since introduction despite an increase of four to five orders of magnitude in actual population size, suggesting that low population-genetic diversity following a bottleneck has not impeded establishment success. Landscape genomic analyses identified urban features, such as low-rise neighborhoods, that constitute pronounced barriers to gene flow. Based on our data, we consider an approach targeting the complete eradication of Javan Mynas across Singapore to be unfeasible. Instead, a mixed approach of localized mitigation measures taking into account urban geographic features and planning policy may be the most promising avenue to reducing the adverse impacts of this urban pest. Our study demonstrates how genomic methods can directly inform the management and control of invasive species, even in geographically limited datasets with high gene flow rates.

  15. Functional Role of Native and Invasive Filter-Feeders, and the Effect of Parasites: Learning from Hypersaline Ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta I Sánchez

    Full Text Available Filter-feeding organisms are often keystone species with a major influence on the dynamics of aquatic ecosystems. Studies of filtering rates in such taxa are therefore vital in order to understand ecosystem functioning and the impact of natural and anthropogenic stressors such as parasites, climate warming and invasive species. Brine shrimps Artemia spp. are the dominant grazers in hypersaline systems and are a good example of such keystone taxa. Hypersaline ecosystems are relatively simplified environments compared with much more complex freshwater and marine ecosystems, making them suitable model systems to address these questions. The aim of this study was to compare feeding rates at different salinities and temperatures between clonal A. parthenogenetica (native to Eurasia and Africa and the invasive American brine shrimp A. franciscana, which is excluding native Artemia from many localities. We considered how differences observed in laboratory experiments upscale at the ecosystem level across both spatial and temporal scales (as indicated by chlorophyll-a concentration and turbidity. In laboratory experiments, feeding rates increased at higher temperatures and salinities in both Artemia species and sexes, whilst A. franciscana consistently fed at higher rates. A field study of temporal dynamics revealed significantly higher concentrations of chlorophyll-a in sites occupied by A. parthenogenetica, supporting our experimental findings. Artemia parthenogenetica density and biomass were negatively correlated with chlorophyll-a concentration at the spatial scale. We also tested the effect of cestode parasites, which are highly prevalent in native Artemia but much rarer in the invasive species. The cestodes Flamingolepis liguloides and Anomotaenia tringae decreased feeding rates in native Artemia, whilst Confluaria podicipina had no significant effect. Total parasite prevalence was positively correlated with turbidity. Overall, parasites are

  16. Analysis of hematologic and serum chemistry values of Spheniscus magellanicus with molecular detection of avian malarial parasites (Plasmodium spp.

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    Sabrina D.E. Campos

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus routinely migrate from their breeding colonies to Southern Brazil often contracting diseases during this migration, notably avian malaria, which has been already reported in Brazil and throughout the world. Detection of Plasmodium spp. in blood smears is the routine diagnostic method of avian malaria, however it has a low sensitivity rate when compared to molecular methods. Considering the negative impact of avian malaria on penguins, the aim of this study was to detect the presence of Plasmodium spp. in Magellanic penguins using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR and by verifying clinical, hematological, and biochemical alterations in blood samples as well as to verify the likely prognosis in response to infection. Blood samples were obtained from 75 penguins to determine packed cell volume (PCV, red blood cell (RBC and white blood cell (WBC counts, mean corpuscular volume (MCV, uric acid, total protein, albumin, globulin and aspartate aminotransferase (AST activity levels. Whole blood samples were used for PCR assays. Plasmodium spp. was detected in 32.0% of the specimens using PCR and in 29.3% using microscopic analyses. Anorexia, diarrhea and neurological disorders were more frequent in penguins with malaria and a significant weight difference between infected and non-infected penguins was detected. PCV and MCV rates showed no significant difference. RBC and WBC counts were lower in animals with avian malaria and leukopenia was present in some penguins. Basophil and lymphocyte counts were lower in infected penguins along with high monocyte counts. There was no significant difference in AST activities between infected and non-infected animals. There was a significant increase in uric acid values, however a decrease in albumin values was observed in infected penguins. Based on this study, we concluded that Plasmodium spp. occurs in Magellanic penguins of rehabilitation centers in Southeastern Brazil

  17. The invasive shrub Prosopis juliflora enhances the malaria parasite transmission capacity of Anopheles mosquitoes: a habitat manipulation experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Gunter C; Junnila, Amy; Traore, Mohamad M; Traore, Sekou F; Doumbia, Seydou; Sissoko, Fatoumata; Dembele, Seydou M; Schlein, Yosef; Arheart, Kristopher L; Revay, Edita E; Kravchenko, Vasiliy D; Witt, Arne; Beier, John C

    2017-07-05

    A neglected aspect of alien invasive plant species is their influence on mosquito vector ecology and malaria transmission. Invasive plants that are highly attractive to Anopheles mosquitoes provide them with sugar that is critical to their survival. The effect on Anopheles mosquito populations was examined through a habitat manipulation experiment that removed the flowering branches of highly attractive Prosopis juliflora from selected villages in Mali, West Africa. Nine villages in the Bandiagara district of Mali were selected, six with flowering Prosopis juliflora, and three without. CDC-UV light traps were used to monitor their Anopheles spp. vector populations, and recorded their species composition, population size, age structure, and sugar feeding status. After 8 days, all of the flowering branches were removed from three villages and trap catches were analysed again. Villages where flowering branches of the invasive shrub Prosopis juliflora were removed experienced a threefold drop in the older more dangerous Anopheles females. Population density dropped by 69.4% and the species composition shifted from being a mix of three species of the Anopheles gambiae complex to one dominated by Anopheles coluzzii. The proportion of sugar fed females dropped from 73 to 15% and males from 77 to 10%. This study demonstrates how an invasive plant shrub promotes the malaria parasite transmission capacity of African malaria vector mosquitoes. Proper management of invasive plants could potentially reduce mosquito populations and malaria transmission.

  18. Living with aliens: effects of invasive shrub honeysuckles on avian nesting.

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    Jason M Gleditsch

    Full Text Available Invasive species have come to the forefront of conservation biology as a major threat to native biodiversity. Habitats dominated by shrub honeysuckles (Lonicera spp. in the United States have been characterized as "ecological traps" by ecologists. Here we tested this hypothesis by investigating the effects of shrub honeysuckles on the nesting ecology of native birds in seven study sites in central Pennsylvania, USA. We examined how the abundance of shrub honeysuckles influenced the selection of nesting substrates and habitat for a community of common songbirds, and the parental-care behavior and nestling development of gray catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis. We found that birds had a strong bias towards nesting in honeysuckle shrubs, but not necessarily for nesting in honeysuckle-dominated habitats. Nest predation rates were affected by the density of nests in a habitat, but not by the overall abundance of honeysuckles in such habitats. Honeysuckle abundance in the habitat did show significant effects on some parental-care behavioral parameters: catbirds had higher nest visitation rates and shorter visit lengths in areas of high honeysuckle density. On average, Gray catbirds fed fruit 12%±0.31 s.e. of their nestling-feeding bouts, mostly fruits of shrub honeysuckles. Nestlings in sites with high honeysuckle density also showed higher mass:tarsus ratios, suggesting a good (possibly better physiological condition of catbird nestlings at the time of fledging. Our study shows that honeysuckle-dominated habitats could have equivocal effects on nesting parameters of common species of native birds. We advise more caution in the widespread denomination of novel plant communities with high densities of honeysuckle as "ecological traps" as effects can be null or positive on native birds in certain localities.

  19. Antisense Oligonucleotides Targeting Parasite Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptor Inhibits Mammalian Host Cell Invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Muneaki; Nara, Takeshi; Hirawake, Hiroko; Morales, Jorge; Enomoto, Masahiro; Mikoshiba, Katsuhiko

    2014-02-01

    Chagas disease is caused by an intracellular parasitic protist, Trypanosoma cruzi. As there are no highly effective drugs against this agent that also demonstrate low toxicity, there is an urgent need for development of new drugs to treat Chagas disease. We have previously demonstrated that the parasite inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (TcIP3R) is crucial for invasion of the mammalian host cell by T. cruzi. Here, we report that TcIP3R is a short-lived protein and that its expression is significantly suppressed in trypomastigotes. Treatment of trypomastigotes, an infective stage of T. cruzi, with antisense oligonucleotides specific to TcIP3R deceased TcIP3R protein levels and impaired trypomastigote invasion of host cells. Due to the resulting instability and very low expression level of TcIP3R in trypomastigotes indicates that TcIP3R is a promising target for antisense therapy in Chagas disease.

  20. Host–parasite interactions during a biological invasion: The fate of lungworms (Rhabdias spp. inside native and novel anuran hosts

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    Felicity B.L. Nelson

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The cane toad invasion in Australia provides a robust opportunity to clarify the infection process in co-evolved versus de novo host–parasite interactions. We investigated these infection dynamics through histological examination following experimental infections of metamorphs of native frogs (Cyclorana australis and cane toads (Rhinella marina with Rhabdias hylae (the lungworm found in native frogs and Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala (the lungworm found in cane toads. Cane toads reared under continuous exposure to infective larvae of the frog lungworm were examined after periods of 2, 6, 10 and 15 days. Additionally, both toads and frogs were exposed for 24 h to larvae of either the toad or the frog lungworm, and examined 2, 5, 10 and 20 days post-treatment. R. hylae (frog lungworms entered cane toads and migrated through the body but were not found in the target tissue, the lungs. Larvae of both lungworm species induced inflammation in both types of hosts, although the immune response (relative numbers of different cell types differed between hosts and between parasite species. Co-evolution has modified the immune response elicited by infection and (perhaps for that reason has enhanced the parasite's ability to survive and to reach the host's lungs.

  1. Immunolocalization and characterization of two novel proteases in Leishmania donovani: putative roles in host invasion and parasite development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, Rajdeep; Das, Partha; De, Tripti; Chakraborti, Tapati

    2010-10-01

    Two novel intracellular proteases having identical molecular mass (58 kDa) were purified from virulent Indian strain of Leishmania donovani by a combination of aprotinin-agarose affinity chromatography, ion exchange chromatography and finally continuous elution electrophoresis. Both of these proteases migrate in SDS-PAGE as a single homogeneous bands suggesting monomeric nature of these proteases. The enzyme activity of one of the proteases was inhibited by serine protease inhibitor aprotinin and another one was inhibited by metalloprotease inhibitor 1, 10 phenanthroline. The purified enzymes were thus of serine protease (SP-Ld) and metalloprotease (MP-Ld) type. The optimal pH for protease activity is 8.0 and 7.5 for SP-Ld and MP-Ld respectively. The temperature optimum for SP-Ld is 28 °C and for MP-Ld is 37 °C showing their thermostability upto 60 °C. Broad substrate (both natural and synthetic) specificity and the effect of Ca2+ upon these enzymes suggested novelty of these proteases. Kinetic data indicate that SP-Ld is of trypsin like as BAPNA appears to be the best substrate and MP-Ld seems to be collagenase type as it degrades azocoll with maximum efficiency. Both immunofluorescence and immune-gold electron microscopy studies revealed that the SP-Ld is localized in the flagellar pocket as well as at the surface of the parasite, whereas MP-Ld is located extensively near the flagellar pocket region. This work also suggests that the uses of anti SP-Ld and anti MP-Ld antibodies are quite significant in interfering with the process of parasite invasion and multiplication respectively. Thus the major role of SP-Ld could be predicted in invasion process as it down regulates the phagocytic activity of macrophages, and MP-Ld appears to play important roles in parasitic development. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. The things they carried: The pathogenic effects of old and new parasites following the intercontinental invasion of the Australian cane toad (Rhinella marina

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    D. Selechnik

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Brought to Australia in 1935 to control agricultural pests (from French Guiana, via Martinique, Barbados, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Hawai'i, repeated stepwise translocations of small numbers of founders enabled the cane toad (Rhinella marina to escape many parasites and pathogens from its native range. However, the infective organisms that survived the journey continue to affect the dynamics of the toad in its new environment. In Australia, the native-range lungworm Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala decreases its host's cardiac capacity, as well as growth and survival, but not rate of dispersal. The lungworm is most prevalent in long-colonised areas within the toads' Australian range, and absent from the invasion front. Several parasites and pathogens of Australian taxa have host-shifted to cane toads in Australia; for example, invasion-front toads are susceptible to spinal arthritis caused by the soil bacterium, Ochrobactrum anthropi. The pentastome Raillietiella frenata has host-shifted to toads and may thereby expand its Australian range due to the continued range expansion of the invasive toads. Spill-over and spill-back of parasites may be detrimental to other host species; however, toads may also reduce parasite loads in native taxa by acting as terminal hosts. We review the impact of the toad's parasites and pathogens on the invasive anuran's biology in Australia, as well as collateral effects of toad-borne parasites and pathogens on other host species in Australia. Both novel and co-evolved pathogens and parasites may have played significant roles in shaping the rapid evolution of immune system responses in cane toads within their invaded range. Keywords: Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala, Ecoimmunology, Invasion, Enemy release hypothesis, Immune function, Bufo, Pathogen-mediated selection 1

  3. RNA-seq analysis of early enteromyxosis in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus): new insights into parasite invasion and immune evasion strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronza, Paolo; Robledo, Diego; Bermúdez, Roberto; Losada, Ana Paula; Pardo, Belén G; Sitjà-Bobadilla, Ariadna; Quiroga, María Isabel; Martínez, Paulino

    2016-07-01

    Enteromyxum scophthalmi, an intestinal myxozoan parasite, is the causative agent of a threatening disease for turbot (Scophthalmus maximus, L.) aquaculture. The colonisation of the digestive tract by this parasite leads to a cachectic syndrome associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. This myxosporidiosis has a long pre-patent period and the first detectable clinical and histopathological changes are subtle. The pathogenic mechanisms acting in the early stages of infection are still far from being fully understood. Further information on the host-parasite interaction is needed to assist in finding efficient preventive and therapeutic measures. Here, a RNA-seq-based transcriptome analysis of head kidney, spleen and pyloric caeca from experimentally-infected and control turbot was performed. Only infected fish with early signs of infection, determined by histopathology and immunohistochemical detection of E. scophthalmi, were selected. The RNA-seq analysis revealed, as expected, less intense transcriptomic changes than those previously found during later stages of the disease. Several genes involved in IFN-related pathways were up-regulated in the three organs, suggesting that the IFN-mediated immune response plays a main role in this phase of the disease. Interestingly, an opposite expression pattern had been found in a previous study on severely infected turbot. In addition, possible strategies for immune system evasion were suggested by the down-regulation of different genes encoding complement components and acute phase proteins. At the site of infection (pyloric caeca), modulation of genes related to different structural proteins was detected and the expression profile indicated the inhibition of cell proliferation and differentiation. These transcriptomic changes provide indications regarding the mechanisms of parasite attachment to and invasion of the host. The current results contribute to a better knowledge of the events that characterise the early

  4. Population structure and dispersal routes of an invasive parasite, Fascioloides magna, in North America and Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Juhasova, L.; Kraľová-Hromadová, I.; Bazsalovicsová, E.; Minárik, G.; Štefka, Jan; Mikulíček, P.; Pálková, L.; Pybus, M.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 9, OCT 13 (2016), č. článku 547. ISSN 1756-3305 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : microsatellites * parasite * giant liver fluke * Fascioloides magna * genetic interrelationships * migratory routes Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.080, year: 2016

  5. Invasion biology meets parasitology: a case study of parasite spill-back with Egyptian Fasciola gigantica in the invasive snail Pseudosuccinea columella.

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    Daniel S Grabner

    Full Text Available The liver fluke Fasciola gigantica is a trematode parasite of ruminants and humans that occurs naturally in Africa and Asia. Cases of human fascioliasis, attributable at least in part to F. gigantica, are significantly increasing in the last decades. The introduced snail species Galba truncatula was already identified to be an important intermediate host for this parasite and the efficient invader Pseudosuccinea columella is another suspect in this case. Therefore, we investigated snails collected in irrigation canals in Fayoum governorate in Egypt for prevalence of trematodes with focus on P. columella and its role for the transmission of F. gigantica. Species were identified morphologically and by partial sequencing of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene (COI. Among all 689 snails found at the 21 sampling sites, P. columella was the most abundant snail with 296 individuals (42.96% and it was also the most dominant species at 10 sites. It was not found at 8 sites. Molecular detection by PCR and sequencing of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of the ribosomal DNA (rDNA revealed infections with F. gigantica (3.38%, Echinostoma caproni (2.36% and another echinostome (7.09% that could not be identified further according to its sequence. No dependency of snail size and trematode infection was found. Both high abundance of P. columella in the Fayoum irrigation system and common infection with F. gigantica might be a case of parasite spill-back (increased prevalence in local final hosts due to highly susceptible introduced intermediate host species from the introduced P. columella to the human population, explaining at least partly the observed increase of reported fascioliasis-cases in Egypt. Eichhornia crassipes, the invasive water hyacinth, which covers huge areas of the irrigation canals, offers safe refuges for the amphibious P. columella during molluscicide application. As a consequence, this snail dominates snail communities and efficiently transmits

  6. Are African longfin eel imports a potential pathway for parasite invasions?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Weyl, O.; Taraschewski, H.; Moravec, František

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 37, č. 9 (2014), s. 843-845 ISSN 0140-7775 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Anguilla * Anguillicola * Anguillicoloide * invasion * pathway * trade Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.056, year: 2014

  7. Pathways of cryptic invasion in a fish parasite traced using coalescent analysis and epidemiological survey

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bouzid, W.; Štefka, Jan; Bahri-Sfar, L.; Beerli, P.; Loot, G.; Lek, S.; Haddaoui, N.; Hypša, Václav; Scholz, Tomáš; Dkhil-Abbes, T.; Meddour, R.; Hassine, O.K.B.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 9 (2013), s. 1907-1923 ISSN 1387-3547 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP506/12/1632 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA206/08/1019; Marie Curie Fellowship(XE) FP7-PEOPLE-IEF-2008 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Aquaculture * Coevolution * Directionality of migration * Population split * Ligula intestinalis * Parasite introduction Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.716, year: 2013

  8. Habitat fragmentation and ecological traits influence the prevalence of avian blood parasites in a tropical rainforest landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurance, Susan G W; Jones, Dean; Westcott, David; McKeown, Adam; Harrington, Graham; Hilbert, David W

    2013-01-01

    In the tropical rainforests of northern Australia, we investigated the effects of habitat fragmentation and ecological parameters on the prevalence of blood-borne parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) in bird communities. Using mist-nets on forest edges and interiors, we sampled bird communities across six study sites: 3 large fragments (20-85 ha) and 3 continuous-forest sites. From 335 mist-net captures, we recorded 28 bird species and screened 299 bird samples with PCR to amplify and detect target DNA. Of the 28 bird species sampled, 19 were infected with Plasmodium and/or Haemoproteus and 9 species were without infection. Over one third of screened birds (99 individuals) were positive for Haemoproteus and/or Plasmodium. In forest fragments, bird capture rates were significantly higher than in continuous forests, but bird species richness did not differ. Unexpectedly, we found that the prevalence of the dominant haemosporidian infection, Haemoproteus, was significantly higher in continuous forest than in habitat fragments. Further, we found that ecological traits such as diet, foraging height, habitat specialisation and distributional ranges were significantly associated with blood-borne infections.

  9. Role of the invasive Chinese sleeper Perccottus glenii (Actinopterygii: Odontobutidae) in the distribution of fish parasites in Europe: New data and a review

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kvach, Yuriy; Kutsokon, Y.; Stepien, C. A.; Markovych, M.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 71, č. 8 (2016), s. 941-951 ISSN 0006-3088 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP505/12/G112 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Chinese sleeper * enemy release hypothesis * invasive species * parasites * Perccottus glenii Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 0.759, year: 2016

  10. Inhibitory effects of α-cyperone on adherence and invasion of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli O78 to chicken type II pneumocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Li-Yan; Lv, Shuang; Wu, Shuai-Cheng; Guo, Xun; Xia, Fang; Hu, Xi-Rou; Song, Zhou; Zhang, Cui; Qin, Qian-Qian; Fu, Ben-Dong; Yi, Peng-Fei; Shen, Hai-Qing; Wei, Xu-Bin

    2014-05-15

    Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) are extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli, and usually cause avian septicemia through breaching the blood-gas barrier. Type II pneumocytes play an important role of maintaining the function of the blood-gas barrier. However, the mechanism of APEC injuring type II pneumocytes remains unclear. α-cyperone can inhibit lung cell injury induced by Staphylococcus aureus. In order to explore whether α-cyperone regulates the adherence and invasion of APEC-O78 to chicken type II pneumocytes, we successfully cultured chicken type II pneumocytes. The results showed that α-cyperone significantly decreased the adherence of APEC-O78 to chicken type II pneumocytes. In addition, α-cyperone inhibited actin cytoskeleton polymerization induced by APEC-O78 through down regulating the expression of Nck-2, Cdc42 and Rac1. These results provide new evidence for the prevention of colibacillosis in chicken. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. On the invasion of the parasitic fly Lucilia bufonivora (Diptera, Calliphoridae on the common frog

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    Lyabzina Svetlana

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Lucilia bufonivora is an obligate, specialised parasite of amphibians. Larval development takes place in the host body. The paper gives a detailed description of parasite observation. This observation was carried out beginning with the moment of finding larvae in the head of the frog till its death and adults flying out. Initially the larvae are located deep in the nostrils, occasionally crawling out on the head. In the frontal part of the frog’s head between the eyes, under the skin, they form a noticeable tubercle. The larvae in the head disturb the frog and lead to its death. After the death of the frog, the larvae move to the nostrils for time, filling them completely. In a day they destroy all soft tissues and cartilages of the host body. The development of larvae on the corpse continues for two days, then they move into the soil for pupation. Their puparia are located under the corpse at a depth of several centimeters. The adults fly out on the 10th day after their pupation. Of the 78 larvae found on the corpse, there were 59 flies, (31 females and 28 males.

  12. Molecular characterization of Trypanosoma cruzi SAP proteins with host-cell lysosome exocytosis-inducing activity required for parasite invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanforlin, Tamiris; Bayer-Santos, Ethel; Cortez, Cristian; Almeida, Igor C; Yoshida, Nobuko; da Silveira, José Franco

    2013-01-01

    To invade target cells, Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclic forms engage distinct sets of surface and secreted molecules that interact with host components. Serine-, alanine-, and proline-rich proteins (SAP) comprise a multigene family constituted of molecules with a high serine, alanine and proline residue content. SAP proteins have a central domain (SAP-CD) responsible for interaction with and invasion of mammalian cells by metacyclic forms. Using a 513 bp sequence from SAP-CD in blastn analysis, we identified 39 full-length SAP genes in the genome of T. cruzi. Although most of these genes were mapped in the T. cruzi in silico chromosome TcChr41, several SAP sequences were spread out across the genome. The level of SAP transcripts was twice as high in metacyclic forms as in epimastigotes. Monoclonal (MAb-SAP) and polyclonal (anti-SAP) antibodies produced against the recombinant protein SAP-CD were used to investigate the expression and localization of SAP proteins. MAb-SAP reacted with a 55 kDa SAP protein released by epimastigotes and metacyclic forms and with distinct sets of SAP variants expressed in amastigotes and tissue culture-derived trypomastigotes (TCTs). Anti-SAP antibodies reacted with components located in the anterior region of epimastigotes and between the nucleus and the kinetoplast in metacyclic trypomastigotes. In contrast, anti-SAP recognized surface components of amastigotes and TCTs, suggesting that SAP proteins are directed to different cellular compartments. Ten SAP peptides were identified by mass spectrometry in vesicle and soluble-protein fractions obtained from parasite conditioned medium. Using overlapping sequences from SAP-CD, we identified a 54-aa peptide (SAP-CE) that was able to induce host-cell lysosome exocytosis and inhibit parasite internalization by 52%. This study provides novel information about the genomic organization, expression and cellular localization of SAP proteins and proposes a triggering role for extracellular SAP

  13. Milestones in avian coccidiosis research: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, H D

    2014-03-01

    This article describes some of the milestones in research concerned with protozoan parasites of the genus Eimeria that infect birds and cause the disease coccidiosis. The time period covered is from 1891, when oocysts were first found in the ceca of diseased chickens, to the present. Progress in our understanding has lagged behind that of other protozoan parasites such as Toxoplasma and Plasmodium despite the enormous importance of Eimeria to animal livestock production. Nevertheless, applied research by universities, government agencies, and private industry has resulted in the successful development of methods of control, research that continues today. The topics covered and the references provided are selective and include life cycles and biology, pathology, ultrastructure, biochemistry, immunity, genetics, host cell invasion, species identification, taxonomy, chemotherapy, vaccination, and literature concerned with avian coccidiosis. This review is primarily concerned with the avian species of Eimeria that infect poultry, but some important advances, principally in immunology, have been made using species that infect rodents and rabbits. These are included where appropriate.

  14. Peltaster fructicola genome reveals evolution from an invasive phytopathogen to an ectophytic parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Chao; Chen, Huan; Gleason, Mark L; Xu, Jin-Rong; Liu, Huiquan; Zhang, Rong; Sun, Guangyu

    2016-03-11

    Sooty blotch and flyspeck (SBFS) fungi are unconventional plant pathogens that cause economic losses by blemishing the surface appearance of infected fruit. Here, we introduce the 18.14-Mb genome of Peltaster fructicola, one of the most prevalent SBFS species on apple. This undersized assembly contains only 8,334 predicted protein-coding genes and a very small repertoire of repetitive elements. Phylogenomics and comparative genomics revealed that P. fructicola had undergone a reductive evolution, during which the numbers of orphan genes and genes involved in plant cell wall degradation, secondary metabolism, and secreted peptidases and effectors were drastically reduced. In contrast, the genes controlling 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin biosynthesis and appressorium-mediated penetration were retained substantially. Additionally, microscopic examination of the surfaces of infected apple indicated for the first time that P. fructicola can not only dissolve epicuticular waxes but also partially penetrate the cuticle proper. Our findings indicate that genome contraction, characterized mainly by the massive loss of pathogenicity-related genes, has played an important role in the evolution of P. fructicola (and by implication other SBFS species) from a plant-penetrating ancestor to a non-invasive ectophyte, displaying a novel form of trophic interaction between plants and fungi.

  15. Quantifying anuran microhabitat use to infer the potential for parasite transmission between invasive cane toads and two species of Australian native frogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lígia Pizzatto

    Full Text Available Parasites that are carried by invasive species can infect native taxa, with devastating consequences. In Australia, invading cane toads (Rhinella marina carry lungworm parasites (Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala that (based on previous laboratory studies can infect native treefrogs (Litoria caerulea and L. splendida. To assess the potential of parasite transmission from the invader to the native species (and from one infected native frog to another, we used surveys and radiotelemetry to quantify anuran microhabitat use, and proximity to other anurans, in two sites in tropical Australia. Unsurprisingly, treefrogs spent much of their time off the ground (especially by day, and in undisturbed forests but terrestrial activity was common at night (especially in anthropogenically modified habitats. Microhabitat overlap between cane toads and frogs was generally low, except at night in disturbed areas, whereas overlap between the two frog species was high. The situations of highest overlap, and hence with the greatest danger of parasite transmission, involve aggregations of frogs within crevices by day, and use of open ground by all three anuran species at night. Overall, microhabitat divergence between toads and frogs should reduce, but not eliminate, the transmission of lungworms from invasive toads to vulnerable native frogs.

  16. Molecular characterization of Trypanosoma cruzi SAP proteins with host-cell lysosome exocytosis-inducing activity required for parasite invasion.

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    Tamiris Zanforlin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To invade target cells, Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclic forms engage distinct sets of surface and secreted molecules that interact with host components. Serine-, alanine-, and proline-rich proteins (SAP comprise a multigene family constituted of molecules with a high serine, alanine and proline residue content. SAP proteins have a central domain (SAP-CD responsible for interaction with and invasion of mammalian cells by metacyclic forms. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Using a 513 bp sequence from SAP-CD in blastn analysis, we identified 39 full-length SAP genes in the genome of T. cruzi. Although most of these genes were mapped in the T. cruzi in silico chromosome TcChr41, several SAP sequences were spread out across the genome. The level of SAP transcripts was twice as high in metacyclic forms as in epimastigotes. Monoclonal (MAb-SAP and polyclonal (anti-SAP antibodies produced against the recombinant protein SAP-CD were used to investigate the expression and localization of SAP proteins. MAb-SAP reacted with a 55 kDa SAP protein released by epimastigotes and metacyclic forms and with distinct sets of SAP variants expressed in amastigotes and tissue culture-derived trypomastigotes (TCTs. Anti-SAP antibodies reacted with components located in the anterior region of epimastigotes and between the nucleus and the kinetoplast in metacyclic trypomastigotes. In contrast, anti-SAP recognized surface components of amastigotes and TCTs, suggesting that SAP proteins are directed to different cellular compartments. Ten SAP peptides were identified by mass spectrometry in vesicle and soluble-protein fractions obtained from parasite conditioned medium. Using overlapping sequences from SAP-CD, we identified a 54-aa peptide (SAP-CE that was able to induce host-cell lysosome exocytosis and inhibit parasite internalization by 52%. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides novel information about the genomic organization, expression and cellular localization of SAP

  17. Differential Consumption of Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) by Avian and Mammalian Guilds: Implications for Tree Invasion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increased abundance of eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginianus), a native but invasive species in the Great Plains, has been associated with changes in ecosystem functioning and landscape cover. Knowledge of the main consumers and dispersal agents of eastern redcedar fruits is e...

  18. The evolutionary host switches of Polychromophilus: a multi-gene phylogeny of the bat malaria genus suggests a second invasion of mammals by a haemosporidian parasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The majority of Haemosporida species infect birds or reptiles, but many important genera, including Plasmodium, infect mammals. Dipteran vectors shared by avian, reptilian and mammalian Haemosporida, suggest multiple invasions of Mammalia during haemosporidian evolution; yet, phylogenetic analyses have detected only a single invasion event. Until now, several important mammal-infecting genera have been absent in these analyses. This study focuses on the evolutionary origin of Polychromophilus, a unique malaria genus that only infects bats (Microchiroptera) and is transmitted by bat flies (Nycteribiidae). Methods Two species of Polychromophilus were obtained from wild bats caught in Switzerland. These were molecularly characterized using four genes (asl, clpc, coI, cytb) from the three different genomes (nucleus, apicoplast, mitochondrion). These data were then combined with data of 60 taxa of Haemosporida available in GenBank. Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood and a range of rooting methods were used to test specific hypotheses concerning the phylogenetic relationships between Polychromophilus and the other haemosporidian genera. Results The Polychromophilus melanipherus and Polychromophilus murinus samples show genetically distinct patterns and group according to species. The Bayesian tree topology suggests that the monophyletic clade of Polychromophilus falls within the avian/saurian clade of Plasmodium and directed hypothesis testing confirms the Plasmodium origin. Conclusion Polychromophilus' ancestor was most likely a bird- or reptile-infecting Plasmodium before it switched to bats. The invasion of mammals as hosts has, therefore, not been a unique event in the evolutionary history of Haemosporida, despite the suspected costs of adapting to a new host. This was, moreover, accompanied by a switch in dipteran host. PMID:22356874

  19. Avian anemia's

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raukar Jelena

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with avian anemia's classified by MCHC/MCV and with types of anemia's. Father hematological and immunological research is needed to secure information on hematological parameters in different avian species at their earliest age. Anemia is a common clinical finding in birds because the avian erythrocyte half - life is much shorter than the mammalian. Therefore anemia should be determined as soon as possible. Researchers should standardize hematological parameters for every single avian species.

  20. A suspected parasite spill-back of two novel Myxidium spp. (Myxosporea causing disease in Australian endemic frogs found in the invasive Cane toad.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashlie Hartigan

    Full Text Available Infectious diseases are contributing to the decline of endangered amphibians. We identified myxosporean parasites, Myxidium spp. (Myxosporea: Myxozoa, in the brain and liver of declining native frogs, the Green and Golden Bell frog (Litoria aurea and the Southern Bell frog (Litoria raniformis. We unequivocally identified two Myxidium spp. (both generalist affecting Australian native frogs and the invasive Cane toad (Bufo marinus, syn. Rhinella marina and demonstrated their association with disease. Our study tested the identity of Myxidium spp. within native frogs and the invasive Cane toad (brought to Australia in 1935, via Hawaii to resolve the question whether the Cane toad introduced them to Australia. We showed that the Australian brain and liver Myxidium spp. differed 9%, 7%, 34% and 37% at the small subunit rDNA, large subunit rDNA, internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2, but were distinct from Myxidium cf. immersum from Cane toads in Brazil. Plotting minimum within-group distance against maximum intra-group distance confirmed their independent evolutionary trajectory. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the brain stages localize inside axons. Myxospores were morphologically indistinguishable, therefore genetic characterisation was necessary to recognise these cryptic species. It is unlikely that the Cane toad brought the myxosporean parasites to Australia, because the parasites were not found in 261 Hawaiian Cane toads. Instead, these data support the enemy-release hypothesis predicting that not all parasites are translocated with their hosts and suggest that the Cane toad may have played an important spill-back role in their emergence and facilitated their dissemination. This work emphasizes the importance of accurate species identification of pathogens relevant to wildlife management and disease control. In our case it is paving the road for the spill-back role of the Cane toad and the parasite emergence.

  1. Members of a novel protein family containing microneme adhesive repeat domains act as sialic acid-binding lectins during host cell invasion by apicomplexan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrich, Nikolas; Santos, Joana M; Liu, Yan; Palma, Angelina S; Leon, Ester; Saouros, Savvas; Kiso, Makoto; Blackman, Michael J; Matthews, Stephen; Feizi, Ten; Soldati-Favre, Dominique

    2010-01-15

    Numerous intracellular pathogens exploit cell surface glycoconjugates for host cell recognition and entry. Unlike bacteria and viruses, Toxoplasma gondii and other parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa actively invade host cells, and this process critically depends on adhesins (microneme proteins) released onto the parasite surface from intracellular organelles called micronemes (MIC). The microneme adhesive repeat (MAR) domain of T. gondii MIC1 (TgMIC1) recognizes sialic acid (Sia), a key determinant on the host cell surface for invasion by this pathogen. By complementation and invasion assays, we demonstrate that TgMIC1 is one important player in Sia-dependent invasion and that another novel Sia-binding lectin, designated TgMIC13, is also involved. Using BLAST searches, we identify a family of MAR-containing proteins in enteroparasitic coccidians, a subclass of apicomplexans, including T. gondii, suggesting that all these parasites exploit sialylated glycoconjugates on host cells as determinants for enteric invasion. Furthermore, this protein family might provide a basis for the broad host cell range observed for coccidians that form tissue cysts during chronic infection. Carbohydrate microarray analyses, corroborated by structural considerations, show that TgMIC13, TgMIC1, and its homologue Neospora caninum MIC1 (NcMIC1) share a preference for alpha2-3- over alpha2-6-linked sialyl-N-acetyllactosamine sequences. However, the three lectins also display differences in binding preferences. Intense binding of TgMIC13 to alpha2-9-linked disialyl sequence reported on embryonal cells and relatively strong binding to 4-O-acetylated-Sia found on gut epithelium and binding of NcMIC1 to 6'sulfo-sialyl Lewis(x) might have implications for tissue tropism.

  2. Deforestation and avian infectious diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sehgal, R. N. M.

    2010-01-01

    In this time of unprecedented global change, infectious diseases will impact humans and wildlife in novel and unknown ways. Climate change, the introduction of invasive species, urbanization, agricultural practices and the loss of biodiversity have all been implicated in increasing the spread of infectious pathogens. In many regards, deforestation supersedes these other global events in terms of its immediate potential global effects in both tropical and temperate regions. The effects of deforestation on the spread of pathogens in birds are largely unknown. Birds harbor many of the same types of pathogens as humans and in addition can spread infectious agents to humans and other wildlife. It is thought that avifauna have gone extinct due to infectious diseases and many are presently threatened, especially endemic island birds. It is clear that habitat degradation can pose a direct threat to many bird species but it is uncertain how these alterations will affect disease transmission and susceptibility to disease. The migration and dispersal of birds can also change with habitat degradation, and thus expose populations to novel pathogens. Some recent work has shown that the results of landscape transformation can have confounding effects on avian malaria, other haemosporidian parasites and viruses. Now with advances in many technologies, including mathematical and computer modeling, genomics and satellite tracking, scientists have tools to further research the disease ecology of deforestation. This research will be imperative to help predict and prevent outbreaks that could affect avifauna, humans and other wildlife worldwide. PMID:20190120

  3. Deforestation and avian infectious diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sehgal, R N M

    2010-03-15

    In this time of unprecedented global change, infectious diseases will impact humans and wildlife in novel and unknown ways. Climate change, the introduction of invasive species, urbanization, agricultural practices and the loss of biodiversity have all been implicated in increasing the spread of infectious pathogens. In many regards, deforestation supersedes these other global events in terms of its immediate potential global effects in both tropical and temperate regions. The effects of deforestation on the spread of pathogens in birds are largely unknown. Birds harbor many of the same types of pathogens as humans and in addition can spread infectious agents to humans and other wildlife. It is thought that avifauna have gone extinct due to infectious diseases and many are presently threatened, especially endemic island birds. It is clear that habitat degradation can pose a direct threat to many bird species but it is uncertain how these alterations will affect disease transmission and susceptibility to disease. The migration and dispersal of birds can also change with habitat degradation, and thus expose populations to novel pathogens. Some recent work has shown that the results of landscape transformation can have confounding effects on avian malaria, other haemosporidian parasites and viruses. Now with advances in many technologies, including mathematical and computer modeling, genomics and satellite tracking, scientists have tools to further research the disease ecology of deforestation. This research will be imperative to help predict and prevent outbreaks that could affect avifauna, humans and other wildlife worldwide.

  4. Avian anemia's

    OpenAIRE

    Raukar Jelena

    2005-01-01

    This paper deals with avian anemia's classified by MCHC/MCV and with types of anemia's. Father hematological and immunological research is needed to secure information on hematological parameters in different avian species at their earliest age. Anemia is a common clinical finding in birds because the avian erythrocyte half - life is much shorter than the mammalian. Therefore anemia should be determined as soon as possible. Researchers should standardize hematologica...

  5. Effects of Climate and land use on diversity, prevalence, and seasonal transmission of avian hematozoa in American Samoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Carter T.; Utuzurrum, Ruth B.; Seamon, Joshua O.; Schmaedick, Mark A.; Lapointe, Dennis; Apelgren, Chloe; Egan, Ariel N.; Watcher-Weatherwax, William

    2016-01-01

    The indigenous forest birds of American Samoa are increasingly threatened by changing patterns of rainfall and temperature that are associated with climate change as well as environmental stressors associated with agricultural and urban development, invasive species, and new introductions of avian diseases and disease vectors. Long term changes in their distribution, diversity, and population sizes could have significant impacts on the ecological integrity of the islands because of their critical role as pollinators and seed dispersers. We documented diversity of vector borne parasites on Tutuila and Ta‘u Islands over a 10-year period to expand earlier observations of Plasmodium, Trypanosoma, and filarial parasites, to provide better parasite identifications, and to create a better baseline for detecting new parasite introductions. We also identified potential mosquito vectors of avian Plasmodium and Trypanosoma, determined whether land clearing and habitat alterations associated with subsistence farming within the National Park of American Samoa can influence parasite prevalence, and determined whether parasite prevalence is correlated with seasonal changes in rainfall, temperature and wind speed.

  6. No evidence for parasitism-linked changes in immune function or oxidative physiology over the annual cycle of an avian species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pap, Péter L; Sesarman, Alina; Vágási, Csongor I; Buehler, Deborah M; Pătraş, Laura; Versteegh, Maaike A; Banciu, Manuela

    2014-01-01

    Temporally changing environmental conditions occur in most parts of the world and can exert strong pressure on the immune defense of organisms. Seasonality may result in changes in physiological traits over the year, and such changes may be essential for the optimization of defense against infections. Evidence from field and laboratory studies suggest the existence of links between environmental conditions, such as infection risk, and the ability of animals to mount an immune response or to overcome infections; however, the importance of parasites in mediating seasonal change in immune defense is still debated. In this study, we test the hypothesis that seasonal change in immune function and connected physiological traits is related to parasite infection. We sampled captive house sparrows (Passer domesticus) once every 2 mo over 14 mo and compared the annual variation in 12 measures of condition, immune function, antioxidant status, and oxidative damage among birds naturally infested with coccidians or medicated against these parasites. We found significant variation in 10 of 12 traits over the year. However, we found little support for parasite-mediated change in immune function and oxidative status in captive house sparrows. Of the 12 measures, only one was slightly affected by parasite treatment. In support of the absence of any effect of coccidians on the annual profile of the condition and physiological traits, we found no consistent relationships between the intensity of infestation and these response variables over the year. Our results show that chronic coccidian infections have limited effect on the seasonal changing of physiological traits and that the patterns of these measures are probably more affected by acute infection and/or virulent parasite strains.

  7. Metazoan parasites of Plagioscion squamosissimus, an invasive species in the Tietê River, São Paulo, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Moura Lapera

    Full Text Available Abstract This study focused on the characterization and analysis of communities and infra-communities of metazoan parasites of Plagioscion squamosissimus caught in Promissão Reservoir in the Tietê River in Borborema (21°39′58”S, 49°8′49”W, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Fifty adult specimens caught by professional fishermen in March 2015 were necropsied. The fish presented an average standard length of 25.2 ± 2.2 cm and average weight of 328.82 ± 89.03 g. A total of 5,227 specimens of metazoan parasites were collected: 2,880 (55.1% adult Diplectanum piscinarius (Monogenoidea: Diplectanidae and 2,347 (44.9% Austrodiplostomum compactum metacercariae (Digenea, Diplostomidae, both with 100% prevalence and mean abundance of 57.6 and 46.9, respectively. Parasite diversity was low (species richness = 2, with a Simpson index (D equal to 0.505, and low values of Brillouin (HB = 0.687 and Margalef diversity (I = 0.117 indices. Berger-Parker’s index of dominance (p = 0.551 indicated a slight dominance of the monogenean parasite D. piscinarius. There was a positive correlation, assessed by Pearson coefficient between parasite abundance of D. piscinarius and standard length (r = 0.43 and weight (r = 0.51 of hosts.

  8. Avian Metapneumoviruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) is an economically important virus that is the primary causal agent of turkey rhinotracheitis (TRT), also known as avian rhinotracheitis (ART). The virus causes an acute highly contagious infection of the upper respiratory tract in turkeys and was first isolated from tur...

  9. Influence of management and biological factors on parasitic invasions in the wild – Spread of the blood-sucking nematode Ashworthius sidemi in European bison (Bison bonasus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Kołodziej-Sobocińska

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The full course of new parasite introductions in wild animals is difficult to accurately trace. We documented and analysed the invasive blood-sucking nematode Ashworthius sidemi (Trichostrongylidae introduction and spread in European bison (Bison bonasus from the initial phase of its progression. In the Polish part of the Białowieża Primeval Forest (BPF the parasite was first found in 2000. From 2002 to 2015, 165 culled bison were investigated. The prevalence and intensity of A. sidemi Schulz, 1933 infection increased over the following years, reaching 100% of investigated bison four years after introduction and a maximal median intensity of 8200 nematodes per animal in the winter of 2008/2009. Afterwards, a significant decline of median infection intensity was observed to the minimum value of 410 nematodes per animal. Between 2011 and 2014 prevalence varied from 89 to 100%. Among the factors analysed, the number of years since introduction, herd size, age and sex proved to significantly influence infection intensity. A higher infection intensity was recorded in sub-adults compared to juveniles and adults. Males had significantly lower infection intensity than females, but this was the case for adults only. The highest infection intensities were recorded in the biggest bison herds, where the winter supplementary feeding of bison is intense. Moreover, the longer the parasite was present in the host population, the more important herd size became as a factor. Our study indicates that it is not solely biological factors that determine the spread of a newly detected parasite in wildlife, but that management practices can also have a strong influence. This is especially important in endangered species under intensive human care as the management practices may pose a threat to the species.

  10. An invasive species reverses the roles in a host–parasite relationship between bitterling fish and unionid mussels

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Reichard, Martin; Vrtílek, Milan; Douda, K.; Smith, C.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 4 (2012), s. 601-604 ISSN 1744-9561 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/1163 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : species interaction * coevolution * interspecific relationship * parasitism Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.348, year: 2012

  11. Avian Biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Yoshiaki

    2017-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) generate new individuals through differentiation, maturation and fertilization. This means that the manipulation of PGCs is directly linked to the manipulation of individuals, making PGCs attractive target cells in the animal biotechnology field. A unique biological property of avian PGCs is that they circulate temporarily in the vasculature during early development, and this allows us to access and manipulate avian germ lines. Following the development of a technique for transplantation, PGCs have become central to avian biotechnology, in contrast to the use of embryo manipulation and subsequent transfer to foster mothers, as in mammalian biotechnology. Today, avian PGC transplantation combined with recent advanced manipulation techniques, including cell purification, cryopreservation, depletion, and long-term culture in vitro, have enabled the establishment of genetically modified poultry lines and ex-situ conservation of poultry genetic resources. This chapter introduces the principles, history, and procedures of producing avian germline chimeras by transplantation of PGCs, and the current status of avian germline modification as well as germplasm cryopreservation. Other fundamental avian reproductive technologies are described, including artificial insemination and embryo culture, and perspectives of industrial applications in agriculture and pharmacy are considered, including poultry productivity improvement, egg modification, disease resistance impairment and poultry gene "pharming" as well as gene banking.

  12. Analysis of extra-pair paternity and conspecific brood parasitism in mallards Anas platyrhynchos using non-invasive techniques

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kreisinger, J.; Munclinger, P.; Javůrková, V.; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 41, č. 5 (2010), s. 551-557 ISSN 0908-8857 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA6093403; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : intraspecific nest parasitism * socially monogamous Passerines * sexual selection * microsatellite loci * breeding synchrony * genetic-markers * North-Dakota * birds * duck * evolution Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.310, year: 2010

  13. Comparative pathology and ecological implications of two myxosporean parasites in native Australian frogs and the invasive cane toad.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashlie Hartigan

    Full Text Available Myxosporean parasites Cystodiscus axonis and C. australis are pathogens of native and exotic Australian frog species. The pathology and ecological outcomes of infection with these parasites were investigated in this study. Gliosis was correlated to Cystodiscus axonis plasmodia in the brains of (9/60 tadpoles and (3/9 adult endangered Green and golden bell frogs using ordinal regression. Severe host reactions to C. axonis (haemorrhage, necrosis, and vasulitis were observed in the brains of threatened Southern bell frogs (8/8, critically endangered Booroolong frogs (15/44 and Yellow spotted bell frogs (3/3. Severe brain lesions were associated with behavioural changes, neurological dysfunction, and spontaneous death. Both C. axonis and C. australis develop in the bile ducts of tadpoles, the plasmodia were significantly associated with biliary hyperplasia, inflammation and the loss of hepatocytes in (34/72 Green and golden bell frog tadpoles using ordinal regression. These lesions were so severe that in some cases 70% of the total liver was diseased. Normal liver function in tadpoles is necessary for metamorphosis, metabolism, and immune function. We postulate that this extensive liver damage would have significant host health impacts. Severe hepatic myxosporidiosis was more prevalent in tadpoles examined in autumn and winter (overwintered, suggestive of delayed metamorphosis in infected tadpoles, which would have serious flow-on effects in small populations. We compared the sensitivity of histopathology and species-specific PCR in the detection of C. australis and C. axonis. PCR was determined to be the most sensitive method (detection limit 1 myxospore equivalent of ribosomal DNA. Histology, however, had the advantage of assessing the impact of the parasite on the host. It was concluded that these parasites have the potential for significant ecological impacts, because of their high prevalence of infection and their ability to cause disease in

  14. Inhibition of Host Cell Lysosome Spreading by Trypanosoma cruzi Metacyclic Stage-Specific Surface Molecule gp90 Downregulates Parasite Invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, João Paulo Ferreira; Sant'ana, Guilherme Hideki Takahashi; Juliano, Maria Aparecida; Yoshida, Nobuko

    2017-09-01

    Successful infection by Trypanosoma cruzi , the agent of Chagas' disease, is critically dependent on host cell invasion by metacyclic trypomastigote (MT) forms. Two main metacyclic stage-specific surface molecules, gp82 and gp90, play determinant roles in target cell invasion in vitro and in oral T. cruzi infection in mice. The structure and properties of gp82, which is highly conserved among T. cruzi strains, are well known. Information on gp90 is still rather sparse. Here, we attempted to fill that gap. gp90, purified from poorly invasive G strain MT and expressing gp90 at high levels, inhibited HeLa cell lysosome spreading and the gp82-mediated internalization of a highly invasive CL strain MT expressing low levels of a diverse gp90 molecule. A recombinant protein containing the conserved C-terminal domain of gp90 exhibited the same properties as the native G strain gp90: it counteracted the host cell lysosome spreading induced by recombinant gp82 and exhibited an inhibitory effect on HeLa cell invasion by CL strain MT. Assays to identify the gp90 sequence associated with the property of downregulating MT invasion, using synthetic peptides spanning the gp90 C-terminal domain, revealed the sequence GVLYTADKEW. These data, plus the findings that lysosome spreading was induced upon HeLa cell interaction with CL strain MT, but not with G strain MT, and that in mixed infection CL strain MT internalization was inhibited by G strain MT, suggest that the inhibition of target cell lysosome spreading is the mechanism by which the gp90 molecule exerts its downregulatory role. Copyright © 2017 Rodrigues et al.

