Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 221–227 | Cite as

Occurrence of blood parasites and intensity of infection in Prunella modularis in the montane and subalpine zone in the Slovak Carpathians

  • Martina Haas
  • Martin Lukáň
  • Jana Kisková
  • Zuzana Hrehová
Original Paper


The objective of this study was to obtain primary information on the occurrence of blood parasites and intensity of infection in the Dunnock Prunella modularis in the montane region of Slovakia. Altogether 109 birds were examined during the years 2006–2010. The occurrence of Haemoproteus sp., Leucocytozoon fringillinarum and Trypanosoma sp. was documented. Blood parasite prevalences of 45% by microscopic examination and 55% by PCR diagnostics were found. The prevalence of Leucocytozoon sp. was found to be dependent on host sex with males showing a significantly higher intensity of infection with Leucocytozoon. Adult birds showed significantly higher infection prevalence than subadults. The prevalences of both Leucocytozoon sp. and Haemoproteus sp. were significantly dependent on bird age. The intensity of infection with Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon was positively correlated and higher intensity of infection was confirmed in adult birds then in subadults birds. The prevalence of blood parasites in our samples was significantly higher in comparison to most other studies from different countries of Europe conducted at lower altitudes, indicating that the montane zone is especially favourable for the transmission of Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus species.


Prunella modularis Leucocytozoon Haemoproteus blood parasites Slovakia 


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Copyright information

© Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martina Haas
    • 1
  • Martin Lukáň
    • 1
  • Jana Kisková
    • 1
  • Zuzana Hrehová
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of the High Mountain BiologyUniversity of ŽilinaŽilinaSlovakia

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