Haemoparasites in captive birds at Uberlândia zoo, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil





Avian Malaria, Blood Parasites, Captive Animals, Haematozoa, Plasmodium.


Haemoparasites are one of the most important groups of bird parasites, with emphasis on the genera Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, Leucocytozoon and Trypanosoma. Zoos sustain different wild animals and are valuable tools for the education and conservation of species. The conditions of captive animals differ from wild animals, as zoos have sufficient availability of food throughout the year, protection against predators and veterinary care for animals. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of haemoparasites in captive birds of the Sabiá Municipal Park Zoo, municipality of Uberlândia, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Blood samples were collected from the alveolar vein puncture to make blood swabs. This material was fixed with methanol, stained by the GIEMSA technique and examined under optical microscope. A total of 46 birds (19 species) were analyzed and only three individuals (6.52%) were positive for Plasmodium sp. The hosts were Pavo cristatus and Tyto furcata. This low positivity was expected, since haemoparasites do not generally present high infection rates among birds. Even if a parasite is not pathogenic for a given species, these individuals are important reservoirs for the infection of more vulnerable species. Differences in the prevalence and intensity of infection of these hosts depend on the virulence of the parasite, ability of the host to respond to such infections and vector availability. This low prevalence rate suggests a good health status of the captive birds in the study area.


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How to Cite

AGUIAR, L.M. de and MARÇAL JÚNIOR, O., 2021. Haemoparasites in captive birds at Uberlândia zoo, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 37, pp. e37011. [Accessed14 August 2022]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v37n0a2021-47818. Available from: https://seer.ufu.br/index.php/biosciencejournal/article/view/47818.



Biological Sciences