Original Article

Detection of Malaria Parasites and Other Haemosporidia in Migratory and Native Birds in Mazandaran and Golestan Provinces, Iran


Background: A variety of haemoprotozoa including Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon cause infections in birds and are transmitted by some known vectors. These parasites cause anemia, low appetite, weakness and ultimate­ly death in birds. The present study was aimed to determine these parasites, in birds of Mazandaran and Golestan prov­inces in Iran.

Methods: The project was performed on 340 live birds in 2016. The samples were collected from February to Septem­ber 2016, from each bird, two thin and thick blood smears were prepared and the remaining blood about 1ml was kept in EDTA-containing tubes for molecular studies. The slides were stained with 10% Giemsa, then examined microscopical­ly. About ten percent of the negative samples were considered for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique, using specific primers to diagnose Plasmodium and Haemoproteus spp. Electrophoresis was done for PCR products and rele­vant bands to the parasites were identified based on the size. The considered birds belonged to ducks, chickens, roosters, and pigeons.

Results: From 340 microscopically examined blood samples 32 (9.5%) samples were positive. Twenty-five (7.35%) of them were infected with the genus Haemoproteus. Seven samples (14%) out of 50 microscopically negative samples were found as Haemoproteus or Plasmodium spp when PCR technique was employed.

Conclusion: This study revealed the existence of malaria parasites and other haemosporidia in birds in Iran. Employing molecular methods (PCR examination) could detect more infections.

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IssueVol 16 No 1 (2022) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/jad.v16i1.11189
Avian malaria parasites Microscopy PCR technique Iran

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How to Cite
Ehsani Amrei SF, Motevalli Haghi A, Nateghpour M, Mohebali M, Youssefi M, Raiesi O, Mahdavi S, Farivar L. Detection of Malaria Parasites and Other Haemosporidia in Migratory and Native Birds in Mazandaran and Golestan Provinces, Iran. J Arthropod Borne Dis. 2022;16(1):26–33.