Description of Leucocytozoon quynzae sp. nov. (Haemosporida, Leucocytozoidae) from hummingbirds, with remarks on distribution and possible vectors of leucocytozoids in South America

Nubia E. Matta, Ingrid A. Lotta, Gediminas Valkiunas, Angie D. González, M. Andreína Pacheco, Ananias A. Escalante, Ligia I. Moncada, Oscar A. Rodríguez-Fandiño

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

We describe Leucocytozoon quynzae sp. nov. (Haemosporida, Leucocytozoidae), which is the first Leucocytozoon parasite identified to species level in hummingbirds. It was found in the Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus amethysticollis, Trochilidae, Apodiformes) captured in the Palacio Forest, which belongs to the damping zone of Chingaza National Natural Park, Cundinamarca, Colombia, at 2,900 m above sea level where the transmission occurs; the new species were found both in the high Andean forest and Paramo ecosystem. This parasite is described based on the morphology of its blood stages, a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, and the complete mitochondrial genome. Illustrations of blood stages of the new species are given, and the phylogenetic analysis places this lineage in a well-supported clade with other lineages of unidentified to species level leucocytozoids reported in the Trochilidae birds elsewhere. The new species possess gametocytes in roundish host cells; it can be readily distinguished from other similar leucocytozoids, primarily due to (1) a comma-like shape of the host cell nucleus, which extended one half or less of the circumference of the gametocyte and (2) a large number of prominent volutin granules in the cytoplasm. Identical mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence of Leucocytozoon quynzae was found in different hummingbird species at the type locality and also was reported in one passerine bird at the highlands of Peru. Leucocytozoon quynzae is the first leucocytozoid parasite described from South American birds; its transmission occurs both at low temperatures and high elevations. We discuss some patterns of distribution of avian leucocytozoids in South America and the role of Gigantodax spp. (Diptera, Simuliidae) as potential vectors of Leucocytozoon parasites in the Andean Region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-468
Number of pages12
JournalParasitology Research
Volume113
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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