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Journal Articles Wilson journal of ornithology Year : 2021

Prevalence of hematozoan parasites in Red Kite nestlings from France


Blood pathogens may be harmful for birds and thus, represent a potential threat for some populations. To date, only few data are available on the prevalence of hematozoans in the Red Kite, a raptor endemic to the Western Palearctic listed as Near Threatened within its global range. Here, we report the first screening of haemosporidian parasites in Red Kite nestlings from French breeding areas. The blood of 47 nestlings was sampled in three areas in Eastern France and the prevalence of three genera of blood pathogens, Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus and Plasmodium, was measured based on PCR assays. Thirteen nestlings were positive to Leucocytozoon sp. (n = 13) and Plasmodium relictum (n = 1), which correspond to an overall prevalence of 28%. This prevalence is higher than those previously reported for the Red Kite in other countries. This is the first record of P. relictum, a potential pathogen for birds, in the Red Kite. No relationship was found between the body condition of nestlings and the occurrence of haemosporidians. Our findings suggest that hematozoans could be a limited threat for nestlings but prevalence in adults, a sensitive stage for the population dynamic of Red Kite, remains poorly known and should be further investigated at least in its main breeding areas
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hal-03278548 , version 1 (05-01-2022)



Michael Coeurdassier, Nicolas Bassin, Thibaut Powolny, Christophe Morin, Eve Afonso. Prevalence of hematozoan parasites in Red Kite nestlings from France. Wilson journal of ornithology, 2021, 162 (2), pp.521-527. ⟨10.1007/s10336-020-01838-w⟩. ⟨hal-03278548⟩
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