Birds from three National Parks (Bwindi Impenetrable, Kibale, and Queen Elizabeth) in western Uganda were surveyed during the dry season in July 2003 and investigated for hematozoa by microscopic examination of stained blood films. Of 307 birds examined, representing 68 species of 15 families and four orders, 61.9% were found to be infected with blood parasites. Species of Haemoproteus (15.3% prevalence), Plasmodium (20.5%), Leucocytozoon (40.1%), Trypanosoma (11.4%), Hepatozoon (2.6%), Atoxoplasma (0.3%), and microfilariae (3.9%) were recorded. Except for Haemoproteus spp. infections, the overall prevalence of hematozoa belonging to all genera was significantly higher in this study than was previously reported in Uganda. Thirty-six species of birds were examined for blood parasites for the first time and 112 new host-parasite associations were identified. Eighty-one were at the generic and 31 at the specific level of the hematozoa. Hepatozoon and Atoxoplasma spp. were detected for the first time in Uganda.
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Vol. 41 • No. 3