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Epidemiological role of domestic dogs present in the Atlantic Forest region of Caraguatatuba - Brazil, and its correlation with the genetic variability of the collected ticks

Grant number: 16/05355-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 15, 2016
Effective date (End): February 18, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal researcher:Ricardo Augusto Dias
Grantee:Gislene Fátima da Silva Rocha Fournier
Supervisor abroad: Karen D. Mccoy
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Maladies Infectieuses et Vecteurs : Ecologie, Génétique, Evolution et Contrôle (MIVEGEC), France  
Associated to the scholarship:14/00648-3 - Study on impacts of domestic dogs with access to forest present in the area of Atlantic Forest of Caraguatatuba County and the correlation between the genetic variability of the ticks of dogs and wild environment, BP.DR


The tick Amblyomma ovale is a vector of pathogenic bacteria of the Rickettsia spp pathogenic agent responsible for human cases of Brazilian spotted fever in the north coast of São Paulo. Domestic dogs, tick hosts, are found in forested areas of the National Park Serra do Mar -Caraguatatuba. However, we do not know the exact role of the dog neither in the epidemiology of this zoonosis nor in the vector maintenance A. ovale in Atlantic Forest areas. This study proposes a systematic sampling of A. ovale individuals in dogs and small wild mammals caught in six transects from the forest edge (inhabited) to areas of well-preserved park (no outstanding men and domestic animals). The collected ticks will be individually identified using genomic DNA markers to deduce the flow of genes between sampling sites and between domestic and wild hosts. We will also assess their status of infection by the conventional PCR method for diagnosing the presence of different parasites/pathogens belonging to Rickettsiaceae family. The results will be analyzed, compared and overlaid with data collected through GPS collars that will be placed in dogs living around the park to make the connection between their movements and the spread of ticks. The infrapopulation sizes of ticks will also be compared to the vegetation characteristics observed locally and to the land use. From these results, we plan to establish the real impact of domestic dogs in maintaining vector ticks and the role of these animals in the Brazilian spotted fever cycle in the wild. (AU)

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