Survey of tick-borne agents (Anaplasma spp, Babesia spp, Borrelia spp, Ehrlichia spp and Hepatozoon spp) in small mammals and their ticks in endemic and non-endemic areas for Brazilian spotted fever in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.
Ticks are ectoparasites of domestic, wild mammals and humans and are among the most medically important vectors in disease transmission, becoming a growing public health problem. Recently, the supervisor of this proposal started a project in FAPESP thematic aid-search mode (2013 / 18046-7), to study epidemiological aspects of spotted fever in six areas of the state of São Paulo, 3 areas with a history of human cases ( endemic areas) and 3 areas with no history of disease (non-endemic areas). In this thematic project, wild small mammals will be captured in the six areas, with semi-annual intervals in order to evaluate the role of these animals and their ticks in the epidemiology of Brazilian spotted fever, caused by bacteria of the genus Rickettsia. Thus, part of the biological samples of these small mammals will be directed to the present research project, to be tested for the presence other agents transmitted by ticks, not initially contemplated in the aforementioned thematic project. Thus, this project will be to process samples of blood, tissues and ticks of small mammals for DNA extraction, followed by different PCR protocols for molecular detection of bacteria of the genera Anaplasma, Ehrlichia and Borrelia, and protozoa of the genera Babesia and Hepatozoon . Positive samples will be submitted for DNA sequencing, and the generated sequences will be subjected to phylogenetic analyzes to determine the taxonomic detected agents. It is hoped that with this work different and possible new agents associated with ticks will be reported for the first time in Brazil. The information obtained will have relevance for both public and animal health, as may point to potential pathogens transmitted by ticks to humans and animals.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: