Vector-Borne Blood Parasites of the Great-Tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) in East-Central Texas, USA.
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Great-tailed grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus) have dramatically expanded into North America over the past century. However, little is known about the blood that parasites they support. Here, for the first time, we document an assemblage of trypanosome, haemosporida, and filarial nematodes co-circulating in invasive great-tailed grackles. Between February and July, 2015, 61 individuals were captured in an urban environment of College Station, Texas. Field microscopy and molecular diagnostics indicate that 52% (24/46) were visually infected with filarioid nematodes, 24% (11/46) with avian trypanosomes, and 73% (n = 44/60) with haemosporida parasites, such as Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) and Plasmodium cathemerium. Overall, 87% of great-tailed grackles were infected with blood parasites. Although 50% of individuals hosted parasites from multiple phylum, no patterns of parasite assembly were observed. Results indicate that great-tailed grackles can support a relatively high level of blood parasitism. However, the consequences for avian health remain to be determined.
author list (cited authors)
Golnar, A. J., Medeiros, M., Rosenbaum, K., Bejcek, J., Hamer, S. A., & Hamer, G. L.
complete list of authors
Golnar, Andrew J||Medeiros, Matthew CI||Rosenbaum, Katlyn||Bejcek, Justin||Hamer, Sarah A||Hamer, Gabriel L