Evidence found in European birds of the transmission of tropical malaria

November 28, 2019

Very often, mosquitos, which act as vectors, infect birds with protozoans of the genus Plasmodium with their bites. This makes birds into vertebrate hosts of these parasites. In the case of this study, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) has been found, for the first time, to be a host for a parasite from Africa, Plasmodium PAGRI02, which had not been previously described outside that continent. This is the outcome of a study which analysed blood samples from some 3000 sparrows in Andalusia and Extremadura, conducted by researchers at the UEx Zoology Department, in collaboration with the Doñana Biological Station (EBD-CSIC).

The scientists looked at the genomic DNA to sequence the parasites and described thirteen species of the pathogen Plasmodium in house sparrows, while five of these in Europe were identified as infected by the African lineage Plasmodium PAGRI02. "Undoubtedly, global environmental changes which affect communities of hosts and vectors are currently under way, which are encouraging the active transmission of this African parasite outside its native area", says the researcher Martina Ferraguti. Scientists are warning of the consequences that global change is already having on wildlife. Milder temperatures in winter help to develop stable and permanent populations of mosquitos, the principal vectors of avian malaria, throughout the year.

The house sparrow is a very well-studied bird in Europe and "in the records from more than 15,000 samples analysed all over Europe up to now, this is the first time we have encountered a tropical lineage of this parasite, which is already being transmitted actively in this country", explains Alfonso Marzal, a UEx researcher.

According to the researchers, the evidence of the active transmission of this African parasite in Europe is the principal novelty in this study, published in the journal Parasites & Vectors, published by BMC, a leader in medicine and tropical health. These results open up many new fields of research into the effect of the new parasite on European fauna and its transmission, as well as in the study of the communities of mosquitos which pass on the pathogen. Moreover, "this type of research constitutes a first step in the study of the transmission patterns of other tropical diseases which are making their way into Europe, such as dengue, zika, chikungunya and, of course, malaria itself", states Marzal.
-end-


University of Extremadura

Related Science Articles from Brightsurf:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.

Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.

Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.

World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.

PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.

Read More: Science News and Science Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.