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Molecular detection and characterization of PIROPLASMIDS in bats in Central-Western Brazil

Grant number: 18/16804-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2018
Effective date (End): October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine
Principal Investigator:Marcos Rogério André
Grantee:Taline Revollo Menezes
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil


Piroplasmida is an order of the phylum Apicomplexa that comprises the genera Babesia, Rangelia, Cytauxzoon and Theileria. They are parasites of blood cells that affect vertebrate animals, which can cause serious diseases in animals and occasionally in humans. It is known that most of the zoonoses have wild animals as source of infection; therefore, the investigation of the circulation of pathogens in these animals, which have direct contact with humans in many regions of Brazil, is much needed. Bats are the most geographically dispersed vertebrates, being found in numerous continents and being parasitized by a great diversity of ectoparasites and pathogens. Although studies in numerous countries have shown that bats are susceptible to infection by several species of piroplasms, there are no studies in Brazil about the occurrence of piroplasmids in this group of mammals so far. Considering the great variety of animals of the order Chiroptera in Brazil, the present study aims to investigate and characterize the piroplasmid DNA in spleen samples of bats sampled in the periurban area of Campo Grande, state of Mato Grosso do Sul, central-western Brazil. To this purpose, 135 spleen samples collected from bats (37 of the species Artibeus lituratus, 32 Artibeus planirostris, 11 Myotis nigricans, 23 Platyrrhinus lineatus, 1 Glossophaga soricina, 5 Carollia perspicillata, 3 Molossus molossus, 15 Phyllostomus discolor, 1 Molossops temminckii, 4 Eumops sp., 1 Chiroderma villosum, 1 Artibeus sp. and 1 not yet identified) will be submitted to DNA extraction and conventional PCR assays for piroplasmids based on the 18S rRNA and cox-1 genes. Positive samples will be purified and sequenced by the Sanger method. The obtained sequences will be submitted to phylogenetic inferences in order to position with species of piroplasmids detected in humans, bats, domestic and wild animals in Brazil and other parts of the world. The present work will contribute to the understanding of the genetic diversity of piroplasmids circulating in Chiroptera in Brazil.

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