Molecular identification of Hepatozoon canis in dogs from Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

Identificação molecular de Hepatozoon canis em cães de Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil

Carlos Alberto do Nascimento Ramos Verônica Jorge Babo-Terra Thatianna Camillo Pedroso Antônio Francisco Souza Filho Flábio Ribeiro de Araújo Herbert Patric Kellermann Cleveland About the authors

Abstracts

The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of Hepatozoon species infecting dogs in the municipality of Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul (MS), Brazil, using blood samples (n = 165) drawn from dogs. The species Hepatozoon canis was identified in 3.63% of the tested animals using molecular tools. Further studies are needed to determine the clinical relevance of this infection and the main arthropod vectors involved in its transmission.

Dogs; epidemiology; Hepatozoon canis ; midwestern Brazil; PCR


O objetivo deste estudo foi identificar a frequência e espécies de Hepatozoon infectando cães no município de Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil. Uma amostragem de 165 animais foi utilizada e, por meio do uso de ferramentas moleculares, a espécie Hepatozoon canis foi identificada em 3,63% dos animais. Mais estudos são necessários para identificar a relevância clínica e os principais vetores envolvidos na transmissão desse protozoário na região.

Cães; epidemiologia; Hepatozoon canis ; centro-oeste do Brasil; PCR


Introduction

The genus Hepatozoon comprises protozoa that can affect a wide range of vertebrate hosts throughout the world. These protozoa are heteroxenous, exhibiting a life cycle with sexual and sporulation phase in the definitive hosts, represented by hematophagous invertebrates such as mosquitoes, mites and ticks (SMITH, 1996Smith TG. The genus Hepatozoon (Apicomplexa: Adeleina). J Parasitol 1996; 82(4): 565-585. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3283781. PMid:8691364
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3283781...
). Animals become infected through the ingestion of the definite hosts containing mature oocysts with infective sporozoites (BANETH et al., 2001Baneth G, Samish M, Alekseev E, Aroch I, Shkap V. Transmission of Hepatozoon canis to dogs by naturally-fed or percutaneously-injected ticks. Rhipicephalus sanguineusJ Parasitol 2001; 87(3): 606-611. http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/0022-3395(2001)087[0606:TOHCTD]2.0.CO;2. PMid:11426725
http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/0022-3395(2001...
).

Canine hepatozoonosis can be caused by two species, Hepatozoon canis and Hepatozoon americanum. In Brazil, although species genetically related to H. americanum have been described parasitizing wild canids (CRIADO-FORNELIO et al., 2006Criado-Fornelio A, Ruas JL, Casado N, Farias NAR, Soares MP, Müller G, et al. New molecular data on mammalian species (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from Brazil and Spain. HepatozoonJ Parasitol 2006; 92(1): 93-99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/GE-464R.1. PMid:16629322
http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/GE-464R.1...
; ANDRÉ et al., 2010André MR, Adania CH, Teixeira RHF, Vargas GH, Falcade M, Sousa L, et al. Molecular detection of spp. in Brazilian and exotic wild carnivores. HepatozoonVet Parasitol 2010; 173(1-2): 134-138. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2010.06.014. PMid:20630658
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2010....
), only H. canis has been detected in domestic dogs (PALUDO et al., 2005Paludo GR, Friedmann H, Dell’Porto A, Macintire DK, Whitley EM, Boudreaux MK, et al. Hepatozoon spp.: pathological and partial 18S rRNA sequence analysis from three Brazilian dogs. Parasitol Res 2005; 97(2): 167-170. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-005-1419-2. PMid:15988602
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-005-141...
; MUNDIM et al., 2008Mundim AV, Morais IA, Tavares M, Cury MC, Mundim MJS. Clinical and hematological signs associated with dogs naturally infected by sp. and with other hematozoa: a retrospective study in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. HepatozoonVet Parasitol 2008; 153(1-2): 3-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2008.01.018. PMid:18304739
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2008....
; RAMOS et al., 2010Ramos R, Ramos C, Araújo F, Oliveira R, Souza I, Pimentel D, et al. Molecular survey and genetic characterization of tick-borne pathogens in dogs in metropolitan Recife (north-eastern Brazil). Parasitol Res 2010; 107(5): 1115-1120. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-1979-7. PMid:20680344
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-197...
; GONÇALVES et al., 2014Gonçalves LR, Filgueira KD, Ahid SM, Pereira JS, Vale AM, Machado RZ, et al. Study on coinfecting vector-borne pathogens in dogs and ticks in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Rev Bras Parasitol Vet 2014; 23(3): 407-412. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-29612014071. PMid:25271465
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-29612014...
).