  15. Avian influenza

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... develop flu-like symptoms within 10 days of handling infected birds or being in an area with ... your provider if you become sick after you return from your trip. Current information regarding avian flu ...

  16. Avian Flu

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eckburg, Paul

    2006-01-01

    Since 2003, a severe form of H5N1 avian influenza has rapidly spread throughout Asia and Europe, infecting over 200 humans in 10 countries. The spread of H5N1 virus from person-to-person has been rare, thus preventing the emergence of a widespread pandemic. However, this ongoing epidemic continues to pose an important public health threat. Avian flu and its pandemic potential in humans will be discussed.

  17. Egg size matching by an intraspecific brood parasite

    OpenAIRE

    Patrick R. Lemons; James S. Sedinger

    2011-01-01

    Avian brood parasitism provides an ideal system with which to understand animal recognition and its affect on fitness. This phenomenon of laying eggs in the nests of other individuals has classically been framed from the perspective of interspecific brood parasitism and host recognition of parasitic eggs. Few examples exist of strategies adopted by intraspecific brood parasites to maximize success of parasitic eggs. Intraspecific brood parasitism within precocial birds can be a risky strategy...

  18. Global phylogeography of the avian malaria pathogen Plasmodium relictum based on MSP1 allelic diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellgren, Olof; Atkinson, Carter T.; Bensch, Staffan; Albayrak, Tamer; Dimitrov, Dimitar; Ewen, John G.; Kim, Kyeong Soon; Lima, Marcos R.; Martin, Lynn; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Ricklefs, Robert; Sehgal, Ravinder N. M.; Gediminas, Valkiunas; Tsuda, Yoshio; Marzal, Alfonso

    2015-01-01

    Knowing the genetic variation that occurs in pathogen populations and how it is distributed across geographical areas is essential to understand parasite epidemiology, local patterns of virulence, and evolution of host-resistance. In addition, it is important to identify populations of pathogens that are evolutionarily independent and thus ‘free’ to adapt to hosts and environments. Here, we investigated genetic variation in the globally distributed, highly invasive avian malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum, which has several distinctive mitochondrial haplotyps (cyt b lineages, SGS1, GRW11 and GRW4). The phylogeography of P. relictum was accessed using the highly variable nuclear gene merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1), a gene linked to the invasion biology of the parasite. We show that the lineage GRW4 is evolutionarily independent of GRW11 and SGS1 whereas GRW11 and SGS1 share MSP1 alleles and thus suggesting the presence of two distinct species (GRW4 versus SGS1 and GRW11). Further, there were significant differences in the global distribution of MSP1 alleles with differences between GRW4 alleles in the New and the Old World. For SGS1, a lineage formerly believed to have both tropical and temperate transmission, there were clear differences in MSP1 alleles transmitted in tropical Africa compared to the temperate regions of Europe and Asia. Further, we highlight the occurrence of multiple MSP1 alleles in GRW4 isolates from the Hawaiian Islands, where the parasite has contributed to declines and extinctions of endemic forest birds since it was introduced. This study stresses the importance of multiple independent loci for understanding patterns of transmission and evolutionary independence across avian malaria parasites.

  19. Ecology and conservation biology of avian malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaPointe, Dennis A.; Atkinson, Carter T.; Samuel, Michael D.

    2012-01-01

    Avian malaria is a worldwide mosquito-borne disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. These parasites occur in many avian species but primarily affect passerine birds that have not evolved with the parasite. Host pathogenicity, fitness, and population impacts are poorly understood. In contrast to continental species, introduced avian malaria poses a substantial threat to naive birds on Hawaii, the Galapagos, and other archipelagoes. In Hawaii, transmission is maintained by susceptible native birds, competence and abundance of mosquitoes, and a disease reservoir of chronically infected native birds. Although vector habitat and avian communities determine the geographic distribution of disease, climate drives transmission patterns ranging from continuous high infection in warm lowland forests, seasonal infection in midelevation forests, and disease-free refugia in cool high-elevation forests. Global warming is expected to increase the occurrence, distribution, and intensity of avian malaria across this elevational gradient and threaten high-elevation refugia, which is the key to survival of many susceptible Hawaiian birds. Increased temperatures may have already increased global avian malaria prevalence and contributed to an emergence of disease in New Zealand.

  20. Reorganization of Extracellular Matrix in Placentas from Women with Asymptomatic Chagas Disease: Mechanism of Parasite Invasion or Local Placental Defense?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Duaso

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Chagas disease, produced by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi, is one of the most frequent endemic diseases in Latin America. In spite the fact that in the past few years T. cruzi congenital transmission has become of epidemiological importance, studies about this mechanism of infection are scarce. In order to explore some morphological aspects of this infection in the placenta, we analyzed placentas from T. cruzi-infected mothers by immunohistochemical and histochemical methods. Infection in mothers, newborns, and placentas was confirmed by PCR and by immunofluorescence in the placenta. T. cruzi-infected placentas present destruction of the syncytiotrophoblast and villous stroma, selective disorganization of the basal lamina, and disorganization of collagen I in villous stroma. Our results suggest that the parasite induces reorganization of this tissue component and in this way may regulate both inflammatory and immune responses in the host. Changes in the ECM of placental tissues, together with the immunological status of mother and fetus, and parasite load may determine the probability of congenital transmission of T. cruzi.

  1. Avian influenza

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare; More, Simon; Bicout, Dominique

    2017-01-01

    Previous introductions of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) to the EU were most likely via migratory wild birds. A mathematical model has been developed which indicated that virus amplification and spread may take place when wild bird populations of sufficient size within EU become...... infected. Low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV) may reach similar maximum prevalence levels in wild bird populations to HPAIV but the risk of LPAIV infection of a poultry holding was estimated to be lower than that of HPAIV. Only few non-wild bird pathways were identified having a non...

  2. Comparison of three PCR-based assays for the non-invasive diagnosis of malaria: detection of Plasmodium parasites in blood and saliva.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, R; Singh, D P; Gupta, R; Savargaonkar, D; Singh, O P; Nanda, N; Bhatt, R M; Valecha, N

    2014-09-01

    The conventional molecular diagnosis of malaria uses 18S rRNA-based PCR assay employing blood samples. This assay presents limitation in terms of long turnaround time and increased chances of false-positive results. Here, we evaluated one-step singleplex or multiplex PCR assay based on high copy species-specific consensus repeat sequences (CRS) along with standard 18S rRNA nested PCR (18S n-PCR) assay to detect P. falciparum and P. vivax infection using blood and saliva samples from Indian febrile patients. Out of 327 patients, 187 were found to be positive for malaria parasites by microscopic examination of peripheral blood smears. Among these 130 were P. vivax and 57 were P. falciparum cases. The 18S n-PCR assay and CRS PCR assay identified 186 out of 187 cases (99.4 %). Multiplex CRS PCR assay detected Plasmodium in 176 out of 187 cases (94.1 %). Both singleplex and multiplex CRS PCR assay identified 6 mixed infection cases, while 18S n-PCR assay detected 10 mixed infection cases of P. vivax and P. falciparum, which were not recognized by microscopy. Non-invasive Plasmodium detection rate with DNA derived from saliva samples was highest for 18S n-PCR (87.36 %), followed by singleplex CRS (81 %) and multiplex CRS PCR assay (70.5 %). Specificity for P. vivax and P. falciparum detection for all assays was 98.48 % and 100 % respectively. Detection rate for P. vivax in saliva correlated with parasite density for CRS target-based assays. The species-specific CRS PCR, either as a singleplex or multiplex assay, can have an impact on diagnosis and epidemiological studies in malaria.

  3. The Avian Transcriptome Response to Malaria Infection

    OpenAIRE

    Videvall, Elin; Cornwallis, Charlie K.; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Valki?nas, Gediminas; Hellgren, Olof

    2015-01-01

    Malaria parasites are highly virulent pathogens which infect a wide range of vertebrates. Despite their importance, the way different hosts control and suppress malaria infections remains poorly understood. With recent developments in next-generation sequencing techniques, however, it is now possible to quantify the response of the entire transcriptome to infections. We experimentally infected Eurasian siskins (Carduelis spinus) with avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium ashfordi), and used hig...

  4. Implications of Plasmodium parasite infected mosquitoes on an insular avifauna: the case of Socorro Island, México.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Jenny S; Martínez-Gómez, Juan E; Cornel, Anthony; Loiseau, Claire; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2011-06-01

    Avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) has been implicated in the decline of avian populations in the Hawaiian Islands and it is generally agreed that geographically isolated and immunologically naïve bird populations are particularly vulnerable to the pathogenic effects of invasive malaria parasites. In order to assess the potential disease risk of malaria to the avifauna of Socorro Island, México, we surveyed for Plasmodium isolates from 1,300 resident field-caught mosquitoes. Most of them were identified as Aedes (Ochlerotatus) taeniorhynchus (Wiedemann, 1821), which were abundant in the salt marshes. We also collected Culex quinquefasciatus Say, 1823 close to human dwellings. Mitochondrial ND5 and COII gene sequences of Ae. taeniorhynchus were analyzed and compared to corresponding sequences of mosquitoes of the Galápagos Islands, Latin America, and the North American mainland. Aedes lineages from Socorro Island clustered most closely with a lineage from the continental U.S. Plasmodium spp. DNA was isolated from both species of mosquitoes. From 38 positive pools, we isolated 11 distinct mitochondrial Cytb lineages of Plasmodium spp. Seven of the Plasmodium lineages represent previously documented avian infective strains while four were new lineages. Our results confirm a potential risk for the spread of avian malaria and underscore the need to monitor both the mosquito and avian populations as a necessary conservation measure to protect endangered bird species on Socorro Island. © 2011 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  5. Begging and cowbirds : brood parasites make hosts scream louder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boncoraglio, Giuseppe; Saino, Nicola; Garamszegi, Laszlo Z.

    2009-01-01

    Avian brood parasites have evolved striking begging ability that often allows them to prevail over the host progeny in competition for parental resources. Host young are therefore selected by brood parasites to evolve behavioral strategies that reduce the cost of parasitism. We tested the prediction

  6. Avian Influenza.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeitlin, Gary Adam; Maslow, Melanie Jane

    2005-05-01

    The current epidemic of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza in Southeast Asia raises serious concerns that genetic reassortment will result in the next influenza pandemic. There have been 164 confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza since 1996. In 2004, there were 45 cases of human H5N1 in Vietnam and Thailand, with a mortality rate more than 70%. In addition to the potential public health hazard, the current zoonotic epidemic has caused severe economic losses. Efforts must be concentrated on early detection of bird outbreaks with aggressive culling, quarantining, and disinfection. To prepare for and prevent an increase in human cases, it is essential to improve detection methods and stockpile effective antivirals. Novel therapeutic modalities, including short-interfering RNAs and new vaccine strategies that use plasmid-based genetic systems, offer promise should a pandemic occur.

  7. Avian cholera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friend, Milton

    1999-01-01

    Avian cholera is a contagious disease resulting from infection by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida. Several subspecies of bacteria have been proposed for P. multocida, and at least 16 different P. multocida serotypes or characteristics of antigens in bacterial cells that differentiate bacterial variants from each other have been recognized. The serotypes are further differentiated by other methods, including DNA fingerprinting. These evaluations are useful for studying the ecology of avian cholera (Fig. 7.1), because different serotypes are generally found in poultry and free-ranging migratory birds. These evaluations also show that different P. multocida serotypes are found in wild birds in the eastern United States than those that are found in the birds in the rest of the Nation (Fig. 7.2).

  8. Molecular diversity of avian schistosomes in Danish freshwater snails

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Anne Ø.; Olsen, Annette; Buchmann, Kurt

    2016-01-01

    Avian schistosomes are widespread parasites of snails and waterfowl and may cause cercarial dermatitis (swimmer's itch) in humans, a disease that is frequently reported in European countries. These parasites are known to occur in Denmark, but here, we applied a new approach using molecular tools...... to identify the parasites at species level. In order to do that, 499 pulmonate freshwater snails (Radix sp., Lymnaea stagnalis, Stagnicola sp. and Planorbarius corneus) were sampled from 12 lakes, ponds, and marshes in the greater Copenhagen area. Avian schistosome cercariae were identified by microscopy...

  9. [Book review] Cowbirds and Other Brood Parasites by Catherine Ortega. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press (1998). The Avian Brood Parasites: Deception at the Nest by Paul A. Johnsgard. New York: Oxford University Press (1997) Parasitic Birds and their Hosts: Studies in Coevolution edited by S.I. Rothstein & S.K. Robinson. New York: Oxford University Press (1998)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, D.C.

    1999-01-01

    We are in a golden age for the study of brood parasitism, judging from both the quantity and quality of recent scientific publications on cuckoos, cowbirds and parasitic finches by investigators working in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. As Johnsgard (1997) remarks in his preface, the evolutionary, ecological, and behavioural questions posed by obligate brood parasites are among the most intriguing contemporary ornithological topics. Rothstein & Robinson (1998) explain that brood parasites make ideal subjects for testing the generality of models for the evolution of social and mating behaviour, foraging behaviour, spatial distribution, and vocal development, because the strategy of providing no parental care removes constraints imposed on other birds. Since Aristotle, people have been fascinated by brood parasites, but only in the past two decades has the number of investigators working on this topic reached a critical mass and created momentum that promises many breakthroughs. New studies are being completed so rapidly that a general book is inevitably out of date on some topics by the time it is published. A complete library on brood parasitism should add two recent volumes (Morrison et al. 1999; Smith et al., in press).to the three reviewed here.

  10. Global phylogeographic limits of Hawaii's avian malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beadell, J.S.; Ishtiaq, F.; Covas, R.; Melo, M.; Warren, B.H.; Atkinson, C.T.; Bensch, S.; Graves, G.R.; Jhala, Y.V.; Peirce, M.A.; Rahmani, A.R.; Fonseca, D.M.; Fleischer, R.C.

    2006-01-01

    The introduction of avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) to Hawaii has provided a model system for studying the influence of exotic disease on naive host populations. Little is known, however, about the origin or the genetic variation of Hawaii's malaria and traditional classification methods have confounded attempts to place the parasite within a global ecological and evolutionary context. Using fragments of the parasite mitochondrial gene cytochrome b and the nuclear gene dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase obtained from a global survey of greater than 13 000 avian samples, we show that Hawaii's avian malaria, which can cause high mortality and is a major limiting factor for many species of native passerines, represents just one of the numerous lineages composing the morphological parasite species. The single parasite lineage detected in Hawaii exhibits a broad host distribution worldwide and is dominant on several other remote oceanic islands, including Bermuda and Moorea, French Polynesia. The rarity of this lineage in the continental New World and the restriction of closely related lineages to the Old World suggest limitations to the transmission of reproductively isolated parasite groups within the morphological species. ?? 2006 The Royal Society.

  11. To each his own: no evidence of gyrodactylid parasite host switches from invasive poeciliid fishes to Goodea atripinnis Jordan (Cyprinodontiformes: Goodeidae, the most dominant endemic freshwater goodeid fish in the Mexican Highlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Rubio-Godoy

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Goodeid topminnows are live-bearing fishes endemic to the Mexican Highlands (Mesa Central, MC. Unfortunately, in the MC, environmental degradation and introduced species have pushed several goodeid species to the brink of extinction. Invasive fishes can introduce exotic parasites, and the most abundant goodeid, blackfin goodea Goodea atripinnis Jordan, is parasitised by six exotic helminths. Poeciliids are widely dispersed invasive fishes, which exert negative ecological effects on goodeids. Poeciliids host several species of the monogenean genus Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832, including pathogenic, invasive parasites. Here, we looked for evidence of Gyrodactylus species switching hosts from poeciliids to goodeids. Methods Fish were collected in rivers draining the MC into both sides of the continental divide. Hosts were screened for gyrodactylid parasites in localities where G. atripinnis and poeciliids occurred sympatrically. Gyrodactylus specimens were characterised morphologically (attachment apparatus and molecularly (internal transcribed spacer region, ITS. A Bayesian phylogenetic tree using ITS sequences established relationships between gyrodactylids collected from goodeid fishes and those from parasites infecting poeciliids. Results Gyrodactylids were collected from G. atripinnis in six localities on both sides of the watershed where exotic poeciliids occurred sympatrically. Morphological and molecular analyses indicated the presence of four undescribed species of Gyrodactylus infecting this goodeid host. Gyrodactylus tomahuac n. sp., the most abundant and geographically widespread species, is described here. The other three Gyrodactylus spp. are not described, but their ITS sequences are used as molecular data presented here, are the only available for gyrodactylids infecting goodeid fishes. Morphological and molecular data suggest that two distinct groups of gyrodactylids infect goodeids, one of which shares a

  12. Avian influenza

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tjandra Y. Aditama

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Avian influenza, or “bird flu”, is a contagious disease of animals which crossed the species barrier to infect humans and gave a quite impact on public health in the world since 2004, especially due to the threat of pandemic situation. Until 1st March 2006, laboratory-confirmed human cases have been reported in seven countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Viet Nam, China, Iraq and Turkey with a total of 174 cases and 94 dead (54.02%. Indonesia has 27 cases, 20 were dead (74.07%. AI cases in Indonesia are more in male (62.5% and all have a symptom of fever. An influenza pandemic is a rare but recurrent event. An influenza pandemic happens when a new subtype emerges that has not previously circulated in humans. For this reason, avian H5N1 is a strain with pandemic potential, since it might ultimately adapt into a strain that is contagious among humans. Impact of the pandemic could include high rates of illness and worker absenteeism are expected, and these will contribute to social and economic disruption. Historically, the number of deaths during a pandemic has varied greatly. Death rates are largely determined by four factors: the number of people who become infected, the virulence of the virus, the underlying characteristics and vulnerability of affected populations, and the effectiveness of preventive measures. Accurate predictions of mortality cannot be made before the pandemic virus emerges and begins to spread. (Med J Indones 2006; 15:125-8Keywords: Avian Influenza, Pandemic

  13. Intestinal invasion of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in the avian host is dose dependent and does not depend on motility and chemotaxis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, John Elmerdahl; Hoegh-Andersen, Kirsten Hobolt; Rosenkrantz, Jesper Tjørnholt

    2013-01-01

    it depended on motility and chemotaxis.Wild type and previously well-characterized transposon mutants in flagella genes fliC and fljB and in chemotaxis genes cheA, cheB and cheR were used as challenge strains in intestinal loop experiments. Invasion was shown to be dose dependent, but did not require...

  14. Parasitic Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... a bug bite, or sexual contact. Some parasitic diseases are easily treated and some are not. Parasites ... be seen with the naked eye. Some parasitic diseases occur in the United States. Contaminated water supplies ...

  15. Avian respiratory system disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Glenn H.

    1989-01-01

    Diagnosing and treating respiratory diseases in avian species requires a basic knowledge about the anatomy and physiology of this system in birds. Differences between mammalian and avian respiratory system function, diagnosis, and treatment are highlighted.

  16. Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... in People Spread of Bird Flu Viruses Between Animals and People Examples of Human Infections with Avian Influenza A ... Subtypes Transmission of Avian Influenza A Viruses Between Animals and People Related Links Research Glossary of Influenza (Flu) Terms ...

  17. Immune responses of a native and an invasive bird to Buggy Creek Virus (Togaviridae: Alphavirus and its arthropod vector, the swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol A Fassbinder-Orth

    Full Text Available Invasive species often display different patterns of parasite burden and virulence compared to their native counterparts. These differences may be the result of variability in host-parasite co-evolutionary relationships, the occurrence of novel host-parasite encounters, or possibly innate differences in physiological responses to infection between invasive and native hosts. Here we examine the adaptive, humoral immune responses of a resistant, native bird and a susceptible, invasive bird to an arbovirus (Buggy Creek virus; Togaviridae: Alphavirus and its ectoparasitic arthropod vector (the swallow bug; Oeciacus vicarius. Swallow bugs parasitize the native, colonially nesting cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota and the introduced house sparrow (Passer domesticus that occupies nests in cliff swallow colonies. We measured levels of BCRV-specific and swallow bug-specific IgY levels before nesting (prior to swallow bug exposure and after nesting (after swallow bug exposure in house sparrows and cliff swallows in western Nebraska. Levels of BCRV-specific IgY increased significantly following nesting in the house sparrow but not in the cliff swallow. Additionally, house sparrows displayed consistently higher levels of swallow bug-specific antibodies both before and after nesting compared to cliff swallows. The higher levels of BCRV and swallow bug specific antibodies detected in house sparrows may be reflective of significant differences in both antiviral and anti-ectoparasite immune responses that exist between these two avian species. To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare the macro- and microparasite-specific immune responses of an invasive and a native avian host exposed to the same parasites.

  18. Activity of components of the antioxidant system in the roots of potato plants at short-term temperature drop and invasion with parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavrova, V V; Matveeva, E M; Zinovieva, S V

    2017-09-01

    The activity of catalase and superoxide dismutase in the roots of susceptible plants and plants exposed to alternating temperatures, which were infected with the phytoparasitic nematode G. rostochiensis, was studied. It was found that, throughout the invasion period, the plants susceptible to invasion exhibited a high activity of these enzymes, which allowed them to maintain an active defense against the oxidative stress caused by the invasion and subsequent life activity of larvae. For the plants exposed to alternating temperatures, a decrease in the activity of catalase and superoxide dismutase at the early stages of invasion and an increase in the activity of these enzymes at the later stages was detected.

  19. Avian Influenza in Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... However, some ducks can be infected without any signs of illness. Top of Page Avian Influenza in Wild Birds Avian influenza A viruses have ... hours. Some ducks can be infected without any signs of illness. Avian influenza outbreaks are of concern in domesticated birds for ...

  20. Avian influenza virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avian influenza virus (AIV) is type A influenza that is adapted to avian host species. Although the virus can be isolated from numerous avian species, the natural host reservoir species are dabbling ducks, shorebirds and gulls. Domestic poultry species (poultry being defined as birds that are rais...

  1. Invasion of erythrocytes by Babesia bovis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaffar, Fasila Razzia

    2004-01-01

    In this thesis we investigated the invasion of erythrocytes taking place during the asexual erythrocytic blood stage of the apicomplexan parasites Babesia bovis parasite. Host cell invasion by apicomplexan parasites is a complex process requiring multiple receptor-ligand interactions, involving

  2. Trade-offs in parasitism efficiency and brood size mediate parasitoid coexistence, with implications for biological control of the invasive emerald ash borer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parasitoids often are selected for use as biological control agents because of their high host specificity, yet such host specificity can result in strong interspecific competition. However, few studies have examined if and how various extrinsic factors (such as parasitism efficiency) influence the ...

  3. Parasites: Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Tropical Diseases Laboratory Diagnostic Assistance [DPDx] Parasites Home Water Language: English Español (Spanish) Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Parasites can live in natural water sources. When outdoors, treat your water before drinking ...

  4. Occurrence of avian Schistosomatidae (Trematoda) in South African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The abundance, prevalence and distribution of avian Schistosomatidae in South African birds has been estimated by means of a survey for parasite eggs in faecal samples. Eight types of eggs were recovered, mostly from members of the Anatidae and Laridae and these have been assigned to the following schistosome ...

  5. Social Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Miguel A.; Nguyen, HoangKim T.; Oberholzer, Michael; Hill, Kent L.

    2011-01-01

    Summary of recent advances Protozoan parasites cause tremendous human suffering worldwide, but strategies for therapeutic intervention are limited. Recent studies illustrate that the paradigm of microbes as social organisms can be brought to bear on questions about parasite biology, transmission and pathogenesis. This review discusses recent work demonstrating adaptation of social behaviors by parasitic protozoa that cause African sleeping sickness and malaria. The recognition of social behavior and cell-cell communication as a ubiquitous property of bacteria has transformed our view of microbiology, but protozoan parasites have not generally been considered in this context. Works discussed illustrate the potential for concepts of sociomicrobiology to provide insight into parasite biology and should stimulate new approaches for thinking about parasites and parasite-host interactions. PMID:22020108

  6. Recent progress in understanding host immune response to Avian Coccidiosis: Th1 and Th17 responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Host-pathogen interaction leading to protection against coccidiosis is complex, involving many aspects of innate and adaptive immunity to intracellular parasites. The etiologic agent of avian coccidiosis is Eimeria, a genus of eukaryotic obligate intracellular parasites belonging to the phylum Apico...

  7. Applications of thermal imaging in avian science

    OpenAIRE

    McCafferty, D.J.

    2013-01-01

    Thermal imaging, or infrared thermography, has been used in avian science since the 1960s. More than 30 species of birds, ranging in size from passerines to ratites, have been studied using this technology. The main strength of this technique is that it is a non-invasive and non-contact method of measuring surface temperature. Its limitations and measurement errors are well understood and suitable protocols have been developed for a variety of experimental settings. Thermal imaging has been u...

  8. Parasitic Meningitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Links Vaccine Schedules Preteen & Teen Vaccines Meningococcal Disease Sepsis ... and Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment Prevention Various parasites can cause meningitis or can affect the brain or nervous ...

  9. Blood parasites in birds from Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Amy F; Robert, Vincent; Goodman, Steven M; Raharimanga, Vahomalala; Raherilalao, Marie Jeanne; Andrianarimisa, Aristide; Ariey, Frédéric; Greiner, Ellis C

    2009-10-01

    Madagascar has long been recognized for its unique and diverse biota. In particular, significant effort has been made to establish baseline population data to better conserve the endemic avifauna. During field expeditions between 1993 and 2004, birds were mist-netted at 11 different sites, at elevations from 60 m to 2,050 m above sea level. Data on endemic status, forest type, and habitat preference were recorded. Thin blood films from 947 birds, belonging to 26 families and 64 species, were examined by light microscopy to determine the prevalence of blood parasites. Of these 947 birds, 30.7% were infected by at least one species of blood parasite, 26.8% of which were infected by more than one species. Species of Haemoproteus were the most prevalent (17.4%), followed by microfilariae (11.0%), Leucocytozoon spp. (9.4%), Plasmodium spp. (1.9%), Trypanosoma spp. (0.9%), and Babesia spp. (0.2%). Species level identifications confirmed the presence of 47 species of hemosporidians and trypanosomes, which is notably high and mirrors the diversity of their avian hosts. Eleven (23.4%) of these parasite species were new to science and thought to be endemic to the island. Significant differences in prevalence were observed by sample site, forest type (humid vs. dry), and habitat preference. Birds from all elevational zones sampled were infected, although not all parasite genera were present in each zone. Four of the six endemic avian families or subfamilies (Bernieridae, Brachypteraciidae, Philepittinae [Eurylaimidae], and Vangidae) were sampled and found to be parasitized. Of the families with the largest sample sizes, the Zosteropidae and Ploceidae had the highest prevalence of infection (65.6% and 49.3%, respectively). The vectors of hematozoan parasites in Madagascar are currently unknown. These results add to the current knowledge of avian parasitism in Madagascar and are of particular interest for the conservation of endemic species, as well as threatened or endangered

  10. Parasitic diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozenshtraukh, L.S.

    1983-01-01

    Foundations of roentgenological semiotics of parasitic diseases of lungs, w hich are of the greatest practical value, are presented. Roentgenological pictu res of the following parasitic diseases: hydatid and alveolar echinococcosis, pa ragonimiasis, toxoplasmosis, ascariasis, amebiasis, bilharziasis (Schistosomias is) of lungs, are considered

  11. Fish parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    This book contains 22 chapters on some of the most important parasitic diseases in wild and farmed fish. International experts give updated reviews and provide solutions to the problems......This book contains 22 chapters on some of the most important parasitic diseases in wild and farmed fish. International experts give updated reviews and provide solutions to the problems...

  12. A Suspected Parasite Spill-Back of Two Novel Myxidium spp. (Myxosporea) Causing Disease in Australian Endemic Frogs Found in the Invasive Cane Toad

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hartigan, A.; Fiala, Ivan; Dyková, Iva; Jirků, Miloslav; Okimoto, B.; Rose, K.; Phalen, D. N.; Šlapeta, J.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 4 (2011), e18871 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB600960701 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GP204/09/P519 Program:GP Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : EW-SOUTH-WALES * BUFO-MARINUS * BIOLOGICAL INVASIONS * INFECTIOUS-DISEASES * NORTH-AMERICA * TREE FROG * MYXOZOA * SEQUENCES * PHYLOGENY * ECOLOGY Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 4.092, year: 2011

  13. Retaliatory mafia behavior by a parasitic cowbird favors host acceptance of parasitic eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Jeffrey P; Robinson, Scott K

    2007-03-13

    Why do many hosts accept costly avian brood parasitism even when parasitic eggs and nestlings differ dramatically in appearance from their own? Scientists argue that evolutionary lag or equilibrium can explain this evolutionary enigma. Few, however, consider the potential of parasitic birds to enforce acceptance by destroying eggs or nestlings of hosts that eject parasitic eggs and thereby reject parasitism. This retaliatory "mafia" behavior has been reported in one species of parasitic cuckoo but never in parasitic cowbirds. Here we present experimental evidence of mafia behavior in the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), a widely distributed North American brood parasite. We manipulated ejection of cowbird eggs and cowbird access to predator-proof nests in a common host to test experimentally for mafia behavior. When cowbird access was allowed, 56% of "ejector" nests were depredated compared with only 6% of "accepter" nests. No nests were destroyed when cowbird access was always denied or when access was denied after we removed cowbird eggs, indicating that cowbirds were responsible. Nonparasitized nests were depredated at an intermediate rate (20%) when cowbirds were allowed access, suggesting that cowbirds may occasionally "farm" hosts to create additional opportunities for parasitism. Cowbirds parasitized most (85%) renests of the hosts whose nests were depredated. Ejector nests produced 60% fewer host offspring than accepter nests because of the predatory behavior attributed to cowbirds. Widespread predatory behaviors in cowbirds could slow the evolution of rejection behaviors and further threaten populations of some of the >100 species of regular cowbird hosts.

  14. Ecology and diagnosis of introduced avian malaria in Hawaiian forest birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Carter T.

    2005-01-01

    Avian malaria is a disease caused by species of protozoan parasites (Plasmodium) that infect birds. Related species commonly infect reptiles, birds and mammals in tropical and temperate regions of the world. Transmitted by mosquitoes, the parasites spend part of their lives in the red blood cells of birds (Figure 1). Avian malaria is common in continental areas, but is absent from the most isolated island archipelagos where mosquitoes do not naturally occur. More than 40 different species of avian Plasmodium have been described, but only one, P. relictum, has been introduced to the Hawaiian Islands. Because they evolved without natural exposure to avian malaria, native Hawaiian honeycreepers are extremely susceptible to this disease. Malaria currently limits the geographic distribution of native species, has population level impacts on survivorship, and is limiting the recovery of threatened and endangered species of forest birds.

  15. Low frequency of paleoviral infiltration across the avian phylogeny

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cui, Jie; Zhao, Wei; Huang, Zhiyong

    2014-01-01

    , although these have been purged in some cases. We also provide the first evidence for endogenous bornaviruses and circoviruses in avian genomes, although at very low copy numbers. A comparative analysis of vertebrate genomes revealed a simple linear relationship between endogenous viral element abundance...... are either less susceptible to viral invasions or purge them more effectively....

  16. Invasion thresholds and the evolution of nonequilibrium virulence

    OpenAIRE

    Bull, J. J.; Ebert, D.

    2008-01-01

    Abstract The enterprise of virulence management attempts to predict how social practices and other factors affect the evolution of parasite virulence. These predictions are often based on parasite optima or evolutionary equilibria derived from models of host-parasite dynamics. Yet even when such models accurately capture the parasite optima, newly invading parasites will typically not be at their optima. Here we show that parasite invasion of a host population can occur despite highly nonopti...

  17. Parasitism and the biodiversity-functioning relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frainer, André; McKie, Brendan G.; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Knudsen, Rune; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2018-01-01

    Biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning.Biodiversity may decrease or increase parasitism.Parasites impair individual hosts and affect their role in the ecosystem.Parasitism, in common with competition, facilitation, and predation, could regulate BD-EF relationships.Parasitism affects host phenotypes, including changes to host morphology, behavior, and physiology, which might increase intra- and interspecific functional diversity.The effects of parasitism on host abundance and phenotypes, and on interactions between hosts and the remaining community, all have potential to alter community structure and BD-EF relationships.Global change could facilitate the spread of invasive parasites, and alter the existing dynamics between parasites, communities, and ecosystems.Species interactions can influence ecosystem functioning by enhancing or suppressing the activities of species that drive ecosystem processes, or by causing changes in biodiversity. However, one important class of species interactions – parasitism – has been little considered in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BD-EF) research. Parasites might increase or decrease ecosystem processes by reducing host abundance. Parasites could also increase trait diversity by suppressing dominant species or by increasing within-host trait diversity. These different mechanisms by which parasites might affect ecosystem function pose challenges in predicting their net effects. Nonetheless, given the ubiquity of parasites, we propose that parasite–host interactions should be incorporated into the BD-EF framework.

  18. Parasite prevalence corresponds to host life history in a diverse assemblage of afrotropical birds and haemosporidian parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Holly L; Hochachka, Wesley M; Engel, Joshua I; Bell, Jeffrey A; Tkach, Vasyl V; Bates, John M; Hackett, Shannon J; Weckstein, Jason D

    2015-01-01

    Avian host life history traits have been hypothesized to predict rates of infection by haemosporidian parasites. Using molecular techniques, we tested this hypothesis for parasites from three haemosporidian genera (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon) collected from a diverse sampling of birds in northern Malawi. We found that host life history traits were significantly associated with parasitism rates by all three parasite genera. Nest type and nest location predicted infection probability for all three parasite genera, whereas flocking behavior is an important predictor of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infection and habitat is an important predictor of Leucocytozoon infection. Parasite prevalence was 79.1% across all individuals sampled, higher than that reported for comparable studies from any other region of the world. Parasite diversity was also exceptionally high, with 248 parasite cytochrome b lineages identified from 152 host species. A large proportion of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasite DNA sequences identified in this study represent new, previously undocumented lineages (n = 201; 81% of total identified) based on BLAST queries against the avian malaria database, MalAvi.

  19. Parasite Prevalence Corresponds to Host Life History in a Diverse Assemblage of Afrotropical Birds and Haemosporidian Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Holly L.; Hochachka, Wesley M.; Engel, Joshua I.; Bell, Jeffrey A.; Tkach, Vasyl V.; Bates, John M.; Hackett, Shannon J.; Weckstein, Jason D.

    2015-01-01

    Avian host life history traits have been hypothesized to predict rates of infection by haemosporidian parasites. Using molecular techniques, we tested this hypothesis for parasites from three haemosporidian genera (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon) collected from a diverse sampling of birds in northern Malawi. We found that host life history traits were significantly associated with parasitism rates by all three parasite genera. Nest type and nest location predicted infection probability for all three parasite genera, whereas flocking behavior is an important predictor of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infection and habitat is an important predictor of Leucocytozoon infection. Parasite prevalence was 79.1% across all individuals sampled, higher than that reported for comparable studies from any other region of the world. Parasite diversity was also exceptionally high, with 248 parasite cytochrome b lineages identified from 152 host species. A large proportion of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasite DNA sequences identified in this study represent new, previously undocumented lineages (n = 201; 81% of total identified) based on BLAST queries against the avian malaria database, MalAvi. PMID:25853491

  20. Parasite prevalence corresponds to host life history in a diverse assemblage of afrotropical birds and haemosporidian parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly L Lutz

    Full Text Available Avian host life history traits have been hypothesized to predict rates of infection by haemosporidian parasites. Using molecular techniques, we tested this hypothesis for parasites from three haemosporidian genera (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon collected from a diverse sampling of birds in northern Malawi. We found that host life history traits were significantly associated with parasitism rates by all three parasite genera. Nest type and nest location predicted infection probability for all three parasite genera, whereas flocking behavior is an important predictor of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infection and habitat is an important predictor of Leucocytozoon infection. Parasite prevalence was 79.1% across all individuals sampled, higher than that reported for comparable studies from any other region of the world. Parasite diversity was also exceptionally high, with 248 parasite cytochrome b lineages identified from 152 host species. A large proportion of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasite DNA sequences identified in this study represent new, previously undocumented lineages (n = 201; 81% of total identified based on BLAST queries against the avian malaria database, MalAvi.

  1. Avian And Other Zoonotic Influenza

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... outbreaks in poultry have seriously impacted livelihoods, the economy and international trade in affected countries. Other avian influenza A( ... outbreaks in poultry have seriously impacted livelihoods, the economy and international trade in affected countries. Other avian influenza A( ...

  2. The avian transcriptome response to malaria infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Videvall, Elin; Cornwallis, Charlie K; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Hellgren, Olof

    2015-05-01

    Malaria parasites are highly virulent pathogens which infect a wide range of vertebrates. Despite their importance, the way different hosts control and suppress malaria infections remains poorly understood. With recent developments in next-generation sequencing techniques, however, it is now possible to quantify the response of the entire transcriptome to infections. We experimentally infected Eurasian siskins (Carduelis spinus) with avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium ashfordi), and used high-throughput RNA-sequencing to measure the avian transcriptome in blood collected before infection (day 0), during peak parasitemia (day 21 postinfection), and when parasitemia was decreasing (day 31). We found considerable differences in the transcriptomes of infected and uninfected individuals, with a large number of genes differentially expressed during both peak and decreasing parasitemia stages. These genes were overrepresented among functions involved in the immune system, stress response, cell death regulation, metabolism, and telomerase activity. Comparative analyses of the differentially expressed genes in our study to those found in other hosts of malaria (human and mouse) revealed a set of genes that are potentially involved in highly conserved evolutionary responses to malaria infection. By using RNA-sequencing we gained a more complete view of the host response, and were able to pinpoint not only well-documented host genes but also unannotated genes with clear significance during infection, such as microRNAs. This study shows how the avian blood transcriptome shifts in response to malaria infection, and we believe that it will facilitate further research into the diversity of molecular mechanisms that hosts utilize to fight malaria infections. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  3. Egg size matching by an intraspecific brood parasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemons, Patrick R.; Sedinger, James S.

    2011-01-01

    Avian brood parasitism provides an ideal system with which to understand animal recognition and its affect on fitness. This phenomenon of laying eggs in the nests of other individuals has classically been framed from the perspective of interspecific brood parasitism and host recognition of parasitic eggs. Few examples exist of strategies adopted by intraspecific brood parasites to maximize success of parasitic eggs. Intraspecific brood parasitism within precocial birds can be a risky strategy in that hatch synchrony is essential to reproductive success. Given that egg size is positively correlated with incubation time, parasitic birds would benefit by recognizing and selecting hosts with a similar egg size. Intraspecific brood parasitism is an alternative reproductive strategy in black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans), a colonial nesting goose with precocial young. Based on a randomization test, parasitic eggs in this study differed less in size from eggs in their host's nests than did random eggs placed in random nests. Parasitic eggs were remarkably similar in size to hosts’ eggs, differing by parasitic brant match the egg size of hosts in our study supports our hypothesis that brant match egg size of hosts, thereby maximizing hatching success of their parasitic eggs.

  4. Common Avian Infection Plagued the Tyrant Dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Ewan D. S.; Salisbury, Steven W.; Horner, John R.; Varricchio, David J.

    2009-01-01

    Background Tyrannosaurus rex and other tyrannosaurid fossils often display multiple, smooth-edged full-thickness erosive lesions on the mandible, either unilaterally or bilaterally. The cause of these lesions in the Tyrannosaurus rex specimen FMNH PR2081 (known informally by the name ‘Sue’) has previously been attributed to actinomycosis, a bacterial bone infection, or bite wounds from other tyrannosaurids. Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted an extensive survey of tyrannosaurid specimens and identified ten individuals with full-thickness erosive lesions. These lesions were described, measured and photographed for comparison with one another. We also conducted an extensive survey of related archosaurs for similar lesions. We show here that these lesions are consistent with those caused by an avian parasitic infection called trichomonosis, which causes similar abnormalities on the mandible of modern birds, in particular raptors. Conclusions/Significance This finding represents the first evidence for the ancient evolutionary origin of an avian transmissible disease in non-avian theropod dinosaurs. It also provides a valuable insight into the palaeobiology of these now extinct animals. Based on the frequency with which these lesions occur, we hypothesize that tyrannosaurids were commonly infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan. For tyrannosaurid populations, the only non-avian dinosaur group that show trichomonosis-type lesions, it is likely that the disease became endemic and spread as a result of antagonistic intraspecific behavior, consumption of prey infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan and possibly even cannibalism. The severity of trichomonosis-related lesions in specimens such as Tyrannosaurus rex FMNH PR2081 and Tyrannosaurus rex MOR 980, strongly suggests that these animals died as a direct result of this disease, mostly likely through starvation. PMID:19789646

  5. Common avian infection plagued the tyrant dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewan D S Wolff

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Tyrannosaurus rex and other tyrannosaurid fossils often display multiple, smooth-edged full-thickness erosive lesions on the mandible, either unilaterally or bilaterally. The cause of these lesions in the Tyrannosaurus rex specimen FMNH PR2081 (known informally by the name 'Sue' has previously been attributed to actinomycosis, a bacterial bone infection, or bite wounds from other tyrannosaurids. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted an extensive survey of tyrannosaurid specimens and identified ten individuals with full-thickness erosive lesions. These lesions were described, measured and photographed for comparison with one another. We also conducted an extensive survey of related archosaurs for similar lesions. We show here that these lesions are consistent with those caused by an avian parasitic infection called trichomonosis, which causes similar abnormalities on the mandible of modern birds, in particular raptors. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This finding represents the first evidence for the ancient evolutionary origin of an avian transmissible disease in non-avian theropod dinosaurs. It also provides a valuable insight into the palaeobiology of these now extinct animals. Based on the frequency with which these lesions occur, we hypothesize that tyrannosaurids were commonly infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan. For tyrannosaurid populations, the only non-avian dinosaur group that show trichomonosis-type lesions, it is likely that the disease became endemic and spread as a result of antagonistic intraspecific behavior, consumption of prey infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan and possibly even cannibalism. The severity of trichomonosis-related lesions in specimens such as Tyrannosaurus rex FMNH PR2081 and Tyrannosaurus rex MOR 980, strongly suggests that these animals died as a direct result of this disease, mostly likely through starvation.

  6. Common avian infection plagued the tyrant dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Ewan D S; Salisbury, Steven W; Horner, John R; Varricchio, David J

    2009-09-30

    Tyrannosaurus rex and other tyrannosaurid fossils often display multiple, smooth-edged full-thickness erosive lesions on the mandible, either unilaterally or bilaterally. The cause of these lesions in the Tyrannosaurus rex specimen FMNH PR2081 (known informally by the name 'Sue') has previously been attributed to actinomycosis, a bacterial bone infection, or bite wounds from other tyrannosaurids. We conducted an extensive survey of tyrannosaurid specimens and identified ten individuals with full-thickness erosive lesions. These lesions were described, measured and photographed for comparison with one another. We also conducted an extensive survey of related archosaurs for similar lesions. We show here that these lesions are consistent with those caused by an avian parasitic infection called trichomonosis, which causes similar abnormalities on the mandible of modern birds, in particular raptors. This finding represents the first evidence for the ancient evolutionary origin of an avian transmissible disease in non-avian theropod dinosaurs. It also provides a valuable insight into the palaeobiology of these now extinct animals. Based on the frequency with which these lesions occur, we hypothesize that tyrannosaurids were commonly infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan. For tyrannosaurid populations, the only non-avian dinosaur group that show trichomonosis-type lesions, it is likely that the disease became endemic and spread as a result of antagonistic intraspecific behavior, consumption of prey infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan and possibly even cannibalism. The severity of trichomonosis-related lesions in specimens such as Tyrannosaurus rex FMNH PR2081 and Tyrannosaurus rex MOR 980, strongly suggests that these animals died as a direct result of this disease, mostly likely through starvation.

  7. assessing the prevalence of gastrointestinal tract parasites of poultry ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DELL

    disease and mortality causing viral infection of poultry. The concentration of parasite eggs in the poultry environment is ... make the flock less resistant to diseases and exacerbate existing disease conditions. Yousuf et al. (2009) reported that ..... Avian Pathology, 27:4,382-389. Pinckney, R.D., Coomansingh, C., Bhaiyat, M.I.,.

  8. Plastic behaviors in hosts promote the emergence of retaliatory parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abou Chakra, Maria; Hilbe, Christian; Traulsen, Arne

    2014-03-04

    Mafia like behavior, where individuals cooperate under the threat of punishment, occurs not only in humans, but is also observed in several animal species. Observations suggest that avian hosts tend to accept a certain degree of parasitism in order to avoid retaliating punishment from the brood parasite. To understand under which conditions it will be beneficial for a host to cooperate, we model the interaction between hosts and parasites as an evolutionary game. In our model, the host's behavior is plastic, and thus, its response depends on the previous interactions with the parasite. We find that such learned behavior in turn is crucial for the evolution of retaliating parasites. The abundance of this kind of mafia behavior oscillates in time and does not settle to an equilibrium. Our results suggest that retaliation is a mechanism for the parasite to evade specialization and to induce acceptance by the host.

  9. Diversity of avian haemosporidians in arid zones of northern Venezuela.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belo, Nayara O; Rodríguez-Ferraro, Adriana; Braga, Erika M; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2012-07-01

    Arid zones of northern Venezuela are represented by isolated areas, important from an ornithological and ecological perspective due to the occurrence of restricted-range species of birds. We analysed the prevalence and molecular diversity of haemosporidian parasites of wild birds in this region by screening 527 individuals (11 families and 20 species) for parasite mitochondrial DNA. The overall prevalence of parasites was 41%, representing 17 mitochondrial lineages: 7 of Plasmodium and 10 of Haemoproteus. Two parasite lineages occurred in both the eastern and western regions infecting a single host species, Mimus gilvus. These lineages are also present throughout northern and central Venezuela in a variety of arid and mesic habitats. Some lineages found in this study in northern Venezuela have also been observed in different localities in the Americas, including the West Indies. In spite of the widespread distributions of some of the parasite lineages found in northern Venezuela, several, including some that are relatively common (e.g. Ven05 and Ven06), have not been reported from elsewhere. Additional studies are needed to characterize the host and geographical distribution of avian malaria parasite lineages, which will provide a better understanding of the influence of landscape, vector abundance and diversity, and host identity on haemosporidian parasite diversity and prevalence.

