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Title: Micro and macroparasites of bats (Chiroptera)
Author: Lord, Jennifer Suzanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 8223
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2010
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Bats (Chiroptera) are one of the most successful and diverse of mammalian orders, with an estimated 1100 species worldwide. Due to protected species legislation, studies that focus upon bat endoparasites are limited. As such, many fundamental questions concerning bat-parasite relationships remain unanswered, including evolutionary aspects of such associations, hostparasite interactions and factors that may influence the composition of bat parasite communities. To further knowledge of bat parasitology, one hundred bats, that had either died of natural causes, or had been euthanized due to severity of injury, were acquired across Greater Manchester and Lancashire between September 2005 and September 2008. Molecular typing methods confirmed 93 specimens to be common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus), six to be soprano pipistrelle (P. pygmaeus) and one to be a whiskered bat (Myotis mystacinus). Development of PCR-based methodologies, coupled when possible with morphological analyses, confirmed the presence of the following microparasites (prevalence data in parenthesis): Babesia vesperuginis (23%), Trypanosoma spp (36%), Bartonella sp. (2%) and Eimeria sp. (20%), and the following macroparasites: Lecithodendrium linstowi (80.4%), Lecithodendrium spathulatum (19.6%), Prosthodendrium sp. (35.3%), Plagiorchis koreanus (29.4%) and Pycnoporus heteroporus (9.8%). Potential factors affecting the parasite community composition including host sex and age, season, year, geographic location and parasite co-infection are explored. The detection of Eimeria sp. would appear to be the first record of coccidia in British bats, and also the first global record of Eimeria sp. from the common pipistrelle. Phylogenetic analysis of bat-associated Bartonella sp. ITS region, clusters the isolate in a well supported clade with B. grahamii, B. elizabethae and B. queenslandensis, all known to infect rodents, in addition to B. grahamii and B. elizabethae being recognised human pathogens. The first molecular sequence data for L. spathulatum is presented, and sequence data for Prosthodendrium specimens is also novel; both are incorporated into a phylogenetic analysis of the Lecithodendriidae, which questions the current taxonomic status of Prosthodendrium. Lastly, in an attempt to assist the evolutionary study of haemosporidian parasites, ectoparasitic bat flies were collected in the field from Puerto Rican bats and additional samples were acquired from Germany. Dissection and cytochrome b-specific PCR analysis of DNA extracted from insect digestive tract tissue confirmed the presence of haemosporidian DNA within two of the German samples. Phylogenetic analysis of the order Haemosporidia, incorporating the novel cytochrome b gene sequence derived from these German samples, showed the latter to cluster strongly with samples isolated from Madagascan bats and illustrates likely host-switching between birds and mammals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Salford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QH301 Biology