Apparent absence of avian malaria and malaria-like parasites in northern blue-footed boobies breeding on Isla Isabel

Fecha de publicación: 28/04/2022
Fuente: PubMed "booby"
Sci Rep. 2022 Apr 27;12(1):6892. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-11075-1.ABSTRACTHaemosporidian parasites are common in birds but are seldom reported in seabirds. The absence of vectors or genetic resistance to infection have been proposed to explain this pattern. However, screening of blood parasites in many seabirds has been done only by visual inspection of blood smears, which can miss low-intensity infections, and molecular detection of blood parasites must be supported by detection in blood smears to confirm the presence of haemosporidians and avoid false positive cases. Here, we tested for the presence of blood parasites of the genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon, combining inspection of blood smears and PCR-based detection methods in a highly philopatric colony of blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii) in the Tropical North Pacific. Our results indicate that adults in this colony are likely free of these blood parasites, probably due to unsuitable conditions for insect vectors in booby breeding sites, although potential genetic resistance of blue-footed boobies to infection deserves examination. Apparent absence of blood parasites in Isla Isabel boobies indirectly adds to the growing evidence of variation in parasite infections among avian host species that coexist locally.PMID:35477963 | PMC:PMC9046203 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-11075-1