  10. Recent advances in the study of avian malaria: an overview with an emphasis on the distribution of Plasmodium spp in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Érika Martins Braga

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium have a worldwide distribution except for Antarctica. They are transmitted exclusively by mosquito vectors (Diptera: Culicidae and are of particular interest to health care research due to their phylogenetic relationship with human plasmodia and their ability to cause avian malaria, which is frequently lethal in non-adapted avian hosts. However, different features of avian Plasmodium spp, including their taxonomy and aspects of their life-history traits, need to be examined in more detail. Over the last 10 years, ecologists, evolutionary biologists and wildlife researchers have recognized the importance of studying avian malaria parasites and other related haemosporidians, which are the largest group of the order Haemosporida by number of species. These studies have included understanding the ecological, behavioral and evolutionary aspects that arise in this wildlife host-parasite system. Molecular tools have provided new and exiting opportunities for such research. This review discusses several emerging topics related to the current research of avian Plasmodium spp and some related avian haemosporidians. We also summarize some important discoveries in this field and emphasize the value of using both polymerase chain reaction-based and microscopy-based methods in parallel for wildlife studies. We will focus on the genus Plasmodium, with an emphasis on the distribution and pathogenicity of these parasites in wild birds in Brazil.

  11. MAGPIE HOST MANIPULATION BY GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOOS: EVIDENCE FOR AN AVIAN MAFIA?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler, M; Soler, J J; Martinez, J G; M Ller, A P

    1995-08-01

    Why should the hosts of brood parasites accept and raise parasitic offspring that differ dramatically in appearance from their own? There are two solutions to this evolutionary enigma. (1) Hosts may not yet have evolved the capability to discriminate against the parasite, or (2) parasite-host systems have reached an evolutionary equilibrium. Avian brood parasites may either gain renesting opportunities or force their hosts to raise parasitic offspring by destroying or preying upon host eggs or nestlings following host ejection of parasite offspring. These hypotheses may explain why hosts do not remove parasite offspring because only then will hosts avoid clutch destruction by the cuckoo. Here we show experimentally that if the egg of the parasitic great spotted cuckoo Clamator glandarius is removed from nests of its magpie Pica pica host, nests suffer significantly higher predation rates than control nests in which parasite eggs have not been removed. Using plasticine model eggs resembling those of magpies and observations of parasites, we also confirm that great spotted cuckoos that have laid an ejected egg are indeed responsible for destruction of magpie nests with experimentally ejected parasite eggs. Cuckoos benefit from destroying host offspring because they thereby induce some magpies to renest and subsequently accept a cuckoo egg. © 1995 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  12. Mixed species flock, nest height, and elevation partially explain avian haemoparasite prevalence in Colombia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angie D González

    Full Text Available The high avian biodiversity present in the Neotropical region offers a great opportunity to explore the ecology of host-parasite relationships. We present a survey of avian haemoparasites in a megadiverse country and explore how parasite prevalences are related to physical and ecological host characteristics. Using light microscopy, we documented the presence of haemoparasites in over 2000 individuals belonging to 246 species of wild birds, from nine localities and several ecosystems of Colombia. We analysed the prevalence of six avian haemoparasite taxa in relation to elevation and the following host traits: nest height, nest type, foraging strata, primary diet, sociality, migratory behaviour, and participation in mixed species flocks. Our analyses indicate significant associations between both mixed species flocks and nest height and Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon prevalence. The prevalence of Leucocytozoon increased with elevation, whereas the prevalence of Trypanosoma and microfilariae decreased. Plasmodium and Haemoproteus prevalence did not vary significantly with elevation; in fact, both parasites were found up to 3300 m above sea level. The distribution of parasite prevalence across the phylogeny of bird species included in this study showed little host phylogenetic signal indicating that infection rates in this system are evolutionarily labile. Vector distribution as well as the biology of transmission and the maintenance of populations of avian haemoparasites deserve more detailed study in this system.

  13. Patterns of Midichloria infection in avian-borne African ticks and their trans-Saharan migratory hosts

    OpenAIRE

    Di Lecce, Irene; Bazzocchi, Chiara; Cecere, Jacopo G.; Epis, Sara; Sassera, Davide; Villani, Barbara M.; Bazzi, Gaia; Negri, Agata; Saino, Nicola; Spina, Fernando; Bandi, Claudio; Rubolini, Diego

    2018-01-01

    Background Ticks are obligate haematophagous ectoparasites of vertebrates and frequently parasitize avian species that can carry them across continents during their long-distance migrations. Ticks may have detrimental effects on the health state of their avian hosts, which can be either directly caused by blood-draining or mediated by microbial pathogens transmitted during the blood meal. Indeed, ticks host complex microbial communities, including bacterial pathogens and symbionts. Midichlori...

  14. Brood parasitism and the evolution of cooperative breeding in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feeney, W E; Medina, I; Somveille, M; Heinsohn, R; Hall, M L; Mulder, R A; Stein, J A; Kilner, R M; Langmore, N E

    2013-12-20

    The global distribution of cooperatively breeding birds is highly uneven, with hotspots in Australasia and sub-Saharan Africa. The ecological drivers of this distribution remain enigmatic yet could yield insights into the evolution and persistence of cooperative breeding. We report that the global distributions of avian obligate brood parasites and cooperatively breeding passerines are tightly correlated and that the uneven phylogenetic distribution of cooperative breeding is associated with the uneven targeting of hosts by brood parasites. With a long-term field study, we show that brood parasites can acquire superior care for their young by targeting cooperative breeders. Conversely, host defenses against brood parasites are strengthened by helpers at the nest. Reciprocally selected interactions between brood parasites and cooperative breeders may therefore explain the close association between these two breeding systems.

  15. Seasonal change in the avian hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherry, David F; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2015-04-01

    The hippocampus plays an important role in cognitive processes, including memory and spatial orientation, in birds. The hippocampus undergoes seasonal change in food-storing birds and brood parasites, there are changes in the hippocampus during breeding, and further changes occur in some species in association with migration. In food-storing birds, seasonal change in the hippocampus occurs in fall and winter when the cognitively demanding behaviour of caching and retrieving food occurs. The timing of annual change in the hippocampus of food-storing birds is quite variable, however, and appears not to be under photoperiod control. A variety of factors, including cognitive performance, exercise, and stress may all influence seasonal change in the avian hippocampus. The causal processes underlying seasonal change in the avian hippocampus have not been extensively examined and the more fully described hormonal influences on the mammalian hippocampus may provide hypotheses for investigating the control of hippocampal seasonality in birds. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Grid attacks avian flu

    CERN Multimedia

    2006-01-01

    During April, a collaboration of Asian and European laboratories analysed 300,000 possible drug components against the avian flu virus H5N1 using the EGEE Grid infrastructure. Schematic presentation of the avian flu virus.The distribution of the EGEE sites in the world on which the avian flu scan was performed. The goal was to find potential compounds that can inhibit the activities of an enzyme on the surface of the influenza virus, the so-called neuraminidase, subtype N1. Using the Grid to identify the most promising leads for biological tests could speed up the development process for drugs against the influenza virus. Co-ordinated by CERN and funded by the European Commission, the EGEE project (Enabling Grids for E-sciencE) aims to set up a worldwide grid infrastructure for science. The challenge of the in silico drug discovery application is to identify those molecules which can dock on the active sites of the virus in order to inhibit its action. To study the impact of small scale mutations on drug r...

  17. Evolution of Plastic Transmission Strategies in Avian Malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornet, Stéphane; Nicot, Antoine; Rivero, Ana; Gandon, Sylvain

    2014-01-01

    Malaria parasites have been shown to adjust their life history traits to changing environmental conditions. Parasite relapses and recrudescences—marked increases in blood parasite numbers following a period when the parasite was either absent or present at very low levels in the blood, respectively—are expected to be part of such adaptive plastic strategies. Here, we first present a theoretical model that analyses the evolution of transmission strategies in fluctuating seasonal environments and we show that relapses may be adaptive if they are concomitant with the presence of mosquitoes in the vicinity of the host. We then experimentally test the hypothesis that Plasmodium parasites can respond to the presence of vectors. For this purpose, we repeatedly exposed birds infected by the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum to the bites of uninfected females of its natural vector, the mosquito Culex pipiens, at three different stages of the infection: acute (∼34 days post infection), early chronic (∼122 dpi) and late chronic (∼291 dpi). We show that: (i) mosquito-exposed birds have significantly higher blood parasitaemia than control unexposed birds during the chronic stages of the infection and that (ii) this translates into significantly higher infection prevalence in the mosquito. Our results demonstrate the ability of Plasmodium relictum to maximize their transmission by adopting plastic life history strategies in response to the availability of insect vectors. PMID:25210974

  18. Interspecific parasite exchange in a mixed colony of birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valera, Francisco; Casas-Crivillé, Alejandro; Hoi, Herbert

    2003-04-01

    Studies of avian host-parasite interactions rarely include consequences of relationships among hosts for either the host or parasite species. In this study, we examine the ectoparasitic burden of adult and nestling European bee-eaters (Merops apiaster) and rock sparrows (Petronia petronia) in a mixed colony. We found that (1) each bird species had its own species of lice; (2) hematophagous mites parasitized both adults and nestlings of both bird species; (3) Carnus hemapterus, a common parasite of nestling bee-eaters, also infested rock sparrow nestlings, a species not previously described as a host for this dipteran; and (4) whereas C. hemapterus did not show high host specificity within the colony, the emergence of adult flies was synchronized with the start of hatching in bee-eater nests. We suggest that coexistence of these 2 bird species results in parasite exchange, bee-eaters obtaining mites from sparrows and sparrows becoming infested by C. hemapterus. Differences in the detrimental effects of parasite transfer for each host species may result in a process of apparent competition mediated by shared parasites. Interspecific parasite exchange is an important aspect of host-parasite relationships in mixed colonies, which requires further attention.

  19. Invasion of Varroa mites into honey bee brood cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boot, W.J.

    1995-01-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa-jacobsoni is one of the most serious pests of Western honey bees, Apis mellifera. The mites parasitize adult bees, but reproduction only occurs while parasitizing on honey bee brood. Invasion into a

  20. Diversity and distribution of avian haemosporidians in sub-Saharan Africa: an inter-regional biogeographic overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Outlaw, Diana C; Harvey, Johanna A; Drovetski, Sergei V; Voelker, Gary

    2017-04-01

    The diversity of avian malaria parasites is much greater than 20th century morphologists realized and virtually every study in this field in the last 15 years has uncovered previously undocumented diversity at multiple levels within the taxonomic hierarchy. Despite this explosion of knowledge, there remain vast sampling gaps, both geographically and host-taxonomically, which makes characterizing patterns of diversity extremely challenging. Here, we summarize the current state of knowledge of sub-Saharan African avian malaria parasite diversity, focusing on avian hosts endemic to Africa. The relative proportions of the parasite genera included here, Plasmodium, Haemoproteus (including Parahaemoproteus) and Leucocytozoon, varied between regions, in part due to habitat preferences of the insect vectors of these genera, and in part we believe due to sampling bias. Biogeographic regions of sub-Saharan Africa harbour about the same proportion of endemic to shared parasite lineages, but there appears to be no phylogenetic structuring across regions. Our results highlight the sampling problem that must be addressed if we are to have a detailed understanding of parasite diversity in Africa. Without broad sampling within and across regions and hosts, using both molecular tools and microscopy, conclusions about parasite diversity, host-parasite interactions or even transmission dynamics remain extremely limited.

  1. Avian influenza surveillance and diagnosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapid detection and accurate identification of low (LPAI) and high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) is critical to controlling infections and disease in poultry. Test selection and algorithms for the detection and diagnosis of avian influenza virus (AIV) in poultry may vary somewhat among differ...

  2. Parasitic diseases of lungs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozenshtraukh, L.C.; Rybakova, N.I.; Vinner, M.G.

    1987-01-01

    Roentgenologic semiotics of the main parasitic diseases of lungs is described: echinococcosis, paragonimiasis, cysticercosis, toxoplasmosis, ascariasis, amebiosis and some rarely met parasitic diseases

  3. From parasitism to mutualism: unexpected interactions between a cuckoo and its host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canestrari, Daniela; Bolopo, Diana; Turlings, Ted C J; Röder, Gregory; Marcos, José M; Baglione, Vittorio

    2014-03-21

    Avian brood parasites lay eggs in the nests of other birds, which raise the unrelated chicks and typically suffer partial or complete loss of their own brood. However, carrion crows Corvus corone corone can benefit from parasitism by the great spotted cuckoo Clamator glandarius. Parasitized nests have lower rates of predation-induced failure due to production of a repellent secretion by cuckoo chicks, but among nests that are successful, those with cuckoo chicks fledge fewer crows. The outcome of these counterbalancing effects fluctuates between parasitism and mutualism each season, depending on the intensity of predation pressure.

  4. Searching for putative avian malaria vectors in a Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Francisco C; Rodrigues, Raquel A; Sato, Yukita; Borges, Magno A Z; Braga, Érika M

    2016-11-16

    Haemosporidian parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus can have detrimental effects on individual birds and populations. Despite recent investigations into the distribution and richness of these parasites and their vertebrate hosts, little is known about their dipteran vectors. The Neotropics has the highest diversity of mosquitoes in the world, but few studies have tried to identify vectors in this area, hampering the understanding of the ecology of avian malaria in the highly diverse Neotropical environments. Shannon traps and active collection were used to capture 27,110 mosquitoes in a Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest in southeastern Brazil, a highly endangered ecosystem. We screened 17,619 mosquito abdomens from 12 different species and several unidentified specimens of Culex, grouped into 1,913 pools, for the presence of haemosporidians. Two pools (out of 459) of the mosquito Mansonia titillans and one pool (out of 29) of Mansonia pseudotitillans were positive for Plasmodium parasites, with the detection of a new parasite lineage in the former species. Detected Plasmodium lineages were distributed in three different clades within the phylogenetic tree revealing that Mansonia mosquitoes are potential vectors of genetically distant parasites. Two pools of Culex spp. (out of 43) were positive for Plasmodium gallinaceum and closely related lineages. We found a higher abundance of these putative vectors in pasture areas, but they were also distributed in areas at intermediate and late successional stages. One pool of the mosquito Psorophora discrucians (out of 173) was positive for Haemoproteus. The occurrence of different Plasmodium lineages in Mansonia mosquitoes indicates that this genus encompasses potential vectors of avian malaria parasites in Brazil, even though we did not find positive thoraces among the samples tested. Additional evidence is required to assign the role of Mansonia mosquitoes in avian malaria transmission and further studies

  5. Mixed infections and hybridisation in monogenean parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schelkle, Bettina; Faria, Patricia J; Johnson, Mireille B; van Oosterhout, Cock; Cable, Joanne

    2012-01-01

    Theory predicts that sexual reproduction promotes disease invasion by increasing the evolutionary potential of the parasite, whereas asexual reproduction tends to enhance establishment success and population growth rate. Gyrodactylid monogeneans are ubiquitous ectoparasites of teleost fish, and the evolutionary success of the specious Gyrodactylus genus is thought to be partly due to their use of various modes of reproduction. Gyrodactylus turnbulli is a natural parasite of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), a small, tropical fish used as a model for behavioural, ecological and evolutionary studies. Using experimental infections and a recently developed microsatellite marker, we conclusively show that monogenean parasites reproduce sexually. Conservatively, we estimate that sexual recombination occurs and that between 3.7-10.9% of the parasites in our experimental crosses are hybrid genotypes with ancestors from different laboratory strains of G. turnbulli. We also provide evidence of hybrid vigour and/or inter-strain competition, which appeared to lead to a higher maximum parasite load in mixed infections. Finally, we demonstrate inbreeding avoidance for the first time in platyhelminths which may influence the distribution of parasites within a host and their subsequent exposure to the host's localized immune response. Combined reproductive modes and inbreeding avoidance may explain the extreme evolutionary diversification success of parasites such as Gyrodactylus, where host-parasite coevolution is punctuated by relatively frequent host switching.

  6. Mixed infections and hybridisation in monogenean parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Schelkle

    Full Text Available Theory predicts that sexual reproduction promotes disease invasion by increasing the evolutionary potential of the parasite, whereas asexual reproduction tends to enhance establishment success and population growth rate. Gyrodactylid monogeneans are ubiquitous ectoparasites of teleost fish, and the evolutionary success of the specious Gyrodactylus genus is thought to be partly due to their use of various modes of reproduction. Gyrodactylus turnbulli is a natural parasite of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata, a small, tropical fish used as a model for behavioural, ecological and evolutionary studies. Using experimental infections and a recently developed microsatellite marker, we conclusively show that monogenean parasites reproduce sexually. Conservatively, we estimate that sexual recombination occurs and that between 3.7-10.9% of the parasites in our experimental crosses are hybrid genotypes with ancestors from different laboratory strains of G. turnbulli. We also provide evidence of hybrid vigour and/or inter-strain competition, which appeared to lead to a higher maximum parasite load in mixed infections. Finally, we demonstrate inbreeding avoidance for the first time in platyhelminths which may influence the distribution of parasites within a host and their subsequent exposure to the host's localized immune response. Combined reproductive modes and inbreeding avoidance may explain the extreme evolutionary diversification success of parasites such as Gyrodactylus, where host-parasite coevolution is punctuated by relatively frequent host switching.

  7. Size matters for lice on birds: Coevolutionary allometry of host and parasite body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harnos, Andrea; Lang, Zsolt; Petrás, Dóra; Bush, Sarah E; Szabó, Krisztián; Rózsa, Lajos

    2017-02-01

    Body size is one of the most fundamental characteristics of all organisms. It influences physiology, morphology, behavior, and even interspecific interactions such as those between parasites and their hosts. Host body size influences the magnitude and variability of parasite size according to Harrison's rule (HR: positive relationship between host and parasite body sizes) and Poulin's Increasing Variance Hypothesis (PIVH: positive relationship between host body size and the variability of parasite body size). We analyzed parasite-host body size allometry for 581 species of avian lice (∼15% of known diversity) and their hosts. We applied phylogenetic generalized least squares (PGLS) methods to account for phylogenetic nonindependence controlling for host and parasite phylogenies separately and variance heterogeneity. We tested HR and PIVH for the major families of avian lice (Ricinidae, Menoponidae, Philopteridae), and for distinct ecological guilds within Philopteridae. Our data indicate that most families and guilds of avian lice follow both HR and PIVH; however, ricinids did not follow PIVH and the "body lice" guild of philopterid lice did not follow HR or PIVH. We discuss mathematical and ecological factors that may be responsible for these patterns, and we discuss the potential pervasiveness of these relationships among all parasites on Earth. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  8. Avian and human metapneumovirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broor, Shobha; Bharaj, Preeti

    2007-04-01

    Pneumovirus infection remains a significant problem for both human and veterinary medicine. Both avian pneumovirus (aMPV, Turkey rhinotracheitis virus) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV) are pathogens of birds and humans, which are associated with respiratory tract infections. Based on their different genomic organization and low level of nucleotide (nt) and amino acid (aa) identity with paramyxoviruses in the genus Pneumovirus, aMPV and hMPV have been classified into a new genus referred to as Metapneumovirus. The advancement of our understanding of pneumovirus biology and pathogenesis of pneumovirus disease in specific natural hosts can provide us with strategies for vaccine formulations and combined antiviral and immunomodulatory therapies.

  9. Avian Plasmodium infection in field-collected mosquitoes during 2012-2013 in Tarlac, Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Tien-Huang; Aure, Wilfredo E; Cruz, Estrella Irlandez; Malbas, Fedelino F; Teng, Hwa-Jen; Lu, Liang-Chen; Kim, Kyeong Soon; Tsuda, Yoshio; Shu, Pei-Yun

    2015-12-01

    Global warming threatens to increase the spread and prevalence of mosquito-transmitted diseases. Certain pathogens may be carried by migratory birds and transmitted to local mosquito populations. Mosquitoes were collected in the northern Philippines during bird migration seasons to detect avian malaria parasites as well as for the identification of potential vector species and the estimation of infections among local mosquito populations. We used the nested PCR to detect the avian malaria species. Culex vishnui (47.6%) was the most abundant species collected and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus (13.8%) was the second most abundant. Avian Plasmodium parasites were found in eight mosquito species, for which the infection rates were between 0.5% and 6.2%. The six Plasmodium genetic lineages found in this study included P. juxtanucleare -GALLUS02, Tacy7 (Donana04), CXBIT01, Plasmodium species LIN2 New Zealand, and two unclassified lineages. The potential mosquito vectors for avian Plasmodium parasites in the Philippines were Cq. crassipes, Cx. fuscocephala, Cx. quinquefasciatus, Cx. sitiens, Cx. vishnui, and Ma. Uniformis; two major genetic lineages, P. juxtanucleare and Tacy7, were identified. © 2015 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  10. Collapsing avian community on a Hawaiian island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paxton, Eben H.; Camp, Richard J.; Gorresen, P. Marcos; Crampton, Lisa H.; Leonard, David L.; VanderWerf, Eric

    2016-01-01

    The viability of many species has been jeopardized by numerous negative factors over the centuries, but climate change is predicted to accelerate and increase the pressure of many of these threats, leading to extinctions. The Hawaiian honeycreepers, famous for their spectacular adaptive radiation, are predicted to experience negative responses to climate change, given their susceptibility to introduced disease, the strong linkage of disease distribution to climatic conditions, and their current distribution. We document the rapid collapse of the native avifauna on the island of Kaua‘i that corresponds to changes in climate and disease prevalence. Although multiple factors may be pressuring the community, we suggest that a tipping point has been crossed in which temperatures in forest habitats at high elevations have reached a threshold that facilitates the development of avian malaria and its vector throughout these species’ ranges. Continued incursion of invasive weeds and non-native avian competitors may be facilitated by climate change and could also contribute to declines. If current rates of decline continue, we predict multiple extinctions in the coming decades. Kaua‘i represents an early warning for the forest bird communities on the Maui and Hawai‘i islands, as well as other species around the world that are trapped within a climatic space that is rapidly disappearing.

  11. [Epidemics of conjunctivitis caused by avian influenza virus and molecular basis for its ocular tropism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chao; Jin, Ming

    2014-07-01

    Avian influenza virus (AIV) has caused several outbreaks in humans, leading to disasters to human beings. The outbreak of H7N9 avian influenza in China in 2003 re-attracted our close attention to this disease. More and more evidences demonstrated that eye is one of invasion portals of AIV, leading to conjunctivitis. The current studies showed that only subtypes H7 and H5 could cause severe systemic infections. Abundant distribution of α-2, 3 siliac acid receptor in conjunctiva and cornea as well as specific activiation of NF-κB signal transduction pathway by subtype H7 virus may contribute to the ocular tropism of the virus. These studies suggest that avian influenza conjunctivitis should be considered as a differential diagnosis during influenza epidemic seasons, and eyes should be well protected for disease control personnel when handling avian influenza epidemics. This review focused on AIV conjunctivitis and the molecular basis of ocular tropism.

  12. Diagnosis of Parasitic Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... visit this page: About CDC.gov . Parasites About Parasites Animals Blood Food Insects Water Education and Training CDC Bottle ... your blood. Blood tests look for a specific parasite infection; there is no blood test that will look for all parasitic infections. ...

  13. Avian Primordial Germ Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tagami, Takahiro; Miyahara, Daichi; Nakamura, Yoshiaki

    2017-01-01

    Germ cells transmit genetic information to the next generation through gametogenesis. Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the first germ-cell population established during development, and are the common origins of both oocytes and spermatogonia. Unlike in other species, PGCs in birds undergo blood circulation to migrate toward the genital ridge, and are one of the major biological properties of avian PGCs. Germ cells enter meiosis and arrest at prophase I during embryogenesis in females, whereas in males they enter mitotic arrest during embryogenesis and enter meiosis only after birth. In chicken, gonadal sex differentiation occurs as early as embryonic day 6, but meiotic initiation of female germ cells starts from a relatively late stage (embryonic day 15.5). Retinoic acid controls meiotic entry in developing chicken gonads through the expressions of retinaldehyde dehydrogenase 2, a major retinoic acid synthesizing enzyme, and cytochrome P450 family 26, subfamily B member 1, a major retinoic acid-degrading enzyme. The other major biological property of avian PGCs is that they can be propagated in vitro for the long term, and this technique is useful for investigating proliferation mechanisms. The main factor involved in chicken PGC proliferation is fibroblast growth factor 2, which activates the signaling of MEK/ERK and thus promotes the cell cycle and anti-apoptosis. Furthermore, the activation of PI3K/Akt signaling is indispensable for the proliferation and survival of chicken PGCs.

  14. Antiparasite behaviour in response to experimental brood parasitism in the great reed warbler: a comparison of single and multiple parasitism

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Honza, Marcel; Moskát, C.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 42, c. 6 (2005), s. 627-633 ISSN 0003-455X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA206/00/P046; GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA6093203 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : avian brood parasitism * Acrocephalus warblers Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.992, year: 2005 http://www.sekj.org/PDF/anz42-free/anz42-627.pdf

  15. Haemosporidian parasite infections in grouse and ptarmigan: Prevalence and genetic diversity of blood parasites in resident Alaskan birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Matthew M.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Merizon, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Projections related to future climate warming indicate the potential for an increase in the distribution and prevalence of blood parasites in northern regions. However, baseline data are lacking for resident avian host species in Alaska. Grouse and ptarmigan occupy a diverse range of habitat types throughout the northern hemisphere and are among the most well-known and important native game birds in North America. Information regarding the prevalence and diversity of haemosporidian parasites in tetraonid species is limited, with few recent studies and an almost complete lack of genetic data. To better understand the genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites in Alaskan tetraonids and to determine current patterns of geographic range and host specificity, we used molecular methods to screen 459 tissue samples collected from grouse and ptarmigan species across multiple regions of Alaska for infection by Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium blood parasites. Infections were detected in 342 individuals, with overall apparent prevalence of 53% for Leucocytozoon, 21% for Haemoproteus, and 9% for Plasmodium. Parasite prevalence varied by region, with different patterns observed between species groups (grouse versus ptarmigan). Leucocytozoon was more common in ptarmigan, whereas Haemoproteus was more common in grouse. We detected Plasmodium infections in grouse only. Analysis of haemosporidian mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequences revealed 23 unique parasite haplotypes, several of which were identical to lineages previously detected in other avian hosts. Phylogenetic analysis showed close relationships between haplotypes from our study and those identified in Alaskan waterfowl for Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites. In contrast, Leucocytozoon lineages were structured strongly by host family. Our results provide some of the first genetic data for haemosporidians in grouse and ptarmigan species, and provide an initial baseline on the prevalence and diversity

  16. Invasive alien birds in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fox, Anthony David; Heldbjerg, Henning; Nyegaard, Timme

    2015-01-01

    Avian Introduced Alien Species (IAS) constitute a threat to the integrity of native biodiversity, the economy and human health, so here we briefly review some of the problems posed by such species around the world in relation to such bird species in Denmark. A new European Union Regulation...... on Invasive Alien Species implemented in January 2015 establishes a framework for actions to combat alien species, which requires Member States to prevent the spread of alien species, provide early warning and rapid responses to their presence and management of established alien species where they occur. We...... show the importance of mechanisms such as DOF’s (Dansk Ornitologisk Forening, BirdLife Denmark) Atlas project, Common Bird Census (breeding and wintering species) and DOFbasen to contribute data on the current geographical and numerical distribution of the few serious alien avian species already...

  17. Invasive alien birds in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nyegaard, Timme; Heldbjerg, Henning; Fox, Anthony David

    Avian Introduced Alien Species (IAS) constitute a threat to the integrity of native biodiversity, the economy and human health, so here we briefly review some of the problems posed by such species around the world in relation to bird species in Denmark. A new European Union Regulation on Invasive...... Alien Species implemented in January 2015 requires a framework for actions to combat alien species, which requires Member States to prevent the spread of alien species, provide early warning and rapid responses to their presence and management of established alien species where they occur. We show...... the importance of mechanisms such as DOFs (Danish Ornithological Society, BirdLife Denmark) Atlas project, Common Bird Monitoring (breeding and wintering species) and DOFbasen to contribute data on the current geographical and numerical distribution of the few serious alien avian species already present...

  18. Avian And Other Zoonotic Influenza

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... consultations Fact sheets Fact files Questions & answers Features Multimedia Contacts Influenza (Avian and other zoonotic) Fact sheet ... respiratory tract infection (fever and cough), early sputum production and rapid progression to severe pneumonia, sepsis with ...

  19. Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli MT78 invades chicken fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matter, Letícia Beatriz; Barbieri, Nicolle Lima; Nordhoff, Marcel; Ewers, Christa; Horn, Fabiana

    2011-02-24

    Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) are responsible for extraintestinal diseases, called colibacillosis, in avian species. The most severe manifestation of the disease is colisepticemia that usually starts at the respiratory tract and may result in bird death. However, it is not yet clear how APEC cross the respiratory epithelium and get into the bloodstream. In this work, we studied the interaction between 8 APEC strains (UEL31, UEL17, UEL13, UEL29, MT78, IMT5155, IMT2470, A2363) and a chicken non-phagocytic cell, the fibroblast CEC-32 cell line. We investigated the association profile, the invasion capability, the cytotoxicity effect and the induction of caspase-3/7 activation in an attempt to understand the way the pathogen gains access to the host bloodstream. Association to cells was determined after 1 h of infection, while cell invasion was determined after 4 and 24 h of infection. The cytotoxic effect of bacterial infection was measured by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release and the activation of the apoptotic program was verified by caspase-3/7 activation. Also, the presence of genes for adhesins, invasins and other related virulence-associated factors was verified by PCR. All bacterial strains showed similarity in relation to adhesion, LDH release and caspase-3/7 activation. However, one APEC strain, MT78, showed high invasion capability, comparable to the invasive Salmonella typhimurium strain SL1344. Since an APEC strain was capable of invading non-phagocytic cells in vitro, the same may be happening with the epithelial cells of the avian respiratory tract in vivo. CEC-32 monolayers can also provide a useful experimental model to study the molecular mechanisms used by APEC to invade non-phagocytic cells. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Heightened exposure to parasites favors the evolution of immunity in brood parasitic cowbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Caldwell; Reisen, William K.

    2011-01-01

    Immunologists and evolutionary biologists are interested in how the immune system evolves to fit an ecological niche. We studied the relationship between exposure to parasites and strength of immunity by investigating the response of two species of New World cowbirds (genus Molothrus, Icteridae), obligate brood parasites with contrasting life history strategies, to experimental arboviral infection. The South American shiny cowbird (M. bonariensis) is an extreme host-generalist that lays its eggs in the nests of >225 different avian species. The Central American bronzed cowbird (M. aeneus) is a relative host-specialist that lays its eggs preferentially in the nests of approximately 12 orioles in a single sister genus. West Nile virus provided a strong challenge and delineated immune differences between these species. The extreme host-generalist shiny cowbird, like the North American host-generalist, the brown-headed cowbird, showed significantly lower viremia to three arboviruses than related icterid species that were not brood parasites. The bronzed cowbird showed intermediate viremia. These findings support the interpretation that repeated exposure to a high diversity of parasites favors the evolution of enhanced immunity in brood parasitic cowbirds and makes them useful models for future studies of innate immunity.

  1. Host-Parasite Interaction: Parasite-Derived and -Induced Proteases That Degrade Human Extracellular Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Piña-Vázquez

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Parasitic protozoa are among the most important pathogens worldwide. Diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis, amoebiasis, giardiasis, trichomoniasis, and trypanosomiasis affect millions of people. Humans are constantly threatened by infections caused by these pathogens. Parasites engage a plethora of surface and secreted molecules to attach to and enter mammalian cells. The secretion of lytic enzymes by parasites into host organs mediates critical interactions because of the invasion and destruction of interstitial tissues, enabling parasite migration to other sites within the hosts. Extracellular matrix is a complex, cross-linked structure that holds cells together in an organized assembly and that forms the basement membrane lining (basal lamina. The extracellular matrix represents a major barrier to parasites. Therefore, the evolution of mechanisms for connective-tissue degradation may be of great importance for parasite survival. Recent advances have been achieved in our understanding of the biochemistry and molecular biology of proteases from parasitic protozoa. The focus of this paper is to discuss the role of protozoan parasitic proteases in the degradation of host ECM proteins and the participation of these molecules as virulence factors. We divide the paper into two sections, extracellular and intracellular protozoa.

  2. Blood parasites in northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) with an emphasis to Leucocytozoon toddi

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hanel, J.; Doležalová, J.; Stehlíková, Š.; Modrý, David; Chudoba, J.; Synek, P.; Votýpka, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 115, č. 1 (2016), s. 263-270 ISSN 0932-0113 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : avian blood parasites * Haemosporida * Trypanosoma * PCR detection * birds of prey * raptors * mixed infection Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.329, year: 2016

  3. Tests of landscape influence: nest predation and brood parasitism in fragmented ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshua J. Tewksbury; Lindy Garner; Shannon H. Garner; John D. Lloyd; Victoria A. Saab; Thomas E. Martin

    2006-01-01

    The effects of landscape fragmentation on nest predation and brood parasitism, the two primary causes of avian reproductive failure, have been difficult to generalize across landscapes, yet few studies have clearly considered the context and spatial scale of fragmentation. Working in two river systems fragmented by agricultural and rural-housing development, we tracked...

  4. Host genotype and age have no effect on rejection of parasitic eggs

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Procházka, Petr; Konvičková-Patzenhauerová, Hana; Požgayová, Milica; Trnka, A.; Jelínek, Václav; Honza, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 101, č. 5 (2014), s. 417-426 ISSN 0028-1042 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600930903; GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2404 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Avian brood parasitism * Cuckoo * Egg recognition * Genetic association * Host responses * Microsatellites Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.098, year: 2014

  5. The avian egg exhibits general allometric invariances in mechanical design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juang, Jia-Yang; Chen, Pin-Yi; Yang, Da-Chang; Wu, Shang-Ping; Yen, An; Hsieh, Hsin-I

    2017-10-27

    The avian egg exhibits extraordinary diversity in size, shape and color, and has a key role in avian adaptive radiations. Despite extensive work, our understanding of the underlying principles that guide the "design" of the egg as a load-bearing structure remains incomplete, especially over broad taxonomic scales. Here we define a dimensionless number C, a function of egg weight, stiffness and dimensions, to quantify how stiff an egg is with respect to its weight after removing geometry-induced rigidity. We analyze eggs of 463 bird species in 36 orders across five orders of magnitude in body mass, and find that C number is nearly invariant for most species, including tiny hummingbirds and giant elephant birds. This invariance or "design guideline" dictates that evolutionary changes in shell thickness and Young's modulus, both contributing to shell stiffness, are constrained by changes in egg weight. Our analysis illuminates unique reproductive strategies of brood parasites, kiwis, and megapodes, and quantifies the loss of safety margin for contact incubation due to artificial selection and environmental toxins. Our approach provides a mechanistic framework for a better understanding of the mechanical design of the avian egg, and may provide clues to the evolutionary origin of contact incubation of amniote eggs.

  6. Tropical veterinary parasites at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conn, David Bruce

    2008-12-01

    Tropical veterinary parasites have been maintained by the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) at Harvard University since the mid 1800s. Most of these are maintained by the Department of Invertebrate Zoology, but many vectors and intermediate hosts are maintained by the Departments of Entomology and Malacology. The largest collections are of avian and mammalian ticks (Acarina) that are important as both parasites and vectors. Nematodes are second in numbers, followed by cestodes, trematodes, and several minor helminth groups, crustacean parasites of fish, and protozoan parasites of various hosts. The MCZ directed or participated in several major expeditions to tropical areas around the globe in the early 1900s. Many of these expeditions focused on human parasites, but hundreds of veterinary and zoonotic parasites were also collected from these and numerous, smaller, tropical expeditions. Host sources include companion animals, livestock, laboratory species, domestic fowl, reptiles, amphibians, exotics/zoo animals, commercially important fishes, and other wildlife. Specimens are curated, either fixed whole in vials or mounted on slides as whole mounts or histopathological sections. The primary emphasis of MCZ's current work with tropical veterinary parasites is on voucher specimens from epidemiological, experimental, and clinical research.

  7. Immunity to parasitic infection

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lamb, Tracey J

    2012-01-01

    ... may be manipulated to develop therapeutic interventions against parasitic infection. For easy reference, the most commonly studied parasites are examined in individual chapters written by investigators at the forefront of their field...

  8. Immunity to parasitic infection

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lamb, Tracey J

    2012-01-01

    .... Often endemic in developing countries many parasitic diseases are neglected in terms of research funding and much remains to be understood about parasites and the interactions they have with the immune system...

  9. Avian mycoplasmosis update

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ER Nascimento

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Avian mycoplasmas occur in a variety of bird species. The most important mycoplasmas for chickens and turkeys are Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG, M. synoviae (MS, and M. meleagridis. Besides, M. iowe (MI is an emerging pathogen in turkeys, but of little concern for chickens. Mycoplasmas are bacteria that lack cell wall and belong to the class Mollicutes. Although they have been considered extracellular agents, scientists admit nowadays that some of them are obligatory intracellular microorganisms, whereas all other mycoplasmas are considered facultative intracellular organisms. Their pathogenic mechanism for disease include adherence to host target cells, mediation of apoptosis, innocent bystander damage to host cell due to intimate membrane contact, molecular (antigen mimicry that may lead to tolerance, and mitotic effect for B and/or T lymphocytes, which could lead to suppressed T-cell function and/or production of cytotoxic T cell, besides mycoplasma by-products, such as hydrogen peroxide and superoxide radicals. Moreover, mycoplasma ability to stimulate macrophages, monocytes, T-helper cells and NK cells, results in the production of substances, such as tumor necrosing factor (TNF-alpha, interleukin (IL-1, 2, 6 and interferon (a, b, g. The major clinical signs seen in avian mycoplasmosis are coughing, sneezing, snicks, respiratory rales, ocular and nasal discharge, decreased feed intake and egg production, increased mortality, poor hatchability, and, primarily in turkeys, swelling of the infraorbital sinus(es. Nevertheless, chronic and unapparent infections are most common and more threatening. Mycoplasmas are transmitted horizontally, from bird to bird, and vertically, from dam to offspring through the eggs. Losses attributed to mycoplasmosis, mainly MG and MS infections, result from decreased egg production and egg quality, poor hatchability (high rate of embryonic mortality and culling of day-old birds, poor feed efficiency, increase in

  10. Dispersal ecology versus host specialization as determinants of ectoparasite distribution in brood parasitic indigobirds and their estrildid finch hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balakrishnan, Christopher N; Sorenson, Michael D

    2007-01-01

    Brood parasitic birds offer a unique opportunity to examine the ecological and evolutionary determinants of host associations in avian feather lice (Phthiraptera). Brood parasitic behaviour effectively eliminates vertical transfer of lice between parasitic parents and offspring at the nest, while at the same time providing an opportunity for lice associated with the hosts of brood parasites to colonize the brood parasites as well. Thus, the biology of brood parasitism allows a test of the relative roles of host specialization and dispersal ecology in determining the host-parasite associations of birds and lice. If the opportunity for dispersal is the primary determinant of louse distributions, then brood parasites and their hosts should have similar louse faunas. In contrast, if host-specific adaptations limit colonization ability, lice associated with the hosts of brood parasites may be unable to persist on the brood parasites despite having an opportunity for colonization. We surveyed lice on four brood parasitic finch species (genus Vidua), their estrildid finch host species, and a few ploceid finches. While Brueelia lice were found on both parasitic and estrildid finches, a molecular phylogeny showed that lice infesting the two avian groups belong to two distinct clades within Brueelia. Likewise, distinct louse lineages within the amblyceran genus Myrsidea were found on estrildid finches and the parasitic pin-tailed whydah (Vidua macroura), respectively. Although common on estrildid finches, Myrsidea lice were entirely absent from the brood parasitic indigobirds. The distribution and relationships of louse species on brood parasitic finches and their hosts suggest that host-specific adaptations constrain the ability of lice to colonize new hosts, at least those that are distantly related.

  11. Women and Parasitic Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... visit this page: About CDC.gov . Parasites About Parasites Animals Blood Food Insects Water Education and Training CDC Bottle Bioassay References and ... are given below. Infection with Toxoplasma gondii , a parasite found ... cat feces, soil, and untreated water can lead to severe brain and eye disorders ...

  12. Repeated adaptive divergence of microhabitat specialization in avian feather lice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johnson Kevin P

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Repeated adaptive radiations are evident when phenotypic divergence occurs within lineages, but this divergence into different forms is convergent when compared across lineages. Classic examples of such repeated adaptive divergence occur in island (for example, Caribbean Anolis lizards and lake systems (for example, African cichlids. Host-parasite systems in many respects are analogous to island systems, where host species represent isolated islands for parasites whose life cycle is highly tied to that of their hosts. Thus, host-parasite systems might exhibit interesting cases of repeated adaptive divergence as seen in island and lake systems. The feather lice of birds spend their entire life cycle on the body of the host and occupy distinct microhabitats on the host: head, wing, body and generalist. These microhabitat specialists show pronounced morphological differences corresponding to how they escape from host preening. We tested whether these different microhabitat specialists were a case of repeated adaptive divergence by constructing both morphological and molecular phylogenies for a diversity of avian feather lice, including many examples of head, wing, body and generalist forms. Results Morphological and molecular based phylogenies were highly incongruent, which could be explained by rampant convergence in morphology related to microhabitat specialization on the host. In many cases lice from different microhabitat specializations, but from the same group of birds, were sister taxa. Conclusions This pattern indicates a process of repeated adaptive divergence of these parasites within host group, but convergence when comparing parasites across host groups. These results suggest that host-parasite systems might be another case in which repeated adaptive radiations could be relatively common, but potentially overlooked, because morphological convergence can obscure evolutionary relationships.

  13. Avian malaria infection intensity influences mosquito feeding patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Jiayue; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Gangoso, Laura; Gutiérrez-López, Rafael; Soriguer, Ramón; Figuerola, Jordi

    2018-03-01

    Pathogen-induced host phenotypic changes are widespread phenomena that can dramatically influence host-vector interactions. Enhanced vector attraction to infected hosts has been reported in a variety of host-pathogen systems, and has given rise to the parasite manipulation hypothesis whereby pathogens may adaptively modify host phenotypes to increase transmission from host to host. However, host phenotypic changes do not always favour the transmission of pathogens, as random host choice, reduced host attractiveness and even host avoidance after infection have also been reported. Thus, the effects of hosts' parasitic infections on vector feeding behaviour and on the likelihood of parasite transmission remain unclear. Here, we experimentally tested how host infection status and infection intensity with avian Plasmodium affect mosquito feeding patterns in house sparrows (Passer domesticus). In separate experiments, mosquitoes were allowed to bite pairs containing (i) one infected and one uninfected bird and (ii) two infected birds, one of which treated with the antimalarial drug, primaquine. We found that mosquitoes fed randomly when exposed to both infected and uninfected birds. However, when mosquitoes were exposed only to infected individuals, they preferred to bite the non-treated birds. These results suggest that the malarial parasite load rather than the infection itself plays a key role in mosquito attraction. Our findings partially support the parasite manipulation hypothesis, which probably operates via a reduction in defensive behaviour, and highlights the importance of considering parasite load in studies on host-vector-pathogen interactions. Copyright © 2017 Australian Society for Parasitology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Lower Detection Probability of Avian Plasmodium in Blood Compared to Other Tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson-Coelho, M; Silva, G T; Santos, S S; Miranda, L S; Araújo-Silva, L E; Ricklefs, R E; Miyaki, C Y; Maldonado-Coelho, M

    2016-10-01

    We tested whether the probability of detecting avian haemosporidia (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) using molecular techniques differs among blood, liver, heart, and pectoral muscle tissues. We used a paired design, sampling the 4 tissue types in 55 individuals of a wild South American suboscine antbird, the white-shouldered fire-eye (Pyriglena leucoptera). We also identified parasites to cytochrome b lineage. Detection probability was significantly lower in blood compared to the other 3 tissue types combined. Eight of 22 infections were not detected in blood samples; 4-7 infections were not detected in the other individual tissues. The same parasite lineage was recovered from different tissues.

  15. Mimicry and masquerade from the avian visual perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Caswell STODDARD

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Several of the most celebrated examples of visual mimicry, like mimetic eggs laid by avian brood parasites and pala­table insects mimicking distasteful ones, involve signals directed at the eyes of birds. Despite this, studies of mimicry from the avian visual perspective have been rare, particularly with regard to defensive mimicry and masquerade. Defensive visual mimicry, which includes Batesian and Müllerian mimicry, occurs when organisms share a visual signal that functions to deter predators. Masquerade occurs when an organism mimics an inedible or uninteresting object, such as a leaf, stick, or pebble. In this paper, I present five case studies covering diverse examples of defensive mimicry and masquerade as seen by birds. The best-known cases of defensive visual mimicry typically come from insect prey, but birds themselves can exhibit defensive visual mimicry in an attempt to escape mobbing or dissuade avian predators. Using examples of defensive visual mimicry by both insects and birds, I show how quantitative models of avian color, luminance, and pattern vision can be used to enhance our understanding of mimicry in many systems and produce new hypotheses about the evolution and diversity of signals. Overall, I investigate examples of Batesian mimicry (1 and 2, Müllerian mimicry (3 and 4, and masquerade (5 as follows: 1 Polymorphic mimicry in African mocker swallowtail butterflies; 2 Cuckoos mimicking sparrowhawks; 3 Mimicry rings in Neotropical butterflies; 4 Plumage mimicry in toxic pitohuis; and 5 Dead leaf-mimicking butterflies and mantids [Current Zoology 58 (4: 630–648, 2012].

  16. Migratory behavior of birds affects their coevolutionary relationship with blood parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Tania; Thomas, Gavin H; Hellgren, Olof; Owens, Ian P F

    2012-03-01

    Host traits, such as migratory behavior, could facilitate the dispersal of disease-causing parasites, potentially leading to the transfer of infections both across geographic areas and between host species. There is, however, little quantitative information on whether variation in such host attributes does indeed affect the evolutionary outcome of host-parasite associations. Here, we employ Leucocytozoon blood parasites of birds, a group of parasites closely related to avian malaria, to study host-parasite coevolution in relation to host behavior using a phylogenetic comparative approach. We reconstruct the molecular phylogenies of both the hosts and parasites and use cophylogenetic tools to assess whether each host-parasite association contributes significantly to the overall congruence between the two phylogenies. We find evidence for a significant fit between host and parasite phylogenies in this system, but show that this is due only to associations between nonmigrant parasites and their hosts. We also show that migrant bird species harbor a greater genetic diversity of parasites compared with nonmigrant species. Taken together, these results suggest that the migratory habits of birds could influence their coevolutionary relationship with their parasites, and that consideration of host traits is important in predicting the outcome of coevolutionary interactions. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  17. Avian influenza : a review article

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Yalda

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to provides general information about avian influenza (bird flu and specific information about one type of bird flu, called avian influenza A (H5N1, that has caused infections in birds in Asia and Europe and in human in Asia. The main materials in this report are based on the World Health Organization (WHO , world organization for animal health (OIE , food and agriculture organization of the united nations (FAO information and recommendations and review of the published literature about avian influenza. Since December 2003, highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses have swept through poultry populations across Asia and parts of Europe. The outbreaks are historically unprecedented in scale and geographical spread. Their economic impact on the agricultural sector of the affected countries has been large. Human cases, with an overall fatality rate around 50%, have also been reported and almost all human infections can be linked to contact with infected poultry. Influenza viruses are genetically unstable and their behaviour cannot be predicted so the risk of further human cases persists. The human health implications have now gained importance, both for illness and fatalities that have occurred following natural infection with avian viruses, and for the potential of generating a re-assortant virus that could give rise to the next human influenza pandemic.

