3 years ago

The malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum in the endemic avifauna of eastern Cuba

Lindsey Gray, Robert E. Ricklefs, Peter Marra, Letícia Soares
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. El Parásito de la Malaria Plasmodium relictum en la Avifauna Endémica del Este de Cuba Resumen Las poblaciones de islas son vulnerables a los patógenos introducidos, como ha sido evidenciado por la extinción o declinación poblacional de varias aves hawaianas endémicas causada por el parásito de la malaria, Plasmodium relictum (orden Haemosporida). Analizamos las muestras sanguíneas de 363 aves capturadas cerca de la Bahía de Guantánamo, Cuba, en búsqueda de infecciones haemosporodianas. Caracterizamos los linajes de los parásitos determinando la variación del nucleótido en el gen b cyt mitocondrial del parásito. Cincuenta y nueve individuos estaban infectados, e identificamos siete linajes de parásitos haemosporodianos. Cincuenta individuos estaban infectados por seis linajes de Haemoproteus sp., incluyendo a un linaje caracterizado recientemente de Haem. (Parahaemoproteus) sp. CUH01. Nueve individuos portaban el linaje de P. relictum GRW4, incluyendo cinco semilleritos cubanos endémicos (Tiaris canorus) y a un parúlido de Cabo May (Setophaga tigrina). Una secuencia del gen de la proteína de la superficie del merozoíto de uno de los semilleritos cubanos infectados con GRW4 fue idéntica a la del haplotipo hawaiano Pr9. Nuestros resultados indican que las aves cubanas residentes y migratorias están infectadas con un linaje de malaria que ha afectado severamente a las poblaciones de varias aves hawaianas endémicas. Sugerimos que GRW4 puede estar asociada con la falta de varias especies en Cuba que son omnipresentes en el resto del Caribe. Desde la postura de la conservación de aves en la Cuenca del Caribe, será importante determinar la distribución de los parásitos haemosporodianos en Cuba, especialmente P. relictum GRW4, así como la patogenia de este linaje en las especies que están presentes y ausentes en Cuba.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12995

You might also like
Never Miss Important Research

Researcher is an app designed by academics, for academics. Create a personalised feed in two minutes.
Choose from over 15,000 academics journals covering ten research areas then let Researcher deliver you papers tailored to your interests each day.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.