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1 June 2009 Health Assessment of Free-Ranging Three-Banded (Tolypeutes matacus) and Nine-Banded (Dasypus novemcinctus) Armadillos in the Gran Chaco, Bolivia
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Abstract

The Gran Chaco, Bolivia, has a total of seven species of armadillos with the three-banded (Tolypeutes matacus) and nine-banded (Dasypus novemcinctus) the most commonly hunted by the local Isoseño-Guaraní people. Armadillos are known carriers of zoonotic pathogens, including Mycobacterium leprae, Toxoplasma gondii, and Trypanosoma cruzi; thus human handling and consumption of these species may have a significant public health impact. A health assessment that included physical examinations, hematology, plasma biochemical analyses, levels of exposure to selected infectious agents, and endoparasite and ectoparasite identification was performed on nine-banded and three-banded armadillos in the Gran Chaco, Bolivia. Based on clinical findings, the general health of these armadillos was rated as good. However, many of the nine-banded armadillos (64%) had abrasions and wounds, probably related to the capture method. The blood value results from a subset of these armadillos are presented as baseline values for free-ranging populations of both these species in Bolivia. Serologic antibody tests for M. leprae were negative in three-banded (n  =  8) and nine-banded (n  =  2) armadillos. Three-banded armadillos were antibody positive for Eastern equine encephalitis virus (8/8; 100%) and Saint Louis encephalitis virus (5/8; 62.5%). Two of 12 (16.7%) three-banded armadillos tested were antigen positive for Dirofilaria immitis. Nine-banded armadillos were antibody positive for T. gondii (3/9; 33.3%), Eastern equine encephalitis virus (5/8; 62.5%), and T. cruzi (2/9; 22.2%). Two of eight (25%) nine-banded armadillos were antigen positive for D. immitis. A number of endo- and ectoparasites were identified in/on both species of armadillos. Results from this study support the possibility that the handling and consumption of these species by the local Isoseño-Guaraní people may have a public health impact.

Sharon L. Deem, Andrew J. Noss, Christine V. Fiorello, Ann L. Manharth, Richard G. Robbins, and William B. Karesh "Health Assessment of Free-Ranging Three-Banded (Tolypeutes matacus) and Nine-Banded (Dasypus novemcinctus) Armadillos in the Gran Chaco, Bolivia," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 40(2), 245-256, (1 June 2009). https://doi.org/10.1638/2007-0120.1
Received: 17 September 2007; Published: 1 June 2009
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