João Maia (CIBIO-InBIO/UP) | April 10, 2015 - 14h30 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão




Variation in parasite infection parameters may be influenced by biotic factors, such as host hormonal changes, and abiotic factors, such as environmental changes throughout the year. Hemogregarines are apicomplexan parasites that require at least one invertebrate host and one vertebrate host to complete their lifecycle, which may contribute to variations in infection parameters due to different environmental pressures on these hosts. Moreover, sympatric and closely related host species represent natural model systems and an ideal opportunity where to investigate between-host differences in infection parameters. In this seminar, I will present preliminary results from a study that investigates variations in prevalence and intensity of infection in hemogregarine parasites across different months of the year in sympatric lizard species from two geographical localities. Using a quantitative PCR (qPCR) protocol specific for detecting and quantifying hemogregarine parasites, we estimated the levels of prevalence and intensity of hemogregarine infection in these lizard species. I will be presenting the preliminary results on intra-specific and inter-specific variations in parasite infection.


João Maia is a fourth year PhD student under the Doctoral Program “Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution” at the University of Porto and a member of the Applied Phylogenetics (AP) group in CIBIO-InBIO. João Maia is supervised by Dr. James Harris (CIBIO-InBIO), Dr. Salvador Carranza (IBE-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain) and Dr. Elena Goméz-Díaz (IBE-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain) with a thesis project entitled “Molecular characterization and assessment of diversity of hemoparasites of reptiles”.


Image credits: João Maia, Daniele Salvi, Isabel Damas