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Towards the identification of C. paolae and C. circumscriptus as potential vectors of avian haemosporidian parasites

Haemosporidians are the most important vector-borne parasites due to their cosmopolitan distribution and their wide range of hosts, including humans. Identification of their vectors is critical to highlight ecologically and epidemiologically relevant features such as host specificity or transmission routes. Biting midges of the genus Culicoides are considered the main vectors of Haemoproteus spp., yet important information on aspects such as vector feeding preferences or vector-host specificity involving haemosporidian parasites is frequently missing. The abundance of Culicoides circumscriptus and C. paolae was assessed as well as blood sources of the latter at the nests of cavity-nesting bird species (mainly the European roller Coracias garrulus) and in their surroundings. The prevalence and genetic diversity of avian haemosporidians in parous females of both species were explored. Both C. circumscriptus and C. paolae were abundant in the study area and common at European roller nests. Culicoides paolae had a diverse ornithophilic diet, feeding on at least seven bird species. Human DNA was also detected in the blood meal of some individuals. Four Haemoproteus lineages, including a new one reported here for the first time, were isolated from parous females of both biting midges. informacion[at] Veiga et al (2018) Culicoides paolae and C. circumscriptus as potential vectors of avian haemosporidians in an arid ecosystem. Parasites & Vectors. DOI: 10.1186/s13071-018-3098-8
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Does bird metabolic rate influence mosquito feeding preference?

Host selection by mosquitoes plays a central role in the transmission of vector-borne infectious diseases. However, the mechanisms underlying intraspecific differences in hosts’ attractiveness to...