Prevalence of avian haemosporidia among injured wild birds in Tokyo and environs, Japan.

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International journal for parasitology. Parasites and wildlife, ISSN: 2213-2244, Vol: 6, Issue: 3, Page: 299-309

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Inumaru, Mizue; Murata, Koichi; Sato, Yukita
Elsevier BV
Immunology and Microbiology; Agricultural and Biological Sciences; Medicine
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Avian haemosporidia have been reported in various birds of Japan, which is part of the East Asian-Australian flyway and is an important stopover site for migratory birds potentially carrying new pathogens from other areas. We investigated the prevalence of avian malaria in injured wild birds, rescued in Tokyo and surrounding areas. We also evaluated the effects of migration by examining the prevalence of avian malaria for each migratory status. 475 birds of 80 species were sampled from four facilities. All samples were examined for haemosporidian infection via nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of the cytochrome (cyt) gene. 100 birds (21.1%) of 43 species were PCR positive for avian haemosporidia. Prevalence in wintering birds, migratory breeders, and resident birds was 46.0%, 19.3%, 17.3% respectively. There was a bias in wintering birds due to Eurasian coot () and Anseriformes. In wintering birds, lineages which are likely to be transmitted by sp. in Northern Japan and lineages from resident species of Northern Japan or continental Asia were found, suggesting that wintering birds are mainly infected at their breeding sites. Meanwhile, there were numerous lineages found from resident and migratory breeders, suggesting that they are transmitted in Japan, some possibly unique to Japan. Although there are limits in studying rescued birds, rehabilitation facilities make sampling of difficult-to-catch migratory species possible and also allow for long-term monitoring within areas.