BackgroundBrazilian spotted fever (BSF), caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii, has been associated with the transmission by the tick Amblyomma sculptum, and one of its main hosts, the capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris).MethodsDuring 2015–2019, we captured capybaras and ticks in seven highly anthropic areas of São Paulo state (three endemic and four nonendemic for BSF) and in two natural areas of the Pantanal biome, all with established populations of capybaras.ResultsThe BSF-endemic areas were characterized by much higher tick burdens on both capybaras and in the environment, when compared to the BSF-nonendemic areas. Only two tick species (A. sculptum and Amblyomma dubitatum) were found in the anthropic areas; however, with a great predominance of A. sculptum (≈90% of all ticks) in the endemic areas, in contrast to a slight predominance of A. dubitatum (≈60%) in the nonendemic areas. Tick species richness was higher in the natural areas, where six species were found, albeit with a predominance of A. sculptum (≈95% of all ticks) and environmental tick burdens much lower than in the anthropic areas. The BSF-endemic areas were characterized by overgrowth populations of A. sculptum that were sustained chiefly by capybaras, and decreased populations of A. dubitatum. In contrast, the BSF-nonendemic areas with landscape similar to the endemic areas differed by having lower tick burdens and a slight predominance of A. dubitatum over A.sculptum, both sustained chiefly by capybaras. While multiple medium- to large-sized mammals have been incriminated as important hosts for A. sculptum in the natural areas, the capybara was the only important host for this tick in the anthropic areas.ConclusionsThe uneven distribution of R. rickettsii infection among A. sculptum populations in highly anthropic areas of São Paulo state could be related to the tick population size and its proportion to sympatric A. dubitatum populations.
In the present study the tick prevalence, mean intensity of infestation and species were recorded on birds captured between January 2009 and December 2010 in the Ecological Station Pirapitinga-ESEC from Minas Gerais State, Brazil. A total of 967 birds, from 15 families and 40 species were captured and 165 (17.1 %) individuals were parasitized by ticks. Of these 160 (97 %) belonged to the order Passeriformes. Five tick species were identified: Amblyomma longirostre (n = 274) was the most common species followed by Amblyomma parvum (n = 43), Amblyomma nodosum (n = 39), Amblyomma ovale (n = 24) and Riphicephalus sanguineus (n = 7). None of 61 unengorged larvae molted to nymph. The mean intensity of infestation was 2.7 ± 2.4 ticks per bird (448 ticks/165 birds) ranging from 1 to 10. Only 19 (11.4 %) birds were infested with one species of tick. The remaining birds were infested by two, three or four species of ticks. Also new hosts for all five ticks were recorded. Only nymphs were recorded throughout the year with two similar peaks during autumn and winter 2009 and 2010.
Two new coccidian (Protozoa: Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) species from the Brazilian tanager Ramphocelus bresilius dorsalis are reported in the current study. Isospora cadimi n. sp. oocysts are spheroidal to sub-spheroidal, 24.2 x 22.9 microm, with a smooth and bi-layered wall, approximately 1.1 microm. Micropyle, oocyst residuum, and polar granule are absent. Sporocysts are broadly ovoidal, 16.9 x 11.6 microm. Stieda and substieda bodies are present. Sporocyst residuum is present and sporozoites have refractile body and nucleus. Isospora navarroi n. sp. oocysts are spheroidal to sub-spheroidal, 21.4 x 20.6 microm, with a smooth and bi-layered wall, approximately 1.1 microm. Micropyle, oocyst residuum, and polar granule are absent. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal, 16.1 x 10.2 microm. Stieda and substieda bodies are present. Sporocyst residuum is present and sporozoites have a robust posterior refractile body.
The tick fauna of Brazil is currently composed by 72 species. The state of Amazonas is the largest of Brazil, with an area of ≈ 19% of the Brazilian land. Besides its vast geographic area, only 19 tick species have been reported for Amazonas. Herein, lots containing ticks from the state of Amazonas were examined in three major tick collections from Brazil. A total of 5933 tick specimens were examined and recorded, comprising 2693 males, 1247 females, 1509 nymphs, and 484 larvae. These ticks were identified into the following 22 species: Amblyomma cajennense sensu lato, Amblyomma calcaratum, Amblyomma coelebs, Amblyomma dissimile, Amblyomma dubitatum, Amblyomma geayi, Amblyomma goeldii, Amblyomma humerale, Amblyomma latepunctatun, Amblyomma longirostre, Amblyomma naponense, Amblyomma oblongoguttatum, Amblyomma ovale, Amblyomma rotundatum, Amblyomma scalpturatum, Amblyomma varium, Dermacentor nitens, Haemaphysalis juxtakochi, Ixodes cf. Ixodes fuscipes, Ixodes luciae, Rhipicephalus microplus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato. Ticks were collected from 17 (27.4%) out of the 62 municipalities that currently compose the state of Amazonas. The following four species are reported for the first time in the state of Amazonas: A. coelebs, A. dubitatum, H. juxtakochi, and Ixodes cf. I. fuscipes. The only tick species previously reported for Amazonas and not found in the present study is Amblyomma parvum. This study provides a great expansion of geographical and host records of ticks for the state of Amazonas, which is now considered to have a tick fauna composed by 23 species. It is noteworthy that we report 1391 Amblyomma nymphs that were identified to 13 different species.
BackgroundMost argasid ticks from the Neotropical region are parasites of mammals and birds, with a few records from reptiles. Many species of the genus Ornithodoros are known only through larval descriptions, and their chaetotaxy and morphological characteristics have been used to separate the taxa. In the present study, we describe the larva and the nymph of first instar of a new species of the genus Ornithodoros that was collected from frogs of the species Thoropa miliaris.MethodsLarvae of Ornithodoros were collected from frogs of the species T. miliaris at waterfalls in the state of Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. The larval and nymphal description was based on optical and scanning electron microscopy. Molecular analysis using the argasid 16S rRNA sequences available in GenBank was also conducted.ResultsOrnithodoros faccinii sp. n. is closely related to Ornithodoros clarki Jones & Clifford, Ornithodoros marinkellei Kohls, Clifford & Jones, Ornithodoros capensis Neumann and Ornithodoros sawaii Kitaoka & Susuki. However, the larval morphology of the new species is unique. The mitochondrial 16S rDNA partial sequence of O. faccinii generated in the present study was deposited in GenBank under the number KP861242.ConclusionsThe larvae collected from Thoropa miliaris are a new species, Ornithodoros faccinii n. sp. This is the first report of argasid ticks on frogs in Brazil, the second on frogs and the third on Amphibia in the Neotropical region.
We conducted a molecular survey for Borrelia spp. in Ornithodoros ticks previously reported as biting humans. We collected specimens in natural ecosystems and inside human dwellings in 6 states in Brazil. Phylogenetic analyses unveiled the occurrence of 4 putatively new species of relapsing fever group borreliae.
This study evaluated rickettsial infection in ticks collected on toads from the northern Brazilian Amazon (Amapá state), where to our knowledge there are neither records of ticks from amphibians nor rickettsial infections in ticks. During 2016-2017, a total of 22 free-living toads were captured and identified as Rhinella marina. Overall, 12 (54.5%) toads were parasitized by a total of 97 ticks (6 males, 39 females, 31 nymphs, 21 larvae), giving a mean intensity of 8.1 ticks per infested toad. Two tick species were morphologically identified: Amblyomma rotundatum Koch (31 females, 14 nymphs), and Amblyomma dissimile Koch (6 males, 8 females, 17 nymphs). The 21 larvae were morphologically denoted as Amblyomma sp. Five toads were co-infested by A. rotundatum and A. dissimile. Morphological identifications were confirmed by nucleotide sequencing of fragments of the mitochondrial genes 16S rDNA, 12S rDNA and/or COX1. A total of 54 ticks were analyzed for the presence of rickettsial DNA. Eleven (9 females and 2 nymphs) out of 14 A. rotundatum ticks contained Rickettsia bellii. None of the 25 specimens of A. dissimile (6 males, 6 females, 13 nymphs) contained amplifiable rickettsial DNA. From 15 Amblyomma sp. larvae, a pool of 10 individuals contained Rickettsia sp. strain Colombianensi. Sequencing of the 16S rDNA amplicon derived from the positive pool yielded a sequence of A. dissimile. We detected Rickettsia sp. strain Colombianensi for the first time in Brazil. Prior records of this agent were restricted to Colombia and Honduras. In addition, we report the presence of A. rotundatum for the first time in the state of Amapá, where the only other record of A. dissimile was registered over 20 years ago.
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