Outcomes of Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma evansi infections on health of Southern coati (Nasua nasua), crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous), and ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) in the Brazilian Pantanal

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Santos, Filipe Martins
Macedo, Gabriel Carvalho de
Gomes Barreto, Wanessa Teixeira
Rodrigues Oliveira-Santos, Luiz Gustavo
Garcia, Carolina Martins
Mourao, Guilherme de Miranda
Oliveira Porfirio, Grasiela Edith de
Marino, Elizangela Domenis
Andre, Marcos Rogerio [UNESP]
Perles, Livia [UNESP]
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Public Library Science
The occurrence of Trypanosoma spp. in wild carnivore populations has been intensively investigated during the last decades. However, the impact of these parasites on the health of free-living infected animals has been largely neglected. The Pantanal biome is the world's largest seasonal wetland, harboring a great diversity of species and habitats. This includes 174 species of mammals, of which 20 belong to the order Carnivora. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of Trypanosoma evansi and Trypanosoma cruzi infections and coinfections on the health of the most abundant carnivores in the Pantanal: coati (Nasua nasua), crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous), and ocelot (Leopardus pardalis). We captured 39 coatis, 48 crab-eating foxes, and 19 ocelots. Diagnostic tests showed T. cruzi infection in 7 crab-eating foxes and 5 coatis. Additionally, 7 crab-eating foxes, 10 coatis, and 12 ocelots were positive for T. evansi. We observed coinfections in 9 crab-eating foxes, 8 coatis, and 2 ocelots. This is the first report of T. evansi and T. cruzi infection on the health of free-living ocelots and crab-eating foxes. We showed that single T. evansi or T. cruzi infection, as well as coinfection, caused some degree of anemia in all animals, as well as an indirect negative effect on body condition in coatis and crab-eating foxes via anemia indicators and immune investment, respectively. Furthermore, the vigorous immune investment observed in sampled coatis, crab-eating foxes and ocelots infected by T. evansi, T. cruzi and coinfected can be highly harmful to their health. Overall, our results indicate that single and combined infection with T. evansi and T. cruzi represent a severe risk to the health of wild carnivores in the Pantanal region.
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Plos One. San Francisco: Public Library Science, v. 13, n. 8, 15 p., 2018.