Wild carnivores, domestic dogs and ticks: shared parasitism in the Brazilian Cerrado.

The increase of contact between natural and rural areas is prominent in Brazil, due to agricultural activities and concern with the environmental conservation. In this context, domestic animals, wild fauna and humans are exposed to mutual exchange of parasites, microorganisms and diseases. We studied tick parasitism of wild carnivores and domestic dogs, and the environmental of questing ticks, in extensive cattle ranch areas intermingled with natural vegetation, and in a natural reserve, both in a region of Cerrado biome, Midwestern Brazil. From 2008 to 2015, we inspected 119 wild carnivores from nine species, and collected six tick species (Amblyomma sculptum, Amblyomma ovale, Amblyomma dubitatum, Amblyomma tigrinum, Dermacentor nitens and Rhipicephalus microplus). The most numerous and infested hosts were Cerdocyon thous, Lycalopex vetulus, Chrysocyon brachyurus, Puma concolor and Conepatus amazonicus. From 139 domestic dogs, we collected A. sculptum, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and R. microplus. From vegetation, samplings resulted in A. sculptum, A. dubitatum, A. ovale, Amblyomma rotundatum and R. microplus, with dominance of A. sculptum. Domestics and wild animals presented high overlapping of infestations by A. sculptum, a generalist and anthropophilic tick species. This tick is the most important vector of the Brazilian spotted fever, a lethal human disease. This fact elicits attention and requires efforts to monitor the presence of pathogens vectored by ticks circulating in this type of agroecosystem, including in other regions of the Brazil, because the most of the natural vegetation remaining have been increasingly immersed in pastures and agricultural matrix.