Detection of hemoparasites in bats, Bangladesh

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Shariful Islam
Rakib Uddin Ahmed
Md. Kaisar Rahman
Jinnat Ferdous
Md. Helal Uddin
Sazeda Akter
Abdullah Al Faruq
Mohammad Mahmudul Hassan
Ausraful Islam
Ariful Islam


A cross sectional study was conducted (2010–2013) to determine the diversity of hemoprotozoa among bats of Bangladesh.  Microscopic examination of blood smears (N=533; Pteropus medius (377), Rousettus leschenaultii (111), Megaderma lyra (45)) revealed 9% of bats (95% confidence interval CI: 7–12%) were positive for hemoprotozoa.  The overall prevalence of hemoparasites among P. medius was 5% (n=20, 95% CI: 3–8%); where Babesia sp. was 3% (n=12, 95% CI: 2–5%) and Hepatocytis sp. was 2% (n=8, 95% CI: 1–4%).  Moreover, 13% of R. leschenaultii were positive (n=14, 95% CI: 7–20%) where prevalence of Babesia sp. was 10% (n=11, 95% CI: 5–17%) and prevalence of Hepatocystis sp. was 3% (n=3, 95% CI: 1–8%).  Twenty-nine percent (n=13, 95% CI: 16–44%) of M. lyra harbored hemoparasites, among which 20% (n=9, 95% CI: 10–35%) were Babesia sp. and 9% (n=4, 95% CI: 2–21%) were Hepatocystis sp.  The study indicates bats remain important hosts for various zoonotic parasites and suggests further research.

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