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avian malaria parasites

NOT Open Access | Mosquitoes are attracted by the odour of Plasmodium-infected birds

June 9, 2020 - 11:26 -- NOT Open Access
Díez-Fernández A, Martínez-de la Puente J, Gangoso L, López P, Soriguer R, Martín J, Figuerola J
Int J Parasitol. 2020 Jun 4:S0020-7519(20)30119-3

Parasites can manipulate their hosts to increase their transmission success. Avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium) are thought to alter the cues such as host odour, used by host-seeking mosquitoes. Bird odour is affected by secretions from the uropygial gland and may play a role in modulating vector-host interactions. We tested the hypothesis that mosquitoes are more attracted to the uropygial secretions and/or whole-body odour (headspace) of Plasmodium-infected house sparrows (Passer domesticus) than to those of uninfected birds. We tested the attraction of nulliparous (e.g. uninfected mosquitoes without previous access to blood) Culex pipiens females towards these stimuli in a dual-choice olfactometer.

Host Transcriptional Responses to High- and Low-Virulent Avian Malaria Parasites

June 1, 2020 - 16:28 -- Open Access
Videvall E, Palinauskas V, Valkiūnas G, Hellgren O
Am Nat. 2020 Jun; 195(6):1070-1084

The transcriptional response of hosts to genetically similar pathogens can vary substantially, with important implications for disease severity and host fitness. A low pathogen load can theoretically elicit both high and low host responses, as the outcome depends on both the effectiveness of the host at suppressing the pathogen and the ability of the pathogen to evade the immune system. Here, we investigate the transcriptional response of Eurasian siskins (Spinus spinus) to two closely related lineages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum.

The experimental study on susceptibility of common European songbirds to Plasmodium elongatum (lineage pGRW6), a widespread avian malaria parasite

September 2, 2019 - 15:21 -- Open Access
Mikas Ilgūnas, Vaidas Palinauskas, Elena Platonova, Tatjana Iezhova and Gediminas Valkiūnas
Malaria Journal 2019 18:290, 27 August 2019

Plasmodium elongatum (cytochrome b lineage pGRW6) is a widespread avian malaria parasite, often causing severe disease in non-adapted hosts. This parasite lineage is of global distribution however, its virulence remains insufficiently understood, particularly in wild birds. Surprisingly, this infection has never been reported in Common starlings Sturnus vulgaris and Common crossbills Loxia curvirostra, common European songbirds which were extensively sampled across Europe. A hypothesis was proposed that these birds might be resistant to the pGRW6 infection. The aim of this study was to test this hypothesis.

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