oxidative stress; local adaptation; host selection; life-history traits; virulence
(2016), Exposure of the mosquito vector Culex pipiens to the malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum: effect of infected blood intake on immune and antioxidant defences, fecundity and survival., in Parasites & vectors
, 9(1), 616-616.
(2016), Interspecific correlation between red blood cell mitochondrial ROS production, cardiolipin content and longevity in birds, in Age
, 38(5), 433-443.
(2016), Plasmodium infection and oxidative status in breeding great tits, Parus major, in Malaria Journal
, 15, 531.
(2016), Plasmodium infection and oxidative status in breeding great tits, Parus major., in Malaria journal
, 15(1), 531-531.
(2015), Bringing together phylogeny and behavioural ecology in host-parasite interactions, 434-449.
(2015), How a haemosporidian parasite of bats gets around: the genetic structure of a parasite, vector and host compared, in Molecular Ecology
, 24, 926-940.
(2015), Signs of a vector’s adaptive choice: on the evasion of infectious hosts and parasite-induced mortality, in Oikos
, 124, 668-676.
(2014), Epidemiological traits of the malaria-like parasite Polychromophilus murinus in the Daubenton's bat Myotis daubentonii., in Parasites & Vectors
, 7(1), 566.
(2014), Natural malaria infection reduces starvation resistance of nutritionally stressed mosquitoes., in Journal of Animal Ecology
, 83, 850-857.
(2014), North-African house martins endure greater haemosporidian infection than their European counterparts, in Journal of Avian Biology
, 45(5), 450-456.
(2014), Senescence in cell oxidative status in two bird species with contrasting life expectancy., in Oecologia
, 174(4), 1097-105.
(2013), Altitudinal variation in haemosporidian parasite distribution in great tit populations., in Parasites & vectors
, 6, 139-139.
(2013), Avian haemosporidian persistence and co-infection in great tits at the individual level., in Malaria Journal
, 12(40), 40.
(2013), Temporal changes in mosquito abundance (Culex pipiens), avian malaria prevalence and lineage composition, in PARASITES & VECTORS
, 6, 307.
(2012), High Prevalence and Lineage Diversity of Avian Malaria in Wild Populations of Great Tits (Parus major) and Mosquitoes (Culex pipiens), in PLOS ONE
, 7(4), e34964-e34964.
(2012), Potential evidence of parasite avoidance in an avian malarial vector, in ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR
, 84(3), 539-545.
(2012), The evolutionary host switches of Polychromophilus: a multi-gene phylogeny of the bat malaria genus suggests a second invasion of mammals by a haemosporidian parasite, in Malaria Journal
, 11, 53.
Several ill-understood evolutionary processes have been elucidated through the study of host-parasite interactions, which remains one of the most promising fields of research in evolutionary biology and behavioural ecology. A central concept is that there is a cost to parasite resistance, which generates trade-offs between the various mechanisms of defense and fitness related traits. The current challenge is to understand these trade-offs. Oxidative stress has gained considerable interest as potential mediator of these life history trade-offs. Although avian malaria is a very common and widely distributed parasite, the complex interactions between the different actors of this bird-mosquito-Plasmodium system remain largely unknown. In a current research project funded by the SNF, we have found a very high prevalence (about 90%) of different Plasmodium lineages infecting natural populations of great tits (Parus major). The two main Plasmodium lineages occurring in our study populations showed a strong segregated spatial distribution. Multiple infections from divergent parasite lineages could result in the evolution of increased virulence because of intense competition for a limited number of hosts. The mosquito Culex pipiens appears to be the main vector for Plasmodium in these populations, with a rather high prevalence of about 7%. C. pipiens were able to discriminate between infected and uninfected birds and were more likely to choose the uninfected ones, according to their body odor differences. The present application is a continuation of that research program and focuses on avian malaria in the great tit and Culex pipiens, looking at different aspects of interactions between parasites and hosts (physiological mechanisms, local adaptation, virulence) and between parasites and vectors (host choice, life-history traits). Specifically, we will first perform a series of field and lab experiments in order to:a) Test experimentally the interaction between parasitaemia, ability to mount an immune response and oxidative stress level.b) Test if local adaptation takes place in this host-parasite system in a series of cross-infection experiments. c) Investigate in laboratory conditions if there is competition between two Plasmodium species (P. relictum, lineage SGS1) and P. polare (lineage SW2) within single bird host.Secondly, we will focus on different aspects of interactions between Plasmodium and mosquitoes. With a series of lab and field experiments we will:d) Investigate the costs imposed by Plasmodium on mosquitoes by comparing life history parameters between infected and non-infected individuals in different environmental conditions.e) Test if host selection, based on uropygial gland secretions, is affected by the status (parasitized or not) of the vector.f) Determine the association between several species/lineages of Plasmodium and their natural vector species.Overall, we expect that these experiments will not only reveal little known connections between infection status and host preference, but also uncover part of the complex interactions and constraints affecting the relationship between hosts, vectors and parasites in a natural avian malaria model.