Trypanosoma cruzi infection in neotropical wild carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora): at the top of the T. cruzi transmission chain.

Little is known on the role played by Neotropical wild carnivores in the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles. We investigated T. cruzi infection in wild carnivores from three sites in Brazil through parasitological and serological tests. The seven carnivore species examined were infected by T. cruzi, but high parasitemias detectable by hemoculture were found only in two Procyonidae species. Genotyping by Mini-exon gene, PCR-RFLP (1f8/Akw21I) and kDNA genomic targets revealed that the raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus) harbored TcI and the coatis (Nasua nasua) harbored TcI, TcII, TcIII-IV and Trypanosoma rangeli, in single and mixed infections, besides four T. cruzi isolates that displayed odd band patterns in the Mini-exon assay. These findings corroborate the coati can be a bioaccumulator of T. cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTU) and may act as a transmission hub, a connection point joining sylvatic transmission cycles within terrestrial and arboreal mammals and vectors. Also, the odd band patterns observed in coatis' isolates reinforce that T. cruzi diversity might be much higher than currently acknowledged. Additionally, we assembled our data with T. cruzi infection on Neotropical carnivores' literature records to provide a comprehensive analysis of the infection patterns among distinct carnivore species, especially considering their ecological traits and phylogeny. Altogether, fifteen Neotropical carnivore species were found naturally infected by T. cruzi. Species diet was associated with T. cruzi infection rates, supporting the hypothesis that predator-prey links are important mechanisms for T. cruzi maintenance and dispersion in the wild. Distinct T. cruzi infection patterns across carnivore species and study sites were notable. Musteloidea species consistently exhibit high parasitemias in different studies which indicate their high infectivity potential. Mesocarnivores that feed on both invertebrates and mammals, including the coati, a host that can be bioaccumulator of T. cruzi DTU's, seem to take place at the top of the T. cruzi transmission chain.
AuthorsFabiana Lopes Rocha, André Luiz Rodrigues Roque, Juliane Saab de Lima, Carolina Carvalho Cheida, Frederico Gemesio Lemos, Fernanda Cavalcanti de Azevedo, Ricardo Corassa Arrais, Daniele Bilac, Heitor Miraglia Herrera, Guilherme Mourão, Ana Maria Jansen
JournalPloS one (PLoS One) Vol. 8 Issue 7 Pg. e67463 ( 2013) ISSN: 1932-6203 [Electronic] United States
PMID23861767 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • DNA, Kinetoplast
  • Animals
  • Brazil (epidemiology)
  • Chagas Disease (epidemiology, parasitology, transmission, veterinary)
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • DNA, Kinetoplast (classification, genetics)
  • Disease Reservoirs
  • Exons
  • Food Chain
  • Genotype
  • Phylogeny
  • Procyonidae (parasitology)
  • Tropical Climate
  • Trypanosoma cruzi (classification, genetics, isolation & purification)

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