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Blood parasites in hooded crows (Corvus corone cornix) in Northwest Italy.

Authors
  • Scaglione, Frine Eleonora1
  • Cannizzo, Francesca Tiziana
  • Pregel, Paola
  • Perez Rodriguez, Anton David
  • Bollo, Enrico
  • 1 Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Università degli Studi di Torino, Via L. da Vinci 44, 10095 Grugliasco, Italy.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Veterinaria italiana
Publication Date
Sep 30, 2016
Volume
52
Issue
2
Pages
111–116
Identifiers
DOI: 10.12834/VetIt.110.307.2
PMID: 27188825
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Haemoparasites and their effects on hooded crows (Corvus corone cornix) are poorly studied. The aims are to evaluate the prevalence of Haemoproteus spp./Plasmodium spp. or Leucocytozoon spp., to correlate this with gross and histopathological findings, and to investigate the association among infection and geographical origin, age, gender, parasite distribution and prevalence among organs. Hooded crows (n = 47) were collected within a regional culling programme from 3 districts in the province of Turin (Italy) and subjected to necropsy. Histological and molecular analyses were carried out on some tissues. Leucocytozoon spp. was detected in 46 crows (97.9%) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), whereas 28 birds (59.6%) were found to be positive for Haemoproteus spp./Plasmodium spp. The distribution of parasites in several organs varied significantly, showing that Leucocytozoon spp. is ubiquitous in organs in contrast with Haemoproteus spp./Plasmodium spp., which have a specific predilection for spleen and lungs. The prevalence of Haemoproteus spp./Plasmodium spp. also differed significantly among the crows captured in the areas of the study. The high prevalence of haemoparasites emphasizes the success of ornithophilic vectors and the susceptibility of this species to infection. Differences in prevalence among the sites are probably due to orographic features of the areas, variations in vector species and density, or to crow population size or structure. In spite of the high infection rate, no gross and histological lesions were found. This finding further suggests an evolutionary adaptation between crows and avian blood parasites.

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