Hematozoan parasites of Rio Grande wild turkeys from southern Texas (USA)

Journal of Wildlife Diseases
By: , and 



One hundred twenty-three of 300 blood samples (41%) taken from Rio Grande wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) from three locations in southern Texas (Welder Wildlife Refuge, Chaparrosa Ranch, and Campo Alegre Ranch) and subinoculated into domestic broad-breasted white turkey poults were positive for a Plasmodium (Novyella) sp. Analysis of blood films from 350 turkeys revealed Haemoproteus meleagridis in 76% of the birds. A significantly greater mean parasite intensity was observed in birds from Welder Wildlife Refuge. Birds from the Campo Alegre Ranch exhibited a significantly higher prevalence of H. meleagridis than birds from Chaparrosa. The Plasmodium sp. was infective for canaries (Serinus canaria), bobwhites (Colinus virginianus), and ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus), but would not produce infection in white leghorn chickens (Gallus gallus) or Coturnix quail (Coturnix coturnix). Attempts to infect Culex tarsalis and C. pipiens pipiens were unsuccessful. Asexual erythrocytic synchrony was not observed when blood-induced infections were monitored in two domestic turkey poults every 4 hr for 72 hr. Exoerythrocytic stages were not found upon examination of impression smears and tissue samples taken from brain, liver, spleen, kidney, lung, and bone marrow. The Plasmodium sp. is most similar morphologically to three species in the subgenus NovyellaP. hexameriumP. vaughani, and P. kempi. The most striking similarities are to P. hexamerium, and involve mean merozoite number, erythrocytic schizont location, and vertebrate host susceptibility. It differs from P. vaughani in being able to infect turkeys and in type of parasitized erythrocytes. Differences to P. kempi include mean merozoite number, and ability to infect pheasants, and its inability to develop inC. pipiens and C. tarsalis.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Hematozoan parasites of Rio Grande wild turkeys from southern Texas (USA)
Series title Journal of Wildlife Diseases
DOI 10.7589/0090-3558-24.1.88
Volume 24
Issue 1
Year Published 1988
Language English
Publisher Wildlife Disease Association
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description 9 p.
First page 88
Last page 96
Country United States
State Texas
County San Patricio County, Willacy County, Zavala County
Other Geospatial Campo Allegre Ranch, Chaparrosa Ranch, Welder Wildlife Refuge
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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