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Blood parasites in vectors reveal a united blackfly community in the upper canopy.
Parasit Vectors. 2020 Jun 15; 13(1):309.PV

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The behaviour of blood-sucking arthropods is a crucial determinant of blood protozoan distribution and hence of host-parasite coevolution, but it is very challenging to study in the wild. The molecular identification of parasite lineages in vectors can be a useful key to understand the behaviour and transmission patterns realised by these vectors.

METHODS

In this study, we collected blackflies around nests of three raptor species in the upper forest canopy in central Europe and examined the presence of vertebrate DNA and haemosporidian parasites in them. We molecularly analysed 156 blackfly individuals, their vertebrate blood meals, and the haemosporidian parasite lineages they carried.

RESULTS

We identified nine species of Simulium blackflies, largely belonging to the subgenera Nevermannia and Eusimulium. Only 1% of the collected specimens was visibly engorged, and only 4% contained remains of host DNA. However, in 29% of the blackflies Leucocytozoon lineages were identified, which is evidence of a previous blood meal on an avian host. Based on the known vertebrate hosts of the recorded Leucocytozoon lineages, we can infer that large and/or abundant birds, such as thrushes, crows, pigeons, birds of prey, owls and tits are the main targets of ornithophilic blackflies in the canopy. Blackfly species contained similar proportions of host group-specific parasite lineages and thus do not appear to be associated with particular host groups.

CONCLUSIONS

The Leucocytozoon clade infecting thrushes, crows, and pigeons present in most represented blackfly species suggests a lack of association between hosts and blackflies, which can increase the probability of host switches of blood parasites. However, the composition of the simuliid species differed between nests of common buzzards, goshawks and red kites. This segregation can be explained by coinciding habitat preferences between host and vector, and may lead to the fast speciation of Leucocytozoon parasites. Thus, subtle ecological preferences and lack of host preference of vectors in the canopy may enable both parasite diversification and host switches, and enforce a habitat-dependent evolution of avian malaria parasites and related haemosporidia.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Animal Behaviour, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany. nayden.chakarov@uni-bielefeld.de. Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab, Department of Biology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. nayden.chakarov@uni-bielefeld.de.Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Greifswald, Insel Riems, Germany.Department of Animal Behaviour, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.Research Area 2 'Land Use and Governance', Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, Muencheberg, Germany.Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab, Department of Biology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32539849

Citation

Chakarov, Nayden, et al. "Blood Parasites in Vectors Reveal a United Blackfly Community in the Upper Canopy." Parasites & Vectors, vol. 13, no. 1, 2020, p. 309.
Chakarov N, Kampen H, Wiegmann A, et al. Blood parasites in vectors reveal a united blackfly community in the upper canopy. Parasit Vectors. 2020;13(1):309.
Chakarov, N., Kampen, H., Wiegmann, A., Werner, D., & Bensch, S. (2020). Blood parasites in vectors reveal a united blackfly community in the upper canopy. Parasites & Vectors, 13(1), 309. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04177-0
Chakarov N, et al. Blood Parasites in Vectors Reveal a United Blackfly Community in the Upper Canopy. Parasit Vectors. 2020 Jun 15;13(1):309. PubMed PMID: 32539849.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Blood parasites in vectors reveal a united blackfly community in the upper canopy. AU - Chakarov,Nayden, AU - Kampen,Helge, AU - Wiegmann,Anja, AU - Werner,Doreen, AU - Bensch,Staffan, Y1 - 2020/06/15/ PY - 2020/02/01/received PY - 2020/06/08/accepted PY - 2020/6/17/entrez PY - 2020/6/17/pubmed PY - 2020/6/17/medline KW - Avian malaria KW - Canopy KW - Habitat choice KW - Host-specificity KW - Leucocytozoon KW - Ornithophilic Simuliidae KW - Vector-driven speciation SP - 309 EP - 309 JF - Parasites & vectors JO - Parasit Vectors VL - 13 IS - 1 N2 - BACKGROUND: The behaviour of blood-sucking arthropods is a crucial determinant of blood protozoan distribution and hence of host-parasite coevolution, but it is very challenging to study in the wild. The molecular identification of parasite lineages in vectors can be a useful key to understand the behaviour and transmission patterns realised by these vectors. METHODS: In this study, we collected blackflies around nests of three raptor species in the upper forest canopy in central Europe and examined the presence of vertebrate DNA and haemosporidian parasites in them. We molecularly analysed 156 blackfly individuals, their vertebrate blood meals, and the haemosporidian parasite lineages they carried. RESULTS: We identified nine species of Simulium blackflies, largely belonging to the subgenera Nevermannia and Eusimulium. Only 1% of the collected specimens was visibly engorged, and only 4% contained remains of host DNA. However, in 29% of the blackflies Leucocytozoon lineages were identified, which is evidence of a previous blood meal on an avian host. Based on the known vertebrate hosts of the recorded Leucocytozoon lineages, we can infer that large and/or abundant birds, such as thrushes, crows, pigeons, birds of prey, owls and tits are the main targets of ornithophilic blackflies in the canopy. Blackfly species contained similar proportions of host group-specific parasite lineages and thus do not appear to be associated with particular host groups. CONCLUSIONS: The Leucocytozoon clade infecting thrushes, crows, and pigeons present in most represented blackfly species suggests a lack of association between hosts and blackflies, which can increase the probability of host switches of blood parasites. However, the composition of the simuliid species differed between nests of common buzzards, goshawks and red kites. This segregation can be explained by coinciding habitat preferences between host and vector, and may lead to the fast speciation of Leucocytozoon parasites. Thus, subtle ecological preferences and lack of host preference of vectors in the canopy may enable both parasite diversification and host switches, and enforce a habitat-dependent evolution of avian malaria parasites and related haemosporidia. SN - 1756-3305 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32539849/Blood_parasites_in_vectors_reveal_a_united_blackfly_community_in_the_upper_canopy L2 - https://parasitesandvectors.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13071-020-04177-0 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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