Translator Disclaimer
1 November 2010 Presence of Amblyomma cajennense in Wild Giant Armadillos (Priodontes maximus) of the Pantanal Matogrossense, Brazil
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

The giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) is the largest extant representative of the order Cingulata. Information on the parasites and diseases affecting this species is scarce. Four female and one male ticks were collected from two wild-caught, adult giant armadillos from the northern Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil. All of them were identified as Amblyomma cajennense. This is the first report of A. cajennense in giant armadillos. Considering the low host specificity of this ixodid tick that may act as vector of pathogens, and the sustained encroachment of domestic animals into wildlife habitat, the risk of disease transmission from cattle to this threatened armadillo should be evaluated.

The giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus) is the largest extant representative of the order Cingulata. It is currently listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Superina et al., 2009). It occurs east of the Andes from Venezuela, Colombia, and the Guyanas to Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil (Wetzel, 1982). The giant armadillo may occupy different habitats, from low and highland forests to lands covered with thorny shrubs and cerrado, although open areas are its favorite habitat (Anacleto, 1997). Information on the parasites and diseases affecting this species is scarce (Superina, 2000).

Systematic collection of parasites in wild animals can provide important information for the management of captive and free-ranging populations. The Ixodidae family is composed of 14 genera and approximately 670 species of hard ticks (Anderson, 2002). They have a dorsal shield that covers the entire idiosome in males, but only the anterior area in females and immature stages (larvae and nymphs). In addition, nymphs and adults have respiratory stigmas posterior to coxa IV (Anderson, 2002). Ixodid ticks are highly physiologically dependent of their hosts and can be vectors of a variety of pathogens that can cause disease in humans, domestic animals, and wildlife (Anderson and Magnarelli, 2008). Infectious agents may be transmitted transtadially (larva to nymph or nymph to adult) or transovarially, i.e., from generation to generation, as well as passed on to their hosts while obtaining a blood meal.

In Brazil, the first records of ticks of free-ranging mammals were provided by Aragão (1936), Fonseca and Aragão (1952, 1953), and Aragão and Fonseca (1961). Later reports include Serra Freire et al. (1996); Castro and Serra Freire (1996); Amorim et al. (1998); Evans et al. (2000); Guerra et al. (2000); Martins et al. (2004); and Miziara et al. (2008). Here, we report for the first time the presence of Ixododidae in wild giant armadillos (Priodontes maximus).

This study was conducted at the Reserva Particular de Patrimônio Natural do Serviço Social do Comércio, Pantanal (RPPN SESC Pantanal; 16°39′S, 56°15′W), a Conservation Unit located in the northern portion of the Pantanal, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Two adult giant armadillos (Priodontes maximus), a male and a female, were captured by hand and chemically restrained with 10 mg/kg ketamine and 0.2 mg/kg midazolam. A clinical examination was performed and blood samples extracted. Ticks found attached to the armadillos were manually removed by twisting them around the longitudinal axis of their idiosome, preserved in 70% ethyl alcohol, and sent to the Ixodides Laboratory at the National Reference Center for Vectors of Rickettsiae of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) in Rio de Janeiro. The parasites were examined using a stereomicroscope and identified according to the dichotomic keys of Aragão and Fonseca (1961) and Barros-Battesti et al. (2006). Three female ticks were found on one armadillo, while the other was infested by a male and female tick. All of them were identified as Amblyomma cajennense (Fig. 1).

This is the first report of A. cajennense in P. maximus. Several ticks of this genus have been described in other armadillos. For instance, A. auricularium and A. pseudoconcolor have been observed on Dasypodidae (Guglielmone et al., 2003). A. brasiliense was found in Dasypus septemcinctus and D. novemcinctus (Evans et al., 2002), A. auricularium in D. novemcinctus (Amorim and Serra-Freire, 2000; Olegário et al., 2006), A. fuscum in D. septemcinctus (Aragão, 1936; Brum et al., 2003), and A. parvum in D. kappleri (Mullins et al., 2004).

Figure 1.

Amblyomma cajennense; left: adult female; right: adult male.

f01_73.eps

As a species with low host specificity, A. cajennense may transmit pathogens between wildlife species or between wild and domestic animals (Figueiredo et al., 1999). Considering the sustained encroachment of domestic animals into wildlife habitat, the risk of disease transmission from cattle to this threatened armadillo should be evaluated.

Acknowledgements:

To the park rangers of the SESC Pantanal who helped us capturing the giant armadillos, FIOCRUZ for identification of the ticks, all those who directly or indirectly participated in this project, and the reviewers and editor for their helpful comments.

References

  1. M. Amorim , G. S. Gazêta , A. S. L. Peralta , R. H. F. Teixeira and N. M. Serra-Freire 1998. Ixodofauna de quelônios do Brasil. Rev. Univ. Rural, Sér. Ci. Vida Seropédica, RJ, EDUR. 20: 31–35. Google Scholar

  2. M. Amorim and N. M. Serra-Freire 2000. Morphological description of tick larval stage (Acari: Ixodidae). 7. Amblyomma auriculare (Conil, 1878). Entomol. Vect. 7: 297–310. Google Scholar

  3. T. C. S. Anacleto 1997. Dieta e utilização de hábitat do tatu-canastra (Priodontes maximus Kerr, 1792) numa área de cerrado do Brasil Central. Master's thesis, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília. Google Scholar

  4. J. F. Anderson 2002. The natural history of ticks. Med. Clin. North Am. 86: 205–218. Google Scholar

  5. H. Aragão 1936. Ixodidas brasileiros e de alguns paises limitrophes. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz 31: 759–843. Google Scholar

