- Presents a wealth of information on avian malaria parasites and other haemosporidians and their ecology never before available in a single source
- Offers more than 300 illustrations for identification of most avian blood parasites by family, genera, and species
- Provides a basis for future studies using avian haematozoa to investigate questions in evolutionary biology, ecology, and molecular epidemiology
- Discusses relapses, immunity, prevention, and treatment of parasitic infection
For many years, bird blood parasites served as important models in studying human diseases, including malaria. Although these models have been largely replaced-first by the discovery of rodent malaria and then by the development of culture techniques-the wealth of avian data and research remains valuable. As ecologists and evolutionary biologists seek models to illustrate their theories, avian haemotozoa provide some of the best existing databases.
Avian Malaria Parasites and Other Haemosporidia is the first illustrated guide to avian malaria parasites and their close relatives. It summarizes more than a century of research on bird haemosporidians. The first section of the book provides information on the history, classification, life cycles, ultrastructure, specificity, pathogenicity, distribution, and ecology of bird haemosporidians. It also presents a detailed analysis of the influence of the parasites on wild birds, the role of transcontinental migration of birds in the distribution of the pathogens, as well as seasonal and age peculiarities of infections of birds with haemosporidians. In the second section, the material is arranged in phylogenetical (families, genera, subgenera) and chronological (species) order. This section presents data on more than 200 species of bird haemosporidians, as well as information for each taxon such as the most important taxonomic literature, author, date of description, synonyms, and diagnosis. Also included are the vertebrate hosts, vectors, type material, place of deposition of the type material, etymology, description and illustrations for most of the species. This section also compiles keys for identification of families, genera, and species of the parasites.
With a wealth of information, some from previously inaccessible Russian sources, as well as a host of references, illustrations, and tables, this book is a masterful assessment of the biology of bird haemosporidian parasites that will be useful to researchers and professionals in a wide range of biological sciences.