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.
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ABSTRACT: All species of ticks (Acari: Ixodida) are grouped into three families: Argasidae (186 species), Ixodidae (692 species) and Nuttalliellidae (monotypic). Molecular markers have been developed and applied for tick studies along with conventional techniques. The origin of ticks is during the pre-mid Cretaceous period (with both the Argasidae and Ixodidae being established in the middle Cretaceous). Primeval hosts were probably reptiles or amphibians. The Argasidae contains two to five subfamilies according to authors but relationships among its members are far from resolved. The Ixodidae were formed by the basal Prostriata group (genus Ixodes subfamily Ixodinae) and the Metastriata group (all others genera). Conventional classifications considered Metastriata to be divided into Amblyomminae, Haemaphysalinae, Hyalomminae and Rhipicephalinae but evidences shows that part of Amblyomminae (species considered previously as "indigenous Australian Aponomma") are now members of the basal Metastriata subfamily Bothriocrotinae, and Hyalomminae are part of Rhipicephalinae. The former genus Boophilus is included as a subgenus within Rhipicephalus. The validity of tick names is discussed in relation to latest world list of ticks.Frontiers in Bioscience 02/2009; 14:2857-77. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to report tick infestations on wild birds in a region of the eastern Brazilian Amazon and evaluate the rickettsial infection of these ticks. Wild birds captured by mist nets were examined for the presence of ticks, which were collected and identified to species by morphology or molecular methods. In addition, part of these ticks was individually tested by polymerase chain reaction targeting portions of the rickettsial genes gltA and ompA. Among 331 captured birds, representing 56 species, 133 individuals (40.2%) from 34 species were found infested by 443 ticks, being Amblyomma longirostre (Koch) the most common (103 larvae, 12 nymphs), followed by Amblyomma humerale Koch (15 larvae, 3 nymphs), Amblyomma geayi Neumann (seven larvae, one nymph), Amblyomma calcaratum Neumann (one larva, four nymphs), Amblyomma coelebs Neumann (two larvae), and Haemaphysalis juxtakochi Cooley (one larva, two nymphs). Other 285 larvae and 7 nymphs collected from birds could not be identified to species and were morphologically identified as Amblyomma spp. The species A. humerale and A. geayi are recorded for first time parasitizing birds in the Neotropical region. Among 67 A. longirostre and 7 A. geayi, 38 (56.7%) and 4 (57.1%), respectively, were found infected by Rickettsia amblyommii. In spite of R. amblyommii being not currently recognized as human or animal pathogen, there has been serological evidence for human and canine infection by this agent in the USA and in the Brazilian western Amazon.Parasitology Research 02/2010; 106(4):809-16. · 2.85 Impact Factor