Navigation Links
Only few seabird species contract avian malaria
Date:12/12/2011

This release is available in German.

Seabirds often live in large colonies in very confined spaces. Parasites, such as fleas and ticks, take advantage of this ideal habitat with its rich supply of nutrition. As a result, they can transmit blood parasites like avian malaria to the birds. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell and a team of international colleagues have investigated whether this affects all seabirds equally, and whether climate conditions, the habitat or particular living conditions influence infection with avian malaria. They discovered that most seabirds are free of malaria parasites; however, some groups, especially frigatebirds, are particularly common hosts to malaria parasites. Although there is a link between warmer temperatures and increased rates of infection, not all tropical seabirds are infected. The risk of infection within a habitat increases for species with longer fledgling periods and specific types of breeding grounds.

Seabirds exist in locations as varied as the Antarctic and tropical oceans. However, they all need land for breeding grounds. In order to protect themselves against predators or due to a lack of suitable breeding places, they often form large dense colonies. As a result, they provide blood suckers like fleas, ticks and bird lice wingless insects which live in the plumage and feed on the birds' feathers and blood with a plentiful supply of food and a habitat. Therefore, these insects can arise in large numbers in such colonies. These small pests also survive well in cold climates such as that found in the Subantarctic, and are not particularly specialised in their choice of food, something the researchers know from their own painful experience. Other blood-sucking insects, like mosquitoes, are present mainly in warmer climates, as found in the tropical breeding grounds. Because mosquitoes are among the main transmitters of the Plasmodium genus of avian malaria, the researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and their colleagues from Spain, France, Mexico and the US investigated whether infections of avian malaria differed in seabirds from cold and warm marine areas. To do this, they analysed blood samples from seabirds from different regions for parasitic infections using genetic methods

"We were surprised that the climate differences had less impact on the transmission of blood parasites than expected," says Petra Quillfeldt. "More vectors live in warmer climates; therefore, we would have expected to find a higher rate of infection in tropical locations. We discovered, however, that different species living on the same island under the same climate conditions can display very different rates of infection." The researchers defined several seabird groups that regularly carry malaria parasites. Frigatebirds were found to be particularly affected here, as all five species of this tropical seabird family are frequently infected.

"Of five seabird species present in the seabird community on Christmas Island in the tropical Indian Ocean, only the Christmas Island frigatebirds were found to be malaria hosts. Over half of the island's frigatebirds were affected and, moreover, with three genetically different malaria lines of the subgenera Haemoproteus and Parahaemoproteus, one of which was a completely new strain. As opposed to this, tropical birds and three species of gannet on the same island were not infected at all," explains Petra Quillfeldt.

Furthermore, the scientists have failed to find any blood parasite infections in other seabird groups, such as skuas and auks. Their research has led to the conclusion that the likelihood of infection depends, among other things, on the lifestyle of the birds: species with longer fledgling periods and hole-nesters are particularly severely affected.

This is the first study of this kind to examine seabirds in all climate zones. It has shown that different factors can influence infection with malaria parasites. The study also raised new questions: The researchers would now like to gain a better understanding of the life cycles of the malaria parasites and their transmitters, as well as discover which mechanisms are responsible for susceptibility to infection among the different species.


'/>"/>

Contact: Leonore Apitz
apitz@orn.mpg.de
49-773-215-0174
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Study shows species can change
2. Weeds are vital to the existence of farmland species, study finds
3. UI biologist finds one species of pathogen can produce two distinct biofilms
4. Evolutionary geneticist to give talk at UC Riverside on how biological species evolve and adapt
5. Global ISU study: Invasive species widespread, but not more than at home range
6. Neural stem cells maintain high levels of reactive oxygen species, UCLA study finds
7. Species Extinctions May Spell Trouble for Human Health
8. Special skin keeps fish species alive on land
9. New species of human malaria recognized
10. Poorly contracting uterus in diabetic women increases risk of caesarean birth
11. Risk of contracting diabetes to increase in world of 7 billion people
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Only few seabird species contract avian malaria
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, ... remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and ... Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios ... X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using ... - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and ... to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two ... currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts ... applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention ... health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Miami, FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: ... The closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: DHRM ... sells medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory products in ... agreement with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. (hereinafter ... 2016, to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical technology business. ... leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to reach Dehaier,s ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), ... (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) ... MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for the forecast ... to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator ... more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it ... funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed by ... private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate the ... market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: