The giant anteater ( ) and the collared anteater ( ) are widespread in Brazil and found in all Brazilian biomes. These hosts frequently use domestic animal environments such as pastures, where tick and related microorganism interchange may occur between hosts. Reports of tick infestations of these animals are scattered and refer to small samples and/or are geographically restricted. We herein present data on a wide geographic distribution of ticks and their collected from 72 giant and 30 collared anteaters, mostly road killed, over a period of 18 years, from Southeast and Central-West Brazil encompassing four States and 46 Municipalities. Overall nine tick species ( , , , , , , , and sensu lato) were collected from anteaters. , , and were the most prevalent corresponding to, respectively, 48.8%, 39.3% and 2.7% of all ticks (n = 1775). However, tick numbers on collared anteaters were significantly higher (P < 0.001) than those on giant anteaters. At the same time, an abundance of adults on giant anteaters was significantly higher (Z = 2.875; P = 0.004) than that of and only eight nymphs were found on collared anteaters. DNA samples from 20 ticks from nine different animals yielded a visible amplicon in PCR targeting The PCR products targeting spotted-fever gene ( ) from five adults of were sequenced and were shown to be 100% identical to strain NOD (MF737635.1). The product of one nymph and one adult of yielded a sequence 99% identical to strain NOD. Further, genes were found in three adults. Ecological, behavioral and anatomical traits of anteaters are discussed to explain reported tick infestations and DNA found.
The family Myrmecophagidae contains three anteater species: (Saussure, 1860), (Linnaeus, 1758) and (Linnaeus, 1758). These American anteater species currently face many conservation threats, among which road traffic accidents stand out. Parasitic studies on this family are scarce, and some of them include records of ectoparasites. Specifically for northern tamandua ( ), there is a lack of studies at population level. The objectives of the present research were to carry out an epidemiological study of tick species and its abundance on road-killed northern anteater specimens and, moreover, to perform a literature review of ticks collected from anteaters of Myrmecophagidae family. Five tick species were identified, including four spp. and sensu lato, on 23 road-killed anteaters. Tick infestation prevalence was 43% (10/23), with a median tick infestation intensity of 3.5 per anteater (interquartile range 1–13.7). The bibliographic review highlighted the existence of twenty-nine ixodid species recorded on the three anteater species from 14 countries, mainly Brazil. The most common tick species on the Myrmecophagidae family are , , sensu lato and . Some of these ixodids were also described as vectors of pathogens. Further studies are needed to evaluate the impact of ticks on anteater fitness, and to assess the role of these mammals as reservoirs of vector-borne diseases.
There is evidence that in southern US, leprosy is a zoonosis infecting wild Dasypus novemcinctus armadillos but the extent of this finding is unknown. This ecological study investigated leprosy in rural communities and in wild armadillos from the Brazilian Amazon. The study area was the Mamia Lake of Coari municipality, Amazonas State, Northern region, a hyper endemic leprosy area where residents live on subsistence farming, fishing and armadillo hunting and its meat intake are frequent. The leprosy survey was conducted in sixteen communities by a visiting team of specialists. Local partakers provided wild armadillos to investigate M. leprae infection. Volunteers had complete dermato-neurological examination by a dermatologist with expertise in leprosy diagnosis, suspect skin lesions were biopsied for histopathology (Hematoxylin-eosin/HE, Fite-Faraco/FF staining); slit skin smears were collected. Armadillos' tissue fragments (skins, spleens, livers, lymph nodes, adrenal glands, others) were prepared for histopathology (HE/FF) and for M. leprae repetitive element-RLEP-qPCR. Among 176 volunteers, six new indeterminate leprosy cases were identified (incidence = 3.4%). Suspect skin sections and slit skin smears were negative for bacilli. Twelve wild D. novemcinctus were investigated (48 specimens/96 slides) and histopathological features of M. leprae infection were not found, except for one skin presenting unspecific inflammatory infiltrate suggestive of indeterminate leprosy. Possible traumatic neuroma, granuloma with epithelioid and Langhans cells, foreign-body granuloma were also identified. Granulomatous/non-granulomatous dermatitides were periodic-acid-Schiff/PAS negative for fungus. M. leprae-RLEP-qPCR was negative in all armadillos' tissues; no bacillus was found in histopathology. Our survey in rural communities confirmed the high endemicity for leprosy while one armadillo was compatible with paucibacillary M. leprae infection. At least in the highly endemic rural area of Coari, in the Brazilian Amazon region where infectious sources from untreated multibacillary leprosy are abundant, M. leprae infected armadillos may not represent a major source of infection nor a significant public health concern.
Sentinel species are useful tools for studying the deleterious effects of xenobiotics on wildlife. The large hairy armadillo ( ) is the most abundant and widely distributed mammal in Argentina. It is a long-lived, omnivorous, burrowing species, with fairly restricted home ranges. To evaluate the level of spontaneous genetic damage in this mammal, we determined the baseline values of several genotoxicity biomarkers. The study included 20 adults of both sexes from eight pristine localities within its geographic distribution range. Genotoxicity analysis was performed on 72-h lymphocyte cultures, using mitomycin C as positive control. We obtained the baseline values of mitotic index (MI = 10.52 ± 0.30 metaphases/total cells, = 20), chromosome aberrations (CA = 0.13 ± 0.22, = 20), sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) = 6.55 ± 0.26, = 6) and replication index (RI = 1.66, = 6). MI and CA did not show significant differences ( > 0.05) among localities or between sexes. No significant differences in MI, CA, SCE, and RI ( > 0.05) were found between values from the pristine localities and historical data. There were significant differences in CA, SCE, and RI ( < 0.05) between lymphocyte cultures from pristine localities and those exposed to mitomycin C. We propose the large hairy armadillo as a sentinel organism for environmental biomonitoring of genotoxic chemicals due to its abundance, easy manipulation, well-known biology, the fact that it is usually exposed to different mixtures and concentrations of environmental contaminants, and the baseline values of genetic damage characterized by MI, CA, SCE and RI as biomarkers.
