Extremely low Plasmodium prevalence in wild plovers and coursers from Cape Verde and Madagascar

Josué Martínez-De La Puente, Luke J. Eberhart-Phillips, M. Cristina Carmona-Isunza, Sama Zefania, María José Navarro, Oliver Kruger, Joseph Ivan Hoffman, Tamás Székely, Jordi Figuerola

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10 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Relatively little is known about the prevalence of blood parasites in shorebirds, especially those breeding in the tropics. The prevalence of blood parasites of the genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon was assessed in blood samples from Kentish plovers and cream-coloured coursers in Cape Verde, and samples of Kittlitz's plovers, Madagascar plovers and white-fronted plovers in Madagascar. Results: Only two of these samples were positive for Plasmodium: a Kittlitz's plover was infected by a generalist lineage of Plasmodium that has already been reported in Europe and Africa, while in a white-fronted plover direct sequencing revealed a previously un-described Plasmodium lineage. Conclusion: Potential explanations for the low prevalence of blood parasites include the scarcity of vectors in habitats used by these bird species and their resistance to parasitic infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number243
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2017


  • Avian malaria
  • Haemoproteus
  • Leucocytozoon
  • Plasmodium
  • Wild birds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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