  18. An overview on avian influenza

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nelson Rodrigo da Silva Martins

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Avian influenza (AI is considered an exotic disease in the Brazilian poultry industry, according to the National Avian Health Program (PNSA, with permanent monitoring of domestic, exotic and native avian species. Brazil presents privileged environmental conditions of reduced risk. In addition, all commercial poultry and conservation holdings are registered in state or national inventories and geographically located (GPS for health control. Poultry health standards are adopted for the conformity to the international market, mostly for the intensified poultry destined for exportation, but also for companion exotic and native conservation facilities. Guidelines for monitoring and the diagnosis of AI are published by the PNSA and follow the standards proposed by the international health code (World Organization for Animal Health, Organization International des Epizooties - OIE and insure the free of status for avian influenza virus (AIV of LPAIV-low pathogenicity AIV and HPAIV-high pathogenicity AIV. In addition, the infections by mesogenic and velogenic Newcastle disease virus, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, M. synoviae and M. meleagridis, Salmonella enteric subspecies enterica serovar Gallinarum biovars Gallinarum and Pullorum are eradicated from reproduction. Controlled infections by S.enterica subspecies enterica serovars Enteritidis and Typhimurium are monitored for breeders. The vaccination of chickens in ovo or at hatch against Marek's disease is mandatory. Broiler production is an indoor activity, confinement which insures biosecurity, with safe distances from the potential AIV reservoir avian species. Worldwide HPAIV H5N1 notifications to the OIE, in March 2011, included 51 countries.

  19. 77 FR 34783 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-12

    ... Avian Influenza AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Interim rule... importation of bird and poultry products from regions where any subtype of highly pathogenic avian influenza... avian influenza (HPAI). On January 24, 2011, we published in the Federal Register (76 FR 4046-4056...

  20. 76 FR 24793 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-03

    ... Inspection Service 9 CFR Parts 93, 94, and 95 RIN 0579-AC36 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza AGENCY: Animal... products from regions where any subtype of highly pathogenic avian influenza is considered to exist. The... vaccinated for certain types of avian influenza, or that have moved through regions where any subtype of...

  1. Invasive Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Invasive species have significantly changed the Great Lakes ecosystem. An invasive species is a plant or animal that is not native to an ecosystem, and whose introduction is likely to cause economic, human health, or environmental damage.

  2. Invasion thresholds and the evolution of nonequilibrium virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, James J; Ebert, Dieter

    2008-02-01

    The enterprise of virulence management attempts to predict how social practices and other factors affect the evolution of parasite virulence. These predictions are often based on parasite optima or evolutionary equilibria derived from models of host-parasite dynamics. Yet even when such models accurately capture the parasite optima, newly invading parasites will typically not be at their optima. Here we show that parasite invasion of a host population can occur despite highly nonoptimal virulence. Fitness improvements soon after invasion may proceed through many steps with wide changes in virulence, because fitness depends on transmission as well as virulence, and transmission improvements can overwhelm nonoptimal virulence. This process is highly sensitive to mutation supply and the strength of selection. Importantly, the same invasion principle applies to the evolution of established parasites, whenever mutants arise that overcome host immunity/resistance. A host population may consequently experience repeated invasions of new parasite variants and possible large shifts in virulence as it evolves in an arms race with the parasite. An experimental study of phage lysis time and examples of mammalian viruses matching some of these characteristics are reviewed.

  3. Occurrence of avian Plasmodium and West Nile virus in culex species in Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, T.; Irwin, P.; Hofmeister, E.; Paskewitz, S.M.

    2010-01-01

    The occurrence of multiple pathogens in mosquitoes and birds could affect the dynamics of disease transmission. We collected adult Culex pipiens and Cx. restuans (Cx. pipiens/restuans hereafter) from sites in Wisconsin and tested them for West Nile virus (WNV) and for avian malaria (Plasmodium). Gravid Cx. pipiens/restuans were tested for WNV using a commercial immunoassay, the RAMP?? WNV test, and positive results were verified by reverse transcriptasepolymerase chain reaction. There were 2 WNV-positive pools of Cx. pipiens/restuans in 2006 and 1 in 2007. Using a bias-corrected maximum likelihood estimation, the WNV infection rate for Cx. pipiens/restuans was 5.48/1,000 mosquitoes in 2006 and 1.08/1,000 mosquitoes in 2007. Gravid Cx. pipiens or Cx. restuans were tested individually for avian Plasmodium by a restriction enzymebased assay. Twelve mosquitoes were positive for avian Plasmodium (10.0), 2 were positive for Haemoproteus, and 3 were positive for Leucocytozoon. There were 4 mixed infections, with mosquitoes positive for >1 of the hemosporidian parasites. This work documents a high rate of hemosporidian infection in Culex spp. and illustrates the potential for co-infections with other arboviruses in bird-feeding mosquitoes and their avian hosts. In addition, hemosporidian infection rates may be a useful tool for investigating the ecological dynamics of Culex/avian interactions. ?? 2010 by The American Mosquito Control Association, Inc.

  4. Mitochondrial DNA suggests at least 11 origins of parasitism in angiosperms and reveals genomic chimerism in parasitic plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Croom Henrietta B

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Some of the most difficult phylogenetic questions in evolutionary biology involve identification of the free-living relatives of parasitic organisms, particularly those of parasitic flowering plants. Consequently, the number of origins of parasitism and the phylogenetic distribution of the heterotrophic lifestyle among angiosperm lineages is unclear. Results Here we report the results of a phylogenetic analysis of 102 species of seed plants designed to infer the position of all haustorial parasitic angiosperm lineages using three mitochondrial genes: atp1, coxI, and matR. Overall, the mtDNA phylogeny agrees with independent studies in terms of non-parasitic plant relationships and reveals at least 11 independent origins of parasitism in angiosperms, eight of which consist entirely of holoparasitic species that lack photosynthetic ability. From these results, it can be inferred that modern-day parasites have disproportionately evolved in certain lineages and that the endoparasitic habit has arisen by convergence in four clades. In addition, reduced taxon, single gene analyses revealed multiple horizontal transfers of atp1 from host to parasite lineage, suggesting that parasites may be important vectors of horizontal gene transfer in angiosperms. Furthermore, in Pilostyles we show evidence for a recent host-to-parasite atp1 transfer based on a chimeric gene sequence that indicates multiple historical xenologous gene acquisitions have occurred in this endoparasite. Finally, the phylogenetic relationships inferred for parasites indicate that the origins of parasitism in angiosperms are strongly correlated with horizontal acquisitions of the invasive coxI group I intron. Conclusion Collectively, these results indicate that the parasitic lifestyle has arisen repeatedly in angiosperm evolutionary history and results in increasing parasite genomic chimerism over time.

  5. Paradigms for parasite conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougherty, Eric R; Carlson, Colin J; Bueno, Veronica M; Burgio, Kevin R; Cizauskas, Carrie A; Clements, Christopher F; Seidel, Dana P; Harris, Nyeema C

    2016-08-01

    Parasitic species, which depend directly on host species for their survival, represent a major regulatory force in ecosystems and a significant component of Earth's biodiversity. Yet the negative impacts of parasites observed at the host level have motivated a conservation paradigm of eradication, moving us farther from attainment of taxonomically unbiased conservation goals. Despite a growing body of literature highlighting the importance of parasite-inclusive conservation, most parasite species remain understudied, underfunded, and underappreciated. We argue the protection of parasitic biodiversity requires a paradigm shift in the perception and valuation of their role as consumer species, similar to that of apex predators in the mid-20th century. Beyond recognizing parasites as vital trophic regulators, existing tools available to conservation practitioners should explicitly account for the unique threats facing dependent species. We built upon concepts from epidemiology and economics (e.g., host-density threshold and cost-benefit analysis) to devise novel metrics of margin of error and minimum investment for parasite conservation. We define margin of error as the risk of accidental host extinction from misestimating equilibrium population sizes and predicted oscillations, while minimum investment represents the cost associated with conserving the additional hosts required to maintain viable parasite populations. This framework will aid in the identification of readily conserved parasites that present minimal health risks. To establish parasite conservation, we propose an extension of population viability analysis for host-parasite assemblages to assess extinction risk. In the direst cases, ex situ breeding programs for parasites should be evaluated to maximize success without undermining host protection. Though parasitic species pose a considerable conservation challenge, adaptations to conservation tools will help protect parasite biodiversity in the face of

  6. Avian reproductive physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gee, G.F.; Gibbons, Edward F.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Demarest, Jack

    1995-01-01

    Knowledge of the many physiological factors associated with egg production , fertility, incubation, and brooding in nondomestic birds is limited. Science knows even less about reproduction in most of the 238 endangered or threatened birds. This discussion uses studies of nondomestic and, when necessary, domestic birds to describe physiological control of reproduction. Studies of the few nondomestic avian species show large variation in physiological control of reproduction. Aviculturists, in order to successfully propagate an endangered bird, must understand the bird's reproductive peculiarities. First, investigators can do studies with carefully chosen surrogate species, but eventually they need to confirm the results in the target endangered bird. Studies of reproduction in nondomestic birds increased in the last decade. Still, scientists need to do more comparative studies to understand the mechanisms that control reproduction in birds. New technologies are making it possible to study reproductive physiology of nondomestic species in less limiting ways. These technologies include telemetry to collect information without inducing stress on captives (Howey et al., 1987; Klugman, 1987), new tests for most of the humoral factors associated with reproduction, and the skill to collect small samples and manipulate birds without disrupting the physiological mechanisms (Bercovitz et al., 1985). Managers are using knowledge from these studies to improve propagation in zoological parks, private and public propagation facilities, and research institutions. Researchers need to study the control of ovulation, egg formation, and oviposition in the species of nondomestic birds that lay very few eggs in a season, hold eggs in the oviduct for longer intervals, or differ in other ways from the more thoroughly studied domestic birds. Other techniques that would enhance propagation for nondomestlc birds include tissue culture of cloned embryonic cells, cryopreservation of embryos

  7. Bird hosts, blood parasites and their vectors--associations uncovered by molecular analyses of blackfly blood meals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellgren, O; Bensch, S; Malmqvist, B

    2008-03-01

    The level of host specificity of blood-sucking invertebrates may have both ecological and evolutionary implications for the parasites they are transmitting. We used blood meals from wild-caught blackflies for molecular identification of parasites and hosts to examine patterns of host specificity and how these may affect the transmission of avian blood parasites of the genus Leucocytozoon. We found that five different species of ornithophilic blackflies preferred different species of birds when taking their blood meals. Of the blackflies that contained avian blood meals, 62% were infected with Leucocytozoon parasites, consisting of 15 different parasite lineages. For the blackfly species, there was a significant association between the host width (measured as the genetic differentiation between the used hosts) and the genetic similarity of the parasites in their blood meals. The absence of similar parasite in blood meals from blackflies with different host preferences is interpreted as a result of the vector-host associations. The observed associations between blackfly species and host species are therefore likely to hinder parasites to be transmitted between different host-groups, resulting in ecologically driven associations between certain parasite lineages and hosts species.

  8. Can parasites halt the invader? Mermithid nematodes parasitizing the yellow-legged Asian hornet in France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Villemant

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Since its introduction in France 10 years ago, the yellow-legged Asian bee-hawking hornet Vespa velutina has rapidly spread to neighboring countries (Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, and Germany, becoming a new threat to beekeeping activities. While introduced species often leave behind natural enemies from their original home, which benefits them in their new environment, they can also suffer local recruitment of natural enemies. Three mermithid parasitic subadults were obtained from V. velutina adults in 2012, from two French localities. However, these were the only parasitic nematodes reported up to now in Europe, in spite of the huge numbers of nests destroyed each year and the recent examination of 33,000 adult hornets. This suggests that the infection of V. velutina by these nematodes is exceptional. Morphological criteria assigned the specimens to the genus Pheromermis and molecular data (18S sequences to the Mermithidae, due to the lack of Pheromermis spp. sequences in GenBank. The species is probably Pheromermis vesparum, a parasite of social wasps in Europe. This nematode is the second native enemy of Vespa velutina recorded in France, after a conopid fly whose larvae develop as internal parasitoids of adult wasps and bumblebees. In this paper, we provide arguments for the local origin of the nematode parasite and its limited impact on hornet colony survival. We also clarify why these parasites (mermithids and conopids most likely could not hamper the hornet invasion nor be used in biological control programs against this invasive species.

  9. Influenza vaccines for avian species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beginning in Southeast Asia, in 2003, a multi-national epizootic outbreak of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was identified in commercial poultry and wild bird species. This lineage, originally identified in Southern China in 1996 and then Hong Kong in 1997, caused severe morbidity an...

  10. Control strategies against avian influenza

    Science.gov (United States)

    Since 1959, 40 epizootics of high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) have occurred (Figure 1). Thirty-five of these epizootic HPAI viruses were geographically-limited (mostly to single countries), involved farm-to-farm spread and were eradicated from poultry by stamping-out programs; i.e. the HPAI...

  11. Avian metapneumovirus in the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the United States of America (USA), avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) causes an upper respiratory tract infection in turkeys; no outbreaks have been reported in commercial chicken flocks. Typical clinical signs of the disease in turkey poults include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, tracheal rale...

  12. Reverse genetics of avian metapneumoviruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    An overview of avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) infection in turkeys and development of a reverse genetics system for aMPV subgroup C (aMPV-C) virus will be presented. By using reverse genetics technology, we generated recombinant aMPV-C viruses containing a different length of glycoprotein (G) gene or...

  13. Parasites, Plants, and People.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Marion; Moore, Tony

    2016-06-01

    Anthelminthic resistance is acknowledged worldwide and is a major problem in Aotearoa New Zealand, thus alternative parasite management strategies are imperative. One Health is an initiative linking animal, human, and environmental health. Parasites, plants, and people illustrate the possibilities of providing diverse diets for stock thereby lowering parasite burdens, improving the cultural wellbeing of a local community, and protecting the environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Foodborne parasites from wildlife

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kapel, Christian Moliin Outzen; Fredensborg, Brian Lund

    2015-01-01

    The majority of wild foods consumed by humans are sourced from intensively managed or semi-farmed populations. Management practices inevitably affect wildlife density and habitat characteristics, which are key elements in the transmission of parasites. We consider the risk of transmission...... of foodborne parasites to humans from wildlife maintained under natural or semi-natural conditions. A deeper understanding will be useful in counteracting foodborne parasites arising from the growing industry of novel and exotic foods....

  15. Differential escape from parasites by two competing introduced crabs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blakeslee, April M.; Keogh, Carolyn L.; Byers, James E.; Kuris, Armand M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Torchin, Mark E.

    2009-01-01

    Although introduced species often interact with one another in their novel communities, the role of parasites in these interactions remains less clear. We examined parasite richness and prevalence in 2 shorecrab species with different invasion histories and residency times in an introduced region where their distributions overlap broadly. On the northeastern coast of the USA, the Asian shorecrab Hemigrapsus sanguineus was discovered 20 yr ago, while the European green crab Carcinus maenas has been established for over 200 yr. We used literature and field surveys to evaluate parasitism in both crabs in their native and introduced ranges. We found only 1 parasite species infecting H. sanguineus on the US East Coast compared to 6 species in its native range, while C. maenas was host to 3 parasite species on the East Coast compared to 10 in its native range. The prevalence of parasite infection was also lower for both crabs in the introduced range compared to their native ranges; however, the difference was almost twice as much for H. sanguineus as for C. maenas. There are several explanations that could contribute to C. maenas' greater parasite diversity than that of H. sanguineus on the US East Coast, including differences in susceptibility, time since introduction, manner of introduction (vector), distance from native range, taxonomic isolation, and the potential for parasite identification bias. Our study underscores not just that non-native species lose parasites upon introduction, but that they may do so differentially, with ramifications for their direct interactions and with potential community-level influences.

  16. Intestinal parasites and tuberculosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anuar Alonso Cedeño-Burbano

    2017-10-01

    Conclusions: The available evidence was insufficient to affirm that intestinal parasites predispose to developing tuberculous. The studies carried out so far have found statistically insignificant results.

  17. Neglected Parasitic Infections: Toxocariasis

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2012-01-05

    This podcast is an overview of the Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Call: Neglected Parasitic Infections in the United States. Neglected Parasitic Infections are a group of diseases that afflict vulnerable populations and are often not well studied or diagnosed. A subject matter expert from CDC's Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria describes the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of toxocariasis.  Created: 1/5/2012 by Center for Global Health, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria (DPDM); Emergency Risk Communication Branch (ERCB)/Joint Information Center (JIC), Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR).   Date Released: 1/9/2012.

  18. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Weimin; Li, Yingying; Shaw, Katharina S; Learn, Gerald H; Plenderleith, Lindsey J; Malenke, Jordan A; Sundararaman, Sesh A; Ramirez, Miguel A; Crystal, Patricia A; Smith, Andrew G; Bibollet-Ruche, Frederic; Ayouba, Ahidjo; Locatelli, Sabrina; Esteban, Amandine; Mouacha, Fatima; Guichet, Emilande; Butel, Christelle; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Ndjango, Jean-Bosco N; Speede, Sheri; Sanz, Crickette M; Morgan, David B; Gonder, Mary K; Kranzusch, Philip J; Walsh, Peter D; Georgiev, Alexander V; Muller, Martin N; Piel, Alex K; Stewart, Fiona A; Wilson, Michael L; Pusey, Anne E; Cui, Liwang; Wang, Zenglei; Färnert, Anna; Sutherland, Colin J; Nolder, Debbie; Hart, John A; Hart, Terese B; Bertolani, Paco; Gillis, Amethyst; LeBreton, Matthew; Tafon, Babila; Kiyang, John; Djoko, Cyrille F; Schneider, Bradley S; Wolfe, Nathan D; Mpoudi-Ngole, Eitel; Delaporte, Eric; Carter, Richard; Culleton, Richard L; Shaw, George M; Rayner, Julian C; Peeters, Martine; Hahn, Beatrice H; Sharp, Paul M

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax is the leading cause of human malaria in Asia and Latin America but is absent from most of central Africa due to the near fixation of a mutation that inhibits the expression of its receptor, the Duffy antigen, on human erythrocytes. The emergence of this protective allele is not understood because P. vivax is believed to have originated in Asia. Here we show, using a non-invasive approach, that wild chimpanzees and gorillas throughout central Africa are endemically infected with parasites that are closely related to human P. vivax. Sequence analyses reveal that ape parasites lack host specificity and are much more diverse than human parasites, which form a monophyletic lineage within the ape parasite radiation. These findings indicate that human P. vivax is of African origin and likely selected for the Duffy-negative mutation. All extant human P. vivax parasites are derived from a single ancestor that escaped out of Africa.

  19. Haemosporidian blood parasites in European birds of prey and owls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krone, O; Waldenström, J; Valkiūnas, G; Lessow, O; Müller, K; Iezhova, T A; Fickel, J; Bensch, S

    2008-06-01

    Avian blood parasites have been intensively studied using morphological methods with limited information on their host specificity and species taxonomic status. Now the analysis of gene sequences, especially the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of the avian haemosporidian species of Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, and Leucocytozoon, offers a new tool to review the parasite specificity and status. By comparing morphological and genetic techniques, we observed nearly the same overall prevalence of haemosporidian parasites by microscopy (19.8%) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (21.8%) analyses. However, in contrast to the single valid Leucocytozoon species (L. toddi) in the Falconiformes we detected 4 clearly distinctive strains by PCR screening. In the Strigiformes, where the only valid Leucocytozoon species is L. danilewskyi, we detected 3 genetically different strains of Leucocytozoon spp. Two strains of Haemoproteus spp. were detected in the birds of prey and owls examined, whereas the strain found in the tawny owl belonged to the morphospecies Haemoproteus noctuae. Three Plasmodium spp. strains that had already been found in Passeriformes were also detected in the birds of prey and owls examined here, supporting previous findings indicating a broad and nonspecific host spectrum bridging different bird orders.

  20. Draft Genome Sequences of Four Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Serovar Enteritidis Strains Implicated in Infections of Avian and Human Hosts

    KAUST Repository

    An, Ran

    2018-01-24

    Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Enteritidis is a wide-host-range pathogen. Occasionally, it is involved in invasive infections, leading to a high mortality rate. Here, we present the draft genome sequences of four S Enteritidis strains obtained from human and avian hosts that had been involved in bacteremia, gastroenteritis, and primary infections.

  1. The relative role of relatives in conspecific brood parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eadie, John McA; Lyon, Bruce E

    2011-12-01

    Conspecific brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other females in the same population, leading to a fascinating array of possible ‘games’ among parasites and their hosts (Davies 2000; Lyon & Eadie 2008). Almost 30 years ago, Andersson & Eriksson (1982) first suggested that perhaps this form of parasitism was not what it seemed--indeed, perhaps it was not parasitism at all!Andersson & Eriksson (1982) observed that conspecific brood parasitism (CBP) was disproportionally common in waterfowl (Anatidae), a group of birds for which natal philopatry is female-biased rather than the more usual avian pattern of male-biased natal philopatry. Accordingly, Andersson (1984) reasoned (and demonstrated in an elegantly simple model) that relatedness among females might facilitate the evolution of CBP--prodding us to reconsider it as a kin-selected and possibly cooperative breeding system rather than a parasitic interaction. The idea was much cited but rarely tested empirically until recently--a number of new studies, empowered with a battery of molecular techniques, have now put Andersson’s hypothesis to the test (Table 1). The results are tantalizing, but also somewhat conflicting. Several studies, focusing on waterfowl, have found clear evidence that hosts and parasites are often related (Andersson & Åhlund 2000; Roy Nielsen et al. 2006; Andersson & Waldeck 2007; Waldeck et al. 2008; Jaatinen et al. 2009; Tiedemann et al. 2011). However, this is not always the case (Semel & Sherman 2001; Anderholm et al. 2009; and see Pöysa 2004). In a new study reported in this issue of Molecular Ecology, Jaatinen et al. (2011a) provide yet another twist to this story that might explain not only why such variable results have been obtained, but also suggests that the games between parasites and their hosts--and the role of kinship in these games--may be even more complex than Andersson (1984) imagined. Indeed, the role of kinship in CBP may be very much one of relative degree!

  2. Parasitylenchus sp. (Tylenchomorpha: Allantonematidae) parasitizing field populations of Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harding, Susanne; Poinar, George O. Jr.; Dimitrova, Desislava V.

    2011-01-01

    Adults of the invasive harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), were found to be parasitized by nematodes (Tylenchomorpha: Allantonematidae) in Denmark. The nematodes were identified as Parasitylenchus sp. Major morphological characters of the nematodes did not differ...

  3. (Cobb) Thorne, parasite de

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lazare

    2012-10-11

    Oct 11, 2012 ... Plant parasitic nematodes are microscopic worms, measuring less than. 1 mm in length (Quénéhervé, 2008). They are obligate parasites that feed mostly on plant roots causing symptoms such as necrosis, lesions and galls on the roots (Sarah et al., 1996; Bridge et al., 1997; De Waele and Romulo, 1998).

  4. Parasites from the Past

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Søe, Martin Jensen; Fredensborg, Brian Lund; Nejsum, Peter

    will investigate how the diversity of food-borne parasitic infections has changed with cultural and dietary habits, hunting practice and intensity of animal husbandry. This is done by isolating and typing ancient DNA remains from parasite eggs found in archeological samples from across Denmark....

  5. Avian vocal mimicry: a unified conceptual framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalziell, Anastasia H; Welbergen, Justin A; Igic, Branislav; Magrath, Robert D

    2015-05-01

    Mimicry is a classical example of adaptive signal design. Here, we review the current state of research into vocal mimicry in birds. Avian vocal mimicry is a conspicuous and often spectacular form of animal communication, occurring in many distantly related species. However, the proximate and ultimate causes of vocal mimicry are poorly understood. In the first part of this review, we argue that progress has been impeded by conceptual confusion over what constitutes vocal mimicry. We propose a modified version of Vane-Wright's (1980) widely used definition of mimicry. According to our definition, a vocalisation is mimetic if the behaviour of the receiver changes after perceiving the acoustic resemblance between the mimic and the model, and the behavioural change confers a selective advantage on the mimic. Mimicry is therefore specifically a functional concept where the resemblance between heterospecific sounds is a target of selection. It is distinct from other forms of vocal resemblance including those that are the result of chance or common ancestry, and those that have emerged as a by-product of other processes such as ecological convergence and selection for large song-type repertoires. Thus, our definition provides a general and functionally coherent framework for determining what constitutes vocal mimicry, and takes account of the diversity of vocalisations that incorporate heterospecific sounds. In the second part we assess and revise hypotheses for the evolution of avian vocal mimicry in the light of our new definition. Most of the current evidence is anecdotal, but the diverse contexts and acoustic structures of putative vocal mimicry suggest that mimicry has multiple functions across and within species. There is strong experimental evidence that vocal mimicry can be deceptive, and can facilitate parasitic interactions. There is also increasing support for the use of vocal mimicry in predator defence, although the mechanisms are unclear. Less progress has

  6. Brood Parasitism Is Linked to Egg Pattern Diversity within and among Species of Australian Passerines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Iliana; Troscianko, Jolyon; Stevens, Martin; Langmore, Naomi E

    2016-03-01

    Bird eggs show striking diversity in color and pattern. One explanation for this is that interactions between avian brood parasites and their hosts drive egg phenotype evolution. Brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other species, their hosts. Many hosts defend their nests against parasitism by rejecting foreign eggs, which selects for parasite eggs that mimic those of the host. In theory, this may in turn select for changes in host egg phenotypes over time to facilitate discrimination of parasite eggs. Here, we test for the first time whether parasitism by brood parasites has led to increased divergence in egg phenotype among host species. Using Australian host and nonhost species and objective measures of egg color and pattern, we show that (i) hosts of brood parasites have higher within-species variation in egg pattern than nonhosts, supporting previous findings in other systems, and (ii) host species have diverged more in their egg patterns than nonhost species after controlling for divergence time. Overall, our results suggest that brood parasitism has played a significant role in the evolution of egg diversity and that these effects are evident, not only within species, but also among species.

  7. Prevalence of blood parasites in seabirds - a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quillfeldt Petra

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction While blood parasites are common in many birds in the wild, some groups seem to be much less affected. Seabirds, in particular, have often been reported free from blood parasites, even in the presence of potential vectors. Results From a literature review of hemosporidian prevalence in seabirds, we collated a dataset of 60 species, in which at least 15 individuals had been examined. These data were included in phylogenetically controlled statistical analyses of hemosporidian prevalence in relation to ecological and life-history parameters. Haemoproteus parasites were common in frigatebirds and gulls, while Hepatozoon occurred in albatrosses and storm petrels, and Plasmodium mainly in penguins. The prevalence of Haemoproteus showed a geographical signal, being lower in species with distribution towards polar environments. Interspecific differences in Plasmodium prevalence were explained by variables that relate to the exposure to parasites, suggesting that prevalence is higher in burrow nesters with long fledgling periods. Measures of Plasmodium, but not Haemoproteus prevalences were influenced by the method, with PCR-based data resulting in higher prevalence estimates. Conclusions Our analyses suggest that, as in other avian taxa, phylogenetic, ecological and life-history parameters determine the prevalence of hemosporidian parasites in seabirds. We discuss how these relationships should be further explored in future studies.

  8. Control of avian coccidiosis: future and present natural alternatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quiroz-Castañeda, Rosa Estela; Dantán-González, Edgar

    2015-01-01

    Numerous efforts to date have been implemented in the control of avian coccidiosis caused by the Eimeria parasite. Since the appearance of anticoccidial chemical compounds, the search for new alternatives continues. Today, no product is available to cope with the disease; however, the number of products commercially available is constantly increasing. In this review, we focus on natural products and their anticoccidial activity. This group comprises fatty acids, antioxidants, fungal and herbal extracts, and immune response modulators with proven anticoccidial activity, many of which exist as dietary supplements. Additionally, we offer an overview of the poultry industry and the economic cost of coccidiosis as well as the classical strategies used to control the disease.

  9. Control of Avian Coccidiosis: Future and Present Natural Alternatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa Estela Quiroz-Castañeda

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Numerous efforts to date have been implemented in the control of avian coccidiosis caused by the Eimeria parasite. Since the appearance of anticoccidial chemical compounds, the search for new alternatives continues. Today, no product is available to cope with the disease; however, the number of products commercially available is constantly increasing. In this review, we focus on natural products and their anticoccidial activity. This group comprises fatty acids, antioxidants, fungal and herbal extracts, and immune response modulators with proven anticoccidial activity, many of which exist as dietary supplements. Additionally, we offer an overview of the poultry industry and the economic cost of coccidiosis as well as the classical strategies used to control the disease.

  10. Evidence-Based Advances in Avian Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summa, Noémie M; Guzman, David Sanchez-Migallon

    2017-09-01

    This article presents relevant advances in avian medicine and surgery over the past 5 years. New information has been published to improve clinical diagnosis in avian diseases. This article also describes new pharmacokinetic studies. Advances in the understanding and treatment of common avian disorders are presented in this article, as well. Although important progress has been made over the past years, there is still much research that needs to be done regarding the etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of avian diseases and evidence-based information is still sparse in the literature. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The conserved clag multigene family of malaria parasites: essential roles in host-pathogen interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Ankit; Thiruvengadam, Girija; Desai, Sanjay A

    2015-01-01

    The clag multigene family is strictly conserved in malaria parasites, but absent from neighboring genera of protozoan parasites. Early research pointed to roles in merozoite invasion and infected cell cytoadherence, but more recent studies have implicated channel-mediated uptake of ions and nutrients from host plasma. Here, we review the current understanding of this gene family, which appears to be central to host-parasite interactions and an important therapeutic target. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Avian Influenza infection in Human

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohan. M

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Outbreaks caused by the H5N1 strain are presently of the greatest concern for human health. In assessing risks to human health, it is important to know exactly which avian virus strains are causing the outbreaks in birds.All available evidence points to an increased risk of transmission to humans when outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian H5N1 influenza are widespread in poultry. There is mounting evidence that this strain has a unique capacity to jump the species barrier and cause severe disease, with high mortality, in humans. There is no evidence, to date that efficient human to human transmission of H5N1 strain has occurred and very often. Efficient transmission among humans is a key property of pandemic strains and a property that the avian H5N1 and H9N2 viruses apparently lacked. The biological and molecular basis for effective aerosol transmission among humans is not known. The virus can improve its transmissibility among humans via two principal mechanisms. The first is a “reassortment” event, in which genetic material is exchanged between human and avian viruses during co-infection of a human or pig.Reassortment could result in a fully transmissible pandemic virus, announced by a sudden surge of cases with explosive spread. The second mechanism is a more gradual process of adaptive mutation, whereby the capability of the virus to bind to human cells increases during subsequent infections of humans. Adaptive mutation, expressed initially as small clusters of human cases with some evidence of human-to-human transmission, would probably give the world some time to take defensive action, if detected sufficiently early. As the number of human infections grows, the risk increases that a new virus subtype could emerge, triggering an influenza pandemic. Humans as well as swine must now be considered a potential mixing vessel for the generation of such a virus. This link between widespread infection in poultry and increased risk of human

  13. Avian response to bottomland hardwood reforestation: the first 10 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twedt, D.J.; Wilson, R.R.; Henne-Kerr, J.L.; Grosshuesch, D.A.

    2002-01-01

    Bttomland hardwood forests were planted on agricultural fields in Mississippi and Louisiana using either predominantly Quercus species (oaks) or Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood). We assessed avian colonization of these reforested sites between 2 and 10 years after planting. Rapid vertical growth of cottonwoods (circa 2 - 3 m / yr) resulted in sites with forest structure that supported greater species richness of breeding birds, increased Shannon diversity indices, and supported greater territory densities than on sites planted with slower-growing oak species. Grassland birds (Spiza americana [Dickcissel], and Sturnella magna [Eastern Meadowlark]) were indicative of species breeding on oak-dominated reforestation # 10 years old. Agelaius phoeniceus (Red-winged Blackbird) and Colinus virginianus (Northern Bobwhite) characterized cottonwood reforestation # 4 years old, whereas 14 species of shrub-scrub birds (e.g., Passerina cyanea [Indigo Bunting]) and early-successional forest birds (e.g., Vireo gilvus [Warbling Vireo]) typified cottonwood reforestation 5 to 9 years after planting. Rates of daily nest survival did not differ between reforestation strategies. Nest parasitism increased markedly in older cottonwood stands, but was overwhelmed by predation as a cause of nest failure. Based on Partners in Flight prioritization scores and territory densities, the value of cottonwood reforestation for avian conservation was significantly greater than that of oak reforestation during their first 10 years. Because of benefits conferred on breeding birds, we recommend reforestation of bottomland hardwoods include a high proportion of fast-growing, early successional species such as cottonwood.

  14. Avian influenza infection alters fecal odor in mallards.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce A Kimball

    Full Text Available Changes in body odor are known to be a consequence of many diseases. Much of the published work on disease-related and body odor changes has involved parasites and certain cancers. Much less studied have been viral diseases, possibly due to an absence of good animal model systems. Here we studied possible alteration of fecal odors in animals infected with avian influenza viruses (AIV. In a behavioral study, inbred C57BL/6 mice were trained in a standard Y-maze to discriminate odors emanating from feces collected from mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos infected with low-pathogenic avian influenza virus compared to fecal odors from non-infected controls. Mice could discriminate odors from non-infected compared to infected individual ducks on the basis of fecal odors when feces from post-infection periods were paired with feces from pre-infection periods. Prompted by this indication of odor change, fecal samples were subjected to dynamic headspace and solvent extraction analyses employing gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to identify chemical markers indicative of AIV infection. Chemical analyses indicated that AIV infection was associated with a marked increase of acetoin (3-hydroxy-2-butanone in feces. These experiments demonstrate that information regarding viral infection exists via volatile metabolites present in feces. Further, they suggest that odor changes following virus infection could play a role in regulating behavior of conspecifics exposed to infected individuals.

  15. Pathogenicity of avian malaria in experimentally-infected Hawaii Amakihi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Carter T.; Dusek, Robert J.; Woods, K.L.; Iko, W.M.

    2000-01-01

    The introduction of avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) and mosquitoes (Culex quinquefasciatus) to the Hawaiian Islands (USA) is believed to have played a major role in the decline and extinction of native Hawaiian honeycreepers (Drepanidinae). This introduced disease is thought to be one of the primary factors limiting recovery of honeycreepers at elevations below 1,200 m where native forest habitats are still relatively intact. One of the few remaining species of honeycreepers with a wide elevational distribution is the Hawaii Amakihi (Hernignathus virens). We measured morbidity and mortality in experimentally-infected Hawaii Amakihi that were captured in a high elevation, xeric habitat that is above the current range of the mosquito vector. Mortality among amakihi exposed to a single infective mosquito bite was 65% (13/20). All infected birds had significant declines in food consumption and a corresponding loss in body weight over the 60 day course of the experiment. Gross and microscopic lesions in birds that succumbed to malaria included enlargement and discoloration of the spleen and liver and parasitemias as high as 50% of circulating erythrocytes. Mortality in experimentally-infected amakihi was similar to that observed in Apapane (Himnatione sanguinea) and lower than that observed in Iiwi (Vestiaria coccinea) infected under similar conditions with the same parasite isolate. We conclude that the current elevational and geographic distribution of Hawaiian honeycreepers is determined by relative susceptibility to avian malaria.

  16. Using EGEE against avian flu

    CERN Multimedia

    2006-01-01

    During April 2006 avian flu was spreading across the world with the potential of turning into a pandemic, a drug to treat the deadly H5N1 strain was needed. Such a task required the huge processing power provided by EGEE, which analysed 300 000 possible drug components for their suitability. This map shows the network of computer centres and their activity during this time.

  17. Gender determination of avian embryo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daum, Keith A. (Idaho Falls, ID); Atkinson, David A. (Idaho Falls, ID)

    2002-01-01

    Disclosed is a method for gender determination of avian embryos. During the embryo incubation process, the outer hard shells of eggs are drilled and samples of allantoic fluid are removed. The allantoic fluids are directly introduced into an ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) for analysis. The resulting spectra contain the relevant marker peaks in the positive or negative mode which correlate with unique mobilities which are sex-specific. This way, the gender of the embryo can be determined.

  18. A method to preserve low parasitaemia Plasmodium-infected avian blood for host and vector infectivity assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Jenny S; Giannitti, Federico; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Tell, Lisa A; Snipes, Joy; Wright, Stan; Cornel, Anthony J

    2016-03-11

    Avian malaria vector competence studies are needed to understand more succinctly complex avian parasite-vector-relations. The lack of vector competence trials may be attributed to the difficulty of obtaining gametocytes for the majority of Plasmodium species and lineages. To conduct avian malaria infectivity assays for those Plasmodium spp. and lineages that are refractory to in vitro cultivation, it is necessary to obtain and preserve for short periods sufficient viable merozoites to infect naïve donor birds to be used as gametocyte donors to infect mosquitoes. Currently, there is only one described method for long-term storage of Plasmodium spp.-infected wild avian blood and it is reliable at a parasitaemia of at least 1%. However, most naturally infected wild-caught birds have a parasitaemia of much less that 1%. To address this problem, a method for short-term storage of infected wild avian blood with low parasitaemia (even ≤ 0.0005%) has been explored and validated. To obtain viable infective merozoites, blood was collected from wild birds using a syringe containing the anticoagulant and the red blood cell preservative citrate phosphate dextrose adenine solution (CPDA). Each blood sample was stored at 4 °C for up to 48 h providing sufficient time to determine the species and parasitaemia of Plasmodium spp. in the blood by morphological examination before injecting into donor canaries. Plasmodium spp.--infected blood was inoculated intravenously into canaries and once infection was established, Culex stigmatosoma, Cx. pipiens and Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes were then allowed to feed on the infected canaries to validate the efficacy of this method for mosquito vector competence assays. Storage of Plasmodium spp.--infected donor blood at 4 °C yielded viable parasites for 48 h. All five experimentally-infected canaries developed clinical signs and were infectious. Pathologic examination of three canaries that later died revealed splenic lesions typical of

  19. Avian trichomonosis in spotted owls (Strix occidentalis: Indication of opportunistic spillover from prey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krysta H. Rogers

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Avian trichomonosis, caused by the flagellated protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallinae, has variable pathogenicity among bird species ranging from asymptomatic infections to severe disease periodically manifesting in epidemic mortality. Traditionally, columbids are identified as highly susceptible to infection with occasional spillover into raptors that prey on infected birds. We identified avian trichomonosis in two dead California spotted owls (Strix occidentalis occidentalis and three dead northern spotted owls (S. o. caurina in California during 2011–2015; infection was confirmed in four owls by PCR. Pathologic lesions associated with trichomonosis in the owls included caseonecrotic lesions of the upper palate accompanied by oropharyngitis, cellulitis, myositis, and/or sinusitis. Spotted owls are known to mainly feed on small mammals; therefore, the source of infection as well as the significance of the disease in spotted owls is unclear. These owl trichomonosis cases coincided temporally and spatially with three trichomonosis epidemics in band-tailed pigeons (Patagioenas fasciata monilis. The same parasite, T. gallinae subtype A2, was isolated from the spotted owls and band-tailed pigeons, suggesting the owls became infected when opportunistically feeding on pigeons during mortality events. Avian trichomonosis is an important factor in the decline of the Pacific Coast band-tailed pigeon population with near-annual mortality events during the last 10 years and could have conservation implications for raptor species at risk, particularly those that are facing multiple threats.

  20. Mosquito age and avian malaria infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigeault, Romain; Nicot, Antoine; Gandon, Sylvain; Rivero, Ana

    2015-09-30

    The immune system of many insects wanes dramatically with age, leading to the general prediction that older insects should be more susceptible to infection than their younger counterparts. This prediction is however challenged by numerous studies showing that older insects are more resistant to a range of pathogens. The effect of age on susceptibility to infections is particularly relevant for mosquitoes given their role as vectors of malaria and other diseases. Despite this, the effect of mosquito age on Plasmodium susceptibility has been rarely explored, either experimentally or theoretically. Experiments were carried out using the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum and its natural vector in the field, the mosquito Culex pipiens. Both innate immune responses (number and type of circulating haemocytes) and Plasmodium susceptibility (prevalence and burden) were quantified in seven- and 17-day old females. Whether immunity or Plasmodium susceptibility are modulated by the previous blood feeding history of the mosquito was also investigated. To ensure repeatability, two different experimental blocks were carried out several weeks apart. Haemocyte numbers decrease drastically as the mosquitoes age. Despite this, older mosquitoes are significantly more resistant to a Plasmodium infection than their younger counterparts. Crucially, however, the age effect is entirely reversed when old mosquitoes have taken one previous non-infected blood meal. The results agree with previous studies showing that older insects are often more resistant to infections than younger ones. These results suggest that structural and functional alterations in mosquito physiology with age may be more important than immunity in determining the probability of a Plasmodium infection in old mosquitoes. Possible explanations for why the effect is reversed in blood-fed mosquitoes are discussed. The reversal of the age effect in blood fed mosquitoes implies that age is unlikely to have a

  1. Bird brood parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Martin

    2013-10-21

    For many animals, the effort to rear their young is considerable. In birds, this often includes building nests, incubating eggs, feeding the chicks, and protecting them from predators. Perhaps for this reason, about 1% of birds (around 100 species) save themselves the effort and cheat instead. They are obligate brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of other species and leaving the hosts or foster parents to rear the foreign chicks for them. Some birds also cheat on individuals of the same species (intraspecific brood parasitism). Intraspecific brood parasitism has been reported in around 200 species, but is likely to be higher, as it can often only be detected by genetic analyses.

  2. [Parasitism and ecological parasitology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balashov, Iu S

    2011-01-01

    Parasitism as one of the life modes is a general biological phenomenon and is a characteristic of all viruses, many taxa of bacteria, fungi, protists, metaphytes, and metazoans. Zooparasitology is focused on studies of parasitic animals, particularly, on their taxonomy, anatomy, life cycles, host-parasite relations, biocoenotic connections, and evolution. Ecological parasitology is a component of ecology, as the scientific study of the relation of living organisms with each other and their surroundings. In the present paper, critical analysis of the problems, main postulates, and terminology of the modern ecological parasitology is given.

  3. Can myxosporean parasites compromise fish and amphibian reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitjà-Bobadilla, Ariadna

    2009-08-22

    Research into fish and amphibian reproduction has increased exponentially in recent years owing to the expansion of the aquaculture industry, the need to recover fishery populations, the impact of endocrine disruptors on the aquatic environment and the global decline of amphibian populations. This review focuses on a group of parasites, the Myxozoa, that affect fish and amphibian reproduction. Lists of the myxosporeans that specifically infect gonads are provided. Most of these are parasitic of freshwater hosts, and most amphibian cases are reported from testes. Sex specificity and sex reversal are discussed in relation to gonadal parasitism. The immune response of the fish to the infection is described, and the contribution of the immunoprivilege of gonads to host invasion is emphasized. The pathological effect of these parasites can be significant, especially in aquacultured broodstocks, on some occasions, leading to parasitic castration. Although myxosporean parasites are currently not very frequent in gonads, their impact could increase in the future owing to the transactions in the global market. Their easy release into the aquatic environment with spawning could make their spreading even more feasible. In the absence of commercial drugs or vaccines to treat and prevent these infections, there is an urgent need to develop specific, rapid and reliable diagnostic tools to control and manage animal movements. In addition, much effort is still to be made on deciphering the life cycle of these organisms, their invasion strategies and their immune evasion mechanisms.

  4. Parasitic Cowbirds have increased immunity to West Nile and other mosquitoborne encephalitis viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisen, W.K.; Hahn, D.C.

    2006-01-01

    The rapid geographic spread of West Nile Virus [WNV, Flaviviridae, Flavivirus] across the United States has stimulated interest in comparative host infection studies of avian species to delineate competent reservoir hosts critical for viral amplification. Striking taxonomic differences in avian susceptibility have been noted, offering the opportunity to strategically select species on the basis of life history traits to examine aspects of pathogen virulence or host immunity. We hypothesized that avian brood parasites would show increased resistance to pathogens compared to related taxa, because they have been exposed in their evolutionary history to a wide array of infectious organisms from their different parenting species. The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is a generalist brood parasite that parasitizes 200+ North American species. Elevated exposure to other species? parasites may have created an unusual degree of pathogen resistance. We compared the relative susceptibility of adult cowbirds to three closely-related non-parasitic species, Red-winged blackbirds, Tricolored blackbirds and Brewer?s blackbirds, to invading NY99 strain of WNV that is highly virulent for many passeriform birds. Previously we had experimentally infected these species with two North American mosquitoborne encephalitis viruses, western equine encephalomyelitis virus [WEEV, Togaviridae, Alphavirus] and St. Louis encephalitis virus [SLEV, Flaviviridae, Flavivirus]. Our results showed that cowbirds exhibited significantly lower viremia responses against all three viruses as well as after co-infection with both WEEV and WNV than did the three related, non-parasitic species. These data supported our hypothesis and indicated that cowbirds were more resistant to infection to both native and introduced viruses.

  5. Seasonality, distribution and taxonomic status of avian ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Description of a new species is based upon morphology of gametocyte development in the peripheral blood of the avian host. This does not distinguish between morphologically identical gametocytes from different avian host families, nor is species or family level a valid taxonomic character. Thus, Haemoproteus and ...

  6. Mechanisms of avian songs and calls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ole Næsbye

    2008-01-01

    The avian vocal organ, the syrinx, is a specialized structure located rather inaccessibly in an air sac close to the heart where the trachea bifurcates into the two primary bronchi. The syrinx of different avian taxa varies so much in position and morphology that it has been used for taxonomy. It...

  7. Avian Influenza A Virus Infections in Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... in People Spread of Bird Flu Viruses Between Animals and People Examples of Human Infections with Avian Influenza A ... Influenza A (H5N1) H5N1 in Birds and Other Animals H5N1 in People Public Health Threat of Highly Pathogenic Asian Avian ...

  8. Avian Influenza Policy Analysis | IDRC - International Development ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Governments in Southeast Asia have adopted a range of policies aimed at controlling the disease in animals, preventing its spread to humans and strengthening national preparedness for an avian influenza pandemic. The Asia Partnership for Avian Influenza Research (APAIR) brings together national research agencies ...

  9. MANAGING AVIAN FLU, CARCASS MANAGEMENT & BIOSOLIDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The avian influenza virus is discussed with emphasis on the impact to poultry and possible movement of the highly pathogenic H5N 1 virus to humans. A review is made of the worldwide effects to date of the avian influenza viruses; methods for the viruses to enter recreational wate...

  10. Cross-talk in host-parasite associations: What do past and recent proteomics approaches tell us?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chetouhi, Chérif; Panek, Johan; Bonhomme, Ludovic; ElAlaoui, Hicham; Texier, Catherine; Langin, Thierry; de Bekker, Charissa; Urbach, Serge; Demettre, Edith; Missé, Dorothée; Holzmuller, Philippe; Hughes, David P; Zanzoni, Andreas; Brun, Christine; Biron, David G

    2015-07-01

    A cross-talk in host-parasite associations begins when a host encounters a parasite. For many host-parasite relationships, this cross-talk has been taking place for hundreds of millions of years. The co-evolution of hosts and parasites, the familiar 'arms race' results in fascinating adaptations. Over the years, host-parasite interactions have been studied extensively from both the host and parasitic point of view. Proteomics studies have led to new insights into host-parasite cross-talk and suggest that the molecular strategies used by parasites attacking animals and plants share many similarities. Likewise, animals and plants use several common molecular tactics to counter parasite attacks. Based on proteomics surveys undertaken since the post-genomic era, a synthesis is presented on the molecular strategies used by intra- and extracellular parasites to invade and create the needed habitat for growth inside the host, as well as strategies used by hosts to counter these parasite attacks. Pitfalls in deciphering host-parasite cross-talk are also discussed. To conclude, helpful advice is given with regard to new directions that are needed to discover the generic and specific molecular strategies used by the host against parasite invasion as well as by the parasite to invade, survive, and grow inside their hosts, and to finally discover parasitic molecular signatures associated with their development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Parasite Carbohydrate Vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaurigue, Jonnel A; Seeberger, Peter H

    2017-01-01

    Vaccination is an efficient means of combating infectious disease burden globally. However, routine vaccines for the world's major human parasitic diseases do not yet exist. Vaccines based on carbohydrate antigens are a viable option for parasite vaccine development, given the proven success of carbohydrate vaccines to combat bacterial infections. We will review the key components of carbohydrate vaccines that have remained largely consistent since their inception, and the success of bacterial carbohydrate vaccines. We will then explore the latest developments for both traditional and non-traditional carbohydrate vaccine approaches for three of the world's major protozoan parasitic diseases-malaria, toxoplasmosis, and leishmaniasis. The traditional prophylactic carbohydrate vaccine strategy is being explored for malaria. However, given that parasite disease biology is complex and often arises from host immune responses to parasite antigens, carbohydrate vaccines against deleterious immune responses in host-parasite interactions are also being explored. In particular, the highly abundant glycosylphosphatidylinositol molecules specific for Plasmodium, Toxoplasma , and Leishmania spp. are considered exploitable antigens for this non-traditional vaccine approach. Discussion will revolve around the application of these protozoan carbohydrate antigens for vaccines currently in preclinical development.

