Morphological and molecular characterization of Haemoproteus coatneyi and Haemoproteus erythrogravidus (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae) in Passeriformes in Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinária
Haemoproteus spp. are protozoan parasites found in birds around the world. These parasites are identified through the morphology of gametocytes, phylogenetic analysis based on the mitochondrial cytb gene, and the parasite's geographic distribution. The absence of erythrocytic merogony, high intraspecific genetic variation and low parasitemia in wild birds makes it essential to use integrative approaches that assist in the identification of these parasites. Thus, microscopic and molecular
... nd molecular analyses, combined with spatial distribution, were carried out to verify the presence of Haemoproteus spp. in wild birds in Brazil. Light microscopy revealed one Tangara sayaca bird was parasitized by Haemoproteus coatneyi and, two specimens of Zonotrichia capensis presented Haemoproteus erythrogravidus. The morphology of the gametocytes of these two parasitic species showed high similarity. The molecular analysis revealed the presence of one lineage of H. coatneyi and two lineages of H. erythrogravidus, one of which is considered a new lineage. These lineages were grouped phylogenetically in separate clades, with low genetic divergence, and the H. erythrogravidus lineage emerged as an internal group of the lineages of H. coatneyi. The geographic distribution demonstrated that the two species occur in the American continent. This is the first report of H. erythrogravidus in Brazil.