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Epidemiological traits of the malaria-like parasite Polychromophilus murinus in the Daubenton's bat Myotis daubentonii.

Witsenburg F, Schneider F, Christe P - Parasit Vectors (2014)

Bottom Line: Yet most of these studies provide only snapshots in time of the parasites discovered.During one year, we additionally measured body temperature and haematocrit values.Confusion over the identities and nomenclature of malarial-like parasites requires that molecular barcodes are coupled to accurate morphological descriptions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Biophore, CH-1015, Lausanne, Switzerland. fardo.witsenburg@unil.ch.

ABSTRACT

Background: The great diversity of bat haemosporidians is being uncovered with the help of molecular tools. Yet most of these studies provide only snapshots in time of the parasites discovered. Polychromophilus murinus, a malaria-like blood parasite, specialised on temperate-zone bats is a species that is being 'rediscovered'. This study describes the infection dynamics over time and between host sex and age classes.

Methods: For three years we followed the members of three breeding colonies of Myotis daubentonii in Western Switzerland and screened them for the prevalence and parasitemia of P. murinus using both molecular tools and traditional microscopy. In order to identify more susceptible classes of hosts, we measured, sexed and aged all individuals. During one year, we additionally measured body temperature and haematocrit values.

Results: Juvenile bats demonstrated much higher parasitemia than any other age class sampled, suggesting that first exposure to the parasite is very early in life during which infections are also at their most intense. Moreover, in subadults there was a clear negative correlation between body condition and intensity of infection, whereas a weak positive correlation was observed in adults. Neither body temperature, nor haematocrit, two proxies used for pathology, could be linked to intensities of infection.

Conclusion: If both weaker condition and younger age are associated with higher infection intensity, then the highest selection pressure exerted by P. murinus should be at the juvenile stage. Confusion over the identities and nomenclature of malarial-like parasites requires that molecular barcodes are coupled to accurate morphological descriptions.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

The infection ofP. murinushad no clear physiological effect on the bats. (A) Body temperature in degrees Celsius; (B) Haematocrit, calculated as red blood cell volume fraction. The intensity of infection on the x-axis, expressed as parasitemia +0.5, is on a log scale.
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Fig5: The infection ofP. murinushad no clear physiological effect on the bats. (A) Body temperature in degrees Celsius; (B) Haematocrit, calculated as red blood cell volume fraction. The intensity of infection on the x-axis, expressed as parasitemia +0.5, is on a log scale.

Mentions: Parasitemia of P. murinus had no effect on the body temperature of the bats when corrected for sex (multiple linear regression: F2,39 = 0.057; p = 0.943; Figure 5A). Hematocrit value did not appear to be influenced by the abundance of gametocytes either (multiple linear regression: F2,44 = 0.078; p = 0.463; Figure 5B).Figure 5


Epidemiological traits of the malaria-like parasite Polychromophilus murinus in the Daubenton's bat Myotis daubentonii.

Witsenburg F, Schneider F, Christe P - Parasit Vectors (2014)

The infection ofP. murinushad no clear physiological effect on the bats. (A) Body temperature in degrees Celsius; (B) Haematocrit, calculated as red blood cell volume fraction. The intensity of infection on the x-axis, expressed as parasitemia +0.5, is on a log scale.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4269171&req=5

Fig5: The infection ofP. murinushad no clear physiological effect on the bats. (A) Body temperature in degrees Celsius; (B) Haematocrit, calculated as red blood cell volume fraction. The intensity of infection on the x-axis, expressed as parasitemia +0.5, is on a log scale.
Mentions: Parasitemia of P. murinus had no effect on the body temperature of the bats when corrected for sex (multiple linear regression: F2,39 = 0.057; p = 0.943; Figure 5A). Hematocrit value did not appear to be influenced by the abundance of gametocytes either (multiple linear regression: F2,44 = 0.078; p = 0.463; Figure 5B).Figure 5

Bottom Line: Yet most of these studies provide only snapshots in time of the parasites discovered.During one year, we additionally measured body temperature and haematocrit values.Confusion over the identities and nomenclature of malarial-like parasites requires that molecular barcodes are coupled to accurate morphological descriptions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Biophore, CH-1015, Lausanne, Switzerland. fardo.witsenburg@unil.ch.

ABSTRACT

Background: The great diversity of bat haemosporidians is being uncovered with the help of molecular tools. Yet most of these studies provide only snapshots in time of the parasites discovered. Polychromophilus murinus, a malaria-like blood parasite, specialised on temperate-zone bats is a species that is being 'rediscovered'. This study describes the infection dynamics over time and between host sex and age classes.

Methods: For three years we followed the members of three breeding colonies of Myotis daubentonii in Western Switzerland and screened them for the prevalence and parasitemia of P. murinus using both molecular tools and traditional microscopy. In order to identify more susceptible classes of hosts, we measured, sexed and aged all individuals. During one year, we additionally measured body temperature and haematocrit values.

Results: Juvenile bats demonstrated much higher parasitemia than any other age class sampled, suggesting that first exposure to the parasite is very early in life during which infections are also at their most intense. Moreover, in subadults there was a clear negative correlation between body condition and intensity of infection, whereas a weak positive correlation was observed in adults. Neither body temperature, nor haematocrit, two proxies used for pathology, could be linked to intensities of infection.

Conclusion: If both weaker condition and younger age are associated with higher infection intensity, then the highest selection pressure exerted by P. murinus should be at the juvenile stage. Confusion over the identities and nomenclature of malarial-like parasites requires that molecular barcodes are coupled to accurate morphological descriptions.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus