Molecular detection of tick-borne bacterial agents in Brazilian and exotic captive carnivores.
ABSTRACT The present study aims to detect and characterize by molecular techniques, the presence of tick-borne pathogens in wild captive carnivore blood samples from Brazil. Blood was collected from 76 Brazilian felids, 23 exotic felids, 3 European wolves (Canis lupus), and 97 Brazilian canids maintained in captivity in zoos located in São Paulo and Mato Grosso states, Brazil. DNA of each sample was used in PCR reactions for Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and Rickettsia identification. The blood from 10/100 (10%) of canids (1 European wolf, 3 bush dogs, and 6 crab-eating foxes) and from 21/99 (21%) felids (4 pumas, 6 little spotted cats, 4 ocelots, 3 jaguarundis, 1 tiger, and 3 lions) contained fragments of 16S rRNA gene of Ehrlichia spp. Fragments of Anaplasma spp. groESL and 16S rRNA genes were detected in the blood of 1/100 (1%) canids (1 bush dog) and in 4/99 (3%) felids (4 little spotted cats), respectively. Rickettsia species infections were not identified. The present work showed that new strains of Ehrlichia and Anaplasma spp. circulate among wild carnivores in Brazil.
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ABSTRACT: Background The populations of wild felids in Africa, of especially lions (Panthera leo) and cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), are declining and the species are classified as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. As infections with tick-borne pathogens (TBP) can become more of a problem in wild felids, there are relatively few studies on TBP in wild felids in Africa and on how these infections might influence population numbers.Methods To gain further knowledge on TBP in captive wild felids in Southern Africa, we collected whole blood from captive lions, Southern African wildcats, cheetahs and servals in Zimbabwe for PCRs against the 18S rRNA gene of the piroplasmids (Babesia, Theileria, Cytauxzoon) and Hepatozoon spp., and the 16S rRNA gene of Ehrlichia and Anaplasma spp.ResultsOverall, 78% of the lions (67/86) and all the Southern African wildcats (6/6), cheetahs (4/4) and servals (2/2) had evidence of infection with at least one organism. The organisms most commonly detected in the lions were B. leo (59%; 51/86), B. vogeli (12%; 10/86) and H. felis (11%; 9/86) while all the Southern African wildcats and servals were positive for B. vogeli and all the cheetahs were positive for B. leo. Mixed infections were found in 22% (15/67) of the PCR positive lions, most commonly B. leo and H. felis (27%; 4/15), and in 1 (50%) of the servals (B. vogeli and A. phagocytophilum). Two lions were infected with three TBP, mainly B. leo, H. canis and T. parva, and B. leo, A. phagocytophilum and T. sinensis. Mixed infections with B. vogeli and A. phagocytophilum were seen in a serval and a Southern African wildcat. Other TBP were detected at a low prevalence (¿2%) in lions, mainly H. canis, T. sinensis, T. parva, C. manul, E. canis, and E. canis-like and B. odocoilei-like organisms.Conclusions Infections with tick-borne agents are common in captive wild felids in Zimbabwe.Parasites & Vectors 11/2014; 7(1):514. · 3.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recently, tick and flea-borne pathogens have been detected in wild carnivores maintained in captivity in Brazilian zoos. Since free-roaming cats are frequently found in Brazilian zoos, they could act as reservoirs for arthropod-borne pathogens, which could be transmitted to endangered wild carnivores maintained in captivity in these institutions. On the other hand, stray cats in zoos may play a role as sentinels to pathogens that circulate among wild animals in captivity. The present work aimed to detect the presence of Anaplasmataceae agents, hemoplasmas, Bartonella species, piroplasmas, and Hepatozoon sp. DNA in blood samples of 37 free-roaming cats in a Brazilian zoo. Three (8%) cats were positive for Anaplasma spp. closed related to Anaplasma phagocytophilum; 12 (32%) cats were positive for hemoplasmas [two (5%) for Mycoplasma haemofelis, five (13.5%) for Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum, and five (13.5%) for Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis]; 11 (30%) were positive for Bartonella spp., six (16%) were positive Babesia vogeli and one (3%) for Theileria sp. Coinfection with multiple arthropod-borne agentes was observed in sampled cats. None of sampled cats were positive for Ehrlichia spp., Cytauxzoon spp., or Hepatozoon spp. in PCR. This is the first molecular detection of Babesia vogeli and Theileria sp. in domestic cats in Brazil. The control of the population of free-roaming cats in these conservation institutions is much needed aiming to prevent the potential transmission to endangered wild animals maintained in captivity, such as wild neotropical wild felids, as well as to human beings visiting zoos.Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 05/2014; · 2.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: SUMMARY Wild canids are potential hosts for numerous species of Bartonella, yet little research has been done to quantify their infection rates in South America. We sought to investigate Bartonella seroprevalence in captive wild canids from 19 zoos in São Paulo and Mato Grosso states, Brazil. Blood samples were collected from 97 wild canids belonging to four different native species and three European wolves (Canis lupus). Indirect immunofluorescent antibody testing was performed to detect the presence of B. henselae, B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii, B. clarridgeiae, and B. rochalimae. Overall, Bartonella antibodies were detected in 11 of the canids, including five (12·8%) of 39 crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous), three (11·1%) of 27 bush dogs (Speothos venaticus), two (8·7%) of 23 maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) and one (12·5%) of eight hoary foxes (Lycalopex vetulus), with titres ranging from 1:64 to 1:512. Knowing that many species of canids make excellent reservoir hosts for Bartonella, and that there is zoonotic potential for all Bartonella spp. tested for, it will be important to conduct further research in non-captive wild canids to gain an accurate understanding of Bartonella infection in free-ranging wild canids in South America.Epidemiology and Infection 06/2014; · 2.49 Impact Factor