Michael A. Peirce
Other affiliations: East Sussex County Council
Bio: Michael A. Peirce is an academic researcher from Queensland Museum. The author has contributed to research in topics: Leucocytozoon & Haematozoa. The author has an hindex of 7, co-authored 12 publications receiving 207 citations. Previous affiliations of Michael A. Peirce include East Sussex County Council.
TL;DR: The distribution of the parasites by the Wallacean life zones is discussed; Plasmodium records in birds from the Australian zone is sharply lower than for any other life zone.
Abstract: The 34 valid species of avian Plasmodium are listed with their authorities and type-hosts Plasmodium species are also listed by the avian family in which they occur and by the number of avian families and species which they parasitise A key to the subgenera of Plasmodium occurring in birds is presented The distribution of the parasites by the Wallacean life zones is discussed; Plasmodium records in birds from the Australian zone is sharply lower than for any other life zone
TL;DR: The valid avian species of the apicomplexan blood parasite genera Haemoproteus, Hepatozoon and Leucocytozoon are arranged according to host family, assuming host familial specificity.
Abstract: The valid avian species of the apicomplexan blood parasite genera Haemoproteus, Hepatozoon and Leucocytozoon are arranged according to host family, assuming host familial specificity; salient points of the parasite morphology are recorded where appropriate.
TL;DR: The results show that avian Babesia spp.
Abstract: There are 16 recognized species of avian-infecting Babesia spp. (Piroplasmida: Babesiidae). While the classification of piroplasmids has been historically based on morphological differences, geographic isolation and presumed host and/or vector specificities, recent studies employing gene sequence analysis have provided insight into their phylogenetic relationships and host distribution and specificity. In this study, we analyzed the sequences of the 18S rRNA gene and ITS-1 and ITS-2 regions of two Babesia species from South African seabirds: Babesia peircei from African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) and Babesia ugwidiensis from Bank and Cape cormorants (Phalacrocorax neglectus and P. capensis, respectively). Our results show that avian Babesia spp. are not monophyletic, with at least three distinct phylogenetic groups. B. peircei and B. ugwidiensis are closely related, and fall within the same phylogenetic group as B. ardeae (from herons Ardea cinerea), B. poelea (from boobies Sula spp.) and B. uriae (from murres Uria aalge). The validity of B. peircei and B. ugwidiensis as separate species is corroborated by both morphological and genetic evidence. On the other hand, our results indicate that B. poelea might be a synonym of B. peircei, which in turn would be a host generalist that infects seabirds from multiple orders. Further studies combining morphological and molecular methods are warranted to clarify the taxonomy, phylogeny and host distribution of avian piroplasmids.
TL;DR: Several of the records are novel host-parasite associations, demonstrating the potential of rehabilitation centres for parasite and disease surveillance, particularly for species infrequently sampled from which no host-specific parasites have been described.
Abstract: Blood parasites are generally uncommon in seabirds, and knowledge on their epidemiology is further limited by the fact that they often inhabit remote locations that are logistically difficult or expensive to study. We present a long term data set of blood smear examinations of 1909 seabirds belonging to 27 species that were admitted to a rehabilitation centre in Cape Town (Western Cape, South Africa) between 2001 and 2013. Blood parasites were detected in 59% of species (16/27) and 29% of individuals examined (551/1909). The following blood parasites were recorded: Babesia ugwidiensis, Babesia peircei, Babesia sp., Plasmodium sp., Leucocytozoon ugwidi, Hepatozoon albatrossi, Haemoproteus skuae and Spirochaetales. Several of the records are novel host-parasite associations, demonstrating the potential of rehabilitation centres for parasite and disease surveillance, particularly for species infrequently sampled from which no host-specific parasites have been described.
TL;DR: A necropsy was conducted on a female grey-headed parrot (Poicephalus robustus suahelicus) that died following signs of depression, ruffled feathers, and inappetence as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: A necropsy was conducted on a female grey-headed parrot (Poicephalus robustus suahelicus) that died following signs of depression, ruffled feathers, and inappetence. Microscopic examination revealed the presence of hemoprotozoa in the liver. A nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR), targeting the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of Haemoproteus species, Plasmodium species, and Leucocytozoon species, was performed on frozen tissue samples collected at necropsy. The hemoprotozoa were identified by PCR analysis as Leucocytozoon species. Hemoprotozoa are rarely reported in African parrots, and this is the first report of a Leucocytozooon species infection in a Poicephalus robustus suahelicus.
01 Jan 1985
TL;DR: A phylogenetic approach is used to develop a better statistical assessment of host switching in a large sample of vector–borne malaria parasites of birds over their history of parasite-host relations, suggesting that avian malaria parasites diversified along with their modern avian hosts.