  12. Haustorial Hairs Are Specialized Root Hairs That Support Parasitism in the Facultative Parasitic Plant Phtheirospermum japonicum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Songkui; Wakatake, Takanori; Hashimoto, Kei; Saucet, Simon B; Toyooka, Kiminori; Yoshida, Satoko; Shirasu, Ken

    2016-03-01

    A haustorium is the unique organ that invades host tissues and establishes vascular connections. Haustorium formation is a key event in parasitism, but its underlying molecular basis is largely unknown. Here, we use Phtheirospermum japonicum, a facultative root parasite in the Orobanchaceae, as a model parasitic plant. We performed a forward genetic screen to identify mutants with altered haustorial morphologies. The development of the haustorium in P. japonicum is induced by host-derived compounds such as 2,6-dimethoxy-p-benzoquinone. After receiving the signal, the parasite root starts to swell to develop a haustorium, and haustorial hairs proliferate to densely cover the haustorium surface. We isolated mutants that show defects in haustorial hair formation and named them haustorial hair defective (hhd) mutants. The hhd mutants are also defective in root hair formation, indicating that haustorial hair formation is controlled by the root hair development program. The internal structures of the haustoria in the hhd mutants are similar to those of the wild type, indicating that the haustorial hairs are not essential for host invasion. However, all the hhd mutants form fewer haustoria than the wild type upon infection of the host roots. The number of haustoria is restored when the host and parasite roots are forced to grow closely together, suggesting that the haustorial hairs play a role in stabilizing the host-parasite association. Thus, our study provides genetic evidence for the regulation and function of haustorial hairs in the parasitic plant. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  13. Sexual imprinting misguides species recognition in a facultative interspecific brood parasite

    OpenAIRE

    Sorenson, Michael D.; Hauber, Mark E.; Derrickson, Scott R.

    2010-01-01

    Sexual reproduction relies on the recognition of conspecifics for breeding. Most experiments in birds have implicated a critical role for early social learning in directing subsequent courtship behaviours and mating decisions. This classical view of avian sexual imprinting is challenged, however, by studies of megapodes and obligate brood parasites, species in which reliable recognition is achieved despite the lack of early experience with conspecifics. By rearing males with either conspecifi...

  14. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Cremer

    Full Text Available It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus. We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus relies on a combination of parasite-release following introduction and pre-adaptations in mating system, body-size, queen number and recognition efficiency that evolved long before introduction. Our results challenge the notion that supercolonial organization is an inevitable consequence of low genetic variation for chemical recognition cues in small invasive founder populations. We infer that low variation and limited volatility in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles already existed in the native range in combination with low dispersal and a highly viscous population structure. Human transport to relatively disturbed urban areas thus became the decisive factor to induce parasite release, a well established general promoter of invasiveness in non-social animals and plants, but understudied in invasive social insects.

  15. The Evolution of Invasiveness in Garden Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line V.; Drijfhout, Falko P.; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C.; Steiner, Florian M.; Seifert, Bernhard; Hughes, David P.; Schulz, Andreas; Petersen, Klaus S.; Konrad, Heino; Stauffer, Christian; Kiran, Kadri; Espadaler, Xavier; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Aktaç, Nihat; Eilenberg, Jørgen; Jones, Graeme R.; Nash, David R.; Pedersen, Jes S.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus. We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus relies on a combination of parasite-release following introduction and pre-adaptations in mating system, body-size, queen number and recognition efficiency that evolved long before introduction. Our results challenge the notion that supercolonial organization is an inevitable consequence of low genetic variation for chemical recognition cues in small invasive founder populations. We infer that low variation and limited volatility in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles already existed in the native range in combination with low dispersal and a highly viscous population structure. Human transport to relatively disturbed urban areas thus became the decisive factor to induce parasite release, a well established general promoter of invasiveness in non-social animals and plants, but understudied in invasive social insects. PMID:19050762

  16. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line Vej; Drijfhout, Falko P

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its...... rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus....... We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus...

  17. Distribution of Parasitic Cestod

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    S Karimi

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: Ligulae intestinalis is a parasitic cestode, which has the economic-health importance in fishery industries. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of this parasite in Mazandaran. The effects of habitat temperature and kind of pool (sandy-cement were considered as well. Methods: In this study, 103 fish samples were obtained in all stages; the samples (male and female were divided into 3 groups based on length of fish, temperature, origin of cultured fish, kind of pool, height from sea and sex. Macroscopic and microscopic observations were carried out in all stages of the parasite (procercoid, plerocercoid and adult. Chi-square and Pearson's double square tests (P<0.05 were conducted in order to evaluate the prevalence and determination of reliability in six sampling areas, respectively. Results: Total rate of the parasites were 9.7% in all groups. There was significant difference between parasitism rate and height of sea level, kind of pool (maximum in sandy pools and high temperature. The multi analyses regarding to above-mentioned three criteria also indicated meaningful difference between these criteria and parasitism rate. Seasonal conditions enhance the prevalence of ligulae intestinalis. Conclusion: Flexibility in parasite's life cycle and choosing different hosts makes it challenging case in fishery industry; moreover its prevalence could be predicted according to environmental conditions so choosing the minimal at risk place for salmonids farming. Further studies are recommended for evaluating the problems in fish fertility and probable risk for infected fish consumers.

  18. Uncharismatic Invasives

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    Clark, Jonathan L.

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Although philosophers have examined the ethics of invasive species management, there has been little research approaching this topic from a descriptive, ethnographic perspective. In this article I examine how invasive species managers think about the moral status of the animals they seek to manage. I do so through a case study of Oregon’s efforts to manage the invasive species that are rafting across the Pacific attached to tsunami debris in the wake of the Japanese tsunami of 2011. Focusing on the state’s response to a dock that washed ashore on Agate Beach with various marine invertebrates attached to it, I argue that these animals’ position on two intersecting scales of moral worth—the sociozoologic scale and the phylogenetic scale—rendered them unworthy of moral consideration.

  19. Seasonality and the evolutionary divergence of plant parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamelin, Frédéric M; Castel, Magda; Poggi, Sylvain; Andrivon, Didier; Mailleret, Ludovic

    2011-12-01

    The coexistence of closely related plant parasites is widespread. Yet, understanding the ecological determinants of evolutionary divergence in plant parasites remains an issue. Niche differentiation through resource specialization has been widely researched, but it hardly explains the coexistence of parasites exploiting the same host plant. Time-partitioning has so far received less attention, although in temperate climates, parasites may specialize on either the early or the late season. Accordingly, we investigated whether seasonality can also promote phenotypic divergence. For plant parasites, seasonality generally engenders periodic host absence. To account for abrupt seasonal events, we made use of an epidemic model that combines continuous and discrete dynamics. Based on the assumption of a trade-off between in-season transmission and inter-season survival, we found through an "evolutionary invasion analysis" that evolutionary divergence of the parasite phenotype can occur. Since such a trade-off has been reported, this study provides further ecological bases for the coexistence of closely related plant parasites. Moreover, this study provides original insights into the coexistence of sibling plant pathogens which perform either a single or several infection cycles within a season (mono- and polycyclic diseases, or uni- and multivoltine life cycles).

  20. Explaining postnatal growth plasticity in a generalist brood parasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remeš, Vladimír

    2010-03-01

    Selection of a particular host has clear consequences for the performance of avian brood parasites. Experimental studies showed that growth rate and fledging mass of brood parasites varied between host species independently of the original host species. Finding correlates of this phenotypic plasticity in growth is important for assessing adaptiveness and potential fitness consequences of host choice. Here, I analyzed the effects of several host characteristics on growth rate and fledging mass of the young of brown-headed cowbird ( Molothrus ater), a generalist, non-evicting brood parasite. Cowbird chicks grew better in fast-developing host species and reached higher fledging mass in large hosts with fast postnatal development. A potential proximate mechanism linking fast growth and high fledging mass of cowbird with fast host development is superior food supply in fast-developing foster species. So far, we know very little about the consequences of the great plasticity in cowbird growth for later performance of the adult parasite. Thus, cowbird species could become interesting model systems for investigating the role of plasticity and optimization in the evolution of growth rate in birds.

  1. A microculture technique for isolating live Leishmania parasites from peripheral blood of visceral leishmaniasis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hide, M; Singh, R; Kumar, B; Bañuls, A L; Sundar, S

    2007-06-01

    Current procedures for diagnosing Leishmania parasites from patients involve invasive and dangerous tissue aspiration. We have developed a non-invasive and highly sensitive microculture method that can isolate parasites from the buffy coat of the patient's peripheral blood. The parasites were cultured in 96-well culture plates. Nineteen parasitologically proven visceral leishmaniasis (VL) patients were included in the study. Using this technique, we were able to isolate parasites from 16 (84%) samples. However, all 19 (100%) samples were positive on culture of splenic aspirates. We conclude that this technique is useful for the isolation and cryoconservation of parasites from patients' blood. This simple method could be tried as a first-instance alternative before other more sensitive procedures such as splenic aspirate; however, negative results should be confirmed by tests with higher sensitivity.

  2. Prevalence of avian haemosporidia among injured wild birds in Tokyo and environs, Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mizue Inumaru

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Avian haemosporidia have been reported in various birds of Japan, which is part of the East Asian-Australian flyway and is an important stopover site for migratory birds potentially carrying new pathogens from other areas. We investigated the prevalence of avian malaria in injured wild birds, rescued in Tokyo and surrounding areas. We also evaluated the effects of migration by examining the prevalence of avian malaria for each migratory status. 475 birds of 80 species were sampled from four facilities. All samples were examined for haemosporidian infection via nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR of the cytochrome b (cytb gene. 100 birds (21.1% of 43 species were PCR positive for avian haemosporidia. Prevalence in wintering birds, migratory breeders, and resident birds was 46.0%, 19.3%, 17.3% respectively. There was a bias in wintering birds due to Eurasian coot (Fulica atra and Anseriformes. In wintering birds, lineages which are likely to be transmitted by Culiseta sp. in Northern Japan and lineages from resident species of Northern Japan or continental Asia were found, suggesting that wintering birds are mainly infected at their breeding sites. Meanwhile, there were numerous lineages found from resident and migratory breeders, suggesting that they are transmitted in Japan, some possibly unique to Japan. Although there are limits in studying rescued birds, rehabilitation facilities make sampling of difficult-to-catch migratory species possible and also allow for long-term monitoring within areas. Keywords: Avian haemosporidia, Japan, Rescued wild birds, Migratory birds, Parasite diversity, Cytochrome b

  3. Dual transcriptomics reveals co-evolutionary mechanisms of intestinal parasite infections in blue mussels Mytilus edulis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feis, Marieke E; John, Uwe; Lokmer, Ana; Luttikhuizen, Pieternella C; Wegner, K Mathias

    2018-02-17

    On theoretical grounds, antagonistic co-evolution between hosts and their parasites should be a widespread phenomenon but only received little empirical support so far. Consequently, the underlying molecular mechanisms and evolutionary steps remain elusive, especially in nonmodel systems. Here, we utilized the natural history of invasive parasites to document the molecular underpinnings of co-evolutionary trajectories. We applied a dual-species transcriptomics approach to experimental cross-infections of blue mussel Mytilus edulis hosts and their invasive parasitic copepods Mytilicola intestinalis from two invasion fronts in the Wadden Sea. We identified differentially regulated genes from an experimental infection contrast for hosts (infected vs. control) and a sympatry contrast (sympatric vs. allopatric combinations) for both hosts and parasites. The damage incurred by Mytilicola infection and the following immune response of the host were mainly reflected in cell division processes, wound healing, apoptosis and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, the functional coupling of host and parasite sympatry contrasts revealed the concerted regulation of chitin digestion by a Chitotriosidase 1 homolog in hosts with several cuticle proteins in the parasite. Together with the coupled regulation of ROS producers and antagonists, these genes represent candidates that mediate the different evolutionary trajectories within the parasite's invasion. The host-parasite combination-specific coupling of these effector mechanisms suggests that underlying recognition mechanisms create specificity and local adaptation. In this way, our study demonstrates the use of invasive species' natural history to elucidate molecular mechanisms of host-parasite co-evolution in the wild. © 2018 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Genetic applications in avian conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haig, Susan M.; Bronaugh, Whitcomb M.; Crowhurst, Rachel S.; D'Elia, Jesse; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Epps, Clinton W.; Knaus, Brian; Miller, Mark P.; Moses, Michael L.; Oyler-McCance, Sara; Robinson, W. Douglas; Sidlauskas, Brian

    2011-01-01

    A fundamental need in conserving species and their habitats is defining distinct entities that range from individuals to species to ecosystems and beyond (Table 1; Ryder 1986, Moritz 1994, Mayden and Wood 1995, Haig and Avise 1996, Hazevoet 1996, Palumbi and Cipriano 1998, Hebert et al. 2004, Mace 2004, Wheeler et al. 2004, Armstrong and Ball 2005, Baker 2008, Ellis et al. 2010, Winker and Haig 2010). Rapid progression in this interdisciplinary field continues at an exponential rate; thus, periodic updates on theory, techniques, and applications are important for informing practitioners and consumers of genetic information. Here, we outline conservation topics for which genetic information can be helpful, provide examples of where genetic techniques have been used best in avian conservation, and point to current technical bottlenecks that prevent better use of genomics to resolve conservation issues related to birds. We hope this review will provide geneticists and avian ecologists with a mutually beneficial dialogue on how this integrated field can solve current and future problems.

  5. Haustorial Hairs Are Specialized Root Hairs That Support Parasitism in the Facultative Parasitic Plant Phtheirospermum japonicum1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Kei; Toyooka, Kiminori

    2016-01-01

    A haustorium is the unique organ that invades host tissues and establishes vascular connections. Haustorium formation is a key event in parasitism, but its underlying molecular basis is largely unknown. Here, we use Phtheirospermum japonicum, a facultative root parasite in the Orobanchaceae, as a model parasitic plant. We performed a forward genetic screen to identify mutants with altered haustorial morphologies. The development of the haustorium in P. japonicum is induced by host-derived compounds such as 2,6-dimethoxy-p-benzoquinone. After receiving the signal, the parasite root starts to swell to develop a haustorium, and haustorial hairs proliferate to densely cover the haustorium surface. We isolated mutants that show defects in haustorial hair formation and named them haustorial hair defective (hhd) mutants. The hhd mutants are also defective in root hair formation, indicating that haustorial hair formation is controlled by the root hair development program. The internal structures of the haustoria in the hhd mutants are similar to those of the wild type, indicating that the haustorial hairs are not essential for host invasion. However, all the hhd mutants form fewer haustoria than the wild type upon infection of the host roots. The number of haustoria is restored when the host and parasite roots are forced to grow closely together, suggesting that the haustorial hairs play a role in stabilizing the host-parasite association. Thus, our study provides genetic evidence for the regulation and function of haustorial hairs in the parasitic plant. PMID:26712864

  6. Avian Respiratory Coinfection and Impact on Avian Influenza Pathogenicity in Domestic Poultry: Field and Experimental Findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samy, Ahmed; Naguib, Mahmoud M

    2018-02-24

    The avian respiratory system hosts a wide range of commensal and potential pathogenic bacteria and/or viruses that interact with each other. Such interactions could be either synergistic or antagonistic, which subsequently determines the severity of the disease complex. The intensive rearing methods of poultry are responsible for the marked increase in avian respiratory diseases worldwide. The interaction between avian influenza with other pathogens can guarantee the continuous existence of other avian pathogens, which represents a global concern. A better understanding of the impact of the interaction between avian influenza virus and other avian respiratory pathogens provides a better insight into the respiratory disease complex in poultry and can lead to improved intervention strategies aimed at controlling virus spread.

  7. Density-dependence and within-host competition in a semelparous parasite of leaf-cutting ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomsen Lene

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parasite heterogeneity and within-host competition are thought to be important factors influencing the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Yet, while there have been many theoretical investigations of how these factors may act, empirical data is more limited. We investigated the effects of parasite density and heterogeneity on parasite virulence and fitness using four strains of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae, and its leaf-cutting ant host Acromyrmex echinatior as the model system. Results The relationship between parasite density and infection was sigmoidal, with there being an invasion threshold for an infection to occur (an Allee effect. Although spore production was positively density-dependent, parasite fitness decreased with increasing parasite density, indicating within-host scramble competition. The dynamics differed little between the four strains tested. In mixed infections of three strains the infection-growth dynamics were unaffected by parasite heterogeneity. Conclusions The strength of within-host competition makes dispersal the best strategy for the parasite. Parasite heterogeneity may not have effected virulence or the infection dynamics either because the most virulent strain outcompeted the others, or because the interaction involved scramble competition that was impervious to parasite heterogeneity. The dynamics observed may be common for virulent parasites, such as Metarhizium, that produce aggregated transmission stages. Such parasites make useful models for investigating infection dynamics and the impact of parasite competition.

  8. Dispersal Polymorphisms in Invasive Fire Ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson A Helms

    Full Text Available In the Found or Fly (FoF hypothesis ant queens experience reproduction-dispersal tradeoffs such that queens with heavier abdomens are better at founding colonies but are worse flyers. We tested predictions of FoF in two globally invasive fire ants, Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius, 1804 and S. invicta (Buren, 1972. Colonies of these species may produce two different monogyne queen types-claustral queens with heavy abdomens that found colonies independently, and parasitic queens with small abdomens that enter conspecific nests. Claustral and parasitic queens were similarly sized, but the abdomens of claustral queens weighed twice as much as those of their parasitic counterparts. Their heavier abdomens adversely impacted morphological predictors of flight ability, resulting in 32-38% lower flight muscle ratios, 55-63% higher wing loading, and 32-33% higher abdomen drag. In lab experiments maximum flight durations in claustral S. invicta queens decreased by about 18 minutes for every milligram of abdomen mass. Combining our results into a simple fitness tradeoff model, we calculated that an average parasitic S. invicta queen could produce only 1/3 as many worker offspring as a claustral queen, but could fly 4 times as long and have a 17- to 36-fold larger potential colonization area. Investigations of dispersal polymorphisms and their associated tradeoffs promises to shed light on range expansions in invasive species, the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies, and the selective forces driving the recurrent evolution of parasitism in ants.

  9. Avian influenza in shorebirds: experimental infection of ruddy turnstones (Arenaria interpres) with avian influenza virus

    OpenAIRE

    Hall, Jeffrey S.; Krauss, Scott; Franson, J. Christian; TeSlaa, Joshua L.; Nashold, Sean W.; Stallknecht, David E.; Webby, Richard J.; Webster, Robert G.

    2012-01-01

    Please cite this paper as: Hall et al. (2012) Avian influenza in shorebirds: experimental infection of ruddy turnstones (Arenaria interpres) with avian influenza virus. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses DOI: 10.1111/j.1750‐2659.2012.00358.x. Background  Low pathogenic avian influenza viruses (LPAIV) have been reported in shorebirds, especially at Delaware Bay, USA, during spring migration. However, data on patterns of virus excretion, minimal infectious doses, and clinical outcome are l...

  10. Internal parasites of reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raś-Noryńska, Małgorzata; Sokół, Rajmund

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays a growing number of exotic reptiles are kept as pets. The aim of this study was to determine the species of parasites found in reptile patients of veterinary practices in Poland. Fecal samples obtained from 76 lizards, 15 turtles and 10 snakes were examined by flotation method and direct smear stained with Lugol's iodine. In 63 samples (62.4%) the presence of parasite eggs and oocysts was revealed. Oocysts of Isospora spp. (from 33% to 100% of the samples, depending on the reptilian species) and Oxyurids eggs (10% to 75%) were predominant. In addition, isolated Eimeria spp. oocysts and Giardia intestinalis cysts were found, as well as Strongylus spp. and Hymenolepis spp. eggs. Pet reptiles are often infected with parasites, some of which are potentially dangerous to humans. A routine parasitological examination should be done in such animals.

  11. Malaria parasites: the great escape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Rénia

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Parasites of the genus Plasmodium have a complex life cycle. They alternate between their final mosquito host and their intermediate hosts. The parasite can be either extra- or intracellular, depending on the stage of development. By modifying their shape, motility, and metabolic requirements, the parasite adapts to the different environments in their different hosts. The parasite has evolved to escape the multiple immune mechanisms in the host that try to block parasite development at the different stages of their development. In this article, we describe the mechanisms reported thus far that allow the Plasmodium parasite to evade innate and adaptive immune responses.

  12. The Bacterial Species Campylobacter jejuni Induce Diverse Innate Immune Responses in Human and Avian Intestinal Epithelial Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel A. John

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Campylobacter remain the major cause of human gastroenteritis in the Developed World causing a significant burden to health services. Campylobacter are pathogens in humans and chickens, although differences in mechanistic understanding are incomplete, in part because phenotypic strain diversity creates inconsistent findings. Here, we took Campylobacter jejuni isolates (n = 100 from multi-locus sequence typed collections to assess their pathogenic diversity, through their inflammatory, cytotoxicity, adhesion, invasion and signaling responses in a high-throughput model using avian and human intestinal epithelial cells. C. jejuni induced IL-8 and CXCLi1/2 in human and avian epithelial cells, respectively, in a MAP kinase-dependent manner. In contrast, IL-10 responses in both cell types were PI 3-kinase/Akt-dependent. C. jejuni strains showed diverse levels of invasion with high invasion dependent on MAP kinase signaling in both cell lines. C. jejuni induced diverse cytotoxic responses in both cell lines with cdt-positive isolates showing significantly higher toxicity. Blockade of endocytic pathways suggested that invasion by C. jejuni was clathrin- and dynamin-dependent but caveolae- independent in both cells. In contrast, IL-8 (and CXCLi1/2 production was dependent on clathrin, dynamin, and caveolae. This study is important because of its scale, and the data produced, suggesting that avian and human epithelial cells use similar innate immune pathways where the magnitude of the response is determined by the phenotypic diversity of the Campylobacter species.

  13. The role of extracellular vesicles in parasite-host interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justyna Gatkowska

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Extracellular vesicles (EVs, initially considered cell debris, were soon proved to be an essential tool of intercellular communication enabling the exchange of information without direct contact of the cells. At present EVs are the subject of extensive research due to their universal presence in single- and multi-cell organisms, regardless of their systematic position, and their substantial role in cell-to-cell communication. EVs seem to be released by both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells under natural (in vivo and laboratory (in vitro conditions. Even purified fractions of isolated EVs comprise various membrane-derived structures. However, EVs can be classified into general groups based primarily on their size and origin. EVs may carry various materials, and ongoing research investigations give new insight into their potenti participation in critical biological processes, e.g. carcinogenesis. This paper presents current knowledge on the EVs’ involvement in host–parasite interactions including the invasion process, the maintenance of the parasite infection and modulation of the host immune response to parasite antigenic stimulation, as well as perspectives of the potential use of EVs as immunoprophylactic and diagnostic tools for controlling parasite infections. The most numerous literature data concern protozoan parasites, especially those of the greatest medical and social importance worldwide. However, available information about the EVs’ contribution to helminth invasion has also been included.

  14. Evidence for the exchange of blood parasites between North America and the Neotropics in blue-winged teal (Anas discors)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Andy M.; Reed, John; Walther, Patrick; Link, Paul; Schmutz, Joel A.; Douglas, David; Stallknecht, David E.; Soos, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Blue-winged teal (Anas discors) are abundant, small-bodied dabbling ducks that breed throughout the prairies of the northcentral USA and central Canada and that winter in the southern USA and northern Neotropics. Given the migratory tendencies of this species, it is plausible that blue-winged teal may disperse avian pathogens, such as parasites causing avian malaria, between spatially distant areas. To test the hypothesis that blue-winged teal play a role in the exchange of blood parasites between North America and areas further south, we collected information on migratory tendencies of this species and sampled birds at spatially distant areas during breeding and non-breeding periods to diagnose and genetically characterize parasitic infections. Using a combination of band recovery data, satellite telemetry, molecular diagnostics, and genetic analyses, we found evidence for (1) migratory connectivity of blue-winged teal between our sampling locations in the Canadian prairies and along the US Gulf Coast with areas throughout the northern Neotropics, (2) parasite acquisition at both breeding and non-breeding areas, (3) infection of blue-winged teal sampled in Canada and the USA withPlasmodium parasite lineages associated with the Neotropics, and (4) infection of blue-winged teal with parasites that were genetically related to those previously reported in waterfowl in both North America and South America. Collectively, our results suggest that blue-winged teal likely play a role in the dispersal of blood parasites between the Neotropics and North America, and therefore, the targeting of this species in surveillance programs for the early detection of Neotropical-origin avian pathogens in the USA may be informative.

  15. Evidence for the exchange of blood parasites between North America and the Neotropics in blue-winged teal (Anas discors).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Andrew M; Reed, John A; Walther, Patrick; Link, Paul; Schmutz, Joel A; Douglas, David C; Stallknecht, David E; Soos, Catherine

    2016-10-01

    Blue-winged teal (Anas discors) are abundant, small-bodied dabbling ducks that breed throughout the prairies of the northcentral USA and central Canada and that winter in the southern USA and northern Neotropics. Given the migratory tendencies of this species, it is plausible that blue-winged teal may disperse avian pathogens, such as parasites causing avian malaria, between spatially distant areas. To test the hypothesis that blue-winged teal play a role in the exchange of blood parasites between North America and areas further south, we collected information on migratory tendencies of this species and sampled birds at spatially distant areas during breeding and non-breeding periods to diagnose and genetically characterize parasitic infections. Using a combination of band recovery data, satellite telemetry, molecular diagnostics, and genetic analyses, we found evidence for (1) migratory connectivity of blue-winged teal between our sampling locations in the Canadian prairies and along the US Gulf Coast with areas throughout the northern Neotropics, (2) parasite acquisition at both breeding and non-breeding areas, (3) infection of blue-winged teal sampled in Canada and the USA with Plasmodium parasite lineages associated with the Neotropics, and (4) infection of blue-winged teal with parasites that were genetically related to those previously reported in waterfowl in both North America and South America. Collectively, our results suggest that blue-winged teal likely play a role in the dispersal of blood parasites between the Neotropics and North America, and therefore, the targeting of this species in surveillance programs for the early detection of Neotropical-origin avian pathogens in the USA may be informative.

  16. Revision of hemoproteid genera and description and redescription of two species of chelonian hemoproteid parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda-Catalan, Oscar; Perkins, Susan L; Peirce, Michael A; Engstrand, Rachel; Garcia-Davila, Carmen; Pinedo-Vasquez, Miguel; Aguirre, A Alonso

    2013-12-01

    Pigmented hemosporidian parasites that do not exhibit erthyrocytic schizogony, and infect birds, chelonians, and squamates, have been classified in various genera over time. These classifications have reflected vertebrate hosts, insect vectors, and variations in morphology and life history observed in representative species. Side-necked turtles ( Podocnemis spp.) from the Peruvian Amazon were screened for hemoparasites and 2 species of hemosporid parasites infecting these hosts were observed. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of these new isolates, along with parasites from lizards, a snake, and a variety of Haemoproteus species from birds from both the Haemoproteus and Parahaemoproteus subgenera, strongly support the separation of the non-avian parasites into a separate genus. The name with precedent for this group is Haemocystidium Castellani and Willey 1909, and we propose that subgeneric classification of Haemocystidium and Simondia be applied to parasites of squamates and chelonians, respectively. We offer a description of Haemocystidium (Simondia) pacayae n. sp. and a redescription of Haemocystidium (Simondia) peltocephali ( Lainson and Naiff 1998 , n. comb.) Morphologically, the parasites are quite similar, with H. pacayae slightly more elongated than H. peltocephali. The discovery and identification of parasite species is urgent, especially in endangered species and wildlife inhabiting rapidly declining ecosystems such as the Amazon.

  17. Strategic variation in mobbing as a front line of defense against brood parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welbergen, Justin A; Davies, Nicholas B

    2009-02-10

    Coevolutionary arms races, where adaptations in one party select for counter-adaptations in another and vice versa, are fundamental to interactions between organisms and their predators, pathogens, and parasites [1]. Avian brood parasites and their hosts have emerged as model systems for studying such reciprocal coevolutionary processes [2, 3]. For example, hosts have evolved changes in egg appearance and rejection of foreign eggs in response to brood parasitism from cuckoos, and cuckoos have evolved host-egg mimicry as a counter-response [4-6]. However, the host's front line of defense is protecting the nest from being parasitized in the first place [7-10], yet little is known about the effectiveness of nest defense as an antiparasite adaptation, and its coevolutionary significance remains poorly understood [10]. Here we show first that mobbing of common cuckoos Cuculus canorus by reed warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus is an effective defense against parasitism. Second, mobbing of cuckoos is a phenotypically plastic trait that is modified strategically according to local parasitism risk. This supports the view that hosts use a "defense in-depth strategy," with successive flexible lines of defense that coevolve with corresponding offensive lines of the parasite. This highlights the need for more holistic research into the coevolutionary consequences when multiple adaptations and counter-adaptations evolve in concert [11].

  18. First Record of Leucocytozoon (Haemosporida: Leucocytozoidae) in Amazonia: Evidence for Rarity in Neotropical Lowlands or Lack of Sampling for This Parasite Genus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fecchio, A; Silveira, P; Weckstein, J D; Dispoto, J H; Anciães, M; Bosholn, M; Tkach, V V; Bell, J A

    2018-04-01

    Birds harbor an astonishing diversity of haemosporidian parasites belonging to the genera Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, and Plasmodium. Currently there are more than 250 morphologically described avian haemosporidian species and 2,828 unique lineages found in virtually all avian clades and zoogeographic regions, except for Antarctica. Our report is based on PCR and microscopic screening of 1,302 individual avian samples from Brazil to detect the underrepresented genus Leucocytozoon. This survey primarily focuses on passerine birds collected from Amazonia, the Atlantic Rain Forest, and Pantanal. We also summarize studies conducted in Brazil that report haemosporidian prevalence using both microscopy and molecular tools and present for the first time a record of Leucocytozoon infecting an avian host population in Amazonia. Based on our findings, we suggest that high average temperatures may be constraining both the distribution and diversity of Leucocytozoon in lowland tropical South America.

  19. Avian malaria in a boreal resident species: long-term temporal variability, and increased prevalence in birds with avian keratin disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Laura C.; Handel, Colleen M.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Loiseau, Claire; Sehgal, Ravinder N. M.

    2016-01-01

    The prevalence of vector-borne parasitic diseases is widely influenced by biological and ecological factors. Environmental conditions such as temperature and precipitation can have a marked effect on haemosporidian parasites (Plasmodium spp.) that cause malaria and those that cause other malaria-like diseases in birds. However, there have been few long-term studies monitoring haemosporidian infections in birds in northern latitudes, where weather conditions can be highly variable and the effects of climate change are becoming more pronounced. We used molecular methods to screen more than 2,000 blood samples collected from black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus), a resident passerine bird. Samples were collected over a 10 year period, mostly during the non-breeding season, at seven sites in Alaska, USA. We tested for associations between Plasmodium prevalence and local environmental conditions including temperature, precipitation, site, year and season. We also evaluated the relationship between parasite prevalence and individual host factors of age, sex and presence or absence of avian keratin disorder. This disease, which causes accelerated keratin growth in the beak, provided a natural study system in which to test the interaction between disease state and malaria prevalence. Prevalence of Plasmodium infection varied by year, site, age and individual disease status but there was no support for an effect of sex or seasonal period. Significantly, birds with avian keratin disorder were 2.6 times more likely to be infected by Plasmodium than birds without the disorder. Interannual variation in the prevalence of Plasmodium infection at different sites was positively correlated with summer temperatures at the local but not statewide scale. Sequence analysis of the parasite cytochrome b gene revealed a single Plasmodiumspp. lineage, P43. Our results demonstrate associations between prevalence of avian malaria and a variety of biological and

  20. Invaders interfere with native parasite-host interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thieltges, David W.; Reise, Karsten; Prinz, Katrin

    2009-01-01

    The introduction of species is of increasing concern as invaders often reduce the abundance of native species due to a variety of interactions like habitat engineering, predation and competition. A more subtle and not recognized effect of invaders on their recipient biota is their potential...... interference with native parasite-host interactions. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that two invasive molluscan filter-feeders of European coastal waters interfere with the transmission of free-living infective trematode larval stages and hereby mitigate the parasite burden of native mussels (Mytilus...

  1. Bloodmeal analysis reveals avian Plasmodium infections and broad host preferences of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae vectors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Santiago-Alarcon

    Full Text Available Changing environmental conditions and human encroachment on natural habitats bring human populations closer to novel sources of parasites, which might then develop into new emerging diseases. Diseases transmitted by host generalist vectors are of special interest due to their capacity to move pathogens into novel hosts. We hypothesize that humans using forests for recreation are exposed to a broad range of parasites from wild animals and their vectors. A corollary of this is that new vector-host, parasite-host, and vector-parasite associations could eventually develop. Thus, we expect to observe atypical vector-host associations. Using molecular bloodmeal analysis via amplification of the mtDNA COI gene we identified the vertebrate hosts of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae species in a sub-urban forest of Southwestern Germany. Bloodmeals were also checked for haemosporidian infections by amplifying a fragment of the mtDNA cyt b gene. We identified a total of 20 Culicoides species, thirteen of which fed on humans. From 105 screened bloodmeals we obtained high quality sequences for 77 samples, 73 (94.8% originated from humans, two from livestock (Bos taurus and Equus caballus, and two from wild birds (Sylvia atricapilla and Turdus merula. We found that four Culicoides species previously assumed to feed exclusively on either birds (C. kibunensis or domestic mammals (C. chiopterus, C. deltus, C. scoticus fed also on humans. A total of six Culicoides abdomens were infected with avian haemosporidian parasites (Plasmodium or Haemoproteus, four of those abdomens contained blood derived from humans. Our results suggest that parasites of wild animals may be transferred to humans through infectious bites of Culicoides vectors. Further, we show that Culicoides vectors believed to be a specialist on specific vertebrate groups can have plastic feeding preferences, and that Culicoides are susceptible to infection by Plasmodium parasites, though vector

  2. Avian Habitat Data; Seward Peninsula, Alaska, 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — This data product contains avian habitat data collected on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, USA, during 21 May – 10 June 2012. We conducted replicated 10-min surveys...

  3. On biomass of parasitic plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    He, J H [Modern Textile Institute, Donghua University, 1882 Yan' an Xilu Road, Shanghai 200051 (China); Mo, L-F [School of Information Engineering, Zhejiang Forestry College, Lin' an 311300, Zhejiang (China)], E-mail: jhhe@dhu.edu.cn

    2008-02-15

    An extremely simple and elementary but rigorous derivation of maximal biomass of parasitic plants is given using an assumption that metabolic rate of the parasite should not be larger than that of its host organ.

  4. On biomass of parasitic plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, J. H.; Mo, L.-F.

    2008-02-01

    An extremely simple and elementary but rigorous derivation of maximal biomass of parasitic plants is given using an assumption that metabolic rate of the parasite should not be larger than that of its host organ

  5. Short-sighted evolution of virulence in parasitic honeybee workers ( Apis mellifera capensis Esch.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moritz, Robin F. A.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Hepburn, H. Randall; Neumann, Peter

    2008-06-01

    The short-sighted selection hypothesis for parasite virulence predicts that winners of within-host competition are poorer at transmission to new hosts. Social parasitism by self-replicating, female-producing workers occurs in the Cape honeybee Apis mellifera capensis, and colonies of other honeybee subspecies are susceptible hosts. We found high within-host virulence but low transmission rates in a clone of social parasitic A. m. capensis workers invading the neighbouring subspecies A. m. scutellata. In contrast, parasitic workers from the endemic range of A. m. capensis showed low within-host virulence but high transmission rates. This suggests a short-sighted selection scenario for the host-parasite co-evolution in the invasive range of the Cape honeybee, probably facilitated by beekeeping-assisted parasite transmission in apiaries.

  6. Pets and Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... animals. This is how cats get the toxoplasmosis parasite. Keep your pets away from wild animals or stray pets (which may be unvaccinated or sick). Things to consider Reptiles (such as lizards, snakes, and turtles) carry bacteria (germs) that can make ...

  7. Enteric parasites and AIDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sérgio Cimerman

    1999-11-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To report on the importance of intestinal parasites in patients with AIDS, showing relevant data in the medical literature, with special emphasis on epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of enteroparasitosis, especially cryptosporidiasis, isosporiasis, microsporidiasis and strongyloidiasis. DESIGN: Narrative review.

  8. Isolation of avian influenza virus in Texas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, S E; Naqi, S A; Grumbles, L C

    1981-01-01

    An avian influenza virus with surface antigens similar to those of fowl plague virus (Hav 1 Nav 2) was isolated in 1979 from 2 commercial turkey flocks in Central Texas. Two flocks in contact with these infected flocks developed clinical signs, gross lesions, and seroconversion but yielded no virus. This was the first recorded incidence of clinical avian influenza in Texas turkeys and only the second time that an agent with these surface antigens was isolated from turkeys in U.S.

  9. Rapid evolution of parasite life history traits on an expanding range-edge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelehear, Crystal; Brown, Gregory P; Shine, Richard

    2012-04-01

    Parasites of invading species undergoing range advance may be exposed to powerful new selective forces. Low host density in range-edge populations hampers parasite transmission, requiring the parasite to survive longer periods in the external environment before encountering a potential host. These conditions should favour evolutionary shifts in offspring size to maximise parasite transmission. We conducted a common-garden experiment to compare life history traits among seven populations of the nematode lungworm (Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala) spanning from the parasite population core to the expanding range-edge in invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) in tropical Australia. Compared to conspecifics from the population core, nematodes from the range-edge exhibited larger eggs, larger free-living adults and larger infective larvae, and reduced age at maturity in parasitic adults. These results support a priori predictions regarding adaptive changes in offspring size as a function of invasion history, and suggest that parasite life history traits can evolve rapidly in response to the selective forces exerted by a biological invasion. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  10. Rethinking avian response to Tamarix on the lower Colorado River: A threshold hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Riper, Charles; Paxton, K.L.; O'brien, C.; Shafroth, P.B.; McGrath, L.J.

    2008-01-01

    Many of the world's large river systems have been greatly altered in the past century due to river regulation, agriculture, and invasion of introduced Tamarix spp. (saltcedar, tamarisk). These riverine ecosystems are known to provide important habitat for avian communities, but information on responses of birds to differing levels of Tamarix is not known. Past research on birds along the Colorado River has shown that avian abundance in general is greater in native than in non-native habitat. In this article, we address habitat restoration on the lower Colorado River by comparing abundance and diversity of avian communities at a matrix of different amounts of native and non-native habitats at National Wildlife Refuges in Arizona. Two major patterns emerged from this study: (1) Not all bird species responded to Tamarix in a similar fashion, and for many bird species, abundance was highest at intermediate Tamarix levels (40-60%), suggesting a response threshold. (2) In Tamarix-dominated habitats, the greatest increase in bird abundance occurred when small amounts of native vegetation were present as a component of that habitat. In fact, Tamarix was the best vegetation predictor of avian abundance when compared to vegetation density and canopy cover. Our results suggest that to positively benefit avian abundance and diversity, one cost-effective way to rehabilitate larger monoculture Tamarix stands would be to add relatively low levels of native vegetation (???20-40%) within homogenous Tamarix habitat. In addition, this could be much more cost effective and feasible than attempting to replace all Tamarix with native vegetation. ?? 2008 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

  11. Are native songbird populations affected by non-native plant invasion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amanda M. Conover; Christopher K. Williams; Vincent. D' Amico

    2011-01-01

    Development into forested areas is occurring rapidly across the United States, and many of the remnant forests within suburban landscapes are being fragmented into smaller patches, impacting the quality of this habitat for avian species. An ecological effect linked to forest fragmentation is the invasion of non-native plants into the ecosystem.

  12. Using avian radar to examine relationships among avian activity, bird strikes, and meteorological factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Halstead, Brian J.; Fleskes, Joseph P.; Laughlin, James A.

    2011-01-01

    Radar systems designed to detect avian activity at airfields are useful in understanding factors that influence the risk of bird and aircraft collisions (bird strikes). We used an avian radar system to measure avian activity at Beale Air Force Base, California, USA, during 2008 and 2009. We conducted a 2-part analysis to examine relationships among avian activity, bird strikes, and meteorological and time-dependent factors. We found that avian activity around the airfield was greater at times when bird strikes occurred than on average using a permutation resampling technique. Second, we developed generalized linear mixed models of an avian activity index (AAI). Variation in AAI was first explained by seasons that were based on average migration dates of birds at the study area. We then modeled AAI by those seasons to further explain variation by meteorological factors and daily light levels within a 24-hour period. In general, avian activity increased with decreased temperature, wind, visibility, precipitation, and increased humidity and cloud cover. These effects differed by season. For example, during the spring bird migration period, most avian activity occurred before sunrise at twilight hours on clear days with low winds, whereas during fall migration, substantial activity occurred after sunrise, and birds generally were more active at lower temperatures. We report parameter estimates (i.e., constants and coefficients) averaged across models and a relatively simple calculation for safety officers and wildlife managers to predict AAI and the relative risk of bird strike based on time, date, and meteorological values. We validated model predictability and assessed model fit. These analyses will be useful for general inference of avian activity and risk assessment efforts. Further investigation and ongoing data collection will refine these inference models and improve our understanding of factors that influence avian activity, which is necessary to inform

  13. Vector movement underlies avian malaria at upper elevation in Hawaii: implications for transmission of human malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freed, Leonard A; Cann, Rebecca L

    2013-11-01

    With climate warming, malaria in humans and birds at upper elevations is an emerging infectious disease because development of the parasite in the mosquito vector and vector life history are both temperature dependent. An enhanced-mosquito-movement model from climate warming predicts increased transmission of malaria at upper elevation sites that are too cool for parasite development in the mosquito vector. We evaluate this model with avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) at 1,900-m elevation on the Island of Hawaii, with air temperatures too low for sporogony in the vector (Culex quinquefasciatus). On a well-defined site over a 14-year period, 10 of 14 species of native and introduced birds became infected, several epizootics occurred, and the increase in prevalence was driven more by resident species than by mobile species that could have acquired their infections at lower elevations. Greater movement of infectious mosquitoes from lower elevations now permits avian malaria to spread at 1,900 m in Hawaii, in advance of climate warming at that elevation. The increase in malaria at upper elevations due to dispersal of infectious mosquitoes is a real alternative to temperature for the increased incidence of human malaria in tropical highlands.

  14. Dynamics of avian haemosporidian assemblages through millennial time scales inferred from insular biotas of the West Indies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Leticia; Latta, Steven C; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2017-06-20

    Although introduced hemosporidian (malaria) parasites (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) have hastened the extinction of endemic bird species in the Hawaiian Islands and perhaps elsewhere, little is known about the temporal dynamics of endemic malaria parasite populations. Haemosporidian parasites do not leave informative fossils, and records of population change are lacking beyond a few decades. Here, we take advantage of the isolation of West Indian land-bridge islands by rising postglacial sea levels to estimate rates of change in hemosporidian parasite assemblages over a millennial time frame. Several pairs of West Indian islands have been connected and separated by falling and rising sea levels associated with the advance and retreat of Pleistocene continental glaciers. We use island isolation following postglacial sea-level rise, ca. 2.5 ka, to characterize long-term change in insular assemblages of hemosporidian parasites. We find that assemblages on formerly connected islands are as differentiated as assemblages on islands that have never been connected, and both are more differentiated than local assemblages sampled up to two decades apart. Differentiation of parasite assemblages between formerly connected islands reflects variation in the prevalence of shared hemosporidian lineages, whereas differentiation between islands isolated by millions of years reflects replacement of hemosporidian lineages infecting similar assemblages of avian host species.

  15. Mosquito blood-meal analysis for avian malaria study in wild bird communities: laboratory verification and application to Culex sasai (Diptera: Culicidae) collected in Tokyo, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyeong Soon; Tsuda, Yoshio; Sasaki, Toshinori; Kobayashi, Mutsuo; Hirota, Yoshikazu

    2009-10-01

    We conducted laboratory experiments to verify molecular techniques of avian malaria parasite detection distinguishing between an infected mosquito (oocysts on midgut wall) and infective mosquito (sporozoites in salivary glands) in parallel with blood-meal identification from individual blood-fed mosquitoes prior to application to field survey for avian malaria. Domestic fowl infected with Plasmodium gallinaceum was exposed to a vector and non-vector mosquito species, Aedes aegypti and Culex pipiens pallens, respectively, to compare the time course of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection for parasite between competent and refractory mosquitoes. DNA of the domestic fowl was detectable for at least 3 days after blood feeding. The PCR-based detection of P. gallinaceum from the abdomen and thorax of A. aegypti corresponded to the microscopic observation of oocysts and sporozoites. Therefore, this PCR-based method was considered useful as one of the criteria to assess developmental stages of Plasmodium spp. in mosquito species collected in the field. We applied the same PCR-based method to 21 blood-fed C. sasai mosquitoes collected in Rinshi-no-mori Park in urban Tokyo, Japan. Of 15 blood meals of C. sasai successfully identified, 86.7% were avian-derived, 13.3% were bovine-derived. Plasmodium DNA was amplified from the abdomen of three C. sasai specimens having an avian blood meal from the Great Tit (Parus major), Pale Thrush (Turdus pallidus), and Jungle Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos). This is the first field study on host-feeding habits of C. sasai in relation to the potential role as a vector for avian malaria parasites transmitted in the Japanese wild bird community.

  16. Avian cholera in Nebraska's Rainwater Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windingstad, R.M.; Hurt, J.J.; Trout, A.K.; Cary, J.

    1984-01-01

    The first report of avian cholera in North America occurred in northwestern Texas in winter 1944 (Quortrup et al. 1946). In 1975, mortality from avian cholera occurred for the first time in waterfowl in the Rainwater Basin of Nebraska when an estimated 25,000 birds died (Zinkl et al. 1977). Avian cholera has continued to cause mortality in wild birds in specific areas of the Basin each spring since. Losses of waterfowl from avian cholera continue to be much greater in some of the wetlands in the western part of the Basin than in the east. Several wetlands in the west have consistently higher mortality and are most often the wetlands where initial mortality is noticed each spring (Figure 1). The establishment of this disease in Nebraska is of considerable concern because of the importance of the Rainwater Basin as a spring staging area for waterfowl migrating to their breeding grounds. The wetlands in this area are on a major migration route used by an estimated 5 to 9 million ducks and several hundred thousand geese. A large portion of the western mid-continental greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons) population stage in the Basin each spring. Occasionally, whooping cranes (Grus americana) use these wetlands during migration, and lesser sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) staging on the nearby Platte River sometimes use wetlands where avian cholera occurs (Anonymous 1981). Our objectives were to determine whether certain water quality variables in the Rainwater Basin differed between areas of high and low avian cholera incidence. These results would then be used for laboratory studies involving the survivability of Pasteurella multocida, the causative bacterium of avian cholera. Those studies will be reported elsewhere.

