Several species of captive and wild birds have been found to be infected with various avian blood protozoa in Japan. We investigated the prevalence and transmission of avian malaria parasite and determined the bloodmeal hosts of mosquitoes collected in a zoological garden in Tokyo, Japan, by using the polymerase chain reaction. In total, 310 unfed and 140 blood-fed mosquitoes of seven species were collected by using sweep nets and CDC traps. Bloodmeal identification indicated that mosquitoes had fed on 17 avian and five mammalian species, including captive animals. The results of avian malaria parasite detection from mosquitoes with avian bloodmeals indicated that Culex pipiens pollens Coquillet is a main vector of avian Plasmodium in the current study site and that some captive and wild birds could be infected with avian malaria parasites. Furthermore, the distances between the collection site of blood-fed mosquitoes and the locations of their blood-source captive animals were estimated. Most females with fresh bloodmeals were found within 40 m of caged animals, whereas half-gravid and gravid females were found between 10 and 350 m from caged host animals. We demonstrated that blood-fed mosquitoes can provide useful information regarding the mosquito vector species of avian malaria parasites and allows for noninvasive detection of the presence of avian malaria parasites in bird populations.
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