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Publications (3)1.32 Total impact

  • Gediminas Valkiūnas, Gediminas Liutkevicius, Tatjana A Iezhova
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    ABSTRACT: Development of Haemoproteus balmorali, H. dolniki, and H. tartakovskyi was followed in experimentally infected biting midges Culicoides impunctatus on the Curonian Spit in the Baltic Sea. Wild-caught flies were allowed to take blood meals on naturally infected spotted flycatchers Muscicapa striata, chaffinches Fringilla coelebs, or crossbills Loxia curvirostra harboring mature gametocytes of these parasites. The engorged biting midges were collected, held at 14-18 C, and dissected daily. Mature ookinetes of H. balmorali, H. dolniki, and H. tartakovskyi were numerous in the midgut content 36 hr postinfection (PI). Oocysts were first seen in the midgut wall 3 days PI. They were numerous in the midgut on the fourth day PI. Sporozoites were seen in salivary glands 5 days PI. The percentage of experimentally infected biting midges with sporozoites of H. balmorali was 36.1%: 8.8% with H. dolniki and 31.2% with H. tartakovskyi. Culicoides impunctatus is likely to be an important vector of Haemoproteus spp. in Europe. All investigated species of parasites can be distinguished on the basis of morphology or size (or both) of their vector stages. Morphological features of the ookinetes, oocysts, and sporozoites should be given more prominence in the description of new species of hemoproteids.
    Journal of Parasitology 11/2002; 88(5):864-8. · 1.32 Impact Factor
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    Gediminas Liutkevičius
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    ABSTRACT: Experiments on the influence of three species of haemoproteids (Haemoproteus dolniki, H. balmorali and H. tartakovskyi) on the mortality of Culicoides impunctatus (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) were carried out. Biting midges were experimentally infected with the above-mentioned haemoproteids obtained from the spontaneously infected birds. A control group was made of biting midges that fed on the blood of Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs L.) that were not infected with the blood parasites. Experimental and control biting midges were kept under equal conditions, identified, counted and then dissected. In the stomach contents of biting midges we found ookinetes and in their salivary glands we detected sporozoites. We established that the mortality of biting midges infected with H. balmorali and H. dolniki was highest on the first-second day after the infection. Then it gradually decreased and on the 5-7 day after the infection it did not statistically differ from the mortality of biting midges in the control group. Due to the longer period of the formation of ookinetes, the mortality of Culicoides sp. infected with H. tartakovskyi was highest in 3-5 days after the infection. Infection of biting midges with H. dolniki, H. balmorali and H. tartakovskyi increases the mortality of Culicoides impunctatus.
    Acta Zoologica Lituanica 01/2000; 10(4):3-8.
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    Gediminas Liutkevičius
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    ABSTRACT: The fauna of biting midges (Ceratopogonidae: Culicoides) and the dynamics of their seasonal abundance were investigated on the Curonian Spit of the Baltic Sea in the spring-summer period of 1997-1999. Six species of biting midges from the genus Culicoides were recorded among which C. impunctatus was found to be the most abundant. It represents 94.6% of the total number of the collected biting midges. 92.8% of active female biting midges were collected in May-June, few of them were collected in July, whereas no midges were recorded in August. The active transmission of haemoproteids (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae) on the spit takes place in May-June. Spontaneously infected with haemoproteids biting midges were not recorded. Sporozoites of Haemoproteus fringillae were isolated from 44.0% of the experimentally infected C. impunctatus fed on spontaneously infected Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs). It is probable that this biting midge species is the main vector of haemoproteids on the study site. The prevalence of the infection with Haemoproteus sp. in Chaffinches was 45.7% in adult and 15.6% in juvenile birds, which confirms active transmission of parasites on the spit.
    Acta Zoologica Lituanica 01/2000; 10(2):72-77.