Prevalence, transmission, and genetic diversity of blood parasites infecting tundra-nesting geese in Alaska

Canadian Journal of Zoology
By: , and 

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Abstract

A total of 842 blood samples collected from five species of tundra-nesting geese in Alaska was screened for haemosporidian parasites using molecular techniques. Parasites of the generaLeucocytozoon Danilewsky, 1890, Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890, and Plasmodium Marchiafava and Celli, 1885 were detected in 169 (20%), 3 (<1%), and 0 (0%) samples, respectively. Occupancy modeling was used to estimate prevalence of Leucocytozoon parasites and assess variation relative to species, age, sex, geographic area, year, and decade. Species, age, and decade were identified as important in explaining differences in prevalence of Leucocytozoonparasites. Leucocytozoon parasites were detected in goslings sampled along the Arctic Coastal Plain using both historic and contemporary samples, which provided support for transmission in the North American Arctic. In contrast, lack of detection of Haemoproteus and Plasmodiumparasites in goslings (n = 238) provided evidence to suggest that the transmission of parasites of these genera may not occur among waterfowl using tundra habitats in Alaska, or alternatively, may only occur at low levels. Five haemosporidian genetic lineages shared among different species of geese sampled from two geographic areas were indicative of interspecies parasite transmission and supported broad parasite or vector distributions. However, identicalLeucocytozoon and Haemoproteus lineages on public databases were limited to waterfowl hosts suggesting constraints in the range of parasite hosts.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Prevalence, transmission, and genetic diversity of blood parasites infecting tundra-nesting geese in Alaska
Series title Canadian Journal of Zoology
DOI 10.1139/cjz-2014-0041
Volume 92
Issue 8
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher NRC Research Press
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Biology WTEB
Description 8 p.
First page 699
Last page 706
Country United States
State Alaska
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N