In February 2007, an outbreak of respiratory disease occurred in a group of giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) at the Nashville Zoo. Isolates from 2 affected animals were identified in March 2007 as a type A influenza virus related to human influenza subtype H1N1.
A sylvatic infection focus of , whose cycle involves the anteater and triatomine insect was observed in a pasture-dominated landscape of the rural riparian community of São Tomé located along the Tapajós river in the municipal district of Aveiro (State of Pará, Brazil), the Brazilian Amazon region. During a field work campaign with the objective of Chagas disease diagnosis in the Tapajós region, an anteater and 31 triatomines were found inhabiting in the same palm tree crown. Collected triatomines were identified as with morphological and molecular procedures. The analysis of infection by using the repetitive ARN nucleolar Cl1 (sno-RNA-Cl1) gene showed that 25 triatomines of all stages were infected by (total infection rate of 80.6%). Infection by using mini-exon markers was not identified. Examination of the digestive content of the triatomines demonstrated that the only feeding source found was the anteater. These results demonstrate that can be an important reservoir for and a good vehicle of the parasite within the Brazilian Amazon region.
The detection of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in mammals is crucial for understanding the eco-epidemiological role of the different species involved in parasite transmission cycles. Xenodiagnosis (XD) and hemoculture (HC) are routinely used to detect T. cruzi in wild mammals. Serological methods are much more limited because they require the use of specific antibodies to immunoglobulins of each mammalian species susceptible to T. cruzi . In this study we detected T. cruzi infection by trans -sialidase (TS) inhibition assay (TIA). TIA is based on the antibody neutralization of a recombinant TS that avoids the use of anti-immunoglobulins. TS activity is not detected in the co-endemic protozoan parasites Leishmania spp and T. rangeli . In the current study, serum samples from 158 individuals of nine wild mammalian species, previously tested by XD, were evaluated by TIA. They were collected from two endemic areas in northern Argentina. The overall TIA versus XD co-reactivity was 98.7% (156/158). All 18 samples from XD-positive mammals were TIA-positive (co-positivity, 100%) and co-negativity was 98.5% (138/140). Two XD-negative samples from a marsupial ( Didelphis albiventris ) and an edentate ( Dasypus novemcinctus ) were detected by TIA. TIA could be used as a novel tool for serological detection of Trypanosoma cruzi in a wide variety of sylvatic reservoir hosts.
A bstract : This study was conducted in October 1998 and November 1999 in the Emas National Park (131,868 ha), a savanna‐type cerrado region situated in the far south of Goias State, Brazil, near the geographic center of South America (15°‐23° S; 45°‐55° W). Animals were captured with the aid of nets and anesthetized (15 mg/kg ketamine + 1 mg/kg xylasine) in order to collect ticks for identification and to establish laboratory colonies. They included giant anteaters ( Myrmecophaga tridactyla ) ( n = 4 ) and yellow armadillos ( Euphractus sexcinctus ) ( n = 6 ). Free‐living ticks (larvae, nymphs, and adults) were collected from the field by using a 1 × 2‐m flannel cloth. Free‐living ticks were identified as Amblyomma sp., A. cajennense , and A. triste . Adult ticks collected from anteaters were identified as Amblyomma cajennense and A. nodosum and from armadillos as A. pseudoconcolor and A. nodosum . The relevance of these host‐tick relationships to possible mechanisms underlying emergence of tick‐borne pathogens of importance to public health is discussed.
Amblyomma javanense (Supino) was collected from a Malayan pangolin (Manis javanica Desmarest) and a wild boar (Sus scrofa L.) from Tak province on the western boundary of Thailand along the Myanmar (Burma) border. To date, this tick species has not been recorded from this area and from a wild boar.
Xenodiagnostic trials consisted of 1665 laboratoryreared sand flies (Lutzomyia sanguinaria, Lu. gomezi, and Lu. trapidoi) in 114 lots fed on 72 Two-toed Sloths (Choloepus hoffmanni). Fifty-eight (80.6%) of the sloths had trypanosomatid infections as follows: Leishmania braziliensis, 20 (27.8%); Endotrypanum schaudinni, 39 (54.2%); Trypanosoma rangeli, 15 (20.8%); and T. Cruzi, 1 (1.4%), as determined by the biopsy-culture technique. Nineteen animals (26.4%) had multiple infections. Seven (7.7%) of 91 Lu. sanguinaria, which fed on 7 animals infected with Le. braziliensis, acquired the parasite. A total of 187 (31.1%) of 601 sand flies of 3 species developed flagellates after feeding on 21 animals infected with E. schaudinni. Only 1% of 292 flies developed parasites after feeding on 8 sloths with T. rangeli.