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avian malaria parasites

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
Author(s): 
Mikas Ilgūnas, Vaidas Palinauskas, Elena Platonova, Tatjana Iezhova and Gediminas Valkiūnas
Reference: 
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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