Amblyomma aureolatum and Ixodes auritulus (Acari: Ixodidae) on birds in southern Brazil, with notes on their ecology.
ABSTRACT Between January 1999 and December 2000, 876 bird specimens were captured in three different ecological environments from the Reinhard Maack Park, Curitiba, State of Paraná, southern Brazil. A total of 142 birds (16.2%) were infested with Amblyomma aureolatum (Pallas 1772) (N=699) and/or Ixodes auritulus Neumann, 1904 (N=18) ticks. Questing A. aureolatum nymphs (N=2) and adults (N=5) were also collected from the soil and the vegetation. None of the I. auritulus were collected off-host. We collected only immatures of A. aureolatum on birds, but all life stages of I. auritulus. The latter species was collected on Turdus rufiventris and on Synallaxis ruficapilla, which is herein recognized as a host of I. auritulus for the first time. Moreover, this is also the first report of A. aureolatum infesting birds, and 16 different bird species were found infested. It was observed that larval infestation was positively correlated with the dry and cold season, while nymphal infestation was positively correlated with the warm and rainy season. Although only 2-years worth of data is provided, our results suggest the infestation of birds by ticks was significantly higher at the biotopes formed by forest at its first stage of regeneration 'capoeira' and the original Araucaria forest habitat 'mata' than the ecotone between forest and urban areas 'peripheral area'.
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ABSTRACT: Spotted-fever-caused Rickettsia rickettsii infection is in Brazil the major tick-borne zoonotic disease. Recently, a second and milder human rickettsiosis caused by an agent genetically related to R. parkeri was discovered in the country (Atlantic rainforest strain). Both diseases clearly have an ecological background linked to a few tick species and their environment. Capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) and Amblyomma cajennense ticks in urban and rural areas close to water sources are the main and long-known epidemiological feature behind R. rickettsii-caused spotted-fever. Unfortunately, this ecological background seems to be increasing in the country and disease spreading may be foreseen. Metropolitan area of São Paulo, the most populous of the country, is embedded in Atlantic rainforest that harbors another important R. rickettsii vector, the tick Amblyomma aureolatum. Thus, at the city-forest interface, dogs carry infected ticks to human dwellings and human infection occurs. A role for R. rickettsii vectoring to humans of a third tick species, Rhipicephalus sanguineus in Brazil, has not been proven; however, there is circumstantial evidence for that. A R. parkeri-like strain was found in A. ovale ticks from Atlantic rainforest and was shown to be responsible for a milder febrile human disease. Rickettsia-infected A. ovale ticks are known to be spread over large areas along the Atlantic coast of the country, and diagnosis of human infection is increasing with awareness and proper diagnostic tools. In this review, ecological features of the tick species mentioned, and that are important for Rickettsia transmission to humans, are updated and discussed. Specific knowledge gaps in the epidemiology of such diseases are highlighted to guide forthcoming research.Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 01/2013; 3:27. · 2.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Urbanisation causes significant changes to species composition, species interactions and ecological and evolutionary processes. Changes in host–parasite interactions have the potential to be one of the important consequences of urbanisation, influencing the species able to exploit urban landscapes. We compile information about these less-studied interactions, focusing on the interaction between parasites (ectoparasites, blood parasites and intestinal parasites) and birds. Our review of the literature identified a poor knowledge of bird–parasite interactions in urban areas. While studies identifying parasites were more common than those comparing parasite abundance or host health, studies were limited geographically and to a few bird species. We found that urbanisation could have a positive or negative effect on the diversity and prevalence of bird parasites. Very few studies have linked parasite loads to bird health. We identify some hypotheses that need further consideration across broader regions and species to determine if parasites play a role in the establishment and success of birds in cities and how their health and body condition are affected. Studies of this type could provide valuable tools to understand how to maintain and conserve urban biodiversity.Landscape and Urban Planning 03/2012; 105(s 1–2):5–14. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Canine rangeliosis (popular names: “nambi-uvú”, i.e. bleeding ears; “peste de sangue”, i.e. bleeding plague; and “febre amarela dos cães”, i.e. yellow fever of dogs) is a tick-borne hemolytic and hemorrhagic disease caused by the protozoan parasite Rangelia vitalii which infects erythrocytes, leukocytes, and endothelial cells of blood capillaries. Rangelia vitalii was first reported as a novel piroplasm of dogs in 1910 in Brazil, a discovery that was met with skepticism at that time. Canine rangeliosis has been diagnosed in domestic dogs not only in Brazil but also in other South American countries (Argentina and Uruguay). Rangelia vitalii infection has also been found incidentally in Brazil in wild dogs (Cerdocyon thous, the crab-eating fox). Despite the fact that researchers in the early 1900s suggested that R. vitalii was a hitherto unidentified piroplasm that would be transmitted by the tick Amblyomma aureolatum, it was not until 2012 that these hypotheses were actually confirmed by PCR and transmission studies. Molecular studies have shown that R. vitalii is related to the Babesia sensu strictu clade, but genetically different from other morphologically similar species of Babesia that infect dogs. Another difference between Babesia spp. and R. vitalii is the ability of R. vitalii to invade endothelial cells, erythrocytes, and leukocytes. Experimental infection in dogs has successfully reproduced the clinical picture and pathology of the natural disease. In this article, epidemiology, clinical signs, laboratory findings, pathogenetic mechanisms including oxidative stress and immune response, necropsy findings, microscopic lesions, diagnosis, and treatment of canine rangeliosis are reviewed. What is currently known about this protozoal disease since its first report over a century ago is presented herein.Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 09/2014; · 2.88 Impact Factor