In Japan, the prevalence of avian Plasmodium in birds and mosquitoes has been partially examined in the temperate and subtropical zones; however, mosquitoes in the Japanese subarctic zone have not been adequately investigated. In this study, mosquito collections and avian Plasmodium detections from the mosquito samples were carried out to demonstrate the avian Plasmodium transmission between vector mosquitoes and birds inhabiting in Kushiro Wetland, subarctic zone of Japan. A total of 5,657 unfed mosquitoes from 18 species and 320 blood-fed mosquitoes from eight species was collected in summer 2008, 2009, and 2010. Three Aedes esoensis that fed on Hokkaido Sika Deer and one unfed Culex pipiens group were found to be positive for avian Plasmodium by polymerase chain reaction. This is the first report of the detection of avian Plasmodium DNA from mosquitoes distributing in the subarctic zone of Japan. The blood meals were successfully identified to captive or wild animals, including seven mammalian species, four bird species, and one amphibian species. These results indicated that infected birds with avian Plasmodium inhabited and direct contacts occurred between the infected birds and mosquitoes in Kushiro Wetland, Hokkaido, Japan.
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Vol. 48 • No. 4