Parasitology Research

, Volume 112, Issue 10, pp 3509–3515 | Cite as

First data on the genetic diversity of avian haemosporidians in China: cytochrome b lineages of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Haemosporida) from Gansu Province

  • Pavel Zehtindjiev
  • Karina Ivanova
  • Jean Mariaux
  • Boyko B. Georgiev
Original Paper


A total of 76 birds belonging to 23 species and 14 families was examined for the presence of Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. Birds were trapped at four localities in Gansu Province, China, in June–July 2011. DNA was isolated from blood samples and parasite detection, and identification was based on PCR assays and sequences of 479 bp of cyt b gene. The total prevalence of haemosporidians was 21.0 %. Haemoproteus spp. were detected in 14 birds (prevalence 18.4 %). The lineage CYAPIC1 from Cyanopica cyanus, Parus major, Passer montanus and Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax was new; it is genetically distinct and probably represents a new species of the genus Haemoproteus. Three lineages represented known species: RBS4 (from Lanius tephronotus), a lineage of Haemoproteus lanii; COLL2 (from Turdus mupinensis), a lineage of Haemoproteus pallidus and TURDUS2 (from Turdus rubrocanus), a lineage of Haemoproteus minutus. The lineage RBS5 (from Lanius cristatus and L. tephronotus) differs by 1.4 % from RBS4 and probably represents an intraspecific entity of H. lanii. The lineages TUCHR1 (recorded from T. mupinensis), WW1 (recorded from Upupa epops) and YWT2 (recorded from Motacilla flava) have not been linked to any known species for the moment. Only one bird was positive for Plasmodium (prevalence 1.4 %), i.e. P. major infected with the lineage GRW4 of Plasmodium relictum. The latter lineage has been considered by previous studies as typical for migratory birds and having transmission in tropical areas only; its record in a sedentary bird in China suggests its transmission in temperate latitudes.


Plasmodium Host Species Gansu Province Parasite Lineage Genus Plasmodium 
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We are grateful to Professor Kuizheng Cai, Professor Jialin Bai and the students Chuanshi Yan, Yuzhuo Xu, Janchiao Liu and Cuilan Wu (College of Life Science and Engineering, Northwest University for Nationalities, Lanzhou, People’s Republic of China) for their assistance in the field studies. The field trip of JM and BBG in Gansu Province was in the frames of a project supported by the National Science Foundation, USA (PBI awards no. 0818696 to Professor Janine N. Caira and no. 0818823 to Professor Kirsten Jensen). PZ was partly funded by the project WETLANET (FP7, Capacities, REGPOT, grant 229802). The present study used facilities developed at the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, in the frames of the project CEBDER funded by Bulgarian National Science Fund, grant DOO2-15/17.02.2009.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pavel Zehtindjiev
    • 1
  • Karina Ivanova
    • 1
  • Jean Mariaux
    • 2
  • Boyko B. Georgiev
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem ResearchBulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.Natural History Museum of GenevaCH-1211 Geneva 6Switzerland

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