Defense Date

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Ghislaine Mayer

Abstract

As Neotropical migratory birds, Prothonotary Warblers are exposed to parasites in both tropical and temperate regions and may act as dispersal agents between geographic areas. This study identifies the prevalence of Haemosporidia, West Nile Virus (WNV), and St. Louis Encephalitis virus (SLEV) in this species. A total of 71.6% of captured Prothonotary Warblers were infected with Haemosporidia during the 2008 breeding season, and infection prevalence increased throughout the season. This temporal change in prevalence is likely due to infection relapse and transmission of new infections. No correlations between reproductive effort and infection status were observed, nor were any associations between infection prevalence and nest box location identified. WNV and SLEV were present in 37.5% and 6.3% of sampled Prothonotary Warblers, respectively. These results warrant more detailed analyses of pathogen transmission dynamics in this population, physiological mechanisms that affect infection susceptibility, and spatial and temporal trends in infection that may exist.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

July 2009

Included in

Biology Commons

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