  17. Molecular Epidemiology of Avian Malaria in Wild Breeding Colonies of Humboldt and Magellanic Penguins in South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallaberry-Pincheira, Nicole; Gonzalez-Acuña, Daniel; Herrera-Tello, Yertiza; Dantas, Gisele P M; Luna-Jorquera, Guillermo; Frere, Esteban; Valdés-Velasquez, Armando; Simeone, Alejandro; Vianna, Juliana A

    2015-06-01

    Avian malaria is a disease caused by species of the genera Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, and Plasmodium. It affects hundreds of bird species, causing varied clinical signs depending on the susceptibility of the host species. Although high mortality has been reported in captive penguins, limited epidemiological studies have been conducted in wild colonies, and isolated records of avian malaria have been reported mostly from individuals referred to rehabilitation centers. For this epidemiological study, we obtained blood samples from 501 adult Humboldt and 360 adult Magellanic penguins from 13 colonies throughout South America. To identify malaria parasitaemia, we amplified the mtDNA cytochrome b for all three parasite genera. Avian malaria was absent in most of the analyzed colonies, with exception of the Punta San Juan Humboldt penguin colony, in Peru, where we detected at least two new Haemoproteus lineages in three positive samples, resulting in a prevalence of 0.6% for the species. The low prevalence of avian malaria detected in wild penguins could be due to two possible causes: A low incidence, with high morbidity and mortality in wild penguins or alternatively, penguins sampled in the chronic stage of the disease (during which parasitaemia in peripheral blood samples is unlikely) would be detected as false negatives.

  18. Integrated parasite management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Jesper Hedegaard; Madsen, Henry; Van, Phan Thi

    2015-01-01

    communities at risk through mass drug administration. However, we argue that treatment alone will not reduce the risk from eating infected fish and that sustainable effective control must adopt an integrated FZT control approach based on education, infrastructure improvements, and management practices...... that target critical control points in the aquaculture production cycle identified from a thorough understanding of FZT and host biology and epidemiology. We present recommendations for an integrated parasite management (IPM) program for aquaculture farms....

  19. Sexually Transmitted Parasitic Diseases

    OpenAIRE

    Shelton, Andrew A.

    2004-01-01

    An increasing number of diseases are recognized as being sexually transmitted. The majority of these are bacterial or viral in nature; however, several protozoan and nematode infections can also be transmitted by sexual activity. For most of these diseases, the primary mode of transmission is nonsexual in nature, but sexual activity that results in fecal-oral contact can lead to transmission of these agents. Two parasitic diseases commonly transmitted by sexual contact are amebiasis and giard...

  20. Of parasites and men

    OpenAIRE

    Bañuls, Anne-Laure; Thomas, Frédéric; Renaud, François

    2013-01-01

    The living world has evolved and is evolving through interspecific relationships between organisms. The diversity of these interactions is enormous going from mutualism to parasitism. Humans live with a multitude of microorganisms, essential for their biology. However, interactions are not always advantageous. Indeed, many organisms might become pathogens, such as the Plasmodium species, the causative agents of malaria. Like many other microorganisms, they are > in their capacity to elaborate...

  1. Density-dependence and within-host competition in a semelparous parasite of leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, William; Petersen, Klaus; Ugelvig, Line

    2004-01-01

    was sigmoidal, with there being an invasion threshold for an infection to occur (an Allee effect). Although spore production was positively density-dependent, parasite fitness decreased with increasing parasite density, indicating within-host scramble competition. The dynamics differed little between the four......BACKGROUND:Parasite heterogeneity and within-host competition are thought to be important factors influencing the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Yet, while there have been many theoretical investigations of how these factors may act, empirical data is more limited. We investigated...... strains tested. In mixed infections of three strains the infection-growth dynamics were unaffected by parasite heterogeneity.CONCLUSIONS:The strength of within-host competition makes dispersal the best strategy for the parasite. Parasite heterogeneity may not have effected virulence or the infection...

  2. Neospora caninum in Wild Waterfowl: Occurrence of Parasite DNA and Low Antibody Titers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocchigiani, G; Poli, A; Nardoni, S; Papini, R; Mancianti, F

    2017-02-01

    Thirty-five adult waterfowl (14 males and 21 females) representing various orders and species were sampled during the hunting season from 2015 to 2016. Antibodies to Neospora caninum were detected by IFAT on blood samples, while heart and brain were subjected to molecular analysis for the detection of Neospora caninum DNA. Twelve birds (34.3%) (6 Anas crecca , 3 Anas platyrhynchos , 2 Anas penelope , 1 Anas acuta ) showed antibodies versus N. caninum , while 10 animals out of 35 (4 A. crecca , 2 A. platyrhynchos , 2 A. penelope , 1 A. acuta , and 1 Vanellus vanellus ) scored positive for at least 1 DNA sample, with an overall prevalence of 28.6%. The present report shows for the first time the occurrence of antibodies and N. caninum DNA in waterfowl. The avian species investigated in the present report, which feed directly from the soil and/or water, would be able to ingest oocysts excreted by final canid hosts and could contribute to parasite transmission in the sylvatic cycle. To achieve a definitive result about the role of these avian species in the epidemiology of this protozoan, the presence of viable parasites should be demonstrated by bioassay and/or culture, as well as histological evidence of N. caninum cysts in avian tissues.

  3. Effect of Propionibacterium freudenreichii on Salmonella multiplication, motility, and association with avian epithelial cells1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    V T Nair, Divek; Kollanoor-Johny, A

    2017-05-01

    We investigated the effects of a probiotic bacterium, Propionibacterium freudenreichii, on Salmonella multiplication, motility, and association to and invasion of avian epithelial cells in vitro. Two subspecies of P. freudenreichii (P. freudenreichii subsp. freudenreichii and P. freudenreichii subsp. shermanii) were tested against 3 Salmonella serotypes in poultry, namely, S. Enteritidis, S. Typhimurium, and S. Heidelberg, using co-culture-, motility, multiplication, cell association, and invasion assays. Both strains of P. freudenreichii were effective in reducing or inhibiting multiplication of all 3 Salmonella serotypes in co-culture and turkey cecal contents (P ≤ 0.05). P. freudenreichii significantly reduced Salmonella motility (P ≤ 0.05). Cell culture studies revealed that P. freudenreichii associated with the avian epithelial cells effectively and reduced S. Enteritidis, S. Heidelberg, and S. Typhimurium cell association in the range of 1.0 to 1.6 log10 CFU/mL, and invasion in the range of 1.3 to 1.5 log10 CFU/mL (P ≤ 0.05), respectively. Our current in vitro results indicate the potential of P. freudenreichii against Salmonella in poultry. Follow-up in vivo studies are underway to evaluate this possibility. © 2016 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  4. A new method for isolation of purified genomic DNA from haemosporidian parasites inhabiting nucleated red blood cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palinauskas, Vaidas; Križanauskienė, Asta; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Bolshakov, Casimir V; Jönsson, Jane; Bensch, Staffan; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2013-03-01

    During the last 10 years, whole genomes have been sequenced from an increasing number of organisms. However, there is still no data on complete genomes of avian and lizard Plasmodium spp. or other haemosporidian parasites. In contrast to mammals, bird and reptile red blood cells have nuclei and thus blood of these vertebrates contains high amount of host DNA; that complicates preparation of purified template DNA from haemosporidian parasites, which has been the main obstacle for genomic studies of these parasites. In the present study we describe a method that generates large amount of purified avian haemosporidian DNA. The method is based on a unique biological feature of haemosporidian parasites, namely that mature gametocytes in blood can be induced to exflagellate in vitro. This results in the development of numerous microgametes, which can be separated from host blood cells by simple centrifugation. Our results reveal that this straight forward method provides opportunities to collect pure parasite DNA material, which can be used as a template for various genetic analyses including whole genome sequencing of haemosporidians infecting birds and lizards. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Obligate brood parasites show more functionally effective innate immune responses: an eco-immunological hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, D. Caldwell; Summers, Scott G.; Genovese, Kenneth J.; He, Haiqi; Kogut, Michael H.

    2013-01-01

    Immune adaptations of obligate brood parasites attracted interest when three New World cowbird species (Passeriformes, Icteridae, genus Molothrus) proved unusually resistant to West Nile virus. We have used cowbirds as models to investigate the eco-immunological hypothesis that species in parasite-rich environments characteristically have enhanced immunity as a life history adaptation. As part of an ongoing program to understand the cowbird immune system, in this study we measured degranulation and oxidative burst, two fundamental responses of the innate immune system. Innate immunity provides non-specific, fast-acting defenses against a variety of invading pathogens, and we hypothesized that innate immunity experiences particularly strong selection in cowbirds, because their life history strategy exposes them to diverse novel and unpredictable parasites. We compared the relative effectiveness of degranulation and oxidative burst responses in two cowbird species and one related, non-parasitic species. Both innate immune defenses were significantly more functionally efficient in the two parasitic cowbird species than in the non-parasitic red-winged blackbird (Icteridae, Agelaius phoeniceus). Additionally, both immune defenses were more functionally efficient in the brown-headed cowbird (M. ater), an extreme host-generalist brood parasite, than in the bronzed cowbird (M. aeneus), a moderate host-specialist with lower exposure to other species and their parasites. Thus the relative effectiveness of these two innate immune responses corresponds to the diversity of parasites in the niche of each species and to their relative resistance to WNV. This study is the first use of these two specialized assays in a comparative immunology study of wild avian species.

  6. Parasites of Harmonia axyridis: current research and perspectives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haelewaters, Danny; Zha, Serena Y.; Clusella-Trullas, Susana

    2017-01-01

    Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) has been introduced widely for biological control of agricultural pests. Harmonia axyridis has established in four continents outside of its native range in Asia and it is considered an invasive alien species (IAS). Despite a large body of work...... on invasion ecology, establishment mechanisms of IAS and their interactions with natural enemies remain open questions. Parasites, defined as multicellular organisms that do not directly kill the host, could potentially play an important role in regulating host populations. This study presents a review...... of the parasites of H. axyridis, discussing their distributions and effects on host populations across the host’s native and invasive range. These parasites are: Hesperomyces virescens Thaxt. fungi, Coccipolipus hippodamiae (McDaniel and Morrill) mites, and Parasitylenchus bifurcatus Poinar and Steenberg nematodes....

  7. DIVA vaccination strategies for avian influenza virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez, David L

    2012-12-01

    Vaccination for both low pathogenicity avian influenza and highly pathogenic avian influenza is commonly used by countries that have become endemic for avian influenza virus, but stamping-out policies are still common for countries with recently introduced disease. Stamping-out policies of euthanatizing infected and at-risk flocks has been an effective control tool, but it comes at a high social and economic cost. Efforts to identify alternative ways to respond to outbreaks without widespread stamping out has become a goal for organizations like the World Organisation for Animal Health. A major issue with vaccination for avian influenza is trade considerations because countries that vaccinate are often considered to be endemic for the disease and they typically lose their export markets. Primarily as a tool to promote trade, the concept of DIVA (differentiate infected from vaccinated animals) has been considered for avian influenza, but the goal for trade is to differentiate vaccinated and not-infected from vaccinated and infected animals because trading partners are unwilling to accept infected birds. Several different strategies have been investigated for a DIVA strategy, but each has advantages and disadvantages. A review of current knowledge on the research and implementation of the DIVA strategy will be discussed with possible ways to implement this strategy in the field. The increased desire for a workable DIVA strategy may lead to one of these ideas moving from the experimental to the practical.

  8. Avian Flu Epidemic 2003: Public health consequences. Executive summary

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosman A; Mulder YM; Leeuw JRJ de; Meijer A; Du Ry van Beest Holle M; Kamst RA; Velden PG van der; Conyn-van Spaendonck MAE; Koopmans MPG; Ruijten MWMM; Instituut voor Psychotrauma; CIE; MGO; LIS

    2004-01-01

    Executive summary Avian flu epidemic 2003: public health consequences.Risk factors, health, well-being, health care needs and preventive measures during the H7N7 avian flu outbreak control in the Netherlands.An estimated thousand people, possibly more have been infected with avian flu during the

  9. Proceedings of National Avian-Wind Power Planning Meeting IV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NWCC Avian Subcommittee

    2001-05-01

    OAK-B135 The purpose of the fourth meeting was to (1) share research and update research conducted on avian wind interactions (2) identify questions and issues related to the research results, (3) develop conclusions about some avian/wind power issues, and (4) identify questions and issues for future avian research.

  10. Avian metapneumovirus subgroup C infection in chickens, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Li; Zhu, Shanshan; Yan, Xv; Wang, Jing; Zhang, Chunyan; Liu, Shuhang; She, Ruiping; Hu, Fengjiao; Quan, Rong; Liu, Jue

    2013-07-01

    Avian metapneumovirus causes acute respiratory tract infection and reductions in egg production in various avian species. We isolated and characterized an increasingly prevalent avian metapneumovirus subgroup C strain from meat-type commercial chickens with severe respiratory signs in China. Culling of infected flocks could lead to economic consequences.

  11. Avian Metapneumovirus Subgroup C Infection in Chickens, China

    OpenAIRE

    Wei, Li; Zhu, Shanshan; Yan, Xv; Wang, Jing; Zhang, Chunyan; Liu, Shuhang; She, Ruiping; Hu, Fengjiao; Quan, Rong; Liu, Jue

    2013-01-01

    Avian metapneumovirus causes acute respiratory tract infection and reductions in egg production in various avian species. We isolated and characterized an increasingly prevalent avian metapneumovirus subgroup C strain from meat-type commercial chickens with severe respiratory signs in China. Culling of infected flocks could lead to economic consequences.

  12. In vitro inhibition of Eimeria tenella sporozoite invasion into host cells by probiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessenberger, S; Schatzmayr, G; Teichmann, K

    2016-10-15

    The aim was to study the effects of probiotics isolated from the intestinal tract of livestock animals on Eimeria tenella invasion into Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells in vitro. E. tenella sporozoites were purified and labeled with 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate N-succinimidyl ester before seeding on cell cultures, and invasion was evaluated by fluorescence microscopy. Two protocols (A and B) were used. In protocol A, Enterococcus faecium # 589 or Lactobacillus salivarius subsp. salivarius # 505 were added together with sporozoites to MDBK cell cultures and invasion was evaluated after incubation for approximately 20h. Viable, dead, or spent culture supernatants of probiotics were tested. In protocol B, viable probiotics were incubated with MDBK cells for one hour before sporozoites were added and invasion was evaluated after two more hours of incubation. Parasite invasion of viable, dead, or spent culture supernatant of E. faecium # 589 was assessed. Using protocol A, it was shown that parasite invasion was inhibited by viable (80%) or dead (75%) E. faecium # 589. While inhibition by viable L. salivarius subsp. salivarius # 505 was not valid at the highest concentration and not significant at the other test concentrations, dead cells inhibited parasite invasion up to 45%. Spent culture supernatants of both probiotics had no influence on parasite invasion. Using protocol B, it was shown that viable Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis # 503, E. faecium # 497, E. faecium # 589, L. reuteri # 514, L. salivarius subsp. salivarius # 505, and Bacillus subtilis # 588 inhibited parasite invasion into MDBK cells up to 80%. Anticoccidial activity was strain-specific for E. faecium strains, and the strongest effect was shown by E. faecium # 589. Anticoccidial effects of some of the tested probiotics have already been shown in vivo, which makes them candidates to prevent coccidiosis. These findings have now been confirmed in vitro. The used parasite invasion

  13. Plasmodium falciparum Adhesins Play an Essential Role in Signalling and Activation of Invasion into Human Erythrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wai-Hong Tham

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The most severe form of malaria in humans is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The invasive form of malaria parasites is termed a merozoite and it employs an array of parasite proteins that bind to the host cell to mediate invasion. In Plasmodium falciparum, the erythrocyte binding-like (EBL and reticulocyte binding-like (Rh protein families are responsible for binding to specific erythrocyte receptors for invasion and mediating signalling events that initiate active entry of the malaria parasite. Here we have addressed the role of the cytoplasmic tails of these proteins in activating merozoite invasion after receptor engagement. We show that the cytoplasmic domains of these type 1 membrane proteins are phosphorylated in vitro. Depletion of PfCK2, a kinase implicated to phosphorylate these cytoplasmic tails, blocks P. falciparum invasion of red blood cells. We identify the crucial residues within the PfRh4 cytoplasmic domain that are required for successful parasite invasion. Live cell imaging of merozoites from these transgenic mutants show they attach but do not penetrate erythrocytes implying the PfRh4 cytoplasmic tail conveys signals important for the successful completion of the invasion process.

  14. Population-specific responses to an invasive species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichard, Martin; Douda, Karel; Przybyłski, Mirosław; Popa, Oana P; Karbanová, Eva; Matasová, Klára; Rylková, Kateřina; Polačik, Matej; Blažek, Radim; Smith, Carl

    2015-08-07

    Predicting the impacts of non-native species remains a challenge. As populations of a species are genetically and phenotypically variable, the impact of non-native species on local taxa could crucially depend on population-specific traits and adaptations of both native and non-native species. Bitterling fishes are brood parasites of unionid mussels and unionid mussels produce larvae that parasitize fishes. We used common garden experiments to measure three key elements in the bitterling-mussel association among two populations of an invasive mussel (Anodonta woodiana) and four populations of European bitterling (Rhodeus amarus). The impact of the invasive mussel varied between geographically distinct R. amarus lineages and between local populations within lineages. The capacity of parasitic larvae of the invasive mussel to exploit R. amarus was higher in a Danubian than in a Baltic R. amarus lineage and in allopatric than in sympatric R. amarus populations. Maladaptive oviposition by R. amarus into A. woodiana varied among populations, with significant population-specific consequences for R. amarus recruitment. We suggest that variation in coevolutionary states may predispose different populations to divergent responses. Given that coevolutionary relationships are ubiquitous, population-specific attributes of invasive and native populations may play a critical role in the outcome of invasion. We argue for a shift from a species-centred to population-centred perspective of the impacts of invasions. © 2015 The Author(s).

  15. Origin and evolution of avian microchromosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, D W

    2002-01-01

    The origin of avian microchromosomes has long been the subject of much speculation and debate. Microchromosomes are a universal characteristic of all avian species and many reptilian karyotypes. The typical avian karyotype contains about 40 pairs of chromosomes and usually 30 pairs of small to tiny microchromosomes. This characteristic karyotype probably evolved 100-250 million years ago. Once the microchromosomes were thought to be a non-essential component of the avian genome. Recent work has shown that even though these chromosomes represent only 25% of the genome; they encode 50% of the genes. Contrary to popular belief, microchromosomes are present in a wide range of vertebrate classes, spanning 400-450 million years of evolutionary history. In this paper, comparative gene mapping between the genomes of chicken, human, mouse and zebrafish, has been used to investigate the origin and evolution of avian microchromosomes during this period. This analysis reveals evidence for four ancient syntenies conserved in fish, birds and mammals for over 400 million years. More than half, if not all, microchromosomes may represent ancestral syntenies and at least ten avian microchromosomes are the product of chromosome fission. Birds have one of the smallest genomes of any terrestrial vertebrate. This is likely to be the product of an evolutionary process that minimizes the DNA content (mostly through the number of repeats) and maximizes the recombination rate of microchromosomes. Through this process the properties (GC content, DNA and repeat content, gene density and recombination rate) of microchromosomes and macrochromosomes have diverged to create distinct chromosome types. An ancestral genome for birds likely had a small genome, low in repeats and a karyotype with microchromosomes. A "Fission-Fusion Model" of microchromosome evolution based on chromosome rearrangement and minimization of repeat content is discussed. Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

  16. Pscroph, a parasitic plant EST database enriched for parasite associated transcripts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomilov Alexey A

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parasitic plants in the Orobanchaceae develop invasive root haustoria upon contact with host roots or root factors. The development of haustoria can be visually monitored and is rapid, highly synchronous, and strongly dependent on host factor exposure; therefore it provides a tractable system for studying chemical communications between roots of different plants. Description Triphysaria is a facultative parasitic plant that initiates haustorium development within minutes after contact with host plant roots, root exudates, or purified haustorium-inducing phenolics. In order to identify genes associated with host root identification and early haustorium development, we sequenced suppression subtractive libraries (SSH enriched for transcripts regulated in Triphysaria roots within five hours of exposure to Arabidopsis roots or the purified haustorium-inducing factor 2,6 dimethoxybenzoquinone. The sequences of over nine thousand ESTs from three SSH libraries and their subsequent assemblies are available at the Pscroph database http://pscroph.ucdavis.edu. The web site also provides BLAST functions and allows keyword searches of functional annotations. Conclusion Libraries prepared from Triphysaria roots treated with host roots or haustorium inducing factors were enriched for transcripts predicted to function in stress responses, electron transport or protein metabolism. In addition to parasitic plant investigations, the Pscroph database provides a useful resource for investigations in rhizosphere interactions, chemical signaling between organisms, and plant development and evolution.

  17. Parasite communities: patterns and processes

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Esch, Gerald W; Bush, Albert O; Aho, John M

    1990-01-01

    .... Taking examples from many hosts including molluscs, marine and freshwater fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, this book shows how parasitic communities are influenced by a multitude...

  18. Ribosomal RNA gene functioning in avian oogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koshel, Elena; Galkina, Svetlana; Saifitdinova, Alsu; Dyomin, Alexandr; Deryusheva, Svetlana; Gaginskaya, Elena

    2016-12-01

    Despite long-term exploration into ribosomal RNA gene functioning during the oogenesis of various organisms, many intriguing problems remain unsolved. In this review, we describe nucleolus organizer region (NOR) activity in avian oocytes. Whereas oocytes from an adult avian ovary never reveal the formation of the nucleolus in the germinal vesicle (GV), an ovary from juvenile birds possesses both nucleolus-containing and non-nucleolus-containing oocytes. The evolutionary diversity of oocyte NOR functioning and the potential non-rRNA-related functions of the nucleolus in oocytes are also discussed.

  19. Cytoplasmic free Ca2+ is essential for multiple steps in malaria parasite egress from infected erythrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glushakova Svetlana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Egress of Plasmodium falciparum, from erythrocytes at the end of its asexual cycle and subsequent parasite invasion into new host cells, is responsible for parasite dissemination in the human body. The egress pathway is emerging as a coordinated multistep programme that extends in time for tens of minutes, ending with rapid parasite extrusion from erythrocytes. While the Ca2+ regulation of the invasion of P. falciparum in erythrocytes is well established, the role of Ca2+ in parasite egress is poorly understood. This study analysed the involvement of cytoplasmic free Ca2+ in infected erythrocytes during the multistep egress programme of malaria parasites. Methods Live-cell fluorescence microscopy was used to image parasite egress from infected erythrocytes, assessing the effect of drugs modulating Ca2+ homeostasis on the egress programme. Results A steady increase in cytoplasmic free Ca2+ is found to precede parasite egress. This increase is independent of extracellular Ca2+ for at least the last two hours of the cycle, but is dependent upon Ca2+ release from internal stores. Intracellular BAPTA chelation of Ca2+ within the last 45 minutes of the cycle inhibits egress prior to parasitophorous vacuole swelling and erythrocyte membrane poration, two characteristic morphological transformations preceding parasite egress. Inhibitors of the parasite endoplasmic reticulum (ER Ca2+-ATPase accelerate parasite egress, indicating that Ca2+ stores within the ER are sufficient in supporting egress. Markedly accelerated egress of apparently viable parasites was achieved in mature schizonts using Ca2+ ionophore A23187. Ionophore treatment overcomes the BAPTA-induced block of parasite egress, confirming that free Ca2+ is essential in egress initiation. Ionophore treatment of immature schizonts had an adverse effect inducing parasitophorous vacuole swelling and killing the parasites within the host cell. Conclusions The parasite egress

  20. Invasive amebiasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grecu, F; Bulgariu, Teodora; Blanaru, Oana; Dragomir, C; Lunca, Claudia; Stratan, I; Manciuc, Carmen; Luca, V

    2006-01-01

    Digestive amoebiasis with his invasive form is an unusual pathology encountered in the temperate zone. This could lead to a life threatening complication: systemic amoebiasis. A 55-year-old male was treated successfully of systemic amoebiasis in a third referral hospital. The diagnosis was established based on epidemiology data and microscopical identification of trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica. The amoebicidal, antibiotic and supportive treatments was firstly administrated. The clinical picture of intestinal amoebiasis raised from dysenteric syndrome to necrotizing enteritis. The bowel perforation with localized peritonitis was followed by chronic enteric fistula. Amoebic liver abscess, as the most frequent extraintestinal complication, was concomitantly diagnosed and treated. Urinary amoebiasis was considered as complication in the context of systemic dissemination: any other location could become a site of an amoebic abscess. Multidisciplinary approach was the successful key in the management of the patient, including antiparasitic therapy and antibiotic prophylaxis, intensive care and multiple surgical approaches. The diagnosis of digestive amoebiasis and systemic complication may be delayed in nonendemic areas, leading to advanced and complicated stages of the disease. The surgical approach is most efficiently to treat a large liver amoebic abscess and intraperitoneal collections.

  1. Coupled range dynamics of brood parasites and their hosts responding to climate and vegetation changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Péron, Guillaume; Altwegg, Res; Jamie, Gabriel A; Spottiswoode, Claire N

    2016-09-01

    As populations shift their ranges in response to global change, local species assemblages can change, setting the stage for new ecological interactions, community equilibria and evolutionary responses. Here, we focus on the range dynamics of four avian brood parasite species and their hosts in southern Africa, in a context of bush encroachment (increase in woody vegetation density in places previously occupied by savanna-grassland mosaics) favouring some species at the expense of others. We first tested whether hosts and parasites constrained each other's ability to expand or maintain their ranges. Secondly, we investigated whether range shifts represented an opportunity for new host-parasite and parasite-parasite interactions. We used multispecies dynamic occupancy models with interactions, fitted to citizen science data, to estimate the contribution of interspecific interactions to range shifts and to quantify the change in species co-occurrence probability over a 25-year period. Parasites were able to track their hosts' range shifts. We detected no deleterious effect of the parasites' presence on either the local population viability of host species or the hosts' ability to colonize newly suitable areas. In the recently diversified indigobird radiation (Vidua spp.), following bush encroachment, the new assemblages presented more potential opportunities for speciation via host switch, but also more potential for hybridization between extant lineages, also via host switch. Multispecies dynamic occupancy models with interactions brought new insights into the feedbacks between range shifts, biotic interactions and local demography: brood parasitism had little detected impact on extinction or colonization processes, but inversely the latter processes affected biotic interactions via the modification of co-occurrence patterns. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  2. Horizontal gene transfer of epigenetic machinery and evolution of parasitism in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishore, Sandeep P; Stiller, John W; Deitsch, Kirk W

    2013-02-11

    The acquisition of complex transcriptional regulatory abilities and epigenetic machinery facilitated the transition of the ancestor of apicomplexans from a free-living organism to an obligate parasite. The ability to control sophisticated gene expression patterns enabled these ancient organisms to evolve several differentiated forms, invade multiple hosts and evade host immunity. How these abilities were acquired remains an outstanding question in protistan biology. In this work, we study SET domain bearing genes that are implicated in mediating immune evasion, invasion and cytoadhesion pathways of modern apicomplexans, including malaria parasites. We provide the first conclusive evidence of a horizontal gene transfer of a Histone H4 Lysine 20 (H4K20) modifier, Set8, from an animal host to the ancestor of apicomplexans. Set8 is known to contribute to the coordinated expression of genes involved in immune evasion in modern apicomplexans. We also show the likely transfer of a H3K36 methyltransferase (Ashr3 from plants), possibly derived from algal endosymbionts. These transfers appear to date to the transition from free-living organisms to parasitism and coincide with the proposed horizontal acquisition of cytoadhesion domains, the O-glycosyltransferase that modifies these domains, and the primary family of transcription factors found in apicomplexan parasites. Notably, phylogenetic support for these conclusions is robust and the genes clearly are dissimilar to SET sequences found in the closely related parasite Perkinsus marinus, and in ciliates, the nearest free-living organisms with complete genome sequences available. Animal and plant sources of epigenetic machinery provide new insights into the evolution of parasitism in apicomplexans. Along with the horizontal transfer of cytoadhesive domains, O-linked glycosylation and key transcription factors, the acquisition of SET domain methyltransferases marks a key transitional event in the evolution to parasitism in

  3. Avian malaria Plasmodium relictum in native Hawaiian forest birds: epizootiology and demographic impacts on ‵apapane Himatione sanguinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Carter T.; Samuel, Michael D.

    2010-01-01

    The role of introduced avian malaria Plasmodium relictum in the decline and extinction of native Hawaiian forest birds has become a classic example of the potential effect of invasive diseases on biological diversity of naïve populations. However, empirical evidence describing the impact of avian malaria on fitness of Hawai‵i's endemic forest birds is limited, making it difficult to determine the importance of disease among the suite of potential limiting factors affecting the distribution and abundance of this threatened avifauna. We combined epidemiological force-of-infection with multistate capture––recapture models to evaluate a 7-year longitudinal study of avian malaria in ‵apapane, a relatively common native honeycreeper within mid-elevation Hawaiian forests. We found that malaria transmission was seasonal in this mid-elevation forest; transmission peaked during fall and during some years produced epizootic mortality events. Estimated annual mortality of hatch-year birds typically exceeded 50% and mortality of adults exceeded 25% during epizootics. The substantial impact of avian malaria on this relatively common native species demonstrates the key role this disease has played in the decline and extinction of Hawaiian forest birds.

  4. Ecological determinants of avian malaria infections: An integrative analysis at landscape, mosquito and vertebrate community levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraguti, Martina; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Bensch, Staffan; Roiz, David; Ruiz, Santigo; Viana, Duarte S; Soriguer, Ramón C; Figuerola, Jordi

    2018-03-01

    Vector and host communities, as well as habitat characteristics, may have important but different impacts on the prevalence, richness and evenness of vector-borne parasites. We investigated the relative importance of (1) the mosquito community composition, (2) the vertebrate community composition and (3) landscape characteristics on the prevalence, richness and evenness of avian Plasmodium. We hypothesized that parasite prevalence will be more affected by vector-related parameters, while host parameters should be also important to explain Plasmodium richness and evenness. We sampled 2,588 wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and 340,829 mosquitoes, and we performed vertebrate censuses at 45 localities in the Southwest of Spain. These localities included urban, rural and natural landscapes that were characterized by several habitat variables. Twelve Plasmodium lineages were identified in house sparrows corresponding to three major clades. Variation partitioning showed that landscape characteristics explained the highest fraction of variation in all response variables (21.0%-44.8%). Plasmodium prevalence was in addition explained by vector-related variables (5.4%) and its interaction with landscape (10.2%). Parasite richness and evenness were mostly explained by vertebrate community-related variables. The structuring role of landscape characteristics in vector and host communities was a key factor in determining parasite prevalence, richness and evenness, although the role of each factor differed according to the parasite parameters studied. These results show that the biotic and abiotic contexts are important to explain the transmission dynamics of mosquito-borne pathogens in the wild. © 2018 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2018 British Ecological Society.

  5. Haemoproteus tartakovskyi (Haemoproteidae): Complete sporogony in Culicoides nubeculosus (Ceratopogonidae), with implications for avian haemoproteid experimental research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Žiegytė, Rita; Bernotienė, Rasa; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2016-01-01

    Numerous recent studies have addressed the molecular characterization, distribution and genetic diversity of Haemoproteus spp. (Haemoproteidae). Some species of these blood parasites cause severe disease in birds, and heavy infections are often lethal in biting midges (Ceratopogonidae) and other blood-sucking insects. However, information about the vectors of haemoproteids is scarce. This presents an obstacle for better understanding the mechanisms of host-parasite interactions and the epidemiology of haemoproteosis. Here we investigated the sporogonic development of Haemoproteus tartakovskyi, a widespread bird parasite, in experimentally infected biting midges, Culicoides nubeculosus. These biting midges are widespread in the Europe. The insects were cultivated under laboratory conditions. Unfed females were allowed to take blood meals on wild caught siskins Carduelis spinus naturally infected with H. tartakovskyi (lineage hSISKIN1). Engorged females were maintained at 22-23 °C, dissected at intervals, and examined for sporogonic stages. Mature ookinetes of H. tartakovskyi were seen in the midgut content between 6 and 48 h post infection, oocysts were observed in the midgut wall 3-4 days post infection (dpi). Sporozoites were first reported in the salivary gland preparations 7 dpi. In accordance with microscopy data, polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing confirmed presence of the corresponding parasite lineage in experimentally infected biting midges. This study indicates that C. nubeculosus willingly takes blood meals on birds and is a vector of H. tartakovskyi. These biting midges are readily amenable to cultivation under laboratory conditions. Culicoides nubeculosus transmits Haemoproteus parasites infecting parrots, owls and siskins, birds belonging to different families and orders. Thus, this vector provides a convenient model for experimental research with avian haemoproteids. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Temporal and spatial variation in prevalence of the parasite Syngamus trachea in a metapopulation of house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holand, Håkon; Jensen, Henrik; Tufto, Jarle; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; Ringsby, Thor Harald

    2013-09-01

    When investigating parasite-host dynamics in wild populations, a fundamental parameter to investigate is prevalence. This quantifies the percentage of individuals infected in the population. Investigating how prevalence changes over time and space can reveal interesting aspects in the parasite-host relationship in natural populations. We investigated the dynamic between a common avian parasite (Syngamus trachea) in a host metapopulation of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) on the coast of Helgeland in northern Norway. We found that parasite prevalence varied in both time and space. In addition, the parasite prevalence was found to be different between demographic groups in the local populations. Our results reveal just how complex the dynamic between a host and its parasite may become in a fragmented landscape. Although temperature may be an important factor, the specific mechanisms causing this complexity are not fully understood, but need to be further examined to understand how parasite-host interactions may affect the ecological and evolutionary dynamics and viability of host populations.

  7. Extracellular vesicles in parasitic diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Marcilla

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Parasitic diseases affect billions of people and are considered a major public health issue. Close to 400 species are estimated to parasitize humans, of which around 90 are responsible for great clinical burden and mortality rates. Unfortunately, they are largely neglected as they are mainly endemic to poor regions. Of relevance to this review, there is accumulating evidence of the release of extracellular vesicles (EVs in parasitic diseases, acting both in parasite–parasite inter-communication as well as in parasite–host interactions. EVs participate in the dissemination of the pathogen and play a role in the regulation of the host immune systems. Production of EVs from parasites or parasitized cells has been described for a number of parasitic infections. In this review, we provide the most relevant findings of the involvement of EVs in intercellular communication, modulation of immune responses, involvement in pathology, and their potential as new diagnostic tools and therapeutic agents in some of the major human parasitic pathogens.

  8. Repetitive elements in parasitic protozoa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clayton Christine

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A recent paper published in BMC Genomics suggests that retrotransposition may be active in the human gut parasite Entamoeba histolytica. This adds to our knowledge of the various types of repetitive elements in parasitic protists and the potential influence of such elements on pathogenicity. See research article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/11/321

  9. Effects of drought on avian community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas P. Albright; Anna M. Pidgeon; Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Murray K. Clayton; Curtis H. Flather; Patrick D. Culbert; Brian D. Wardlow; Volker C. Radeloff

    2010-01-01

    Droughts are expected to become more frequent under global climate change. Avifauna depend on precipitation for hydration, cover, and food. While there are indications that avian communities respond negatively to drought, little is known about the response of birds with differing functional and behavioural traits, what time periods and indicators of drought are most...

  10. Serological diagnosis of avian influenza in poultry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Comin, Arianna; Toft, Nils; Stegeman, Arjan

    2013-01-01

    Background The serological diagnosis of avian influenza (AI) can be performed using different methods, yet the haemagglutination inhibition (HI) test is considered the gold standard' for AI antibody subtyping. Although alternative diagnostic assays have been developed, in most cases, their accuracy...

  11. New Avian Hepadnavirus in Palaeognathous Bird, Germany

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jo, Wendy K; Pfankuche, Vanessa M; Petersen, Henning; Frei, Samuel; Kummrow, Maya; Lorenzen, Stephan; Ludlow, Martin; Metzger, Julia; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Osterhaus, Albert; van der Vries, Erhard

    2017-01-01

    In 2015, we identified an avian hepatitis B virus associated with hepatitis in a group of captive elegant-crested tinamous (Eudromia elegans) in Germany. The full-length genome of this virus shares <76% sequence identity with other avihepadnaviruses. The virus may therefore be considered a new

  12. Avian Disease & Oncology Lab (ADOL) Research Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Employing Genomics, Epigenetics, and Immunogenetics to Control Diseases Induced by Avian Tumor Viruses - Gene expression is a major factor accounting for phenotypic variation. Taking advantage of allele-specific expression (ASE) screens, we found the use of genetic markers was superior to traditiona...

  13. Viral vectors for avian influenza vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prior to 2003, vaccines against avian influenza (AI) had limited, individual country or regional use in poultry. In late 2003, H5N1 high pathogenicity (HP) AI spread from China to multiple Southeast Asian countries, and to Europe during 2005 and Africa during 2006, challenging governments and all p...

  14. the Avian Park Service Learning Centre story

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) opened in 2001, followed 10 years later by the establishment of the Ukwanda Rural Clinical School in one of the rural health districts of the Western Cape. This paper relates the journey of the Faculty with the underserviced community of Avian Park through the provision of ...

  15. Presumptive diagnosis of Avian encephalomyelitis in Japanese ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A report of Avian encephalomyelitis outbreak in two flocks of adult Japanese quail is presented. High mortalities, tremor, ataxia and lateral recumbency were the prominent clinical signs observed. Absence of gross pathology and microscopic lesions of gliosis, neuronal degeneration, meningitis, congested blood vessel with ...

  16. The genetics and evolution of avian migration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pulido, F.

    2007-01-01

    One of the characteristics of avian migration is its variability within and among species. Variation in migratory behavior, and in physiological and morphological adaptations to migration, is to a large extent due to genetic differences. Comparative studies suggest that migratory behavior has

  17. Solar activity affects avian timing of reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, M.E.; Sanz, J.J.

    2009-01-01

    Avian timing of reproduction is strongly affected by ambient temperature. Here we show that there is an additional effect of sunspots on laying date, from five long-term population studies of great and blue tits (Parus major and Cyanistes caeruleus), demonstrating for the first time that solar

  18. Vocal communication in an avian hybrid zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartog, Paula Maria den

    2008-01-01

    Avian vocalizations function in mate attraction and territorial defence. Vocalizations can act as behavioural barriers and play an important role in speciation processes. Hybrid zones illustrate behavioural barriers are not always impermeable and provide a natural laboratory to examine the role of

  19. Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oskam, Charlotte L; Haile, James Seymour; McLay, Emma

    2010-01-01

    Owing to exceptional biomolecule preservation, fossil avian eggshell has been used extensively in geochronology and palaeodietary studies. Here, we show, to our knowledge, for the first time that fossil eggshell is a previously unrecognized source of ancient DNA (aDNA). We describe the successful...

  20. Measuring Steroid Hormones in Avian Eggs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engelhardt, Nikolaus von; Groothuis, Ton G.G.

    2005-01-01

    Avian eggs contain substantial levels of various hormones of maternal origin and have recently received a lot of interest, mainly from behavioral ecologists. These studies strongly depend on the measurement of egg hormone levels, but the method of measuring these levels has received little

  1. Measuring steroid hormones in avian eggs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Von Engelhardt, Nikolaus; Groothuis, Ton G. G.; Bauchinger, U; Goymann, W; JenniEiermann, S

    2005-01-01

    Avian eggs contain substantial levels of various hormones of maternal origin and have recently received a lot of interest, mainly from behavioral ecologists. These studies strongly depend on the measurement of egg hormone levels, but the method of measuring these levels has received little

  2. Genetic diversity, temporal dynamics, and host specificity in blood parasites of passerines in north China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xi; Dong, Lu; Zhang, Chenglin; Zhang, Yanyun

    2015-12-01

    Avian blood parasites have been preliminarily studied in East Asia, but no data are available from long-term monitoring. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence, genetic diversity, and temporal dynamics of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon in two passerine communities (one forest and one urban) in north China from 2008 to 2013, as well as the association between infected lineages and host specificities. Out of 633 birds from 40 species, 157 individuals (24.8 %) were infected; overall prevalence was 26.7 % and 16.8 % in two sites, respectively. The dominant avian blood parasite genus in the forest park changed yearly between Plasmodium and Haemoproteus, while the Leucocytozoon maintained a low infection level. Forty-four haplotypes were identified by sequencing a 432-bp fragment of the cytochrome b (cyt b) gene; more than 70 % were novel (six Plasmodium lineages, 16 Haemoproteus lineages, and nine Leucocytozoon lineages). Based on our data gathered over consecutive years, we found that the highly observed lineages of Haemoproteus showed higher host diversities than those of Plasmodium, and the most infected lineage EMEL01 (100 % identity with SGS1) take on the highest host diversity but low temporal diversity of the two genera, implying that this lineage infected a great diversity of species in certain years, but maintained a lower infection level or even disappeared in other years. The results suggest that genetic diversity of avian blood parasites in East Asia is high and provides scope for further research. In addition, compared with overall analysis, yearly prevalence monitoring is important in uncovering the temporal dynamic and host specificity variations over time.

  3. Parasitic zoonotic diseases in Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nazmiye Altintas

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Zoonoses and zoonotic diseases are becoming more common and they are now receiving increased attention across the world. Zoonotic parasites are found in a wide variety of protozoa, cestodes, nematodes, trematodes and arthropods worldwide and many zoonotic parasites have assumed an important role. The importance of some parasitic zoonoses has increased in recent years due to the fact that they can be agents of opportunistic infections. Although a number of zoonotic parasites are often found and do cause serious illnesses in Turkey, some are more common and these diseases are more important as they cause serious public health problems, such as leishmaniasis, toxoplasmosis, cryptosporidiosis, echinococcosis, trichinellosis and toxocariasis. Information on these zoonotic diseases is provided here as these are the most important zoonotic parasitic diseases in Turkey.

  4. The malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum in the endemic avifauna of eastern Cuba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Letícia; Marra, Peter; Gray, Lindsey; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2017-12-01

    Island populations are vulnerable to introduced pathogens, as evidenced by extinction or population decline of several endemic Hawaiian birds caused by the malaria parasite, Plasmodium relictum (order Haemosporida). We analyzed blood samples from 363 birds caught near Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for the presence of haemosporidian infections. We characterized parasite lineages by determining nucleotide variation of the parasite's mitochondrial cyt b gene. Fifty-nine individuals were infected, and we identified 7 lineages of haemosporidian parasites. Fifty individuals were infected by 6 Haemoproteus sp. lineages, including a newly characterized lineage of Haem. (Parahaemoproteus) sp. CUH01. Nine individuals carried the P. relictum lineage GRW4, including 5 endemic Cuban Grassquits (Tiaris canorus) and 1 migratory Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina). A sequence of the merozoite surface protein gene from one Cuban Grassquit infected with GRW4 matched that of the Hawaiian haplotype Pr9. Our results indicate that resident and migratory Cuban birds are infected with a malaria lineage that has severely affected populations of several endemic Hawaiian birds. We suggest GRW4 may be associated with the lack of several bird species on Cuba that are ubiquitous elsewhere in the West Indies. From the standpoint of avian conservation in the Caribbean Basin, it will be important to determine the distribution of haemosporidian parasites, especially P. relictum GRW4, in Cuba as well as the pathogenicity of this lineage in species that occur and are absent from Cuba. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult brood parasitic bird, and generalized defences in its host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feeney, W E; Troscianko, J; Langmore, N E; Spottiswoode, C N

    2015-07-07

    Mimicry of a harmless model (aggressive mimicry) is used by egg, chick and fledgling brood parasites that resemble the host's own eggs, chicks and fledglings. However, aggressive mimicry may also evolve in adult brood parasites, to avoid attack from hosts and/or manipulate their perception of parasitism risk. We tested the hypothesis that female cuckoo finches (Anomalospiza imberbis) are aggressive mimics of female Euplectes weavers, such as the harmless, abundant and sympatric southern red bishop (Euplectes orix). We show that female cuckoo finch plumage colour and pattern more closely resembled those of Euplectes weavers (putative models) than Vidua finches (closest relatives); that their tawny-flanked prinia (Prinia subflava) hosts were equally aggressive towards female cuckoo finches and southern red bishops, and more aggressive to both than to their male counterparts; and that prinias were equally likely to reject an egg after seeing a female cuckoo finch or bishop, and more likely to do so than after seeing a male bishop near their nest. This is, to our knowledge, the first quantitative evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult bird, and suggests that host-parasite coevolution can select for aggressive mimicry by avian brood parasites, and counter-defences by hosts, at all stages of the reproductive cycle.

  6. Ancient host specificity within a single species of brood parasitic bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spottiswoode, Claire N; Stryjewski, Katherine Faust; Quader, Suhel; Colebrook-Robjent, John F R; Sorenson, Michael D

    2011-10-25

    Parasites that exploit multiple hosts often experience diversifying selection for host-specific adaptations. This can result in multiple strains of host specialists coexisting within a single parasitic species. A long-standing conundrum is how such sympatric host races can be maintained within a single parasitic species in the face of interbreeding among conspecifics specializing on different hosts. Striking examples are seen in certain avian brood parasites such as cuckoos, many of which show host-specific differentiation in traits such as host egg mimicry. Exploiting a Zambian egg collection amassed over several decades and supplemented by recent fieldwork, we show that the brood parasitic Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator exhibits host-specific differentiation in both egg size and egg shape. Genetic analysis of honeyguide eggs and chicks show that two highly divergent mitochondrial DNA lineages are associated with ground- and tree-nesting hosts, respectively, indicating perfect fidelity to two mutually exclusive sets of host species for millions of years. Despite their age and apparent adaptive diversification, however, these ancient lineages are not cryptic species; a complete lack of differentiation in nuclear genes shows that mating between individuals reared by different hosts is sufficiently frequent to prevent speciation. These results indicate that host specificity is maternally inherited, that host-specific adaptation among conspecifics can be maintained without reproductive isolation, and that host specificity can be remarkably ancient in evolutionary terms.

  7. Blood parasites in Owls with conservation implications for the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishak, H.D.; Dumbacher, J.P.; Anderson, N.L.; Keane, J.J.; Valkiunas, G.; Haig, S.M.; Tell, L.A.; Sehgal, R.N.M.

    2008-01-01

    The three subspecies of Spotted Owl (Northern, Strix occidentalis courina; California, S. o. occidentalis; and Mexican, S. o. lucida) are all threatened by habitat loss and range expansion of the Barred Owl (S. varia). An unaddressed threat is whether Barred Owls could be a source of novel strains of disease such as avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) or other blood parasites potentially harmful for Spotted Owls. Although Barred Owls commonly harbor Plasmodium infections, these parasites have not been documented in the Spotted Owl. We screened 111 Spotted Owls, 44 Barred Owls, and 387 owls of nine other species for haemosporidian parasites (Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Haemoproteus spp.). California Spotted Owls had the greatest number of simultaneous multi-species infections (44%). Additionally, sequencing results revealed that the Northern and California Spotted Owl subspecies together had the highest number of Leucocytozoon parasite lineages (n=17) and unique lineages (n=12). This high level of sequence diversity is significant because only one leucocytozoon species (L. danilewskyi) has been accepted as valid among all owls, suggesting that L. danilewskyi is a cryptic species. Furthermore, a Plasmodium parasite was documented in a Northern Spotted Owl for the first time. West Coast Barred Owls had a lower prevalence of infection (15%) when compared to sympatric Spotted Owls (S. o. caurina 52%, S. o. occidentalis 79%) and Barred Owls from the historic range (61%). Consequently, Barred Owls on the West Coast may have a competitive advantage over the potentially immune compromised Spotted Owls. ?? 2008 Ishak et al.

  8. Differences in cap formation between invasive Entamoeba histolytica and non-invasive Entamoeba dispar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chávez-Munguía, Bibiana; Talamás-Rohana, Patricia; Castañón, Guadalupe; Salazar-Villatoro, Lizbeth; Hernández-Ramírez, Verónica; Martínez-Palomo, Adolfo

    2012-07-01

    The rapid redistribution of surface antigen-antibody complexes in trophozoites of the human protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica, in a process known as capping, has been considered as a means of the parasite to evade the host immune response. So far, capping has been documented in the invasive E. histolytica, whereas the mobility of surface components in the non-invasive Entamoeba dispar is not known. E. dispar does not induce liver lesions in rodent experimental models, in contrast to the liver abscesses produced by E. histolytica in the same animal model. We have therefore analyzed the mobility of surface receptors to the lectin concanavalin A and of Rab11, a membrane-associated protein, in both species of Entamoebae by confocal fluorescence microscopy and transmission and scanning electron microscopy. The great majority of E. histolytica trophozoites became morphologically polarized through the formation of well-defined caps at the posterior pole of the parasite. Actin colocalized with the lectin caps. Antibodies against the membrane protein Rab 11 also produced capping. In striking contrast, in E. dispar, the mobility of concanavalin A surface receptors was restricted to the formation of irregular surface patches that did no progress to constitute well-defined caps. Also, anti-Rab 11 antibodies did not result in capping in E. dispar. Whether the failure of E. dispar to efficiently mobilize surface molecules in response to lectin or antibodies as shown in the present results is related to its non-invasive character represents an interesting hypothesis requiring further analysis.

