Extensive diversity of malaria parasites circulating in Central African bats and monkeys
The order Haemosporidia gathers many protozoan parasites which are known to infect many host species and groups. Until recently, the studies on haemosporidian parasites primarily focused on the genus Plasmodium among a wide range of hosts. Genera, like the genus Hepatocystis, have received far less attention. In the present study, we present results of a survey of the diversity of Hepatocystis infecting bats and monkeys living in a same area in Gabon (Central Africa). Phylogenetic analyses revealed a large diversity of Hepatocystis lineages circulating among bats and monkeys, among which certain were previously observed in other African areas. Both groups of hosts harbor parasites belonging to distinct genetic clades and no transfers of parasites were observed between bats and monkeys. Finally, within each host group, no host specificity or geographical clustering was observed for the bat or the primate Hepatocystis lineages.
Fig. 1 – Study area. This map shows the location of Franceville in Gabon, the city in which the CIRMF is located. The box on the right is an aerial picture of the CIRMF in which are reported the areas of capture of bats (in yellow) and the enclosures in which the monkeys involved in the study live.
Fig. 2 – Phylogenetic relationships between the cyt‐b sequences of haemosporidian parasites obtained in our study (in bold) and the reference cyt‐b sequences obtained from existing databases and classified (with color codes and icons) according to their host species. The tree was constructed using a maximum likelihood method based on 696 bp‐long cyt‐b sequences. One thousand bootstrap replications were performed to assess confidence in topology. Branch colors indicate different groups of host species among vertebrates (red for bats, green for monkeys, blue for rodents and black for other parasites of mammals). For parasites of the genus Plasmodium, the subgenus is also provided (in brackets)
Fig. 3 – Phylogenetic relationships between the cyt‐b sequences of Hepatocystis of African bats with some outgroups (e.g. Hepatocystis of Asian bats, P. ovale…). The unrooted tree was inferred from 696 bp nucleotides. The tree was performed using a maximum likelihood method. One thousand bootstrap replications were performed to assess confidence in topology (only values above 80% are shown). Four genetic clusters supported by high bootstrap values are highlighted with colors. Cyt‐b sequences obtained in our study are in bold
Fig. 4 – Phylogeny of the cyt‐b sequences of haemosporidian parasites obtained in our study and from other studies and classified (with color codes) according to their geographical origin (map performed using Adobe illustrator CS6 software). Hepatocystis sequences are identified with a color code by country. At the bottom of the tree is represented the country in which the different bats were captured
- Larson Boundenga, Barthélémy Ngoubangoye, Illich Manfred Mombo, Thierry Audrey Tsoumbou, François Renaud, Virginie Rougeron, Franck Prugnolle
- email@example.com - firstname.lastname@example.org - email@example.com
- Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville (CIRMF), Franceville, Gabon - Laboratoire MIVEGEC, UMR 224‐5290 CNRS‐IRD‐UM1‐UM2, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire, Montpellier, France
- Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville; Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Ecol Evol 8, 10578–10586 (2018)