The transmission of H. canis to dogs in urban areas has been attributed mainly to the tick species Rhipicephalus sanguineus (LATROFA et al., 2014Latrofa MS, Dantas-Torres F, Giannelli A, Otranto D. Molecular detection of tick-borne pathogens in group ticks. Rhipicephalus sanguineusTicks Tick Borne Dis 2014; 5(6): 943-946. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2014.07.014. PMid:25113982
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2014....
; MIRANDA et al., 2014Miranda RL, O’Dwyer LH, de Castro JR, Metzger B, Rubini AS, Mundim AV, et al. Prevalence and molecular characterization of in dogs from urban and rural areas in Southeast Brazil. Hepatozoon canisRes Vet Sci 2014; 97(2): 325-328. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06.015. PMid:25039064
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06...
), while in the rural environment, Amblyomma ovale and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus have been incriminated (FORLANO et al., 2005Forlano M, Scofield A, Elisei C, Fernandes KR, Ewing SA, Massard CL. Diagnosis of Hepatozoon spp. in and its experimental transmission in domestic dogs in Brazil. Amblyomma ovaleVet Parasitol 2005; 134(1-2): 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2005.05.066. PMid:16081219
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2005....
; MIRANDA et al., 2011Miranda RL, de Castro JR, Olegário MMM, Beletti ME, Mundim AV, O’Dwyer LH, et al. Oocysts of Hepatozoon canis in Rhipicephalus () collected from a naturally infected dog. Boophilus microplusVet Parasitol 2011; 177(3-4): 392-396. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2011.01.044. PMid:21324597
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2011....
). However, differences in the vector competence of these ticks can influence the prevalence of the parasite in different dog populations (SILVA et al., 2014Silva MCA, Mundin AV, Mendonça GA, Mundin MJS, Guimarães EC. Hemoparasitos em cães domésticos naturalmente infectados, provenientes das zonas urbana e rural do Município de Abadia dos Dourados, Minas Gerais, Brasil. Biosci J 2014; 30(Suppl 2): 892-900.).

Few studies have been conducted in Campo Grande to determine the occurrence of H. canis infection in domestic dogs (SALGADO, 2006Salgado FP. Identificação de hemoparasitos e carrapatos de cães procedentes do Centro de Controle de Zoonoses de Campo Grande estado Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil [Dissertação]. Campo Grande: Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul; 2006.). In fact, the only study was based on the microscopic examination of blood smears, making it impossible to accurately define the species involved, and possibly underestimating the prevalence owing to the low sensitivity of the technique (SALGADO, 2006Salgado FP. Identificação de hemoparasitos e carrapatos de cães procedentes do Centro de Controle de Zoonoses de Campo Grande estado Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil [Dissertação]. Campo Grande: Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul; 2006.).

Therefore, the aim of this study was to use molecular methods to assess the occurrence of infection by Hepatozoon sp. in dogs from Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul (MS), Brazil.

Materials and Methods

From 2007 to 2009, blood samples of 165 dogs, exhibiting clinical signs compatible with hemoparasitosis and treated at private veterinary clinics located in the municipality of Campo Grande, were collected. Samples were collected in tubes containing EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) as anticoagulant and stored at -20°C for subsequent DNA extraction, according to the methodology described by Araújo et al. (2009)Araújo FR, Ramos CAN, Luiz HL, Pérez IAHFS, Oliveira RHM, Souza IIF, et al. 2009. Avaliação de um protocolo de extração de DNA genômico a partir de sangue total. Embrapa Gado de Corte. 5 p. no. 120. Embrapa Gado de Corte. Comunicado Técnico.. The concentration and integrity of the DNA extracted from the samples were assessed by means of spectrophotometry and electrophoresis in 1% agarose gel stained with SYBR Gold (Invitrogen), respectively.

The genus Hepatozoon was identified using a PCR reaction method previously described by Inokuma et al. (2002)Inokuma H, Okuda M, Ohno K, Shimoda K, Onishi T. Analysis of the 18S rRNA gene sequence of a detected in two Japanese dogs. HepatozoonVet Parasitol 2002; 106(3): 265-271. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4017(02)00065-1. PMid:12062514
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4017(02)...
, and the primer set HepF 5'-ATACATGAGCAAAATCTCAAC-3' and HepR 5'-CTTATTATTCCATGCTGCAG-3'. The reaction amplified a fragment of 666 bp in a conserved Hepatozoon region of the 18S rRNA gene. The PCR amplification products were viewed under an ultraviolet light after electrophoresis on 1% agarose gel stained with SYBR Gold (Invitrogen).

