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Diversity of piroplasmids in wild mammals and birds from Brazil

Grant number: 20/07826-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2021
Effective date (End): July 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal researcher:Marcos Rogério André
Grantee:Ana Cláudia Calchi
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil


Piroplasmids are tick-borne apicomplexan protozoans that include the genera Babesia, Rangelia, Cytauxzoon and Theileria. There is a wide diversity of species that affect different taxons of mammals and birds and can cause diseases in animals and humans. Studies aimed at detecting piroplasmids in the Brazilian fauna, which is extremely diverse, show that different and new species of these protozoans circulate in the country. This study aims to investigate the occurrence and the genetic diversity of piroplasmids in different taxonomic groups of vertebrates in Brazil. For this purpose, DNA aliquots will be extracted from 1,557 biological samples of free living animals belonging to seven taxonomic groups (311 Pilosa, 20 Cingulata, 367 Chiroptera, 188 Artiodactyla, 26 Carnivora, 129 Rodentia, eight Didelphimorphia and 500 Passeriformes) from different states of the country (SP, MT, MS, PA, RO, AC, PR). The biological samples will be subjected to real-time and conventional PCR assays based on 18S rRNA, hsp-70, cox-1, cox-3, cytB, beta-tubulin, in the intergenic regions ITS-1 and ITS-2 and in the lsu5-lsu4 piroplasmid region. Positive samples will be purified and sequenced by the Sanger method. Amplicons showing multiple peaked samples in the chromatograms will be submitted to gene cloning. The phylogenetic positioning of the obtained sequences will be performed by dendograms. Finally, the sequence alignment will be used to calculate the nucleotide diversity and the level of polymorphisms for the analysis of the genetic diversity of agents. The genealogy of nucleotide sequences will be performed using the Splitstree program. This study will contribute to the study of piroplasmid diversity among Brazilian wildlife.