AVIAN HAEMOSPORIDIAN BLOOD PARASITE DIVERSITY, PREVALENCE, AND DISTRIBUTION IN MICHIGAN’S WESTERN UPPER PENINSULA
Date of Award
Open Access Master's Thesis
Master of Science in Applied Ecology (MS)
Administrative Home Department
College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Avian haemosporidian parasites, known as avian malaria (phylum Apicomplexa) can diminish an individual bird’s fitness by causing parasitemia, anemia, and reduced survival. Climate change is predicted to increase the spread of malarial parasites into more northerly latitudes where little is known about community compositions of these parasites. I assessed the prevalence and diversity of haemosporidian parasites in the first-ever community-level sampling of malaria in songbirds across the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In total, 179 blood samples were collected from birds representing 17 species, at five locations in the Upper Peninsula, including a mature forest, an early successional forest, and urban study areas. To assess the presence of malaria within birds, I used a nested PCR protocol targeting the parasite cytochrome b. The molecular results revealed 48 unique malarial lineages and a total positive infection rate of 54 %. The Plasmodium PADOM11 haplotype was the most common among all birds.
Ferrer, Maria M., "AVIAN HAEMOSPORIDIAN BLOOD PARASITE DIVERSITY, PREVALENCE, AND DISTRIBUTION IN MICHIGAN’S WESTERN UPPER PENINSULA", Open Access Master's Thesis, Michigan Technological University, 2022.
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