The bat tick Ornithodoros mimon Kohls, Clifford & Jones is currently known by only few reports in Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina, and the state of São Paulo in southeastern Brazil. Here, we expand the distribution of O. mimon in Brazil to the states of Minas Gerais (southeastern region), Goiás (central-western), Pernambuco, and Rio Grande do Norte (northeastern). Ticks were collected on human dwellings, where there had been repeated complains of tick bites on persons during the night. Tick bites were generally followed by intense inflammatory reactions that lasted for several weeks at the bite site. Bats and opossums were reported to inhabit the attic of the infested houses. In addition, a free-ranging opossum (Didelphis albiventris Lund) trapped in Rio Grande do Norte was found infested by argasid larvae. Based on morphological and/ or molecular analysis, all ticks were identified as O. mimon. From one of the sites (Tiradentes, state of Minas Gerais), 20 field-collected nymphs were tested by a battery of polymerase chain reaction protocols targeting tick-borne microorganisms of the genera Babesia, Hepatozoon, Rickettsia, Borrelia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Coxiella; no tick specimen was found infected by any of these microorganism genera. The current study expands northwards the distribution of O. mimon, which has been shown to be very harmful to humans because of the intense inflammatory response that usually occurs after tick bites.
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Vol. 51 • No. 1