Abstract: The switching of parasitic organisms to novel hosts, in which they may cause the emergence of new diseases, is of great concern to human health and the management of wild and domesticated populations of animals. We used a phylogenetic approach to develop a better statistical assessment of host switching in a large sample of vector-borne malaria parasites of birds (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) over their history of parasite-host relations. Even with sparse sampling, the number of parasite lineages was almost equal to the number of avian hosts. We found that strongly supported sister lineages of parasites, averaging 1.2% sequence divergence, exhibited highly significant host and geographical fidelity. Event-based matching of host and parasite phylogenetic trees revealed significant cospeciation. However, the accumulated effects of host switching and long distance dispersal cause these signals to disappear before 4% sequence divergence is achieved. Mitochondrial DNA nucleotide substitution appears to occur about three times faster in hosts than in parasites, contrary to findings on other parasite-host systems. Using this mutual calibration, the phylogenies of the parasites and their hosts appear to be similar in age, suggesting that avian malaria parasites diversified along with their modern avian hosts. Although host switching has been a prominent feature over the evolutionary history of avian malaria parasites, it is infrequent and unpredictable on time scales germane to public health and wildlife management.
TL;DR: Global assessments of the relationship between parasite and host phylogenetic trees, using Component and ParaFit, failed to detect significant cospeciation, suggesting parasite speciation may happen more often in conjunction with the acquisition of new hosts followed by divergent selection between host lineages in sympatry.
Abstract: We used phylogenetic analyses of cytochrome b sequences of malaria parasites and their avian hosts to assess the coevolutionary relationships between host and parasite lineages. Many lineages of avian malaria parasites have broad host distributions, which tend to obscure cospeciation events. The hosts of a single parasite or of closely related parasites were nonetheless most frequently recovered from members of the same host taxonomic family, more so than expected by chance. However, global assessments of the relationship between parasite and host phylogenetic trees, using Component and ParaFit, failed to detect significant cospeciation. The event-based approach employed by TreeFitter revealed significant cospeciation and duplication with certain cost assignments for these events, but host switching was consistently more prominent in matching the parasite tree to the host tree. The absence of a global cospeciation signal despite conservative host distribution most likely reflects relatively frequent acquisition of new hosts by individual parasite lineages. Understanding these processes will require a more refined species concept for malaria parasites and more extensive sampling of parasite distributions across hosts. If parasites can disperse between allopatric host populations through alternative hosts, cospeciation may not have a strong influence on the architecture of host-parasite relationships. Rather, parasite speciation may happen more often in conjunction with the acquisition of new hosts followed by divergent selection between host lineages in sympatry. Detailed studies of the phylogeographic distributions of hosts and parasites are needed to characterize these events.
TL;DR: It is stressed that the best way to avoid emergent and reemergent diseases is through a program encompassing ecological restoration, environmental education, and enhanced understanding of the value of ecosystem services.
Abstract: Haemosporida is a large group of vector-borne intracellular parasites that infect amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. This group includes the different malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) that infect humans around the world. Our knowledge on the full life cycle of these parasites is most complete for those parasites that infect humans and, to some extent, birds. However, our current knowledge on haemosporidian life cycles is characterized by a paucity of information concerning the vector species responsible for their transmission among vertebrates. Moreover, our taxonomic and systematic knowledge of haemosporidians is far from complete, in particular because of insufficient sampling in wild vertebrates and in tropical regions. Detailed experimental studies to identify avian haemosporidian vectors are uncommon, with only a few published during the last 25 years. As such, little knowledge has accumulated on haemosporidian life cycles during the last three decades, hindering progress in ecology, evolution, and systematic studies of these avian parasites. Nonetheless, recently developed molecular tools have facilitated advances in haemosporidian research. DNA can now be extracted from vectors' blood meals and the vertebrate host identified; if the blood meal is infected by haemosporidians, the parasite's genetic lineage can also be identified. While this molecular tool should help to identify putative vector species, detailed experimental studies on vector competence are still needed. Furthermore, molecular tools have helped to refine our knowledge on Haemosporida taxonomy and systematics. Herein we review studies conducted on Diptera vectors transmitting avian haemosporidians from the late 1800s to the present. We also review work on Haemosporida taxonomy and systematics since the first application of molecular techniques and provide recommendations and suggest future research directions. Because human encroachment on natural environments brings human populations into contact with novel parasite sources, we stress that the best way to avoid emergent and reemergent diseases is through a program encompassing ecological restoration, environmental education, and enhanced understanding of the value of ecosystem services.
TL;DR: It is shown that Hawaii's avian malaria, which can cause high mortality and is a major limiting factor for many species of native passerines, represents just one of the numerous lineages composing the morphological parasite species.
Abstract: The introduction of avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) to Hawaii has provided a model system for studying the influence of exotic disease on naive host populations. Little is known, however, about the origin or the genetic variation of Hawaii's malaria and traditional classification methods have confounded attempts to place the parasite within a global ecological and evolutionary context. Using fragments of the parasite mitochondrial gene cytochrome b and the nuclear gene dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase obtained from a global survey of greater than 13 000 avian samples, we show that Hawaii's avian malaria, which can cause high mortality and is a major limiting factor for many species of native passerines, represents just one of the numerous lineages composing the morphological parasite species. The single parasite lineage detected in Hawaii exhibits a broad host distribution worldwide and is dominant on several other remote oceanic islands, including Bermuda and Moorea, French Polynesia. The rarity of this lineage in the continental New World and the restriction of closely related lineages to the Old World suggest limitations to the transmission of reproductively isolated parasite groups within the morphological species.