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Population Changes in Latent Avian Malaria Infections Associated with Season and Corticosterone Treatment

J. E. Applegate
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 56, No. 3 (Jun., 1970), pp. 439-443
DOI: 10.2307/3277599
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3277599
Page Count: 5
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Population Changes in Latent Avian Malaria Infections Associated with Season and Corticosterone Treatment
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Abstract

The study investigated the effects of season and corticosterone treatment on populations of Plasmodium relictum in house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Birds from an experimentally infected field population were returned to the laboratory on 22 January, 4 March, and 14 April, where half received 250 µg corticosterone in 0.05 ml peanut oil per day and half received 0.05 ml oil per day for 10 days. Corticosterone treatment was consistently accompanied by a higher proportion of birds with patent infections, a higher proportion of blood films with demonstrable parasites, and a higher proportion of infected erythrocytes than was observed in the oil control group. Parasites were more prevalent in the blood of both experimental and control birds as season advanced from winter to spring.

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