Recently, we initiated an extensive multidisciplinary project in the aid-search mode Theme (FAPESP 2013 / 18046-7) entitled "Capybara, ticks and spotted fever." Among the many activities included in this theme project is the assessment of infection-causing rickettsial spotted fever in capybaras and ticks eight areas of Brazil. However, due to the increasing expansion of capybara populations in environments anthropogenic in the country, especially in the Southeast, many professionals from different geographical areas, with or without a history of cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, have come to us and signaled interest in sending us samples capybara (blood and ticks) to be screened for infection-causing rickettsial spotted fever. Thus, this research project was formulated with the objective of evaluating the rickettsial infection in populations of capybaras and ticks from different parts of the country, to meet this demand with a more discerning and scientific vision. To this end, the samples are tested for convenience on two fronts: (I) capivaras blood serum be tested by indirect immunofluorescence for anti-Rickettsia spp antibodies, antigens through seven of Rickettsia occurring in Brazil (R . rickettsii, R. parkeri, R. amblyommii, R. rhipicephali, R. bellii, R. felis and R. monteiroi); (II) and ticks collected from capybaras will be evaluated for infection by Rickettsia by molecular biology techniques (PCR and sequencing of the amplified product). It is hoped that these results an expansion of knowledge about the Rickettsia circulation causing spotted fever associated with capybaras in Brazil, as well as the possible discovery of new Rickettsia species infecting capybara ticks. These results may indicate silent endemic areas for spotted fever in Brazil, contributing to active surveillance actions of the disease can be implemented before the occurrence of new cases of the disease in humans.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: