Unidentified Plasmodium species in Australian black swans (Cygnus atratus) hatched and raised in North America

K. Christiana Grim, Thomas McCutchan, Margery Sullivan, Michael R. Cranfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A pair of Australian black swans (Cygnus atratus) with origins in Wakefield, Virginia, USA, was admitted to the quarantine area at the Baltimore Zoo for general health assessments before housing in the collections. During the quarantine period, no clinical signs of disease were manifest; however, upon examination of a blood smear, intraerythrocytic parasites were detected and initially determined to be Haemoproteus species. Diagnostic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing results, however, indicated that the parasites were within the genus Plasmodium. Sub-clinical infections with Plasmodium species in birds may affect collection management, and transmission from refractory hosts to susceptible hosts should be considered when multispecies exhibits are used. In addition, changes in the dynamics of host-vector-parasite interactions might have significant impacts on wild or domesticated populations of birds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-220
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Australian black swan
  • Avian malaria
  • Cygnus atratus
  • Plasmodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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