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J Vet Med Sci. 2008 Nov;70(11):1205-10.

Detection of avian Plasmodium spp. DNA sequences from mosquitoes captured in Minami Daito Island of Japan.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Fujisawa, Japan.


Several species of birds in Minami Daito Island, an oceanic island located in the far south from the main islands of Japan, were found to be infected with avian Plasmodium. However, no vector species of the avian malaria in this island have been revealed yet. To speculate potential vectors, we collected mosquitoes there and investigated using a PCR procedure whether the mosquitoes harbor avian malaria or not. Totally 1,264 mosquitoes including 9 species were collected during March 2006 to February 2007. The mosquitoes collected were stored every species, sampled date and location for DNA extraction. Fifteen out of 399 DNA samples showed positive for the partial mtDNA cytb gene of avian Plasmodium. Estimated minimum infection rate among collected mosquitoes was 1.2% in this study. Four species of mosquitoes; Aedes albopictus, Culex quinquefasciatus, Lutzia fuscanus and Mansonia sp. had avian Plasmodium gene sequences. Detected DNA sequences from A. albopictus and L. fuscanus were identical to an avian Plasmodium lineage detected in bull-headed shrike (Lanius bucephalus) captured in the island. Different sequences were detected from C. quinquefasciatus, which were corresponding to an avian Plasmodium from a sparrow (Passer montanus) and Plasmodium gallinaceum. Our results suggest that A. albopictus, Lutzia fuscanus, C. quinquefasciatus, and Mansonia sp. could be potential vectors of avian malaria in Minami Daito Island. This study was the first report of molecular detection of avian Plasmodium from mosquitoes in Japan.

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