Histopathology of the tegument of rabbits infested by Rhipicephalus sanguineus (ACARI: IXODIDAE) ticks and exposed to selamectin (active principle of acaricide Revolution®, Pfizer)
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Ticks are hematophagous ectoparasites which can transmit several diseases to the host during their feeding process. When ticks mechanically damage the tissue, they eventually induce inflammatory responses on the skin spot where they are fixed. One of the alternatives to control these ectoparasites is the use of chemical substances like selamectin - the active principle of Pfizer's antiparasitic Revolution® - a macrocyclic lactone capable of doing neurotoxic damage to the tick and eventually eliminating infestation in dogs and cats. The purpose of this study was to analyze, using histological and histochemical techniques, the occurrence of morphophysiological alterations in the skin of the host rabbits exposed to selamectin and infested with Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae). Histologically, the exposed and infested rabbits showed a partial and/or total decrease in the stratum corneum and the epithelium decreased in the number of cell layers, consequently reducing the stratification (thinning) and quite pronounced formations of sub-epidermal edemas with consequent disorganization of collagen fibers in the dermal layer's connective tissue. Histochemical tests showed strong periodic acid-Schiff-positive reaction in the hair follicle and some regions of the dermis, besides resynthesis of collagen fibers detected by Mallory's trichrome technique. The obtained results showed that selamectin acts like a toxicant agent when in contact with the skin of the rabbit infested with ticks, inducing morphophysiological alterations in the acute inflammatory process in the animal's tegument. Selamectin is a chemical substance which has a dose-dependent action since higher concentrations cause greater morphophysiological damage in the skin of rabbits. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.