Avian malaria

Avian malaria is a mosquito-borne disease affecting birds. It is caused by a protozoan parasite Plasmodium relictum, which reproduces in avian red blood cells. If the parasite load is high, the hostÂ’s blood cells will deplete, resulting in anemia and later death. It was a major contributor to the extinction of Hawaiian forest birds.
A new research has identified various hotspots transmitting a group of blood parasites called haemosporidian parasites that causes avian malaria. The most significant of these hotspots is the Sahara-Arabian region. The disease is affecting an average of 13-14 per cent of all wild birds worldwide.


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