Large and small piroplasms have been observed in the blood smears of various wild carnivores, but few studies utilizing molecular characterization have been done. The goal of this present study was to investigate the presence of Babesia sp. by molecular and serologic techniques in exotic and neotropical carnivores maintained in captivity at Brazilian zoos. Blood and sera samples were collected from 146 Brazilian wild felids, 21 exotic felids, 1 genet (Genetta tigrina), 3 European wolves (Canis lupus), and 94 Brazilian wild canids in Brazilian zoos in the São Paulo and Mato Grosso states and in the Federal District. A total of 53 wild felids (31.74%) and 10 wild canids (10.31%) were seropositive for Babesia canis by Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Test (IFAT). Antibodies were detected in ocelots, little-spotted cats, margays, pampas cats, jaguars, pumas, jaguarundis, crab-eating foxes, and bush dogs. Babesia sp. DNA, with high similarity to B. leo, was detected in one pampas cat and one genet.
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