Acute infection of avian malaria impairs concentration of haemoglobin and survival in juvenile altricial birds

I. A. Krams, V. Suraka, M. J. Rantala, T. Sepp, P. Mierauskas, J. Vrublevska, T. Krama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Blood parasites are often considered as indicators of immunity in birds, and data on parasite prevalence and intensity of infections are essential to reveal information about the condition of both individuals and populations. We prevented parasite vectors from biting and infecting nestling great tit Parus major by using insect repellent inside nest boxes. We found that in the absence of blood parasites, great tit nestlings had higher concentrations of haemoglobin, and they survived at significantly higher rates through the nestling phase and also during the first weeks of their fledgling period. This is the first demonstration so far of the impact these parasites have on haemoglobin levels of the hosts, which reveals one mechanism of adverse impact by blood parasites. This study shows that the effects of blood parasites can be assessed without using anti-malaria drugs, which can cause additional risk of oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Zoology
Volume291
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

Fingerprint

avian malaria
hemoparasite
malaria
hemoglobin
nestling
bird
parasites
birds
infection
parasite
parasite prevalence
parasite intensity
nest box
blood
immunity
drug
insect repellents
insect
nest boxes
Parus major

Keywords

  • Avian malaria
  • Haemoglobin
  • Immunity
  • Parasite vectors
  • Parus major
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Acute infection of avian malaria impairs concentration of haemoglobin and survival in juvenile altricial birds. / Krams, I. A.; Suraka, V.; Rantala, M. J.; Sepp, T.; Mierauskas, P.; Vrublevska, J.; Krama, T.

In: Journal of Zoology, Vol. 291, No. 1, 09.2013, p. 34-41.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Krams, I. A. ; Suraka, V. ; Rantala, M. J. ; Sepp, T. ; Mierauskas, P. ; Vrublevska, J. ; Krama, T. / Acute infection of avian malaria impairs concentration of haemoglobin and survival in juvenile altricial birds. In: Journal of Zoology. 2013 ; Vol. 291, No. 1. pp. 34-41.
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