Seasonal dynamics of haemosporidian (Apicomplexa, Haemosporida) parasites in house sparrows Passer domesticus at four European sites: comparison between lineages and the importance of screening methods

Júlio Manuel Neto, Samantha Mellinger, Lucyna Halupka, Alfonso Marzal, Pavel Zehtindjiev, Helena Westerdahl

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review

8 Citeringar (SciVal)

Sammanfattning

Infectious diseases often vary seasonally in a predictable manner, and seasonality may be responsible for geographical differences in prevalence. In temperate regions, vector-borne parasites such as malaria are expected to evolve lower virulence and a time-varying strategy to invest more in transmission when vectors are available. A previous model of seasonal variation of avian malaria described a double peak in prevalence of Plasmodium parasites in multiple hosts resulting from spring relapses and transmission to susceptible individuals in summer. However, this model was rejected by a study describing different patterns of seasonal variation of two Plasmodium spp. at the same site, with the double peak only apparent when these species were combined. Here, we assessed the seasonal variation in prevalence of haemosporidian parasites (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon) in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) sampled across 1 year at four temperate European sites spanning a latitudinal range of 17°. We showed that parasite prevalence and diversity decreased with increasing latitude, but the parasite communities differed between sites, with only one Plasmodium lineage (P_SGS1) occurring at all sites. Moreover, the nested PCR method commonly used to detect and identify haemosporidian parasites strongly underestimated co-infections of Haemoproteus and Plasmodium, significantly biasing the pattern of seasonal variation, so additional molecular methods were used. Finally, we showed that: (i) seasonal variation in prevalence of haemosporidian parasites varied between study sites and parasite lineages/species/genera, describing further cases where the double peak model is not met; (ii) the seasonal dynamics of single lineages (P_SGS1) varied between sites; and (iii) unexpectedly, seasonality was greatest at the southernmost site, a pattern that was mostly driven by lineage H_PADOM05. Limitations of the genotyping methods and consequences of pooling (parasite lineages, sites and years) in studies of haemosporidian parasites are discussed and recommendations proposed, since these actions may obscure the patterns of prevalence and limit ecological inferences.

Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)523-532
Antal sidor10
TidskriftInternational Journal for Parasitology
Volym50
Utgåva6-7
DOI
StatusPublished - 2020 juni

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