Parasitic protists are widespread and important for human and wildlife health.They are frequently studied, not only as disease agents but as models of host-parasite interactions as well. Two groups of interest of dixenous blood parasites occur in wild hosts -haemosporidians (Apicomplexa), and trypanosomes (Kinetoplastea), the former being much more intensively studied. Many important information about vectors, and vector host preferences of both groups are still lacking. Complementation of missing information may serve among others to evaluation of vector potential to transmit human pathogens.
The aim of the project is to study host preferences of bloodsucking diptera using different methodological approaches. The golden standard is barcoding of host blood in bloodfed insects.The new approach is the use of parasites present in vectors, since many of them are host specific. We plan to work on haemosporidians (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon) which has been already used, and as well as on Trypanosoma spp. All of them occur in the studied locality Milovický forest (South Moravia) in relatively high prevalence. Besides public databases, also our data obtained during long-term studies of model passerine and vector populations will be used.The results obtained using different approaches will be compared and assessed.
Research group leader
Doc. Mgr. Milena Svobodová , Ph. D.