Hematologic and biochemical reference intervals of brown-throated sloths (Bradypus variegatus)

The black lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus) is an endangered primate species, restricted to the Atlantic Forest fragments of Sao Paulo state, Brazil, with an estimated wild population of ~1600 individuals. Integrative studies between zoo (ex situ) and wild (in situ) animals are crucial to modern conservation programs. They can demonstrate a substantial impact with the One Health concept, an interdisciplinary research frontier regarding the relations between human, animal, and environmental health. Studies of wild populations of Leontopithecus spp. are scarce and should be encouraged to provide baseline information to develop preventive and curative medicine in zoos and other conservation programs. Studying these animals in the wild can offer important reference parameters for the species. Comparing bacterial communities between in situ and ex situ populations can help us understand both conditions and the dynamics of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. To increase our understanding of resident microorganisms among these groups, we collected oral and rectal samples from captive (zoo) and wild black lion tamarins. We employed a culture method for the identification of aerobic bacteria. Thirty-three specimens were sampled (24 zoo and 8 wild animals) and 18 bacterial genera were identified. We found primarily Gram-positive bacteria in wild animals, whereas in zoo animals, Gram-negative bacteria were dominant. Some of the bacterial species we identified are potentially pathogenic, whereas several others are being reported here for the first time in this host species. Our results reinforce the importance of integrative studies for the future management and conservation of this endangered primate species.

Plasmodium (Novyella) nucleophilum from an Egyptian Goose in São Paulo Zoo, Brazil: microscopic confirmation and molecular characterization

Plasmodium (Novyella) nucleophilum was identified using microscopy and PCR, in an Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus) that died in São Paulo Zoo, Brazil. This parasite is characterized by elongated gametocytes, small meronts with scant cytoplasm, less than eight merozoites and mainly for having all the stages appressed to the nuclei of infected erythrocytes. Additionally, Plasmodium (Haemamoeba) sp. was identified by microscopy in the same blood sample. The latter parasite lacks nucleophilic blood stages and is characterized by large roundish trophozoites, each with a large prominent centrally collated vacuole. This co-infection was not confirmed by PCR amplification of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cytb) gene and sequencing; only one Plasmodium sp. cytb sequence was detected in the blood sample. Since parasitemia of P. nucleophilum (2.4%) was much higher than that of P. (Haemamoeba) sp. (0.2%), PCR may have favored the amplification of the cytb sequence of the former. Phylogenetic analysis is in agreement with this conclusion because the reported cytb sequence was positioned in the same branch of sequences of several Novyella species. This is the first assignment of the mitochondrial cytb gene sequence to P. nucleophilum. The P. (Haemamoeba) parasite is particularly similar to Plasmodium (Haemamoeba) tejerai, because its advanced trophozoites and young erythrocytic meronts possess a large vacuole with prominent pigment granules arranged around it, the characteristic features of development in this species. For definitive identification of P. (Haemamoeba) species, mature meronts and gametocytes are required; however, these were absent from the thin blood smear. Representative images of the blood stages of P. nucleophilum and P. (Haemamoeba) sp. are provided. Together with microscopy data, the P. nucleophilum cytb sequence will assist in molecular identification (barcoding) of this Plasmodium species in other birds.