Multiple vector-borne pathogens often circulate in the same vector and host communities, and seasonal infection dynamics influence the potential for pathogen interactions. Here, we explore the seasonal infection patterns of avian malaria (Haemosporida) parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) and West Nile virus (WNV) in birds and mosquitoes in suburban Chicago. We show that both pathogens vary seasonally in Culex mosquitoes and avian hosts, but that patterns of covariation are complex. Different putative Plasmodium species varied asynchronously across the season in mosquitoes and birds, suggesting that different forces may govern their transmission. Infections of Culex mosquitoes with Plasmodium parasites were positively associated with WNV infections in pools of individuals aggregated from the same time and site, suggesting that these pathogens respond to common environmental drivers and co-circulate among the same host and vector populations. Future research should focus on these common drivers, and whether these pathogens interact in vectors and hosts.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Medeiros, Matthew; Ricklefs, Robert; Brawn, Jeffrey; Ruiz, Marilyn; Goldberg, Tony; and Hamer, Gabriel, "Overlap in the Seasonal Infection Patterns of Avian Malaria Parasites and West Nile Virus in Vectors and Hosts" (2016). Biology Department Faculty Works. 141.
Available at: https://irl.umsl.edu/biology-faculty/141