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The interaction between avian malaria, immunity and gross sperm morphology

Few studies have shown the impact of pathogens on sperm ultra-structure. In birds, this understanding is limited including that of sexually transmitted diseases especially in the Afrotropical regions

Few studies have shown the impact of pathogens on sperm ultra-structure. In birds, this understanding is limited including that of sexually transmitted diseases. It is not uncommon to observe physiological or anatomical deformity in sperm cells within an ejaculate but whether disease causing pathogens can jeopardize ability to produce normal and viable sperm cells and thus reduce individual fitness, is unclear. Specifically, avian malaria -vector-transmitted disease- is caused by protozoa (Genera: Plasmodium and Haemoproteus); host are infected vectors (mosquitoes-Culicidae, biting midges-Ceratopogonidae, and louse flies obtain blood meals from host. Through an interdisciplinary collaborative approach, we investigate the relationship between haemosporidian infection, host immunity and gross sperm morphology. The objectives are to assess factors influencing exposure of bird species to malaria infection, and evaluate the immuno-responses of birds to avian malaria infection, and determine the sperm quality of avian malaria infected in comparison to non-infected.

[Principal Investigator: Taiwo Crossby, EU & APLORI]
[Collaborators: Tsomafo Constance, Ghana; Leonce Kouakanou, Benin; and Dr. Jesca Nakayima, Uganda]
[Funder: IFS, NHM]

Project Numbers: NA

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