Hemogregarine parasites in wild captive animals, a broad study in São Paulo Zoo

Hemogregarine is a group of blood parasites that infect a wide variety of vertebrates and hematophagous invertebrates. The signs of infection can range from anemia to severe interference in host’s fitness. The purpose of this study was to gather information from the database available at the Clinical Analyses Laboratory at São Paulo Zoo Foundation in the last ten years and determine the occurrence of hemogregarine parasites in captive animals of the São Paulo Zoo Foundation. The analysis was conducted on the haemoparasitic results from 2972 blood samples, of 1637 individuals of all terrestrial vertebrate group (mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians). Positive results were observed in 1.1% of the individuals and this parasite was found only in reptiles and amphibians. The lack of study with hemogregarine parasites infecting reptiles and amphibians is evident; this work will contribute to the knowledge of parasitological data for captive animals in future works.

Occurrence of endoparasites in Ramphastidae (Aves: Piciformes) in São Paulo Zoo

Ramphastidae (Aves: Piciformes) are animals recognized for their exuberant colours and long bill, with distribution range from south Mexico to north Argentina. They are important seed dispersers eating little vertebrates eventually. When in captivity, animals usually live in limited spaces, with high density and near by species that do not share a evolution history, facilitating the occurrence of infectious diseases for what they may not have a competent immune system against, including the parasitic ones. This study analyzed the endoparasites that occur in captive Ramphastidae at São Paulo Zoo in the period January 2009 to September 2011. Seven species of toucans and toucanets had parasitological results positive for Trichuridae nematodes, Eimeria sp., Giardia sp., non sporulated coccidian oocists and unidentified nematode eggs, and microfilarie was the only hemoparasite found.

Parasitological surveillance in a rat (Rattus norvegicus) colony in São Paulo Zoo animal house

Rattus norvegicus (Mammalia: Rodentia) is a widespread and synanthropic rodent, broadly used in medical experiments. It can also be used for feeding captive animals in zoos. Parasitological surveys are important to guarantee the health of both the animals and the staff responsible for their management. The aim of this study was to identify intestinal parasites of Rattus norvegicus offered as food to captive animals from São Paulo Zoo, and demonstrate the importance of sanitary hurdling, disease control and biosecurity. The identified protozoan parasites were Eimeria sp., Entamoeba sp., Spironucleus sp., Giardia sp., Tritrichomonas sp., Chilomastix sp., unidentified cysts and non-sporulated coccidians oocysts (Isospora/Eimeria). The following helminths were found: Syphacia muris, Rodentolepis nana and Aspiculuris tetraptera.

Ticks infesting captive and free-roaming wild animal species at the São Paulo Zoo, São Paulo, Brazil

Ticks are ectoparasites of worldwide distribution that affect vertebrates and can transmit pathogens to animals and humans. The Zoological Park Foundation of São Paulo (FPZSP) is located in a Conservation Unit in one of the most important remaining fragments of the Atlantic Rainforest biome in the suburbs of São Paulo, Brazil. The FPZSP houses more than 3,000 wild animals on exhibit, in breeding programs and in environmental education programs, and also attracts migratory birds and free-roaming wildlife. This study focused on identifying the diversity of tick species that infest captive and free-roaming animals at the FPZSP. The collection of ticks kept at the FPZSP contains 523 specimens that were collected from different host species between 1990 and 2017. Ten tick species were found. In addition, Amblyomma aureolatum (Pallas) was found on stray cats living in the Atlantic forest fragment in the FPZSP. This study reveals a low occurrence of parasitism in captive animals and a high diversity of tick species collected from hosts in this Atlantic forest fragment, contributing information about host-parasite relationships and potential vectors of zoonotic diseases, since the vectors of Brazilian spotted fever, A. aureolatum and Amblyomma sculptum Berlese, were found in some hosts.

Diversity of ticks in the wildlife screening center of São Paulo City, Brazil

The Wildlife Screening Center (CETAS) of the Tietê Ecological Park (PET), situated at the municipality of São Paulo, receives, treats and rehabilitates wild animals that have been dislodged from their natural environment due to different reasons. This study analyzed the ixodid fauna, and the rickettsial infection in these ticks, collected on wild animals received at the PET’s CETAS. During the period from March 2003 to November 2016, 936 ticks were collected from 96 wild animals (16 bird and 18 mammal species) that were sent to CETAS. The following 12 ixodid species were identified: Amblyomma aureolatum, Amblyomma brasiliense, Amblyomma calcaratum, Amblyomma dubitatum, Amblyomma longirostre, Amblyomma ovale, Amblyomma parkeri, Amblyomma sculptum, Amblyomma varium, Haemaphysalis juxtakochi, Ixodes loricatus and Rhipicephalus microplus. From 67 tick specimens tested by the Real Time PCR for rickettsiae, none were positive. The present research records for the first time in Brazil the following association between the tick stages and hosts that have never been reported before: Amblyomma sculptum nymphs on Caprimulgus parvulus, Asio clamator, Buteo brachyurus, Coragyps atratus, Amazona aestiva and Aramus guarauna, Amblyomma dubitatum nymphs on Alouatta guariba and Sphiggurus villosus, Amblyomma aureolatum adults on Bradypus variegatus, Amblyomma longirostre larvae and nymphs on A. clamator, and nymphs on Megascops choliba and Pyroderus scutatus, besides Amblyomma parkeri nymphs on Penelope obscura and Callicebus nigrifrons, and adult on Nasua nasua.