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Blood Parasites and Health Status of Hibernating and Non-Hibernating Noctule Bats (Nyctalus noctula)

1
Department of Ecology and Diseases of Zoo Animals, Game, Fish and Bees, University of Veterinary Sciences, 61242 Brno, Czech Republic
2
Department of Animal Protection and Welfare and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Sciences, 61242 Brno, Czech Republic
3
Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 60365 Brno, Czech Republic
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Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University, 61137 Brno, Czech Republic
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Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, 12800 Prague, Czech Republic
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Biology Centre, Institute of Parasitology, Czech Academy of Sciences, 37005 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
7
Bat Rehabilitation Center of Feldman Ecopark, Lisne, 62340 Kharkiv, Ukraine
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Johannes Wöstemeyer
Microorganisms 2022, 10(5), 1028; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10051028
Received: 31 March 2022 / Revised: 9 May 2022 / Accepted: 12 May 2022 / Published: 14 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Parasitology)
Co-existence of bats with a wide range of infectious agents relates to their co-evolutionary history and specific physiology. Here, we examined blood samples collected during hibernation and the post-hibernation period to assess the influence of trypanosomes and babesias on the health status of 50 Noctule bats (Nyctalus noctula) using nested PCR. The impact of blood parasites on health was assessed by analysis of haematology and blood chemistry parameters in 21 bats. Prevalence of trypanosomes (Trypanosoma dionisii and T. vespertilionis) and babesia (Babesia vesperuginis) was 44% and 8%, respectively. Analysis of blood parameters indicated impact of babesia on acid–base balance. Blood chemistry parameters showed a significant decrease in total dissolved carbon dioxide and bicarbonate, increased anion gap, and no change in blood pH, suggesting compensated metabolic acidosis. Adverse effects of babesia were only apparent in hibernating bats. Our results suggest differences in the pathogenicity of trypanosomes and babesia in bats. While trypanosomes in general had no significant impact on the health status, we observed alterations in the blood acid–base balance in Babesia-infected bats during hibernation. Despite being infected, Babesia-positive bats survived hibernation without showing any clinical signs. View Full-Text
Keywords: Babesia vesperuginis; Schizotrypanum; Chiroptera; acid–base balance; haematology; blood chemistry; Trypanosoma dionisii; Trypanosoma vespertilionis Babesia vesperuginis; Schizotrypanum; Chiroptera; acid–base balance; haematology; blood chemistry; Trypanosoma dionisii; Trypanosoma vespertilionis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Linhart, P.; Bandouchova, H.; Zukal, J.; Votýpka, J.; Baláž, V.; Heger, T.; Kalocsanyiova, V.; Kubickova, A.; Nemcova, M.; Sedlackova, J.; Seidlova, V.; Veitova, L.; Vlaschenko, A.; Divinova, R.; Pikula, J. Blood Parasites and Health Status of Hibernating and Non-Hibernating Noctule Bats (Nyctalus noctula). Microorganisms 2022, 10, 1028. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10051028

AMA Style

Linhart P, Bandouchova H, Zukal J, Votýpka J, Baláž V, Heger T, Kalocsanyiova V, Kubickova A, Nemcova M, Sedlackova J, Seidlova V, Veitova L, Vlaschenko A, Divinova R, Pikula J. Blood Parasites and Health Status of Hibernating and Non-Hibernating Noctule Bats (Nyctalus noctula). Microorganisms. 2022; 10(5):1028. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10051028

Chicago/Turabian Style

Linhart, Petr, Hana Bandouchova, Jan Zukal, Jan Votýpka, Vojtech Baláž, Tomas Heger, Vendula Kalocsanyiova, Aneta Kubickova, Monika Nemcova, Jana Sedlackova, Veronika Seidlova, Lucie Veitova, Anton Vlaschenko, Renata Divinova, and Jiri Pikula. 2022. "Blood Parasites and Health Status of Hibernating and Non-Hibernating Noctule Bats (Nyctalus noctula)" Microorganisms 10, no. 5: 1028. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10051028

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