Parasite range expansions are a direct consequence of globalization and are an increasing threat to biodiversity. Here, we report a recent range expansion of the SGS1 strain of a highly invasive parasite, Plasmodium relictum, to two non-migratory passerines in North America. Plasmodium relictum is considered one of the world's most invasive parasites and causes the disease avian malaria: this is the first reported case of SGS1 in wild non-migratory birds on the continent.
Literature data on toucans haemosporidians are scarce and all reports come from investigations in Brazil. Muniz et al. (Rev Bras Malariol 3: 339-356, Muniz et al., Rev Bras Malariol 3:339-356, 1951) and Muniz and Soares (Rev Bras Malar 611-617, Muniz J, Soares R de RL (1954) Nota sôbre um parasita do gênero Plasmodium encontrado no Ramphastos toco Müller, 1776, "Tucano-Açu", e diferente do Plasmodium huffi: Plasmodium pinottii n. sp. Rev Bras Malar 611 - 617.) described two Plasmodium species, P. huffi and P. pinottii, in Ramphastos toco. Later, Manwell and Sessler (J Protozol 18: 570-574, Manwell and Sessler, Malaria Parasites of Toucans J Protozol 18:570-574, 1971) established a new subspecies, P. nucleophilum toucani.
The malaria mosquito Anopheles punctipennis, a widely distributed species in North America, is capable of transmitting human malaria and is actively involved in the transmission of the ungulate malaria parasite Plasmodium odocoilei. However, molecular diagnostic tools based on Internal Transcribed Spacer 2 (ITS2) of ribosomal DNA are lacking for this species. Anopheles punctipennis is a former member of the Anopheles maculipennis complex but its systematic position remains unclear.