  9. The p38 MAPK inhibitor, SB203580, inhibits cell invasion by Neospora caninum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Xiaoxia; Gong, Pengtao; Li, Guojiang; Zhang, Xichen; Li, Jianhua

    2017-02-01

    The Apicomplexan parasite Neospora caninum is an obligate intracellular parasitic protozoan. It can cause severe diseases in a number of animals throughout the world. Infection with N. caninum leads to abortions in pregnant animals and neuromuscular disorders of newborns which cause great economic losses to animal husbandry. However, the mechanism of cell invasion by N. caninum is still unclear. This paper aims to investigate the impact of SB203580, a p38 MAPK inhibitor, on host cell invasion by N. caninum. The results suggested the presence of putative p38 MAPK homologues in N. caninum, and incubation of N. caninum with SB203580 markedly reduced the tachyzoite motility and microneme exocytosis (NcMIC2, 3, and 6). Furthermore, treatment or pretreatment of MDBK cells with SB203580 effectively reduced cell invasion by N. caninum. Therefore, SB203580 affected both, parasites and host cells, resulting in inhibition of cell invasion by N. caninum.

  10. 4-Bromophenacyl bromide specifically inhibits rhoptry secretion during Toxoplasma invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep Ravindran

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is a eukaryotic parasite of the phylum Apicomplexa that is able to infect a wide variety of host cells. During its active invasion process it secretes proteins from discrete secretory organelles: the micronemes, rhoptries and dense granules. Although a number of rhoptry proteins have been shown to be involved in important interactions with the host cell, very little is known about the mechanism of secretion of any Toxoplasma protein into the host cell. We used a chemical inhibitor of phospholipase A2s, 4-bromophenacyl bromide (4-BPB, to look at the role of such lipases in the secretion of Toxoplasma proteins. We found that 4-BPB was a potent inhibitor of rhoptry secretion in Toxoplasma invasion. This drug specifically blocked rhoptry secretion but not microneme secretion, thus effectively showing that the two processes can be de-coupled. It affected parasite motility and invasion, but not attachment or egress. Using propargyl- or azido-derivatives of the drug (so-called click chemistry derivatives and a series of 4-BPB-resistant mutants, we found that the drug has a very large number of target proteins in the parasite that are involved in at least two key steps: invasion and intracellular growth. This potent compound, the modified "click-chemistry" forms of it, and the resistant mutants should serve as useful tools to further study the processes of Toxoplasma early invasion, in general, and rhoptry secretion, in particular.

  11. How have fisheries affected parasite communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Chelsea L; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2015-01-01

    To understand how fisheries affect parasites, we conducted a meta-analysis of studies that contrasted parasite assemblages in fished and unfished areas. Parasite diversity was lower in hosts from fished areas. Larger hosts had a greater abundance of parasites, suggesting that fishing might reduce the abundance of parasites by selectively removing the largest, most heavily parasitized individuals. After controlling for size, the effect of fishing on parasite abundance varied according to whether the host was fished and the parasite's life cycle. Parasites of unfished hosts were more likely to increase in abundance in response to fishing than were parasites of fished hosts, possibly due to compensatory increases in the abundance of unfished hosts. While complex life cycle parasites tended to decline in abundance in response to fishing, directly transmitted parasites tended to increase. Among complex life cycle parasites, those with fished hosts tended to decline in abundance in response to fishing, while those with unfished hosts tended to increase. However, among directly transmitted parasites, responses did not differ between parasites with and without fished hosts. This work suggests that parasite assemblages are likely to change substantially in composition in increasingly fished ecosystems, and that parasite life history and fishing status of the host are important in predicting the response of individual parasite species or groups to fishing.

  12. Environmental Temperature Affects Prevalence of Blood Parasites of Birds on an Elevation Gradient: Implications for Disease in a Warming Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamora-Vilchis, Itzel; Williams, Stephen E.; Johnson, Christopher N.

    2012-01-01

    Background The rising global temperature is predicted to expand the distribution of vector-borne diseases both in latitude and altitude. Many host communities could be affected by increased prevalence of disease, heightening the risk of extinction for many already threatened species. To understand how host communities could be affected by changing parasite distributions, we need information on the distribution of parasites in relation to variables like temperature and rainfall that are predicted to be affected by climate change. Methodology/Principal Findings We determined relations between prevalence of blood parasites, temperature, and seasonal rainfall in a bird community of the Australian Wet Tropics along an elevation gradient. We used PCR screening to investigate the prevalence and lineage diversity of four genera of blood parasites (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon and Trypanosoma) in 403 birds. The overall prevalence of the four genera of blood parasites was 32.3%, with Haemoproteus the predominant genus. A total of 48 unique lineages were detected. Independent of elevation, parasite prevalence was positively and strongly associated with annual temperature. Parasite prevalence was elevated during the dry season. Conclusions/Significance Low temperatures of the higher elevations can help to reduce both the development of avian haematozoa and the abundance of parasite vectors, and hence parasite prevalence. In contrast, high temperatures of the lowland areas provide an excellent environment for the development and transmission of haematozoa. We showed that rising temperatures are likely to lead to increased prevalence of parasites in birds, and may force shifts of bird distribution to higher elevations. We found that upland tropical areas are currently a low-disease habitat and their conservation should be given high priority in management plans under climate change. PMID:22723966

  13. Environmental temperature affects prevalence of blood parasites of birds on an elevation gradient: implications for disease in a warming climate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itzel Zamora-Vilchis

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The rising global temperature is predicted to expand the distribution of vector-borne diseases both in latitude and altitude. Many host communities could be affected by increased prevalence of disease, heightening the risk of extinction for many already threatened species. To understand how host communities could be affected by changing parasite distributions, we need information on the distribution of parasites in relation to variables like temperature and rainfall that are predicted to be affected by climate change. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We determined relations between prevalence of blood parasites, temperature, and seasonal rainfall in a bird community of the Australian Wet Tropics along an elevation gradient. We used PCR screening to investigate the prevalence and lineage diversity of four genera of blood parasites (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon and Trypanosoma in 403 birds. The overall prevalence of the four genera of blood parasites was 32.3%, with Haemoproteus the predominant genus. A total of 48 unique lineages were detected. Independent of elevation, parasite prevalence was positively and strongly associated with annual temperature. Parasite prevalence was elevated during the dry season. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Low temperatures of the higher elevations can help to reduce both the development of avian haematozoa and the abundance of parasite vectors, and hence parasite prevalence. In contrast, high temperatures of the lowland areas provide an excellent environment for the development and transmission of haematozoa. We showed that rising temperatures are likely to lead to increased prevalence of parasites in birds, and may force shifts of bird distribution to higher elevations. We found that upland tropical areas are currently a low-disease habitat and their conservation should be given high priority in management plans under climate change.

  14. Community ecology of helminth parasitism in an insular passerine avifauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, C L; Crites, J L

    1976-02-01

    Three hundred and thirty specimens of 7 species of passerine birds from South Bass Island, Ottawa County, Ohio, were examined for helminth parasites. The total number of helminth specimens collected was 4,333. Forty-one helminth taxa were identified. Ten species of helminths were identified as having foci of infection on the island. An index of association for these 10 species is presented. The low association revealed between helminth species utilizing common species of intermediate hosts indicated that a single intermediate host specimen is likely to harbor infective stages of only one species of parasitic helminth. An index of similarity is presented to express the species importance relationships of the helminth faunas of the 7 species of birds: red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata), brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), house sparrows (Passer domesticus), starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), and robins (Turdus migratorius). The results reveal that competition between these avian species for invertebrate food resources helps to maximize the transmission of those helminth populations which utilize these same invertebrates as intermediate hosts. The aggregation of birds into mixed feeding flocks insures a heavy loading of the feeding grounds with agents infective for the invertebrate populations.

  15. Cognition and the Brain of Brood Parasitic Cowbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherry, David F; Guigueno, Mélanie F

    2018-02-13

    Cowbirds are brood parasites. Females lay their eggs in the nests of other species which then incubate the cowbird eggs and raise the young cowbirds. Finding and returning to heterospecific nests presents cowbirds with a number of cognitive challenges. In some species, such as brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), females but not males, search for and remember the locations of potential host nests. We describe recent research on sex differences in cognition and the hippocampus associated with this sex difference in search for host nests. Female brown-headed cowbirds perform better than males on some, but not all, tests of spatial memory and females show a pattern of adult hippocampal neurogenesis not found in males or in closely related non-parasitic birds. Because of the apparent specialization of the hippocampus, brown-headed cowbirds may be a good model in which to examine spatial information processing in the avian hippocampus and we also describe recent research on the spatial response properties of brown-headed cowbird hippocampal neurons. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  16. Parasites in algae mass culture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd William Lane

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Parasites are now known to be ubiquitous across biological systems and can play an important role in modulating algal populations. However, there is a lack of extensive information on their role in artificial ecosystems such as algal production ponds and photobioreactors. Parasites have been implicated in the demise of algal blooms. Because individual mass culture systems often tend to be unialgal and a select few algal species are in wide scale application, there is an increased potential for parasites to have a devastating effect on commercial scale monoculture. As commercial algal production continues to expand with a widening variety of applications, including biofuel, food and pharmaceuticals, the parasites associated with algae will become of greater interest and potential economic impact. A number of important algal parasites have been identified in algal mass culture systems in the last few years and this number is sure to grow as the number of commercial algae ventures increases. Here, we review the research that has identified and characterized parasites infecting mass cultivated algae, the techniques being proposed and or developed to control them, and the potential impact of parasites on the future of the algal biomass industry.

  17. Congenital parasitic infections: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlier, Yves; Truyens, Carine; Deloron, Philippe; Peyron, François

    2012-02-01

    This review defines the concepts of maternal-fetal (congenital) and vertical transmissions (mother-to-child) of pathogens and specifies the human parasites susceptible to be congenitally transferred. It highlights the epidemiological features of this transmission mode for the three main congenital parasitic infections due to Toxoplasma gondii, Trypanosoma cruzi and Plasmodium sp. Information on the possible maternal-fetal routes of transmission, the placental responses to infection and timing of parasite transmission are synthesized and compared. The factors susceptible to be involved in parasite transmission and development of congenital parasitic diseases, such as the parasite genotypes, the maternal co-infections and parasitic load, the immunological features of pregnant women and the capacity of some fetuses/neonates to overcome their immunological immaturity to mount an immune response against the transmitted parasites are also discussed and compared. Analysis of clinical data indicates that parasitic congenital infections are often asymptomatic, whereas symptomatic newborns generally display non-specific symptoms. The long-term consequences of congenital infections are also mentioned, such as the imprinting of neonatal immune system and the possible trans-generational transmission. The detection of infection in pregnant women is mainly based on standard serological or parasitological investigations. Amniocentesis and cordocentesis can be used for the detection of some fetal infections. The neonatal infection can be assessed using parasitological, molecular or immunological methods; the place of PCR in such neonatal diagnosis is discussed. When such laboratory diagnosis is not possible at birth or in the first weeks of life, standard serological investigations can also be performed 8-10 months after birth, to avoid detection of maternal transmitted antibodies. The specific aspects of treatment of T. gondii, T. cruzi and Plasmodium congenital infections are

  18. Human parasitic protozoan infection to infertility: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiadeh, Malihe Nourollahpour; Niyyati, Maryam; Fallahi, Shirzad; Rostami, Ali

    2016-02-01

    Protozoan parasitic diseases are endemic in many countries worldwide, especially in developing countries, where infertility is a major burden. It has been reported that such infections may cause infertility through impairment in male and female reproductive systems. We searched Medline, PubMed, and Scopus databases and Google scholar to identify the potentially relevant studies on protozoan parasitic infections and their implications in human and animal model infertility. Literature described that some of the protozoan parasites such as Trichomonas vaginalis may cause deformities of the genital tract, cervical neoplasia, and tubal and atypical pelvic inflammations in women and also non-gonoccocal urethritis, asthenozoospermia, and teratozoospermia in men. Toxopalasma gondii could cause endometritis, impaired folliculogenesis, ovarian and uterine atrophy, adrenal hypertrophy, vasculitis, and cessation of estrus cycling in female and also decrease in semen quality, concentration, and motility in male. Trypanosoma cruzi inhibits cell division in embryos and impairs normal implantation and development of placenta. Decrease in gestation rate, infection of hormone-producing glands, parasite invasion of the placenta, and overproduction of inflammatory cytokines in the oviducts and uterine horns are other possible mechanisms induced by Trypanosoma cruzi to infertility. Plasmodium spp. and Trypanosoma brucei spp. cause damage in pituitary gland, hormonal disorders, and decreased semen quality. Entamoeba histolytica infection leads to pelvic pain, salpingitis, tubo-ovarian abscess, and genital ulcers. Cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis can induce genital lesion, testicular amyloidosis, inflammation of epididymis, prostatitis, and sperm abnormality in human and animals. In addition, some epidemiological studies have reported that rates of protozoan infections in infertile patients are higher than healthy controls. The current review indicates that protozoan parasitic

  19. Monogenean parasites of Lepomis gibbosus Linnaeus introduced into the River Durance, France

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Havlátová, Lucie; Ondračková, Markéta; Přikrylová, I.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 52, č. 4 (2015), s. 323-330 ISSN 0440-6605 R&D Projects: GA ČR GBP505/12/G112 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : non-native fish * invasive species * parasites * sunfish * Monogenea * host introductions Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.602, year: 2015

  20. Deletion of luxS further attenuates the virulence of the avian pathogenic Escherichia coli aroA mutant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xiangan; Bai, Hao; Tu, Jian; Yang, Lijun; Xu, Da; Wang, Shaohui; Qi, Kezong; Fan, Guobo; Zhang, Yuxi; Zuo, Jiakun; Tian, Mingxing; Ding, Chan; Yu, Shengqing

    2015-11-01

    In this study, an aroA-deletion avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) mutant (strain DE17ΔaroA) and aroA and luxS double deletion APEC mutant (strain DE17ΔluxSΔaroA) were constructed from the APEC DE17 strain. The results showed that as compared to DE17ΔaroA, the virulence of DE17ΔluxSΔaroA was further attenuated by 200- and 31.7-fold, respectively, in ducklings based on the 50% lethal dose. The adherence and invasion abilities of DE17ΔluxSΔaroA and DE17ΔaroA were reduced by 36.5%/42.5% and 25.8%/29.3%, respectively, as compared to the wild-type strain DE17 (p avian colibacillosis than DE17ΔaroA. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Nest ecology of blood parasites in the European roller and its ectoparasitic carnid fly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Václav, Radovan; Betáková, Tatiana; Švančarová, Petra; Pérez-Serrano, Jorge; Criado-Fornelio, Ángel; Škorvanová, Lucia; Valera, Francisco

    2016-06-01

    Haemosporidian parasites are considered the most important vector-borne parasites. However, vector identity and ecology is unknown for most such host-vector-parasite systems. In this study, we employ microscopic and molecular analyses to examine haemosporidian prevalence in a migratory, cavity-nesting bird, European roller Coracias garrulus, and its nidicolous blood-feeding ectoparasite Carnus hemapterus. This system is unique in that the ectoparasite is confined to a near-closed environment, in contrast to the free-wandering system of haematophagous dipterans such as mosquitoes. Blood film analysis confirms previous works in that Haemoproteus parasites are widely prevalent in adult rollers and belong to a single species, Haemoproteus coraciae. Leucocytozoon sp. and Trypanosoma sp. also are detected in adult rollers at low intensities with this technique. By means of molecular analysis, we report for the first time Plasmodium sp. presence in C. garrulus. Based on PCR results, Plasmodium parasites are relatively less prevalent than Haemoproteus parasites (20% vs. 31%) in rollers. In contrast, haemosporidian prevalences show the opposite trend for Carnus flies: Plasmodium sp. occurrence (62%) clearly predominates over that of Haemoproteus sp. (5%). A comparison between roller and Carnus samples reveals a significantly higher prevalence of Plasmodium sp. in Carnus samples. Insect survey and phylogenetic analysis suggest Culicoides flies as Haemoproteus sp. vectors, which appear to readily transmit the parasite in southern Spain. This study does not find support for Carnus flies to serve as biological or mechanical vectors of haemosporidians. In spite of this, nidicolous blood-feeding ectoparasites, such as carnid flies, appear as a suitable model for studies on the occurrence and temporal dynamics of avian haemosporidians such as Plasmodium sp. present at low intensities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Extracellular functions of glycolytic enzymes of parasites: unpredicted use of ancient proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Arreaza, Amaranta; Acosta, Hector; Quiñones, Wilfredo; Concepción, Juan Luis; Michels, Paul A M; Avilán, Luisana

    2014-02-01

    In addition of their usual intracellular localization where they are involved in catalyzing reactions of carbohydrate and energy metabolism by glycolysis, multiple studies have shown that glycolytic enzymes of many organisms, but notably pathogens, can also be present extracellularly. In the case of parasitic protists and helminths, they can be found either secreted or attached to the surface of the parasites. At these extracellular localizations, these enzymes have been shown to perform additional, very different so-called "moonlighting" functions, such as acting as ligands for a variety of components of the host. Due to this recognition, different extracellular glycolytic enzymes participate in various important parasite-host interactions such as adherence and invasion of parasites, modulation of the host's immune and haemostatic systems, promotion of angiogenesis, and acquisition of specific nutrients by the parasites. Accordingly, extracellular glycolytic enzymes are important for the invasion of the parasites and their establishment in the host, and in determining their virulence. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Trichobilharzia anseri n. sp. (Schistosomatidae: Digenea), a new visceral species of avian schistosomes isolated from greylag goose (Anser anser L.) in Iceland and France.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jouet, D; Kolářová, L; Patrelle, C; Ferté, H; Skírnisson, K

    2015-08-01

    Parasitological investigations carried out on birds in Iceland and France highlight the presence of four species of avian schistosomes from greylag geese (Anser anser L.): the european nasal species Trichobilharzia regenti and three visceral species, among which an unknown species isolated from blood vessels of the large intestine and liver. Morphological and molecular analyzes of different parasite stages (eggs, adults) revealed new species of Trichobilharzia genus – Trichobilharzia anseri sp. nov. Studies on host-parasite relationship under natural conditions, showed that the life-cycle includes the snail Radix balthica (syn. R. peregra) as intermediate host. The cercariae, already isolated in Iceland from two ponds of the Reykjavik capital area – the Family park and Tjörnin Lake – are the same as those isolated in 1999 by Kolářová et al. during the first study on Icelandic parasitic agents of cercarial dermatitis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. First report of interspecific facultative social parasitism in the paper wasp genus Mischocyttarus Saussure (Hymenoptera, Vespidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago S. Montagna

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available First report of interspecific facultative social parasitism in the paper wasp genus Mischocyttarus Saussure (Hymenoptera, Vespidae. Parasitism of colonies of the social wasp Mischocyttarus cerberus Ducke, 1918 by females of Mischocyttarus consimilis Zikán, 1949 was observed in a rural area of Dourados, state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. In all monitored cases, the invasion occurred in the pre-emergence colony stage, generally by a single female of M. consimilis. The period of establishment of the foreign female in the host colony was marked by antagonistic behaviors between the host female and the invasive. In general, the architecture of the parasitized nest was modified from the typical architecture of the host species nest.

  5. A check list of the helminths of guineafowls (Numididae) and a host list of these parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junker, K; Boomker, J

    2007-12-01

    Published and personal records have been compiled into a reference list of the helminth parasites of guineafowls. Where data on other avian hosts was available these have been included for completeness' sake and to give an indication of host range. The parasite list for the Helmeted guineafowls, Numida meleagris, includes five species of acanthocephalans, all belonging to a single genus, three trematodes belonging to three different genera, 34 cestodes representing 15 genera, and 35 nematodes belonging to 17 genera. The list for the Crested guineafowls, Guttera edouardi, contains a single acanthocephalan together with 10 cestode species belonging to seven genera, and three nematode species belonging to three different genera. Records for two cestode species from genera and two nematode species belonging to a single genus have been found for the guineafowl genus Acryllium. Of the 70 helminths listed for N. meleagris, 29 have been recorded from domestic chickens.

  6. Parasites in pet reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mavri Urška

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Exotic reptiles originating from the wild can be carriers of many different pathogens and some of them can infect humans. Reptiles imported into Slovenia from 2000 to 2005, specimens of native species taken from the wild and captive bred species were investigated. A total of 949 reptiles (55 snakes, 331 lizards and 563 turtles, belonging to 68 different species, were examined for the presence of endoparasites and ectoparasites. Twelve different groups (Nematoda (5, Trematoda (1, Acanthocephala (1, Pentastomida (1 and Protozoa (4 of endoparasites were determined in 26 (47.3% of 55 examined snakes. In snakes two different species of ectoparasites were also found. Among the tested lizards eighteen different groups (Nematoda (8, Cestoda (1, Trematoda (1, Acanthocephala (1, Pentastomida (1 and Protozoa (6 of endoparasites in 252 (76.1% of 331 examined animals were found. One Trombiculid ectoparasite was determined. In 563 of examined turtles eight different groups (Nematoda (4, Cestoda (1, Trematoda (1 and Protozoa (2 of endoparasites were determined in 498 (88.5% animals. In examined turtles three different species of ectoparasites were seen. The established prevalence of various parasites in reptiles used as pet animals indicates the need for examination on specific pathogens prior to introduction to owners.

  7. Parasites in pet reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rataj, Aleksandra Vergles; Lindtner-Knific, Renata; Vlahović, Ksenija; Mavri, Urška; Dovč, Alenka

    2011-05-30

    Exotic reptiles originating from the wild can be carriers of many different pathogens and some of them can infect humans. Reptiles imported into Slovenia from 2000 to 2005, specimens of native species taken from the wild and captive bred species were investigated. A total of 949 reptiles (55 snakes, 331 lizards and 563 turtles), belonging to 68 different species, were examined for the presence of endoparasites and ectoparasites. Twelve different groups (Nematoda (5), Trematoda (1), Acanthocephala (1), Pentastomida (1) and Protozoa (4)) of endoparasites were determined in 26 (47.3%) of 55 examined snakes. In snakes two different species of ectoparasites were also found. Among the tested lizards eighteen different groups (Nematoda (8), Cestoda (1), Trematoda (1), Acanthocephala (1), Pentastomida (1) and Protozoa (6)) of endoparasites in 252 (76.1%) of 331 examined animals were found. One Trombiculid ectoparasite was determined. In 563 of examined turtles eight different groups (Nematoda (4), Cestoda (1), Trematoda (1) and Protozoa (2)) of endoparasites were determined in 498 (88.5%) animals. In examined turtles three different species of ectoparasites were seen. The established prevalence of various parasites in reptiles used as pet animals indicates the need for examination on specific pathogens prior to introduction to owners.

  8. Can lowland dry forests represent a refuge from avian malaria for native Hawaiian birds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker-Mohl, Katherine; Hart, Patrick; Atkinson, Carter T.

    2010-01-01

    Hawaii's native birds have become increasingly threatened over the past century. Introduced mosquito borne diseases such as avian malaria may be responsible for the near absence of endemic Hawaiian forest birds in low-elevation habitats. The recent recognition that some native Hawaiian forest birds may be repopulating moist lowland habitats as a result of evolved resistance to this disease has increased the conservation value of these areas. Here, we investigate whether remnant low elevation dry forests on Hawaii Island provide natural 'refuges' from mosquito-transmitted malaria by nature of their low rainfall and absence of suitable natural sources of water for mosquito breeding. Unlike lowland wet forests where high rates of disease transmission may be selecting for disease resistance, lowland dry forests may provide some refuge for native forest birds without natural resistance to malaria. We mistnetted forest birds in two lowland dry forests and tested all native birds by microscopy and serology for avian malaria caused by the Plasmodium relictum parasite. We also conducted surveys for standing water and mosquito larvae. Overall prevalence of infections with Plasmodium relictum in the Hawaii Amakihi Hemignathus virens virens was 15%. Most infected birds had lowlevel parasitemias, suggesting chronic infections. Although avian malaria is present in these lowland dry forest Amakihi populations, infection rates are significantly lower than in wet forest populations at similar elevations. Sources of breeding mosquitoes in these forests appeared to be largely anthropogenic; thus, there is potential to manage dry forests as mosquito-free habitat for Hawaii Amakihi and other Hawaiian forest birds.

  9. Fibronectin-degrading activity of Trypanosoma cruzi cysteine proteinase plays a role in host cell invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeda, Fernando Yukio; Cortez, Cristian; Izidoro, Mario Augusto; Juliano, Luiz; Yoshida, Nobuko

    2014-12-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease, binds to diverse extracellular matrix proteins. Such an ability prevails in the parasite forms that circulate in the bloodstream and contributes to host cell invasion. Whether this also applies to the insect-stage metacyclic trypomastigotes, the developmental forms that initiate infection in the mammalian host, is not clear. Using T. cruzi CL strain metacyclic forms, we investigated whether fibronectin bound to the parasites and affected target cell invasion. Fibronectin present in cell culture medium bound to metacyclic forms and was digested by cruzipain, the major T. cruzi cysteine proteinase. G strain, with negligible cruzipain activity, displayed a minimal fibronectin-degrading effect. Binding to fibronectin was mediated by gp82, the metacyclic stage-specific surface molecule implicated in parasite internalization. When exogenous fibronectin was present at concentrations higher than cruzipain can properly digest, or fibronectin expression was stimulated by treatment of epithelial HeLa cells with transforming growth factor beta, the parasite invasion was reduced. Treatment of HeLa cells with purified recombinant cruzipain increased parasite internalization, whereas the treatment of parasites with cysteine proteinase inhibitor had the opposite effect. Metacyclic trypomastigote entry into HeLa cells was not affected by anti-β1 integrin antibody but was inhibited by anti-fibronectin antibody. Overall, our results have indicated that the cysteine proteinase of T. cruzi metacyclic forms, through its fibronectin-degrading activity, is implicated in host cell invasion. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  10. Avian Pox Discovered in the Critically Endangered Waved Albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) from the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tompkins, Emily M; Anderson, David J; Pabilonia, Kristy L; Huyvaert, Kathryn P

    2017-10-01

    The Waved Albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) is a critically endangered seabird in a rapidly shrinking population in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. The introduction of novel pathogens and parasites poses a threat to population persistence. Monitoring disease prevalence and guarding against the spread of such agents in endemic taxa are conservation priorities for the Galápagos, where recent increases in the prevalence of avian pox may have contributed to population declines and range contractions in other bird species. During November 2013-January 2014, we identified 14 Waved Albatross nestlings at our study site on Española Island with avian pox-like lesions and clinical signs. Other seabirds, landbirds, and adult Waved Albatrosses were apparently unaffected. Histopathology of tissue samples from five infected nestlings revealed inclusion bodies in all samples, consistent with avipoxvirus infection. We documented higher mortality (6 of 14 nestlings) in affected nestlings than in unaffected young in this small outbreak of avian pox, the first report of its kind in the world's only tropical albatross.

  11. Fauna Europaea: Helminths (Animal Parasitic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gibson, D. I.; Bray, R. A.; Hunt, D.; Georgiev, B. B.; Scholz, Tomáš; Harris, P.D.; Bakke, T.A.; Pomajska, T.; Niewiadomska, K.; Kostadinova, Aneta; Tkach, V.; Bain, O.; Durette-Desset, M.-C.; Gibbons, L.; Moravec, František; Petter, A.; Dimitrova, Z.M.; Buchmann, K.; Valtonen, E. T.; de Jong, Y.

    -, č. 2 (2014), e1060 ISSN 1314-2828 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Acanthocephala * Biodiversity * Biodiversity Informatics * Cestoda * Fauna Europaea * Helminth * Monogenea * Nematoda * Parasite * Taxonomic indexing * Taxonomy * Trematoda * Zoology Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology

  12. Avian brains: Insights from development, behaviors and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Tadashi; Izawa, Ei-Ichi

    2017-05-01

    Birds are an extensively specialized animal group with unique anatomical, physiological and ecological characteristics. Sophisticated social behaviors and remarkable cognitive abilities are present in several avian lineages, driven by their enlarged brains and intricate neural networks. These unique traits could be a result of adaptive evolution under the wide range of environmental constraints; however, the intrinsic mechanisms of avian brain development and evolution remain unclear. Here, we introduce recent findings regarding developmental aspects of avian brain organization and neuronal networks for specific avian behaviors, which provide an insight into the link between the evolution of brain development and complex cognitive functions. © 2017 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  13. Avian use of Norris Hill Wind Resource Area, Montana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harmata, A.; Podruzny, K.; Zelenak, J. [Montana State Univ., Bozeman, MT (United States). Biology Dept.

    1998-07-01

    This document presents results of a study of avian use and mortality in and near a proposed wind resource area in southwestern Montana. Data collected in autumn 1995 through summer 1996 represented preconstruction condition; it was compiled, analyzed, and presented in a format such that comparison with post-construction data would be possible. The primary emphasis of the study was recording avian migration in and near the wind resource area using state-of-the-art marine surveillance radar. Avian use and mortality were investigated during the breeding season by employing traditional avian sampling methods, radiotelemetry, radar, and direct visual observation. 61 figs., 34 tabs.

  14. Avian Circadian Organization: A Chorus of Clocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassone, Vincent M

    2013-01-01

    In birds, biological clock function pervades all aspects of biology, controlling daily changes in sleep: wake, visual function, song, migratory patterns and orientation, as well as seasonal patterns of reproduction, song and migration. The molecular bases for circadian clocks are highly conserved, and it is likely the avian molecular mechanisms are similar to those expressed in mammals, including humans. The central pacemakers in the avian pineal gland, retinae and SCN dynamically interact to maintain stable phase relationships and then influence downstream rhythms through entrainment of peripheral oscillators in the brain controlling behavior and peripheral tissues. Birds represent an excellent model for the role played by biological clocks in human neurobiology; unlike most rodent models, they are diurnal, they exhibit cognitively complex social interactions, and their circadian clocks are more sensitive to the hormone melatonin than are those of nocturnal rodents. PMID:24157655

  15. The Strategy to Survive Primary Malaria Infection: An Experimental Study on Behavioural Changes in Parasitized Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhin, Andrey; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Platonova, Elena; Kobylkov, Dmitry; Vakoliuk, Irina; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2016-01-01

    Avian malaria parasites (Haemosporida, Plasmodium) are of cosmopolitan distribution, and they have a significant impact on vertebrate host fitness. Experimental studies show that high parasitemia often develops during primary malaria infections. However, field studies only occasionally reveal high parasitemia in free-living birds sampled using the traditional methods of mist-netting or trapping, and light chronic infections predominate. The reason for this discrepancy between field observation and experimental data remains insufficiently understood. Since mist-netting is a passive capture method, two main parameters determine its success in sampling infected birds in wildlife, i. e. the presence of parasitized birds at a study site and their mobility. In other words, the trapping probability depends on the survival rate of birds and their locomotor activity during infection. Here we test (1) the mortality rate of wild birds infected with Plasmodium relictum (the lineage pSGS1), (2) the changes in their behaviour during presence of an aerial predator, and (3) the changes in their locomotor activity at the stage of high primary parasitemia.We show that some behavioural features which might affect a bird's survival during a predator attack (time of reaction, speed of flush flight and take off angle) did not change significantly during primary infection. However, the locomotor activity of infected birds was almost halved compared to control (non-infected) birds during the peak of parasitemia. We report (1) the markedly reduced mobility and (2) the 20% mortality rate caused by P. relictum and conclude that these factors are responsible for the underrepresentation of birds in mist nets and traps during the stage of high primary parasitemia in wildlife. This study indicates that the widespread parasite, P. relictum (pSGS1) influences the behaviour of birds during primary parasitemia. Experimental studies combined with field observations are needed to better understand the

  16. The Strategy to Survive Primary Malaria Infection: An Experimental Study on Behavioural Changes in Parasitized Birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrey Mukhin

    Full Text Available Avian malaria parasites (Haemosporida, Plasmodium are of cosmopolitan distribution, and they have a significant impact on vertebrate host fitness. Experimental studies show that high parasitemia often develops during primary malaria infections. However, field studies only occasionally reveal high parasitemia in free-living birds sampled using the traditional methods of mist-netting or trapping, and light chronic infections predominate. The reason for this discrepancy between field observation and experimental data remains insufficiently understood. Since mist-netting is a passive capture method, two main parameters determine its success in sampling infected birds in wildlife, i. e. the presence of parasitized birds at a study site and their mobility. In other words, the trapping probability depends on the survival rate of birds and their locomotor activity during infection. Here we test (1 the mortality rate of wild birds infected with Plasmodium relictum (the lineage pSGS1, (2 the changes in their behaviour during presence of an aerial predator, and (3 the changes in their locomotor activity at the stage of high primary parasitemia.We show that some behavioural features which might affect a bird's survival during a predator attack (time of reaction, speed of flush flight and take off angle did not change significantly during primary infection. However, the locomotor activity of infected birds was almost halved compared to control (non-infected birds during the peak of parasitemia. We report (1 the markedly reduced mobility and (2 the 20% mortality rate caused by P. relictum and conclude that these factors are responsible for the underrepresentation of birds in mist nets and traps during the stage of high primary parasitemia in wildlife. This study indicates that the widespread parasite, P. relictum (pSGS1 influences the behaviour of birds during primary parasitemia. Experimental studies combined with field observations are needed to better

  17. Adaptations in the energy metabolism of parasites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Grinsven, K.W.A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304833436

    2009-01-01

    For this thesis fundamental research was performed on the metabolic adaptations found in parasites. Studying the adaptations in parasite metabolisms leads to a better understanding of parasite bioenergetics and can also result in the identification of new anti-parasitic drug targets. We focussed on

  18. Pronounced and prevalent intersexuality does not impede the ‘Demon Shrimp’ invasion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amaia Green Etxabe

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Crustacean intersexuality is widespread and often linked to infection by sex-distorting parasites. However, unlike vertebrate intersexuality, its association with sexual dysfunction is unclear and remains a matter of debate. The ‘Demon Shrimp,’ Dikerogammarus haemobaphes, an amphipod that has invaded continental waterways, has recently become widespread in Britain. Intersexuality has been noted in D. haemobaphes but not investigated further. We hypothesise that a successful invasive population should not display a high prevalence of intersexuality if this condition represents a truly dysfunctional phenotype. In addition, experiments have indicated that particular parasite burdens in amphipods may facilitate invasions. The rapid and ongoing invasion of British waterways represents an opportunity to determine whether these hypotheses are consistent with field observations. This study investigates the parasites and sexual phenotypes of D. haemobaphes in British waterways, characterising parasite burdens using molecular screening, and makes comparisons with the threatened Gammarus pulex natives. We reveal that invasive and native populations have distinct parasitic profiles, suggesting the loss of G. pulex may have parasite-mediated eco-system impacts. Furthermore, the parasite burdens are consistent with those previously proposed to facilitate biological invasions. Our study also indicates that while no intersexuality occurs in the native G. pulex, approximately 50% of D. haemobaphes males present pronounced intersexuality associated with infection by the microsporidian Dictyocoela berillonum. This unambiguously successful invasive population presents, to our knowledge, the highest reported prevalence of male intersexuality. This is the clearest evidence to date that such intersexuality does not represent a form of debilitating sexual dysfunction that negatively impacts amphipod populations.

  19. Acquired and introduced macroparasites of the invasive Cuban treefrog, Osteopilus septentrionalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Ortega

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Because shifts in host–parasite relationships can alter host populations, attention should be given to the parasites that introduced species take with them or acquire in their introduced range. The Cuban treefrog, Osteopilus septentrionalis, is a successful invasive species in Florida with its parasites in the native range being well-documented, but there is a void in the literature regarding what parasites were lost or introduced in its expansion. We necropsied 330 O. septentrionalis from Tampa, FL and compared their macroparasites to those of O. septentrionalis in their native range and to the parasites of anurans native to the Tampa, FL area to determine the species O. septentrionalis likely introduced or acquired in Florida. At least nine parasite species (Aplectana sp., Oswaldocruzia lenteixeirai, Cylindrotaenia americana, Physaloptera sp., Rhabdias sp., Centrorhynchus sp., unidentified trematode metacercariae, unidentified larval acuariids, and unidentified pentastomids were isolated. We found no differences in parasite communities of adult male and female frogs, which averaged 19.36 parasite individuals and 1.39 parasite species per adult frog, and had an overall prevalence of 77.52%. Acuariid larvae were likely acquired by O. septentrionalis in FL because they are not found in their native range. O. lenteixeirai was likely introduced because it is commonly reported in O. septentrionalis' native range but has never been reported in FL-native anurans. Aplectana sp. is also likely introduced because it has been reported in several anurans in Cuba but only reported once in Florida. O. septentrionalis tended to harbor fewer of its native parasites in the introduced range, which is consistent with the enemy release hypothesis and potentially creates an immunological advantage for this invasive host. Because native populations can be threatened by introduced parasites, there is a need to further explore the frequency and rate at which

  20. Entamoeba histolytica: Host parasite interactions at the colonic epithelium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornick, Steve; Chadee, Kris

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Entamoeba histolytica (Eh) is the protozoan parasite responsible for intestinal amebiasis and interacts dynamically with the host intestinal epithelium during disease pathogenesis. A multifaceted pathogenesis profile accounts for why 90% of individuals infected with Eh are largely asymptomatic. For 100 millions individuals that are infected each year, key interactions within the intestinal mucosa dictate disease susceptibility. The ability for Eh to induce amebic colitis and disseminate into extraintestinal organs depends on the parasite competing with indigenous bacteria and overcoming the mucus barrier, binding to host cells inducing their cell death, invasion through the mucosa and outsmarting the immune system. In this review we summarize how Eh interacts with the intestinal epithelium and subverts host defense mechanisms in disease pathogenesis. PMID:28452682

  1. Avian Radar - Is It Worth the Cost?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-01

    DC: The Federal Aviation Administration, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service , Wildlife...Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services. York, D. L., Engeman, R. M., Cummings, J. L., Rossi, C. L., & Sinnett, D. R... Health Inspection Service , Wildlife Services. DOT/FAA/AR-09/61. (2010). Deployments of Avian Radars at Civil Airports. Springfield: National

  2. Avian influenza in birds and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardona, Carol J; Xing, Zheng; Sandrock, Christian E; Davis, Cristina E

    2009-07-01

    The disease syndromes caused by avian influenza viruses are highly variable depending on the host species infected, its susceptibility and response to infection and the virulence of the infecting viral strain. Although avian influenza viruses have a broad host range in general, it is rare for an individual strain or subtype to infect more than one species. The H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) lineages of viruses that descended from A/goose/Guandong/96 (H5N1 HPAIV) are unusual in the diversity of species they have infected worldwide. Although the species affected by H5N1 HPAI in the field and those that have been experimentally studied are diverse, their associated disease syndromes are remarkably similar across species. In some species, multi-organ failure and death are rapid and no signs of the disease are observed. Most prominently in this category are chickens and other avian species of the order Galliformes. In other species, neurologic signs develop resulting in the death of the host. This is what has been reported in domestic cats (Carnivora), geese (Anseriformes), ratites (Struthioniformes), pigeons inoculated with high doses (Columbiformes) and ducks infected with H5N1 HPAIV isolated since 2002 (Anseriformes). In some other species, the disease is more prolonged and although multi-organ failure and death are the eventual outcomes, the signs of disease are more extensive. Predominantly, these species include humans (Primates) and the laboratory models of human disease, the ferret (Carnivora), mouse (Rodentia) and cynamologous macaques (Primates). Finally, some species are more resistant to infection with H5N1 HPAIV and show few or no signs of disease. These species include pigeons in some studies (Columbiformes), ducks inoculated with pre-2002 isolates (Anseriformes), and pigs (Artiodactyla).

  3. Integration and Validation of Avian Radars (IVAR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-01

    shape, density, gender ) is problematic; • Not suited to high-clutter environments (e.g., in forests, near buildings); • Health & safety issues...Fuca and the Saratoga Passage and within the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, NAS Whidbey Island offers high quality year round training...was to demonstrate that the digital avian radars being evaluated by the IVAR project can automatically discriminate the echoes of moving targets

  4. Parasitic worms and inflammatory disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Anne

    2012-07-01

    Parasitic worms have evolved strategies to manipulate the host immune system, some of which may lead to a reduction in inflammation. Characterisation of the ways in which these organisms mediate an anti-inflammatory response and identification of parasite-derived molecules involved in immune modulation paves the way to novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of inflammatory disease. This review highlights recent findings in this field of research in the context of a broader overview. Some parasites and parasite derived products inhibit inflammatory responses through effects on both the innate and adaptive immune response. Considerable progress has been made in identifying parasite derived molecules, the ways in which they interact with the immune system and how they mediate immunomodulation. There is great interest in the potential usefulness of parasite-mediated immunomodulation for the treatment and prevention of a range of inflammatory disorders. Much remains to be resolved regarding characterisation of potential helminth-derived biomodulators, timing and dose of exposure to the agents as well as characterisation of the modes of action so that synthetic analogues that mimic the effects can be generated.

  5. Parasitic Pneumonia and Lung Involvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Attapon Cheepsattayakorn

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Parasitic infestations demonstrated a decline in the past decade as a result of better hygiene practices and improved socioeconomic conditions. Nevertheless, global immigration, increased numbers of the immunocompromised people, international traveling, global warming, and rapid urbanization of the cities have increased the susceptibility of the world population to parasitic diseases. A number of new human parasites, such as Plasmodium knowlesi, in addition to many potential parasites, have urged the interest of scientific community. A broad spectrum of protozoal parasites frequently affects the respiratory system, particularly the lungs. The diagnosis of parasitic diseases of airway is challenging due to their wide varieties of clinical and roentgenographic presentations. So detailed interrogations of travel history to endemic areas are critical for clinicians or pulmonologists to manage this entity. The migrating adult worms can cause mechanical airway obstruction, while the larvae can cause airway inflammation. This paper provides a comprehensive review of both protozoal and helminthic infestations that affect the airway system, particularly the lungs, including clinical and roentgenographic presentations, diagnostic tests, and therapeutic approaches.

  6. Endoparasite infection has both short- and long-term negative effects on reproductive success of female house sparrows, as revealed by faecal parasitic egg counts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holand, Håkon; Jensen, Henrik; Tufto, Jarle; Pärn, Henrik; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; Ringsby, Thor Harald

    2015-01-01

    Parasites have the potential to severely reduce host reproductive success. However, the effects of endoparasites on reproductive success have not received the same amount of attention as the effects of parasites on host survival. We investigated the relationship between an avian endoparasite (gapeworm, Syngamus trachea) and both current and future reproductive success of female house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in a population on the coast of Helgeland, northern Norway. We found that the proportion of eggs in a nest that failed to develop into fledglings increased as the faecal parasitic egg count of the mothers increased. We also found that juvenile females with high numbers of parasitic eggs in their faeces had lower lifetime reproductive success as adults. However, we did not find a relationship between maternal parasite infection and clutch size or recruitment rate of offspring. To our knowledge this is the first study to find a relationship between reproductive success of an avian host and faecal egg count of an endoparasite. The present study indicates that infection by an endoparasite may be associated with lower individual reproductive success in both the short-term and long-term in a wild population of hosts.

  7. First evidence for slave rebellion: enslaved ant workers systematically kill the brood of their social parasite protomognathus americanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achenbach, Alexandra; Foitzik, Susanne

    2009-04-01

    During the process of coevolution, social parasites have evolved sophisticated strategies to exploit the brood care behavior of their social hosts. Slave-making ant queens invade host colonies and kill or eject all adult host ants. Host workers, which eclose from the remaining brood, are tricked into caring for the parasite brood. Due to their high prevalence and frequent raids, following which stolen host broods are similarly enslaved, slave-making ants exert substantial selection upon their hosts, leading to the evolution of antiparasite adaptations. However, all host defenses shown to date are active before host workers are parasitized, whereas selection was thought to be unable to act on traits of already enslaved hosts. Yet, here we demonstrate the rebellion of enslaved Temnothorax workers, which kill two-thirds of the female pupae of the slave-making ant Protomognathus americanus. Thereby, slaves decrease the long-term parasite impact on surrounding related host colonies. This novel antiparasite strategy of enslaved workers constitutes a new level in the coevolutionary battle after host colony defense has failed. Our discovery is analogous to recent findings in hosts of avian brood parasites where perfect mimicry of parasite eggs leads to the evolution of chick recognition as a second line of defense.

  8. Tracing the evolution of avian wing digits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xing; Mackem, Susan

    2013-06-17

    It is widely accepted that birds are a subgroup of dinosaurs, but there is an apparent conflict: modern birds have been thought to possess only the middle three fingers (digits II-III-IV) of an idealized five-digit tetrapod hand based on embryological data, but their Mesozoic tetanuran dinosaur ancestors are considered to have the first three digits (I-II-III) based on fossil evidence. How could such an evolutionary quirk arise? Various hypotheses have been proposed to resolve this paradox. Adding to the confusion, some recent developmental studies support a I-II-III designation for avian wing digits whereas some recent paleontological data are consistent with a II-III-IV identification of the Mesozoic tetanuran digits. A comprehensive analysis of both paleontological and developmental data suggests that the evolution of the avian wing digits may have been driven by homeotic transformations of digit identity, which are more likely to have occurred in a partial and piecemeal manner. Additionally, recent genetic studies in mouse models showing plausible mechanisms for central digit loss invite consideration of new alternative possibilities (I-II-IV or I-III-IV) for the homologies of avian wing digits. While much progress has been made, some advances point to the complexity of the problem and a final resolution to this ongoing debate demands additional work from both paleontological and developmental perspectives, which will surely yield new insights on mechanisms of evolutionary adaptation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Avian cytokines in health and disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wigley P

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Cytokines are proteins secreted by cells that play an important role in the activation and regulation of other cells and tissues during inflammation and immune responses. Although well described in several mammalian species, the role of cytokines and other related proteins is poorly understood in avian species. Recent advances in avian genetics and immunology have begun to allow the exploration of cytokines in health and disease. Cytokines may be classified in a number of ways, but may be conveniently arranged into four broad groups on the basis of their function. Proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6 and interleukin-1beta play a role in mediating inflammation during disease or injury. Th1 cytokines, including interleukin-12 and interferon-gamma, are involved in the induction of cell-mediated immunity, whereas Th2 cytokines such as interleukin-4 are involved in the induction of humoral immunity. The final group Th3 or Tr cytokines play a role in regulation of immunity. The role of various cytokines in infectious and non-infectious diseases of chickens and turkeys is now being investigated. Although there are only a few reliable ELISAs or bioassays developed for avian cytokines, the use of molecular techniques, and in particular quantitative RT-PCR (Taqman has allowed investigation of cytokine responses in a number of diseases including salmonellosis, coccidiosis and autoimmune thyroiditis. In addition the use of recombinant cytokines as therapeutic agents or as vaccine adjuvants is now being explored.

  10. Collyriclum faba (Digenea: Collyriclidae) in migrant Phylloscopus trochilus (Aves: Sylvidae) in Egypt: the first record of the parasite on the African continent

    OpenAIRE

    RZAD, IZABELLA; RZAD, Izabella; BUSSE, PRZEMYSLAW; BUSSE, Przemysław

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to document the presence of the avian trematode Collyriclum faba in Egypt. During bird migration, parasitological research was carried out along the East European bird migration flyway (Jordan, Palestine, Egypt) in 2012-2014. A total of 1783 birds belonging to 87 species, mainly passerines, were macroscopically examined for the presence of parasites. An adult male individual of the willow warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus, examined in Aswan, southern Egypt, presented 5 ...