  6. J. F. Anderson and L. A. Magnarelli 2008. Biology of ticks. Infect. Dis. Clin. North Am. 22: 195–215. Google Scholar

  7. H. B. Aragão and F. Fonseca 1961. Notas de Ixodologia. VIII. Lista e chave para os representantes da fauna ixodológica brasileira. Mem. Inst. Oswado Cruz 59: 115–129. Google Scholar

  8. D. M. Barros-Battesti , M. Arzua and G. H. Bechara 2006. Carrapatos de Importância Médico-Veterinária da Região Neotropical: Um Guia Ilustrado para Identificação de Espécies. Vox/ICTTD-3/Butantan, São Paulo. Google Scholar

  9. J. G. W. Brum , A. L. S. Valente , A. P. Albano , M. A. C. Coimbra and G. G. Greque 2003. Ixodidae de mamíferos silvestres atendidos no núcleo de reabilitação da fauna silvestre, UFPEL. Arq. Inst. Biol. 70: 211–212. Google Scholar

  10. G. R. Castro and N. M. Serra-Freire 1996. Revisão da ixodofauna: I. Tamanduás (Tamandua sp.). Entomol. Vect. 3: 63–81. Google Scholar

  11. D. E. Evans , J. R. Martins and A. A. Guglielmone 2000. A review of the ticks (Acari, Ixodida) of Brazil, their hosts and geographic distribution — 1. The state of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz 95: 453–470. Google Scholar

  12. L. T. M. Figueiredo , S. J. Badra , L. E. Pereira and M. P. J. Szabó 1999. Report on ticks collected in the Southeast and Mid-West regions of Brazil: analyzing the potential transmission of tickborne pathogens to man. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. 32: 613–619. Google Scholar

  13. F. Fonseca and H. B. Aragão 1952. Notas de Ixodologia. II Uma nova espécie e gênero Amblyomma e uma nova espécie do gênero Ixodes (Acari: Ixodidae). Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz 50: 713–726. Google Scholar

  14. R. M. S. N. C. Guerra , A. L. A. Silva and N. M. Serra-Freire 2000. Amblyomma rotundatum Koch, 1844 (Acari: Ixodidae) in Kinosternon scorpioides L. (Chelonia: Kinosternidae) in Maranhão state, Brazil. Entomol. Vect. 7: 335–338. Google Scholar

  15. A. A. Guglielmone , A. Estrada-Peña, C. A. Luciani , A. J. Mangold and J. E. Keirans 2003. Hosts and distribution of Amblyomma auricularium (Conil 1878) and Amblyomma pseudoconcolor Aragão, 1908 (Acari: Ixodidae). Exp. Appl. Acarol. 29: 131–139. Google Scholar

  16. J. R. Martins , I. M. Medri , C. M. Oliveira and A. A. Guglielmone 2004. Ocorrência de carrapatos em tamanduá-bandeira (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) e tamanduá-mirim (Tamandua tetradactyla) na região do Pantanal Sul Mato-Grossense, Brasil. Ciência Rural 34: 293-295. Google Scholar

  17. S. R. Miziara , F. Paiva , R. Andreotti , W. W. Koller , V. A. Lopes , N. T. Pontes and K. Bitencourt 2008. Occurrence of Ixodes loricatus Neumann, 1899 (Acari: Ixodidae) parasitizing Didelphis albiventris (Lund, 1841) (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) in Campo Grande, MS. Rev. Bras. Parasitol Vet. 17: 158–160. Google Scholar

  18. M. C. Mullins , S. M. Lazzarini , M. C. L. Picaneo and N. M. Serra-Freire 2004. Amblyomma parvum a parasite of Dasypus kappleri in the state of Amazonas, Brazil. Rev. Cienc. Agrar. 42: 287–291. Google Scholar

  19. M. M. M. Olegário , M. P. J. Szabó and A. L. Q. Santos 2006. Carrapatos em áreas do Cerrado brasileiro. Vet. Not. 12(2): 39. Google Scholar

  20. N. M. Serra-Freire , M. Amorim , G. S. Gazêta , L. Guerim and M. G. H. Desiderio 1996. Ixodofauna de cervídeos no Brasil. Rev. Bras. Cienc. Vet. 3: 51–54. Google Scholar

  21. M. Superina 2000. Biologie und Haltung von Gürteltieren (Dasypodidae). Doctoral thesis, Institut für Zoo-, Heim- und Wildtiere, Universität Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland. Google Scholar

  22. M. Superina , A. M. Abba , G. Porini and T. C. S. Anacleto 2009. Priodontes maximus. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.2. < http://www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 06 August 2010. Google Scholar

  23. R. M. Wetzel 1982. Systematics, distribution, ecology and conservation of South American edentates. In: Mammalian Biology in South America, M. A. Mares and H. H. Genoways (eds.), pp. 345–375. Special Publication Series of the Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh. Google Scholar

Flávia Regina Miranda, Rodrigo Hidalgo Friciello Teixeira, Gilberto Salles Gazêta, Nicolau Maués Serra-Freire, and Marinete Amorim "Presence of Amblyomma cajennense in Wild Giant Armadillos (Priodontes maximus) of the Pantanal Matogrossense, Brazil," Edentata 11(1), (1 November 2010). https://doi.org/10.1896/020.011.0113
Published: 1 November 2010
JOURNAL ARTICLE
3 PAGES


SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
Back to Top