Although the impact of blood parasite infections on passerine birds is potentially great, little is known of their pathologic effects. We studied Haemoproteus danilewskyi in experimentally infected captive and naturally infected free-ranging blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) to determine patterns of infection and examine the pathologic effects of the parasite on the host. Physiologic changes, such as elevated numbers of lymphocytes, heterophils, basophils, eosinophils, and monocytes and decreased packed cell volume in the peripheral blood were associated with the erythrocytic phase of experimental infections of captive juvenile jays. Sublethal pathologic changes associated with the pre-erythrocytic phase of infections were observed in the liver, lung, and spleen. Schizonts were observed in the pulmonary capillaries of a 1 yr old jay necropsied 31 days post-inoculation, but not in 20 juvenile jays necropsied 57 days post-inoculation. In free-ranging naturally infected jays plasma protein concentration increased with density of natural infections.
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