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Type: Journal article
Title: Prevalence and differential host-specificity of two avian blood parasite genera in the Australo-Papuan region
Author: Gering, E.
Austin, J.
Beadell, J.
Dumbacher, J.
Peirce, M.
Pratt, T.
Atkinson, C.
Fleischer, R.
Citation: Molecular Ecology, 2004; 13(12):3829-3844
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 0962-1083
Statement of
Jon S. Beadell, Eben Gering, Jeremy Austin, John P. Dumbacher, Mike A. Peirce, Thane K. Pratt, Carter T. Atkinson and Robert C. Fleischer
Abstract: The degree to which widespread avian blood parasites in the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus pose a threat to novel hosts depends in part on the degree to which they are constrained to a particular host or host family. We examined the host distribution and host-specificity of these parasites in birds from two relatively understudied and isolated locations: Australia and Papua New Guinea. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we detected infection in 69 of 105 species, representing 44% of individuals surveyed (n = 428). Across host families, prevalence of Haemoproteus ranged from 13% (Acanthizidae) to 56% (Petroicidae) while prevalence of Plasmodium ranged from 3% (Petroicidae) to 47% (Ptilonorhynchidae). We recovered 78 unique mitochondrial lineages from 155 sequences. Related lineages of Haemoproteus were more likely to derive from the same host family than predicted by chance at shallow (average LogDet genetic distance = 0, n = 12, P = 0.001) and greater depths (average distance = 0.014, n = 11, P < 0.001) within the parasite phylogeny. Within two major Haemoproteus subclades identified in a maximum likelihood phylogeny, host-specificity was evident up to parasite genetic distances of 0.029 and 0.007 based on logistic regression. We found no significant host relationship among lineages of Plasmodium by any method of analysis. These results support previous evidence of strong host-family specificity in Haemoproteus and suggest that lineages of Plasmodium are more likely to form evolutionarily–stable associations with novel hosts.
Keywords: Animals
Protozoan Infections, Animal
Bird Diseases
DNA, Mitochondrial
DNA Primers
Analysis of Variance
Cluster Analysis
Likelihood Functions
Logistic Models
Sequence Analysis, DNA
Base Sequence
Molecular Sequence Data
Papua New Guinea
Host-Parasite Interactions
Description: The definitive version is available at
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2004.02363.x
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Australian Centre for Ancient DNA publications
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications

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