[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we investigated the geographical distribution and seasonality of Leucocytozoon lovati infection in the Japanese rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus japonicus); this bird is one of the special natural monuments of Japan that inhabits the Japanese alpine regions. We examined blood samples from birds captured in the Kubiki, Hida, and Akaishi mountain ranges for three years from 2002 to 2005. Seventy-three blood samples from 42 males, 19 females, and 12 birds of unknown sex were used for this study. The rate of infection with L. lovati was 78.1% in the 73 birds examined. We demonstrated that the L. lovati infection was distributed across wide ranges of ptarmigan populations from the northern to the southern alpine zones. There was no sex bias in the prevalence ratio. The prevalence of L. lovati and the level of parasitization of the blood cells tended to increase from spring through summer; in contrast, a decrease was observed from summer through autumn. Although L. lovati infection was observed in a number of local populations inhabiting three mountainous regions, no infected birds were found in Mt. Johnen-dake and Mt. Maejohnen-dake. It is necessary to continue surveying the relationship between the population dynamics of the ptarmigan and the density of the arthropod vector from the perspective of in situ conservation of this endangered species.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 03/2007; 69(2):171-6. · 0.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eight species of Japanese birds were found to be infected with Leucocytozoon species using microscopic analysis. We used PCR and sequence analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (cyt b) to compare the genetic background among these detected protozoa species. In 20 individuals of 22 samples, a single amplified band was detected from 6 of 8 bird species; 9 Japanese rock ptarmigans (Lagopus mutus japonicus), 4 large-billed crows (Corvus macrorhynchos), 2 carrion crows (C. corone), 2 scops owls (Otus scops), 1 Japanese grosbeak (Eophona personata), and 2 brown-eared bulbuls (Hypsipetes amaurotis), respectively. Phylogenetic analysis based on the partial cyt b sequences revealed that all Leucocytozoon isolates in Japan closely grouped with other Leucocytozoon species previously reported in the literature. Among the Japanese isolates, the phylogenetic tree suggested that L. lovati from the Japanese rock ptarmigan may be basal to the parasites found in other bird species. Our study is the first to identify the molecular relationships among Leucocytozoon parasites in the avifauna of Japan.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 02/2007; 69(1):55-9. · 0.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leucocytozoon lovati infections were detected in free-flying rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus), an endangered species that inhabits alpine areas in Japan. Eight of nine adult birds tested positive for L. lovati infection. For comparison, two captive rock ptarmigans hatched in a breeding facility at the foot of the mountains were examined. Both were negative for L. lovati infection. This is the first report of L. lovati infection in the rock ptarmigan in Japan.
Journal of wildlife diseases 11/2004; 40(4):804-7. · 1.27 Impact Factor