Determining locally the prevalence and transmission dynamics of parasitic organisms is important to understand their ability to persist in host populations and disperse across regions. Avian malaria (Plasmodium) and related haemosporidian parasites (Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon) are a cosmopolitan group of protozoa recovered from all major bird groups and all zoogeographic regions except Antarctica. In this study, we will identify and classify haemosporidian lineages and species by microscopic and molecular analysis (DNA barcoding) in resident and migratory wild birds from Brazilian (Atlantic Forest and Pantanal) and Argentine (AndeanPatagonian Forest) biomes. Phylogenetic analyzes will also be performed with the sequences found. The presence of parasites can influence the ecological and behavioral processes of wild birds, including flight modifications, reproductive success, brood size, migration, ability to compete and foraging. However, the study of malaria in birds is important not only for ecological and conservation aspects, but is also part of the 'One Health' approach. More than ever, we now know that the range of studied pathogens needs to be expanded and how important it is to know how often they occur in nature.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: