Phylogenetical analysis of partially sequenced cytb gene of Haemoproteus columbae in pigeons and its pathological lesions in Egypt

Document Type: Full paper (Original article)


Avian and Rabbit Medicine lecturer, Department of Avian and Rabbit Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University



Background: Haemoproteuscolumbae is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions, causing pseudomalaria in pigeons. Aims: The current study aimed to characterize the phylogenetic position of H. columbae in pigeons in Sharkia Province, Egypt based on partial sequence of cytb gene as the conserved regions “DNA barcode” of cytb gene help in designing primers that can be used to amplify the same gene in the related haemosporidians. Methods:   100 blood samples collected from domestic pigeons to identify H. columbae by PCRand detect its relationship with other related haemosporidians. Results: Weight losses 60%, anemia 40%, low growth rates 26.67%, diarrhea 76.67%, dyspnea 66.67%, some neurological symptoms 33.33%, and few deaths 16.67% were observed in studied birds. While the post-mortem examination showed the chocolate-brown appearance of the liver and congested parenchymatous organs. Microscopical examination of Giemsa stained blood smears (n=100) revealed a 30% infection. The obtained infection percentages were pronounced in males(35.71%) more than females (16.66%) and in adult (57.14%) more than young pigeons (15.38%).The present sequence of H. columbae deposited in GenBank under Accession no.: MH345964 and showed 100% identity with other related Haemoproteus species in the Sao Paulo Zoo, Brazil  (KU131585 and KU131583) and UK (KX832586 and KX832586 ). Conclusion: This study concluded that accurate diagnosis of H. coulmbae infection in pigeons by using specific primers will help in early treatment of the affected cases, especially in the presence of the immature forms and thus avoid the noticed clinical signs and the induced pathological lesions mentioned in our study.


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