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Avian Malarial Parasites

For many years, bird blood parasites served as important models in studying human diseases, including malaria. Although these models have been largely replaced-first by the discovery of rodent malaria and then by the development of culture techniques-the wealth of avian data and research remains valuable. As ecologists and evolutionary biologists seek models to illustrate their theories, avian haemotozoa provide some of the best existing databases.Avian Malaria Parasites and Other Haemosporidia is the first illustrated guide to avian malaria parasites and their close relatives. It summarizes more than a century of research on bird haemosporidians. The first section of the book provides information on the history, classification, life cycles, ultrastructure, specificity, pathogenicity, distribution, and ecology of bird haemosporidians. It also presents a detailed analysis of the influence of the parasites on wild birds, the role of transcontinental migration of birds in the distribution of the pathogens, as well as seasonal and age peculiarities of infections of birds with haemosporidians. In the second section, the material is arranged in phylogenetical (families, genera, subgenera) and chronological (species) order. This section presents data on more than 200 species of bird haemosporidians, as well as information for each taxon such as the most important taxonomic literature, author, date of description, synonyms, and diagnosis. Also included are the vertebrate hosts, vectors, type material, place of deposition of the type material, etymology, description and illustrations for most of the species. This section also compiles keys for identification of families, genera, and species of the parasites.With a wealth of information, some from previously inaccessible Russian sources, as well as a host of references, illustrations, and tables, this book is a masterful assessment of the biology of bird haemosporidian parasites that will be useful to researchers and professionals in a wide range of biological sciences.
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When studying the effects of parasites on natural populations, the avian haematozoa fulfills many of the specifications of an ideal model. Featuring a multitude of tables and illustrations, Avian Malaria Parasites and Other Haemosporidia summarizes more than a century of research on bird haemosporidians. For a long time, bird blood parasites served as important models in studying human diseases. Although now largely replaced, a wealth of data and research remain. With chapters addressing life cycles and morphology, pathogenicity, ultrastructure, geographical distribution, and illustrated keys to all known species of the parasites, this book is a masterful assessment of the biology of bird haemosporidian parasites.


"Although an extremely thorough review, the monograph is not just a compendium brought together by Valkiunas from the publications of others. It includes a remarkable amount of new material derived from his own researches in field and laboratoryit is often information of a challenging, unorthodox kindthe ramifications of this are bound to extend far beyond protozoology and ornithology." William Hamilton, University of Oxford, UK "Many books have contained chapters summarizing the work on avian parasites, but this book is the first devoted solely to bird Haemosporida, and to encompass both a single author's extensive research and a general reviewThis book is useful for its extensive descriptions of parasites and its wealth of source material on the biology and taxonomic distribution of bird blood parasites." - M. Ali Anwar, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK

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