Serological survey of toxoplasmosis and leptospirosis in neotropical wild mammals from Aracaju Zoo, Sergipe, Brazil

Modern zoological gardens are institutions to wildlife maintenance, aiming its conservation, the performance of scientific research and leisure, recreation and environ-mental education activities. The variety of wild species living in conditions different from the one found in its natural habitats represents a propitious environment for diseases spread, specially the zoonotic ones. Due to data shortage and wild mammals' epidemio-logical relevance both for toxoplasmosis as for leptospirosis, this study aimed to determine the serological survey of toxoplasmosis and leptospirosis in Neotropical wild mammals, from Zoo of Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil. Blood samples were collected from 32 wild mammals, adults and from both sexes: 14 wild bearded capuchins (Cebus libidinosus), four golden-bellied capuchins (Cebus xanthosternus), three pumas (Puma concolor), one jaguar (Pantheraonca), one crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous), six crab-eating raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus), two South American coatis (Nasua nasua), and one tayra (Eira barbara). Sera were tested to Toxoplasma gondii antibodies by the modified agglutination test (MAT e"1:25), and by the microscopic seroaglutination test (cut-off e"1:100) using 24 serovar of pathogenic leptospiras and two serovar of saprophyte leptospiras. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 17 of 32 (53.1%) wild mammals, and antibodies to Leptospira spp. were found in 4 of 32 (12.5%) wild mammals. In relation to gender, 9 of 15 (60%) males, and 8 of 17 (47.1%) females had antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii, and 4 of 15 (26.7%) males had antibodies to Leptospira spp. Considering the origin of the seropositive animals to T. gondii, 8 of 17 (47%) were born in the zoo, 7 of 17 (41.2%) were from other zoos, and 2 (11.8%) were from the wild. Three of 4 (75%) mammals seropositive to Leptospira spp. were born in zoo, and 1 of 4 (25%) was from the wild. This is the first serological survey of Leptospira spp. in Neotropical primates and carnivores from Northeast zoo of Brazil, and the first time that antibodies to T. gondii and Leptospira spp. (serovar Copenhageni) were observed in the threaten specie of primate golden-bellied capuchins (Cebus xanthosternus) in Aracaju, SE.

Toxoplasma gondii; Leptospira spp.; antibody; Primates; Carnivora; captivity

Colégio Brasileiro de Patologia Animal - CBPA Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira, Caixa Postal 74.591, 23890-000 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil, Tel./Fax: (55 21) 2682-1081 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil