Mihaela Ilieva

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Little is known about the development of infection of malaria parasites of the genus Plasmodium in wild birds. We used qPCR, targeting specific mitochondrial lineages of Plasmodium ashfordi (GRW2) and Plasmodium relictum (GRW4), to monitor changes in intensities of parasitemia in captive great reed warblers Acrocephalus arundinaceus from summer to spring.(More)
Many biting midges of the genus Culicoides Latreille, 1809 (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) are competent vectors of a diverse number of pathogens. The identification of their feeding behaviour and of vector-host associations is essential for understanding their transmission capacity. By applying two different nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays, of(More)
Numerous lineages of avian malaria parasites of the genus Plasmodium have been deposited in GenBank. However, only seven morphospecies have been linked to these lineages. This study linked two molecular sequences with morphospecies of malaria parasites. Two species of Plasmodium (mitochondrial cytochrome b gene lineages P-GRW2 and P-GRW4) were isolated from(More)
Malaria parasites often manage to maintain an infection for several months or years in their vertebrate hosts. In humans, rodents and birds, most of the fitness costs associated with malaria infections are in the short initial primary (high parasitaemia) phase of the infection, whereas the chronic phase (low parasitaemia) is more benign to the host. In wild(More)
Migratory divides are thought to facilitate behavioral, ecological, and genetic divergence among populations with different migratory routes. However, it is currently contentious how much genetic divergence is needed to maintain distinct migratory behavior across migratory divides. Here we investigate patterns of neutral genetic differentiation among(More)
Cue-conflict experiments were performed to study the compass calibration of one predominantly diurnal migrant, the dunnock (Prunella modularis), and two species of nocturnal passerine migrants, the sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus), and the European robin (Erithacus rubecula) during autumn migration in South Sweden. The birds' orientation was(More)
Topography and historical range expansion has formed a so-called migratory divide between two subspecies of willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) in central Scandinavia. The autumn migratory directions of individuals assigned molecularly to both subspecies and possible hybrids were recorded using orientation cage experiments in southwest and southeast(More)
Haemosporidians (Haemosporida) are cosmopolitan in birds. Over 250 species of these blood parasites have been described and named; however, molecular markers remain unidentified for the great majority of them. This is unfortunate because linkage between DNA sequences and identifications based on morphological species can provide important information about(More)
The occurrence of haemosporidians in biting midges of the genus Culicoides is examined in North-East Bulgaria in order to reveal their potential role for parasite transmission. A PCR-based technique amplifying part of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of the parasite is applied on naturally infected biting midges. Totally, 640 parous individuals of four(More)
The blood parasite diversity was studied in paddyfield warblers (Acrocephalus agricola) breeding in NE Bulgaria, SW Russia and S. Kazakhstan. Nine cytochrome b gene lineages were recorded, 4 belonging to Haemoproteus spp. and 5 to Plasmodium spp. The overall prevalence of haemosporidians was 33.3%. The composition of parasites varied geographically, with(More)