Abstract:

Leucocytozoon spp. infections have been rarely studied in Neotropical countries. The apparently low prevalence of these parasites compared to the Nearctic regions suggests the absence of competent vectors; however, a 21.3% overall prevalence has recently been reported in non-migratory birds from the páramo region of Chingaza National Natural Park (NNP), where Turdus fuscater (Great Thrush) is the species most frequently infected by these parasites. The present study provides the descriptions of the Leucocytozoon spp. detected in Great Thrushes trapped in Chingaza NNP. The parasites were confirmed by microscopic examination and PCR of blood, histopathology was also done. Leucocytozoon dubreuili and L. fringillinarum gametocytes were observed in blood smears. The corresponding cytochrome b (cyt b) lineages obtained of L. fringillinarum were closely related to lineages previously found in individuals infecting turdiid species sampled elsewhere. This is one of the few reports analyzing Leucocytozoon spp. infections in resident birds from a Neotropical country.

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