  11. Paleoparasitology: the origin of human parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adauto Araujo

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Parasitism is composed by three subsystems: the parasite, the host, and the environment. There are no organisms that cannot be parasitized. The relationship between a parasite and its host species most of the time do not result in damage or disease to the host. However, in a parasitic disease the presence of a given parasite is always necessary, at least in a given moment of the infection. Some parasite species that infect humans were inherited from pre-hominids, and were shared with other phylogenetically close host species, but other parasite species were acquired from the environment as humans evolved. Human migration spread inherited parasites throughout the globe. To recover and trace the origin and evolution of infectious diseases, paleoparasitology was created. Paleoparasitology is the study of parasites in ancient material, which provided new information on the evolution, paleoepidemiology, ecology and phylogenetics of infectious diseases.

  12. Adenovirus-Vectored Vaccine as a Rapid-Response Tool Against Avian Influenza Pandemic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Kampen, K. R.; Tang, D. C.

    2007-01-01

    Influenza viruses in nature undergo genetic mutation and reassortment. Three pandemics of avian influenza in man were recorded in the twentieth century. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses currently in circulation pose a threat for another world-wide pandemic, if they become transmissible from man to man. Manufacturing protective vaccines using current egg-based technology is often difficult due to the virulence of the virus and its adverse effects on the embryonating egg substrate. New technologies allow the creation of safe and protective pandemic influenza vaccines without the need for egg based substrates. These technologies allow new vaccines to be created in less than one month. Manufacturing is in tissue culture, not eggs. Vaccine can be administered to man non-invasively, without adjuvants, eliciting a rapid and protective immune response. Protective immunity against avian influenza (AI) virus was elicited in chickens by single-dose in ovo vaccination with a replication-competent adenovirus (RCA)-free human adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5)-derived vector encoding an H5N9 avian influenza virus hemagglutinin. Vaccinated chickens were protected against both H5N1 and H5N2 HPAI virus challenges. Mass-administration of this bird flu vaccine can be streamlined with available robotic in ovo injectors. Vaccination using this vaccine could protect the the largest host reservoir (chickens) and greatly reduce the exposure of man to avian influenza. In addition, Ad5-vectored vaccines can be produced rapidly and the safety margin of a non-replicating vector is superior to that of a replicating counterpart. Furthermore, this mode of vaccination is compatible with epidemiological surveys of natural AI virus infections. In addition to mass immunization of poultry, both animals and humans have been effectively immunized by intranasal administration of Ad5-vectored influenza vaccines without any appreciable side effects, even in mice and human volunteers with

  13. Ornamental fish goldfish,Carassius auratusand related parasites in three districts of West Bengal, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mukti Chanda

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The lucrative business of ornamental fish culture in West Bengal (Mainly in three districts-Howrah, North and South 24 Parganas are facing loses due to the invasion of different ecto- and endo-parasites. The present study shows that the ornamental fish (Goldfish - Carassius auratus are mainly affected with ecto-parasites like Ichthyophthirius sp., Dactylogyrus sp., Gyrodactylus sp., Argulus sp. and endo-parasites like Procamallanus sp. and Cucullanus sp. The intensity of infection is high in case of Ichthyophthirius sp. and the intensity of the infection is high in summer months when the temperature is high or moderately high. In cooler months the intensity of the infection is lower as because the parasites are unable to breed or scarcity of food particles.

  14. Genome sequencing of chimpanzee malaria parasites reveals possible pathways of adaptation to human hosts

    KAUST Repository

    Otto, Thomas D.

    2014-09-09

    Plasmodium falciparum causes most human malaria deaths, having prehistorically evolved from parasites of African Great Apes. Here we explore the genomic basis of P. falciparum adaptation to human hosts by fully sequencing the genome of the closely related chimpanzee parasite species P. reichenowi, and obtaining partial sequence data from a more distantly related chimpanzee parasite (P. gaboni). The close relationship between P. reichenowi and P. falciparum is emphasized by almost complete conservation of genomic synteny, but against this strikingly conserved background we observe major differences at loci involved in erythrocyte invasion. The organization of most virulence-associated multigene families, including the hypervariable var genes, is broadly conserved, but P. falciparum has a smaller subset of rif and stevor genes whose products are expressed on the infected erythrocyte surface. Genome-wide analysis identifies other loci under recent positive selection, but a limited number of changes at the host–parasite interface may have mediated host switching.

  15. Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) introducing an alien parasite, Camallanus cotti (Nematoda: Camallanidae) to Africa, the first report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavakol, Sareh; Halajian, Ali; Smit, Willem J; Hoffman, Andre; Luus-Powell, Wilmien J

    2017-12-01

    Introduced alien fish species and their associated parasites may result in a serious threat to indigenous biodiversity. Furthermore, this may have negative impacts on cultured fish as well as on native parasitic fauna. In the present study, the invasive Asian nematode, Camallanus cotti Fujita, 1927 (Nematoda: Camallanidae), is reported from the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) for the first time in Africa. This parasite is assumed to be introduced into Africa along with the introduction of exotic poeciliid fishes, which are known to be the most common hosts of C. cotti in ornamental fish industry worldwide.The presence of this parasite in both aquarium-cultured fish as well as fish from natural waterbodies is evidence of the introduction of the alien organisms due to insufficient prophylactic veterinary control during transfer of non-native hosts between countries and the spread of them by the anthropogenic introduction to natural systems.

  16. National invasive species program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anna Rinick

    2007-01-01

    The structure and function of the National Invasive Species Council was presented below. The names and contact information for the USDA Invasive Species coordinators as of February 2006 were presented on the next page.

  17. Biology of a new xenoma-forming gonadotropic microsporidium in the invasive blotchfin dragonet Callionymus filamentosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamant, Arik; Rothman, Shevy B S; Goren, Menachem; Galil, Bella S; Yokes, M Baki; Szitenberg, Amir; Huchon, Dorothée

    2014-04-23

    A gonadotropic microsporidian parasite, Obruspora papernae gen. et sp. nov. (Microsporidia: Enterocytozoonidae), is described from Callionymus filamentosus (Teleostei: Callionymidae) in the Mediterranean Sea. The host, a Red Sea invasive species which entered the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, was first collected in the Levant Basin in 1953, whereas its parasite went unobserved until 2008. Analysis of partial small subunit ribosomal gene sequences (SSU rDNA) placed the new species within the Nucleospora, Desmozoon, and Paranucleospora clade, and as it differs from each of them, it is assigned to a new genus. The development of the parasite is described, and the biological mechanisms underlying this parasite-host system are analyzed. Prevalence of infection approached 80% in female samples throughout most of the year. Males showed no signs of infection, but parasite rDNA was detected in male internal organs. The parasite-induced xenomas progressively occupied and eventually replaced much of the ovary, in some cases producing effective castration. Despite high levels of parasite infection, current trawl fishery statistics indicate that the abundance of Mediterranean populations of the host remains high. The parasite impact on the host population dynamics is unclear. Possible effects of the new microsporidian parasite on the reproductive effort of C. filamentosus and the potential role of another parasite, the ectoparasitic copepod Lernanthropus callionymicola, as an additional host in the life cycle of O. papernae, require further investigation.

  18. Characterisation and Identification of Avian Influenza Virus (AI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dyah Ayu Hewajuli

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Avian Influenza is caused by Influenza A virus which is a member of Orthomyxoviridae family. Influenza A virus is enveloped single stranded RNA with eight-segmented, negative polarity and filament or oval form, 50 – 120 by 200 – 300 nm diameters. Influenza A viruses have been found to infect birds, human, pig, horse and sometimes in the other mammalian such as seal and whale. The viruses are divided into different subtypes based on the antigenic protein which covers the virus surface i.e. Haemaglutinin (HA and Neuraminidase (NA. In addition, the nomenclature of subtype virus is based on HA and NA i.e HxNx, for example H5N1, H9N2 and the others. According to pathogenic, it could be divided into two distinct groups, they are Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI and Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI. The Avian Influenza viruses have been continuously occurred and spread out in some continents such us America, Europe, Africa and Asian countries. The outbreak of Avian Influenza caused high mortality on birds and it has been reported that in human case Avian Influenza subtype H5N1 virus has caused several deaths. To anticipate this condition, an effort to prevent the transmission of Avian Influenza is needed. These strategic attempts include biosecurity, depopulation, vaccination, control of virus movement, monitoring and evaluation. Laboratory diagnostic plays an important role for successful prevention, control and eradication programs of Avian Influenza. Recently, there are two diagnostic methods for Avian Influenza. They are conventional (virological diagnosis and molecular methods. The conventional method is usually used for initial diagnostic of Avian Influenza. The conventional method takes more time and more costly, whereas the molecular method is more effective than conventional method. Based on the available diagnostic technique, basically diagnostic of Avian Influenza is done by serology test, isolation and identification as well

  19. Diagnostic challenges and the unwritten stories of dog and cat parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otranto, Domenico

    2015-08-15

    Is it still possible to discover new parasites of dogs and cats? Do we really know enough about them? To what extent do limitations in the diagnosis of dog and cat parasites represent an obstacle for a deeper understanding of their biology? Diagnosis in parasitology has a profound impact on animal health and welfare and, in some cases, public health. Although, over the last few years, advances in the diagnosis of parasitic diseases have largely paralleled knowledge of their biology, gaps in the diagnosis of cat and dog parasites still exist. For instance, difficulties in obtaining samples for research purposes (due to ethical issues or to the invasive nature of the sampling procedures), inappropriate sample storage and poor sensitivity of the commonly used techniques, may represent major obstacles in diagnosing parasitic diseases. Other hurdles are often associated with the biology of parasites (e.g., the intermittent presence in blood of tick-borne pathogens) or, simply, through the fact that some parasites of pets are largely ignored by the scientific community. This article provides key examples of parasites of dogs and cats, which are currently considered of minor importance, also because of the limitations in their diagnosis. Among them, new or, in some cases, previously "misdiagnosed parasites" with overlapping morphological features, biology or ecology, represent a major challenge when trying to correctly diagnose "unknown parasites" (for which only occasional reports are available). Further research is needed in order to provide the scientific community with more reliable, cost-effective diagnostic tools, which ultimately, will assist our understanding of some mis- or less-diagnosed parasitoses. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Targeting sialic acid dependent and independent pathways of invasion in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosalynn Louise Ord

    Full Text Available The pathology of malaria is a consequence of the parasitaemia which develops through the cyclical asexual replication of parasites in a patient's red blood cells. Multiple parasite ligand-erythrocyte receptor interactions must occur for successful Plasmodium invasion of the human red cell. Two major malaria ligand families have been implicated in these variable ligand-receptor interactions used by Plasmodium falciparum to invade human red cells: the micronemal proteins from the Erythrocyte Binding Ligands (EBL family and the rhoptry proteins from the Reticulocyte binding Homolog (PfRH family. Ligands from the EBL family largely govern the sialic acid (SA dependent pathways of invasion and the RH family ligands (except for RH1 mediate SA independent invasion. In an attempt to dissect out the invasion inhibitory effects of antibodies against ligands from both pathways, we have used EBA-175 and RH5 as model members of each pathway. Mice were immunized with either region II of EBA-175 produced in Pichia pastoris or full-length RH5 produced by the wheat germ cell-free system, or a combination of the two antigens to look for synergistic inhibitory effects of the induced antibodies. Sera obtained from these immunizations were tested for native antigen recognition and for efficacy in invasion inhibition assays. Results obtained show promise for the potential use of such hybrid vaccines to induce antibodies that can block multiple parasite ligand-red cell receptor interactions and thus inhibit parasite invasion.

  1. Microscopy and the helminth parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halton, David W

    2004-01-01

    Microscopy has a long and distinguished history in the study of helminth parasites and has made a singularly outstanding contribution to understanding how these complex animals organise their lives and relate to their hosts. Increasingly, the microscope has been used as a powerful investigative tool in multidisciplinary approaches to parasitological problems, placing emphasis on functional correlates rather than anatomical detail. In doing so, microscopy has also uncovered a number of attributes of parasites that are of wider significance in the field of biology. Parasite surfaces have understandably demanded most of the attention of microscopists, largely as a result of the pioneering studies using transmission electron microscopy. Their findings focused the attention of physiologists and immunologists on the tegument and cuticle of helminths and in doing so helped unravel the complex molecular exchanges that are fundamental to understanding host-parasite interactions. Scanning electron microscopy succeeded in augmenting these data by revealing novel microtopographical features of the host-parasite relationship, as well as proving invaluable in helminth taxonomy and in assessing the efficacy of test substances in drug screens. Control of helminth parasites has never been more critical: problems of drug resistance demand urgent action to identify exploitable targets for new generation anthelmintics. In this regard, the neuropeptide signalling system of helminths is envisioned as central to nerve-muscle function, and thereby a crucial regulatory influence on their motility, alimentation and reproduction. The use of immunocytochemistry interfaced with confocal scanning laser microscopy has not only been instrumental in discovering the peptidergic system of helminths and its potential for chemotherapeutic exploitation, but through increasingly sophisticated bio-imaging technologies has continued to help dissect and analyse the molecular dynamics of this and other

  2. Outbreak of Avian Malaria Associated to Multiple Species of Plasmodium in Magellanic Penguins Undergoing Rehabilitation in Southern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanstreels, Ralph Eric Thijl; Kolesnikovas, Cristiane K. M.; Sandri, Sandro; Silveira, Patrícia; Belo, Nayara O.; Ferreira Junior, Francisco C.; Epiphanio, Sabrina; Steindel, Mário; Braga, Érika M.; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2014-01-01

    Avian malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by Plasmodium spp. Avian plasmodia are recognized conservation-threatening pathogens due to their potential to cause severe epizootics when introduced to bird populations with which they did not co-evolve. Penguins are considered particularly susceptible, as outbreaks in captive populations will often lead to high morbidity and rapid mortality. We used a multidisciplinary approach to investigate an outbreak of avian malaria in 28 Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) at a rehabilitation center during summer 2009 in Florianópolis, Brazil. Hemosporidian infections were identified by microscopic and molecular characterization in 64% (18/28) of the penguins, including Plasmodium (Haemamoeba) tejerai, Plasmodium (Huffia) elongatum, a Plasmodium (Haemamoeba) sp. lineage closely related to Plasmodium cathemerium, and a Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) sp. lineage closely related to Haemoproteus syrnii. P. tejerai played a predominant role in the studied outbreak and was identified in 72% (13/18) of the hemosporidian-infected penguins, and in 89% (8/9) of the penguins that died, suggesting that this is a highly pathogenic parasite for penguins; a detailed description of tissue meronts and lesions is provided. Mixed infections were identified in three penguins, and involved P. elongatum and either P. tejerai or P. (Haemamoeba) sp. that were compatible with P. tejerai but could not be confirmed. In total, 32% (9/28) penguins died over the course of 16 days despite oral treatment with chloroquine followed by sulfadiazine-trimethoprim. Hemosporidian infections were considered likely to have occurred during rehabilitation, probably from mosquitoes infected while feeding on local native birds, whereas penguin-mosquito-penguin transmission may have played a role in later stages of the outbreak. Considering the seasonality of the infection, rehabilitation centers would benefit from narrowing their efforts to prevent avian

  3. Outbreak of avian malaria associated to multiple species of Plasmodium in magellanic penguins undergoing rehabilitation in southern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanstreels, Ralph Eric Thijl; Kolesnikovas, Cristiane K M; Sandri, Sandro; Silveira, Patrícia; Belo, Nayara O; Ferreira Junior, Francisco C; Epiphanio, Sabrina; Steindel, Mário; Braga, Érika M; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2014-01-01

    Avian malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by Plasmodium spp. Avian plasmodia are recognized conservation-threatening pathogens due to their potential to cause severe epizootics when introduced to bird populations with which they did not co-evolve. Penguins are considered particularly susceptible, as outbreaks in captive populations will often lead to high morbidity and rapid mortality. We used a multidisciplinary approach to investigate an outbreak of avian malaria in 28 Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) at a rehabilitation center during summer 2009 in Florianópolis, Brazil. Hemosporidian infections were identified by microscopic and molecular characterization in 64% (18/28) of the penguins, including Plasmodium (Haemamoeba) tejerai, Plasmodium (Huffia) elongatum, a Plasmodium (Haemamoeba) sp. lineage closely related to Plasmodium cathemerium, and a Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) sp. lineage closely related to Haemoproteus syrnii. P. tejerai played a predominant role in the studied outbreak and was identified in 72% (13/18) of the hemosporidian-infected penguins, and in 89% (8/9) of the penguins that died, suggesting that this is a highly pathogenic parasite for penguins; a detailed description of tissue meronts and lesions is provided. Mixed infections were identified in three penguins, and involved P. elongatum and either P. tejerai or P. (Haemamoeba) sp. that were compatible with P. tejerai but could not be confirmed. In total, 32% (9/28) penguins died over the course of 16 days despite oral treatment with chloroquine followed by sulfadiazine-trimethoprim. Hemosporidian infections were considered likely to have occurred during rehabilitation, probably from mosquitoes infected while feeding on local native birds, whereas penguin-mosquito-penguin transmission may have played a role in later stages of the outbreak. Considering the seasonality of the infection, rehabilitation centers would benefit from narrowing their efforts to prevent avian

  4. Outbreak of avian malaria associated to multiple species of Plasmodium in magellanic penguins undergoing rehabilitation in southern Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralph Eric Thijl Vanstreels

    Full Text Available Avian malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by Plasmodium spp. Avian plasmodia are recognized conservation-threatening pathogens due to their potential to cause severe epizootics when introduced to bird populations with which they did not co-evolve. Penguins are considered particularly susceptible, as outbreaks in captive populations will often lead to high morbidity and rapid mortality. We used a multidisciplinary approach to investigate an outbreak of avian malaria in 28 Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus at a rehabilitation center during summer 2009 in Florianópolis, Brazil. Hemosporidian infections were identified by microscopic and molecular characterization in 64% (18/28 of the penguins, including Plasmodium (Haemamoeba tejerai, Plasmodium (Huffia elongatum, a Plasmodium (Haemamoeba sp. lineage closely related to Plasmodium cathemerium, and a Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus sp. lineage closely related to Haemoproteus syrnii. P. tejerai played a predominant role in the studied outbreak and was identified in 72% (13/18 of the hemosporidian-infected penguins, and in 89% (8/9 of the penguins that died, suggesting that this is a highly pathogenic parasite for penguins; a detailed description of tissue meronts and lesions is provided. Mixed infections were identified in three penguins, and involved P. elongatum and either P. tejerai or P. (Haemamoeba sp. that were compatible with P. tejerai but could not be confirmed. In total, 32% (9/28 penguins died over the course of 16 days despite oral treatment with chloroquine followed by sulfadiazine-trimethoprim. Hemosporidian infections were considered likely to have occurred during rehabilitation, probably from mosquitoes infected while feeding on local native birds, whereas penguin-mosquito-penguin transmission may have played a role in later stages of the outbreak. Considering the seasonality of the infection, rehabilitation centers would benefit from narrowing their efforts to

  5. Protease-associated cellular networks in malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilburn Timothy G

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria continues to be one of the most severe global infectious diseases, responsible for 1-2 million deaths yearly. The rapid evolution and spread of drug resistance in parasites has led to an urgent need for the development of novel antimalarial targets. Proteases are a group of enzymes that play essential roles in parasite growth and invasion. The possibility of designing specific inhibitors for proteases makes them promising drug targets. Previously, combining a comparative genomics approach and a machine learning approach, we identified the complement of proteases (degradome in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and its sibling species 123, providing a catalog of targets for functional characterization and rational inhibitor design. Network analysis represents another route to revealing the role of proteins in the biology of parasites and we use this approach here to expand our understanding of the systems involving the proteases of P. falciparum. Results We investigated the roles of proteases in the parasite life cycle by constructing a network using protein-protein association data from the STRING database 4, and analyzing these data, in conjunction with the data from protein-protein interaction assays using the yeast 2-hybrid (Y2H system 5, blood stage microarray experiments 678, proteomics 9101112, literature text mining, and sequence homology analysis. Seventy-seven (77 out of 124 predicted proteases were associated with at least one other protein, constituting 2,431 protein-protein interactions (PPIs. These proteases appear to play diverse roles in metabolism, cell cycle regulation, invasion and infection. Their degrees of connectivity (i.e., connections to other proteins, range from one to 143. The largest protease-associated sub-network is the ubiquitin-proteasome system which is crucial for protein recycling and stress response. Proteases are also implicated in heat shock response, signal peptide

  6. Short-term parasite-infection alters already the biomass, activity and functional diversity of soil microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun-Min; Jin, Ze-Xin; Hagedorn, Frank; Li, Mai-He

    2014-11-01

    Native parasitic plants may be used to infect and control invasive plants. We established microcosms with invasive Mikania micrantha and native Coix lacryma-jobi growing in mixture on native soils, with M. micrantha being infected by parasitic Cuscuta campestris at four intensity levels for seven weeks to estimate the top-down effects of plant parasitism on the biomass and functional diversity of soil microbial communities. Parasitism significantly decreased root biomass and altered soil microbial communities. Soil microbial biomass decreased, but soil respiration increased at the two higher infection levels, indicating a strong stimulation of soil microbial metabolic activity (+180%). Moreover, a Biolog assay showed that the infection resulted in a significant change in the functional diversity indices of soil microbial communities. Pearson correlation analysis indicated that microbial biomass declined significantly with decreasing root biomass, particularly of the invasive M. micrantha. Also, the functional diversity indices of soil microbial communities were positively correlated with soil microbial biomass. Therefore, the negative effects on the biomass, activity and functional diversity of soil microbial community by the seven week long plant parasitism was very likely caused by decreased root biomass and root exudation of the invasive M. micrantha.

  7. Short-term parasite-infection alters already the biomass, activity and functional diversity of soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun-Min; Jin, Ze-Xin; Hagedorn, Frank; Li, Mai-He

    2014-11-04

    Native parasitic plants may be used to infect and control invasive plants. We established microcosms with invasive Mikania micrantha and native Coix lacryma-jobi growing in mixture on native soils, with M. micrantha being infected by parasitic Cuscuta campestris at four intensity levels for seven weeks to estimate the top-down effects of plant parasitism on the biomass and functional diversity of soil microbial communities. Parasitism significantly decreased root biomass and altered soil microbial communities. Soil microbial biomass decreased, but soil respiration increased at the two higher infection levels, indicating a strong stimulation of soil microbial metabolic activity (+180%). Moreover, a Biolog assay showed that the infection resulted in a significant change in the functional diversity indices of soil microbial communities. Pearson correlation analysis indicated that microbial biomass declined significantly with decreasing root biomass, particularly of the invasive M. micrantha. Also, the functional diversity indices of soil microbial communities were positively correlated with soil microbial biomass. Therefore, the negative effects on the biomass, activity and functional diversity of soil microbial community by the seven week long plant parasitism was very likely caused by decreased root biomass and root exudation of the invasive M. micrantha.

  8. Steroid hormone related male biased parasitism in chamois, Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoby, Stefan; Schwarzenberger, Franz; Doherr, Marcus G; Robert, Nadia; Walzer, Christian

    2006-06-15

    Parasites are linked with their host in a trophic interaction with implications for both hosts and parasites. Interaction stretches from the host's immune response to the structuring of communities and the evolution of biodiversity. As in many species sex determines life history strategy, response to parasites may be sex-specific. Males of vertebrate species tend to exhibit higher rates of parasites than females. Sex-associated hormones may influence immunocompetence and are hypothesised to lead to this bias. In a field study, we tested the prediction of male biased parasitism (MBP) in free ranging chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra), which are infested intensely by gastrointestinal and lung helminths. We further investigated sex differences in faecal androgen (testosterone and epiandrosterone), cortisol and oestrogen metabolites using enzyme immunoassays (EIA) to evaluate the impact of these hormones on sex dependent parasite susceptibility. Non-invasive methods were used and the study was conducted throughout a year to detect seasonal patterns. Hormone levels and parasite counts varied significantly throughout the year. Male chamois had a higher output of gastrointestinal eggs and lungworm larvae when compared to females. The hypothesis of MBP originating in sex related hormone levels was confirmed for the elevated output of lungworm larvae, but not for the gastrointestinal nematodes. The faecal output of lungworm larvae was significantly correlated with androgen and cortisol metabolite levels. Our study shows that sex differences in steroid levels play an important role to explain MBP, although they alone cannot fully explain the phenomenon.

  9. Seasonality of helminth infection in wild red deer varies between individuals and between parasite taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albery, Gregory F; Kenyon, Fiona; Morris, Alison; Morris, Sean; Nussey, Daniel H; Pemberton, Josephine M

    2018-03-09

    Parasitism in wild mammals can vary according to myriad intrinsic and extrinsic factors, many of which vary seasonally. However, seasonal variation in parasitism is rarely studied using repeated samples from known individuals. Here we used a wild population of individually recognized red deer (Cervus elaphus) on the Isle of Rum to quantify seasonality and intrinsic factors affecting gastrointestinal helminth parasitism over the course of a year. We collected 1020 non-invasive faecal samples from 328 known individuals which we then analysed for propagules of three helminth taxa: strongyle nematodes, the common liver fluke Fasciola hepatica and the tissue nematode Elaphostrongylus cervi. Zero-inflated Poisson models were used to investigate how season, age and sex were associated with parasite prevalence and count intensity, while Poisson models were used to quantify individual repeatability within and between sampling seasons. Parasite intensity and prevalence varied according to all investigated factors, with opposing seasonality, age profiles and sex biases between parasite taxa. Repeatability was moderate, decreased between seasons and varied between parasites; both F. hepatica and E. cervi showed significant between-season repeatability, while strongyle nematode counts were only repeatable within-season and showed no repeatability within individuals across the year.

  10. Parasitic egg rejection decisions of chalk-browed mockingbirds Mimus saturninus are independent of clutch composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Colina, M A; Pompilio, L; Hauber, M E; Reboreda, J C; Mahler, B

    2018-03-01

    Obligate avian brood parasites lay their eggs in nests of other host species, which assume all the costs of parental care for the foreign eggs and chicks. The most common defensive response to parasitism is the rejection of foreign eggs by hosts. Different cognitive mechanisms and decision-making rules may guide both egg recognition and rejection behaviors. Classical optimization models generally assume that decisions are based on the absolute properties of the options (i.e., absolute valuation). Increasing evidence shows instead that hosts' rejection decisions also depend on the context in which options are presented (i.e., context-dependent valuation). Here we study whether the chalk-browed mockingbird's (Mimus saturninus) rejection of parasitic shiny cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) eggs is a fixed behavior or varies with the context of the clutch. We tested three possible context-dependent mechanisms: (1) range effect, (2) habituation to variation, and (3) sensitization to variation. We found that mockingbird rejection of parasitic eggs does not change according to the characteristics of the other eggs in the nest. Thus, rejection decisions may exclusively depend on the objective characteristics of the eggs, meaning that the threshold of acceptance or rejection of a foreign egg is context-independent in this system.

  11. Spatially variable coevolution between a haemosporidian parasite and the MHC of a widely distributed passerine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Matthew R; Cheviron, Zachary A; Carling, Matthew D

    2015-03-01

    The environment shapes host-parasite interactions, but how environmental variation affects the diversity and composition of parasite-defense genes of hosts is unresolved. In vertebrates, the highly variable major histocompatibility complex (MHC) gene family plays an essential role in the adaptive immune system by recognizing pathogen infection and initiating the cellular immune response. Investigating MHC-parasite associations across heterogeneous landscapes may elucidate the role of spatially fluctuating selection in the maintenance of high levels of genetic variation at the MHC. We studied patterns of association between an avian haemosporidian blood parasite and the MHC of rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) that inhabit environments with widely varying haemosporidian infection prevalence in the Peruvian Andes. MHC diversity peaked in populations with high infection prevalence, although intra-individual MHC diversity was not associated with infection status. MHC nucleotide and protein sequences associated with infection absence tended to be rare, consistent with negative frequency-dependent selection. We found an MHC variant associated with a ∽26% decrease in infection probability at middle elevations (1501-3100 m) where prevalence was highest. Several other variants were associated with a significant increase in infection probability in low haemosporidian prevalence environments, which can be interpreted as susceptibility or quantitative resistance. Our study highlights important challenges in understanding MHC evolution in natural systems, but may point to a role of negative frequency-dependent selection and fluctuating spatial selection in the evolution of Z. capensisMHC.

  12. Ecological and sanitary impacts of bacterial communities associated to biological invasions in African commensal rodent communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diagne, Christophe; Galan, Maxime; Tamisier, Lucie; d'Ambrosio, Jonathan; Dalecky, Ambroise; Bâ, Khalilou; Kane, Mamadou; Niang, Youssoupha; Diallo, Mamoudou; Sow, Aliou; Gauthier, Philippe; Tatard, Caroline; Loiseau, Anne; Piry, Sylvain; Sembène, Mbacké; Cosson, Jean-François; Charbonnel, Nathalie; Brouat, Carine

    2017-11-03

    Changes in host-parasite ecological interactions during biological invasion events may affect both the outcome of invasions and the dynamics of exotic and/or endemic infections. We tested these hypotheses, by investigating ongoing house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) and black rat (Rattus rattus) invasions in Senegal (West Africa). We used a 16S gene rRNA amplicon sequencing approach to study potentially zoonotic bacterial communities in invasive and native rodents sampled along two well-defined independent invasion routes. We found that individual host factors (body mass and sex) were important drivers of these bacterial infections in rodents. We observed that the bacterial communities varied along invasion routes and differed between invasive and native rodents, with native rodents displaying higher overall bacterial diversity than invasive rodents. Differences in prevalence levels for some bacterial Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) provided support for ecological processes connecting parasitism and invasion success. Finally, our results indicated that rodent invasions may lead to the introduction of exotic bacterial genera and/or to changes in the prevalence of endemic ones. This study illustrates the difficulty of predicting the relationship between biodiversity and disease risks, and advocate for public health prevention strategies based on global pathogen surveillance followed by accurate characterization of potential zoonotic agents.

  13. 2 original article non-attenuation of highly pathogenic avian ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr Oboro VO

    Ularamu, H. G1., Ponman, S1 and Nwagbo, I2., 1 FAO Regional Laboratory for Avian Influenza and Newcastle. Disease (West and Central ... Avian influenza H5N1 represents one of the most researched viruses in laboratories world-wide in recent times with regards ..... Cayouette B. Kinetics of ultra- violet light inactivation of.

  14. High prevalence of avian malaria infection to avifauna at Cape ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This investigation was undertaken during January and February 2004, to determine the epidemiological risk of avian malaria infection to seabirds at the proposed marine animal rehabilitation complex, to be sited at Cape Receife. Despite low numbers of mosquitoes trapped, the incidence of avian malaria infections was ...

  15. Genetic differences between avian and human isolates of Candida dubliniensis.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    McManus, Brenda A

    2009-09-01

    When Candida dubliniensis isolates obtained from seabird excrement and from humans in Ireland were compared by using multilocus sequence typing, 13 of 14 avian isolates were genetically distinct from human isolates. The remaining avian isolate was indistinguishable from a human isolate, suggesting that transmission may occur between humans and birds.

  16. Avian fossils from the Early Miocene Moghra Formation of Egypt ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Avian remains from the Early Miocene (~17 Ma) Moghra Formation of Egypt include new records of 'waterbirds' (storks, herons, pelicans and allies) and a ratite. Only a single avian fossil has been previously reported from Wadi Moghra and, thus, additional knowledge of the avifauna complements previously documented ...

  17. Avian influenza, Newcastle and Gumboro disease antibodies and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Studies on avian influenza and Newcastle disease focus on waterfowls, considered natural reservoirs of these viruses. This study surveyed avian influenza (AI), Gumboro and Newcastle disease antibodies and antigens in birds in live wild bird markets (LWBMs), live poultry markets (LPMs) and free flying in Kaduna State ...

  18. Flock-based surveillance for lowpathogenic avian influenza virus in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Flock-based surveillance for lowpathogenic avian influenza virus in commercial breeders and layers, southwest Nigeria. ... African Journal of Infectious Diseases ... Background: Flock surveillance systems for avian influenza (AI) virus play a critical role in countries where vaccination is not practiced so as to establish the ...

  19. Avian nestling predation by endangered Mount Graham red squirrel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claire A. Zugmeyer; John L. Koprowski

    2007-01-01

    Studies using artificial nests or remote cameras have documented avian predation by red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Although several direct observations of avian predation events are known in the northern range of the red squirrel distribution, no accounts have been reported in the southern portion. We observed predation upon a hermit thrush...

  20. 9 CFR 113.208 - Avian Encephalomyelitis Vaccine, Killed Virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ..., Killed Virus. 113.208 Section 113.208 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE VIRUSES, SERUMS, TOXINS, AND ANALOGOUS PRODUCTS; ORGANISMS AND VECTORS STANDARD REQUIREMENTS Killed Virus Vaccines § 113.208 Avian Encephalomyelitis Vaccine, Killed Virus. Avian...

  1. Prevention and Treatment of Avian Influenza A Viruses in People

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... in People Spread of Bird Flu Viruses Between Animals and People Examples of Human Infections with Avian Influenza A ... Influenza A (H5N1) H5N1 in Birds and Other Animals H5N1 in People Public Health Threat of Highly Pathogenic Asian Avian ...

  2. Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... in People Spread of Bird Flu Viruses Between Animals and People Examples of Human Infections with Avian Influenza A ... Influenza A (H5N1) H5N1 in Birds and Other Animals H5N1 in People Public Health Threat of Highly Pathogenic Asian Avian ...

  3. Avian research in the U.S. Forest Service

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beatrice Van Horne

    2005-01-01

    Avian research in the Federal Government is in a crisis. Yes, there is a strong interest in avian research, as evidenced by the size and level of interest in this conference. But political parties increasingly see wildlife research as expendable. At the same time, the reaction to environment-friendly legislation of the 1970s and 1980s has been strong from both sides....

  4. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of avian interleukin-19

    Science.gov (United States)

    The present study describes the cloning and functional characterization of avian interleukin (IL)-19, a cytokine that, in mammals, alters the balance of Th1 and Th2 cells in favor of the Th2 phenotype. The full-length avian IL-19 gene, located on chromosome 26, was amplified from LPS-stimulated chi...

  5. Socioeconomic Impacts of Avian Influenza on Small and Backyard ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    and compensation schemes are more difficult to enforce than in large commercial poultry farms. Moreover, small and backyard farmers have fewer reserves to cope with the financial impact of avian influenza and, possibly, greater motivation to circumvent government control measures. The Asian Partnership for Avian ...

  6. Ontogeny of avian thermoregulation from a neural point of view

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baarendse, P.J.J.; Debonne, M.; Decuypere, M.P.; Kemp, B.; Brand, van den H.

    2007-01-01

    The ontogeny of thermoregulation differs among (avian) species, but in all species both neural and endocrinological processes are involved. In this review the neural processes in ontogeny of thermoregulation during the prenatal and early postnatal phase are discussed. Only in a few avian species

  7. 9 CFR 113.70 - Pasteurella Multocida Vaccine, Avian Isolate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... Isolate. 113.70 Section 113.70 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE... REQUIREMENTS Live Bacterial Vaccines § 113.70 Pasteurella Multocida Vaccine, Avian Isolate. Pasteurella Multocida Vaccine, Avian Isolate, shall be prepared as a desiccated live culture of an avirulent or modified...

  8. Detection of avian nephritis virus and chicken astrovirus in Nigerian ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Avian nephritis virus (ANV) and chicken astrovirus (CAstV) are widely distributed in poultry flocks worldwide, causing growth retardation. However, these avian astroviruses have not been previously diagnosed in poultry species in Nigeria. Real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (rRTPCR) and reverse ...

  9. Nanostructures for the development of vaccines against avian ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2018-01-12

    Jan 12, 2018 ... Photo: IDRC / Sven Torfinn. The impact of avian influenza. The livelihoods of smallholder farmers, who most frequently own poultry have been severely impacted by recent outbreaks of avian influenza (AI). The severity of the disease can range from mild to extremely severe cases with up to a 100% mortality ...

  10. Tests of landscape influence: Nest predation and brood parasitism in fragmented ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tewksbury, J.J.; Garner, L.; Garner, S.; Lloyd, J.D.; Saab, V.; Martin, T.E.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of landscape fragmentation on nest predation and brood parasitism, the two primary causes of avian reproductive failure, have been difficult to generalize across landscapes, yet few studies have clearly considered the context and spatial scale of fragmentation. Working in two river systems fragmented by agricultural and rural-housing development, we tracked nesting success and brood parasitism in >2500 bird nests in 38 patches of deciduous riparian woodland. Patches on both river systems were embedded in one of two local contexts (buffered from agriculture by coniferous forest, or adjacent to agriculture), but the abundance of agriculture and human habitation within 1 km of each patch was highly variable. We examined evidence for three models of landscape effects on nest predation based on (1) the relative importance of generalist agricultural nest predators, (2) predators associated with the natural habitats typically removed by agricultural development, or (3) an additive combination of these two predator communities. We found strong support for an additive predation model in which landscape features affect nest predation differently at different spatial scales. Riparian habitat with forest buffers had higher nest predation rates than sites adjacent to agriculture, but nest predation also increased with increasing agriculture in the larger landscape surrounding each site. These results suggest that predators living in remnant woodland buffers, as well as generalist nest predators associated with agriculture, affect nest predation rates, but they appear to respond at different spatial scales. Brood parasitism, in contrast, was unrelated to agricultural abundance on the landscape, but showed a strong nonlinear relationship with farm and house density, indicating a critical point at which increased human habitat causes increased brood parasitism. Accurate predictions regarding landscape effects on nest predation and brood parasitism will require an

  11. Genome Evolution of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, Taisei; Eves-van den Akker, Sebastian; Jones, John T

    2017-08-04

    Plant parasitism has evolved independently on at least four separate occasions in the phylum Nematoda. The application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to plant-parasitic nematodes has allowed a wide range of genome- or transcriptome-level comparisons, and these have identified genome adaptations that enable parasitism of plants. Current genome data suggest that horizontal gene transfer, gene family expansions, evolution of new genes that mediate interactions with the host, and parasitism-specific gene regulation are important adaptations that allow nematodes to parasitize plants. Sequencing of a larger number of nematode genomes, including plant parasites that show different modes of parasitism or that have evolved in currently unsampled clades, and using free-living taxa as comparators would allow more detailed analysis and a better understanding of the organization of key genes within the genomes. This would facilitate a more complete understanding of the way in which parasitism has shaped the genomes of plant-parasitic nematodes.

  12. Evidence for intercontinental parasite exchange through molecular detection and characterization of haematozoa in northern pintails (Anas acuta) sampled throughout the North Pacific Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Andy M.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Reed, John A.; Fujita, Go; Scotton, Bradley D.; Casler, Bruce; Fleskes, Joseph P.; Konishi, Kan; Uchida, Kiyoshi; Yabsley, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Empirical evidence supports wild birds as playing a role in the interhemispheric exchange of bacteria and viruses; however, data supporting the redistribution of parasites among continents are limited. In this study, the hypothesis that migratory birds contribute to the redistribution of parasites between continents was tested by sampling northern pintails (Anas acuta) at locations throughout the North Pacific Basin in North America and East Asia for haemosporidian infections and assessing the genetic evidence for parasite exchange. Of 878 samples collected from birds in Alaska (USA), California (USA), and Hokkaido (Japan) during August 2011 - May 2012 and screened for parasitic infections using molecular techniques, Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium parasites were detected in 555 (63%), 44 (5%), and 52 (6%) samples, respectively. Using an occupancy modeling approach, the probability of detecting parasites via replicate genetic tests was estimated to be high (p ≥ 0.95). Multi-model inference supported variation of Leucocytozoon parasite prevalence by northern pintail age class and geographic location of sampling in contrast to Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites for which there was only support for variation in parasite prevalence by sampling location. Thirty-one unique mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were detected among haematozoa infecting northern pintails including seven lineages shared between samples from North America and Japan. The finding of identical parasite haplotypes at widely distributed geographic locations and general lack of genetic structuring by continent in phylogenies for Leucocytozoon and Plasmodium provides evidence for intercontinental genetic exchange of haemosporidian parasites. Results suggest that migratory birds, including waterfowl, could therefore facilitate the introduction of avian malaria and other haemosporidia to novel hosts and spatially distant regions.

  13. Evidence for intercontinental parasite exchange through molecular detection and characterization of haematozoa in northern pintails (Anas acuta sampled throughout the North Pacific Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew M. Ramey

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Empirical evidence supports wild birds as playing a role in the interhemispheric exchange of bacteria and viruses; however, data supporting the redistribution of parasites among continents are limited. In this study, the hypothesis that migratory birds contribute to the redistribution of parasites between continents was tested by sampling northern pintails (Anas acuta at locations throughout the North Pacific Basin in North America and East Asia for haemosporidian infections and assessing the genetic evidence for parasite exchange. Of 878 samples collected from birds in Alaska (USA, California (USA, and Hokkaido (Japan during August 2011–May 2012 and screened for parasitic infections using molecular techniques, Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium parasites were detected in 555 (63%, 44 (5%, and 52 (6% samples, respectively. Using an occupancy modeling approach, the probability of detecting parasites via replicate genetic tests was estimated to be high (ρ > 0.95. Multi-model inference supported variation of Leucocytozoon parasite prevalence by northern pintail age class and geographic location of sampling in contrast to Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites for which there was only support for variation in parasite prevalence by sampling location. Thirty-one unique mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were detected among haematozoa infecting northern pintails including seven lineages shared between samples from North America and Japan. The finding of identical parasite haplotypes at widely distributed geographic locations and general lack of genetic structuring by continent in phylogenies for Leucocytozoon and Plasmodium provides evidence for intercontinental genetic exchange of haemosporidian parasites. Results suggest that migratory birds, including waterfowl, could therefore facilitate the introduction of avian malaria and other haemosporidia to novel hosts and spatially distant regions.

  14. The Role of Stress Proteins in the Study of Allostatic Overload in Birds: Use and Applicability to Current Studies in Avian Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garth Herring

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Stress proteins offer a measure of stress in birds at the cellular level that are an alternative to the glucocorticoids. Stress proteins are not biased by handling stress, the increase in stress proteins lasts longer than with other measures (e.g., corticosterone, and, therefore, they may be a more appropriate measure of long-term or chronic stress. However, caution should be practiced when using stress proteins because the level of stress needed to elicit a response may be higher than with corticosterone. Stress proteins have only recently been used to measure the response to competition, food limitation, growth, and parasitism in birds. In other taxa, the stress proteins have been used to measure genetic stress, temperature, toxins, UV radiation, and physical activity. Stress proteins increase the options available to avian ecologists for understanding how avian species respond to changes in the environment.

  15. Avian influenza in shorebirds: experimental infection of ruddy turnstones (Arenaria interpres) with avian influenza virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Jeffrey S.; Krauss, Scott; Franson, J. Christian; TeSlaa, Joshua L.; Nashold, Sean W.; Stallknecht, David E.; Webby, Richard J.; Webster, Robert G.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Low pathogenic avian influenza viruses (LPAIV) have been reported in shorebirds, especially at Delaware Bay, USA, during spring migration. However, data on patterns of virus excretion, minimal infectious doses, and clinical outcome are lacking. The ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres) is the shorebird species with the highest prevalence of influenza virus at Delaware Bay. Objectives: The primary objective of this study was to experimentally assess the patterns of influenza virus excretion, minimal infectious doses, and clinical outcome in ruddy turnstones. Methods: We experimentally challenged ruddy turnstones using a common LPAIV shorebird isolate, an LPAIV waterfowl isolate, or a highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus. Cloacal and oral swabs and sera were analyzed from each bird. Results: Most ruddy turnstones had pre-existing antibodies to avian influenza virus, and many were infected at the time of capture. The infectious doses for each challenge virus were similar (103·6–104·16 EID50), regardless of exposure history. All infected birds excreted similar amounts of virus and showed no clinical signs of disease or mortality. Influenza A-specific antibodies remained detectable for at least 2 months after inoculation. Conclusions: These results provide a reference for interpretation of surveillance data, modeling, and predicting the risks of avian influenza transmission and movement in these important hosts.

  16. ARF6, PI3-kinase and host cell actin cytoskeleton in Toxoplasma gondii cell invasion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vieira da Silva, Claudio; Alves da Silva, Erika; Costa Cruz, Mario; Chavrier, Philippe; Arruda Mortara, Renato

    2009-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infects a variety of different cell types in a range of different hosts. Host cell invasion by T. gondii occurs by active penetration of the host cell, a process previously described as independent of host actin polymerization. Also, the parasitophorous vacuole has been shown to resist fusion with endocytic and exocytic pathways of the host cell. ADP-ribosylation factor-6 (ARF6) belongs to the ARF family of small GTP-binding proteins. ARF6 regulates membrane trafficking and actin cytoskeleton rearrangements at the plasma membrane. Here, we have observed that ARF6 is recruited to the parasitophorous vacuole of tachyzoites of T. gondii RH strain and it also plays an important role in the parasite cell invasion with activation of PI3-kinase and recruitment of PIP 2 and PIP 3 to the parasitophorous vacuole of invading parasites. Moreover, it was verified that maintenance of host cell actin cytoskeleton integrity is important to parasite invasion.

  17. Avian mycobacteriosis in companion birds: 20-year survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manarolla, Giovanni; Liandris, Emmanouil; Pisoni, Giuliano; Sassera, Davide; Grilli, Guido; Gallazzi, Daniele; Sironi, Giuseppe; Moroni, Paolo; Piccinini, Renata; Rampin, Tiziana

    2009-02-02

    The causative agents of avian mycobacteriosis in pet birds are rarely identified. The aim of this study is to add information about the etiology of avian mycobacteriosis. The identification of mycobacterium species in 27 cases of avian mycobacteriosis in pet birds was investigated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing of a rRNA hypervariable region. Avian mycobacteriosis appeared to be an infrequent diagnosis. Interestingly, a few cases of avian mycobacteriosis were recorded in very young birds. The most commonly affected species were the canary (Serinus canarius), the Eurasian goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) and the red siskin (Spinus cucullatus). All but one bird were infected with Mycobacterium genavense. Mycobacterium avium was identified only in one case.

  18. Parasites and chronic renal failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadi Manesh, Reza; Hosseini Safa, Ahmad; Sharafi, Seyedeh Maryam; Jafari, Rasool; Bahadoran, Mehran; Yousefi, Morteza; Nasri, Hamid; Yousofi Darani, Hossein

    2014-01-01

    Suppression of the human immune system results in an increase in susceptibility to infection by various infectious agents. Conditions such as AIDS, organ transplantation and chronic renal insufficiency (CRI) are the most important cause of insufficient immune response against infections. Long term renal disorders result in uremia, which can suppress human immune system. Parasitic infections are one of the most important factors indicating the public health problems of the societies. These infections can be more hostile and life threatening in susceptible individuals than in the normal people. In these patients some parasitic infections such as blastocystiosis, cryptosporidiosis and toxoplasmosis have been reported to be more prevalent. This review aimed to give an overview about parasitic infections in patients with renal disorders.

  19. assessment of the economic and social implications of the avian flu ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Admin

    2006-01-22

    Jan 22, 2006 ... KEYWORDS: Assessment, Economic, Social Implications, Avian Flu, Nigerian Poultry. INTRODUCTION. Avian flu is a highly infectious, contagious and zoonotic disease of man, poultry and other birds caused by the avian influenza type A virus, Emmanuel et.al. (2006). The avian influenza virus belongs to ...

  20. New USDA licensed avian influenza vaccine (rHVT-AI) for protection against H5 avian influenza and usage discussion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recently, a new avian influenza vaccine was licensed by USDA for use in the United States for protection of commercial poultry. The vaccine is a recombinant herpes virus of turkeys expressing the hemagglutinin gene of an H5 subtype avian influenza virus belonging to the 2.2 clade of the H5N1 highly ...