In order to test for PCR inhibitors, aliquots of DNA (10 µL, 500 ɳg) of all samples were spiked with a DNA sample positive to H. canis (1 µL, 50 ɳg) and tested in the PCR reaction described above (2 µL / reaction). The H. canis positive sample was obtained in a previous study, and the DNA sequence was deposited in GenBank under accession number FJ943578 (RAMOS et al., 2010Ramos R, Ramos C, Araújo F, Oliveira R, Souza I, Pimentel D, et al. Molecular survey and genetic characterization of tick-borne pathogens in dogs in metropolitan Recife (north-eastern Brazil). Parasitol Res 2010; 107(5): 1115-1120. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-1979-7. PMid:20680344
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-197...
).

To prevent cross-contamination and sample carryover, pre- and post-PCR sample processing was performed in separate rooms. All the fluids were transferred using plugged pipette tips to eliminate aerosols.

For the sequence analysis, amplicons were purified from agarose gel, using a QIAEX II Gel Extraction Kit (Qiagen), and sequenced in both directions using a BigDye Terminator v3.1 Cycle Sequencing Kit in an ABI 3130 Genetic Analyzer (Applied Biosystems). Triplicate sequencing of each amplicon was performed and one consensus sequence was built for each amplicon, using the Sequencher v. 4.1.4 program (Gene Codes). The consensus sequences were subjected to a BLASTn (ALTSCHUL et al., 1990Altschul SF, Gish W, Miller W, Myers EW, Lipman DJ. Basic local alignment search tool. J Mol Biol 1990; 215(3): 403-410. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0022-2836(05)80360-2. PMid:2231712
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0022-2836(05)...
) search (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) to determine the sequence identity by comparison with sequences available in the GenBank database.

Multiple alignment was performed and a phylogenetic tree was constructed based on the neighbor joining method, using the MEGA 4 program (TAMURA et al., 2007Tamura K, Dudley J, Nei M, Kumar S. MEGA4: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis (MEGA) software version 4.0. Mol Biol Evol 2007; 24(8): 1596-1599. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msm092. PMid:17488738
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msm092...
). Bootstrap resampling (1000 replicates) was performed for the statistical support of the reliabilities of the nodes on the trees (FELSENSTEIN, 1985Felsenstein J. Confidence limits on phylogenies: an approach using the bootstrap. Evolution 1985; 39(4): 783-791. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2408678.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2408678...
). Theileria equi and Babesia microtiwere used as outgroups.

Results and Discussion

Out of the samples analyzed, 3.63% (6/165) showed amplicons (666 bp) compatible with Hepatozoon sp., according to Inokuma et al. (2002)Inokuma H, Okuda M, Ohno K, Shimoda K, Onishi T. Analysis of the 18S rRNA gene sequence of a detected in two Japanese dogs. HepatozoonVet Parasitol 2002; 106(3): 265-271. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4017(02)00065-1. PMid:12062514
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4017(02)...
. Through partial sequencing of the 18S rRNAgene it was possible to identify the species H. canis. A similarity of 98 to 99% was observed between the sequences obtained in this study and those available in GenBank.

The negative results could not be attributed to the presence of inhibitor, since all aliquots contaminated with H. canis DNA showed amplification.

The multiple alignment performed with the consensus sequences obtained in this study (635 bp) revealed an identity of 100% among 18S rRNA sequences of local isolates of H. canis, suggesting the presence of a single isolate in the region under study. Therefore, only one sequence was deposited in GenBank under accession number JX118828.

The phylogenetic analysis confirmed that the dogs of this study were infected with the species H. canis. The phylogenetic tree based on 18S rRNA sequences revealed that the H. canis isolate (Campo Grande) formed a cluster with other H. canis isolates in a segregated branch of H. americanum. Both clusters (H. canis and H. americanum) were confirmed by high bootstrap values​​ (95 and 100%, respectively) (Figure 1).

Figure 1
Phylogenetic tree constructed by the neighbor joining method, expressing the relationship between isolate of Hepatozoon canis from Campo Grande, MS (arrow) and other isolates available in the GenBank database. The cluster containing H. canis is highlighted. Each isolate is presented with the GenBank accession number, followed by the name of the species. The phylogenetic tree was built based on 18S rRNA gene sequences.

Hepatozoon canis has been detected in dogs in several regions in Brazil, with frequencies ranging from 0.48% (1/205) (RAMOS et al., 2010Ramos R, Ramos C, Araújo F, Oliveira R, Souza I, Pimentel D, et al. Molecular survey and genetic characterization of tick-borne pathogens in dogs in metropolitan Recife (north-eastern Brazil). Parasitol Res 2010; 107(5): 1115-1120. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-1979-7. PMid:20680344
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-197...
) to 75.9% (161/212) (MIRANDA et al., 2014Miranda RL, O’Dwyer LH, de Castro JR, Metzger B, Rubini AS, Mundim AV, et al. Prevalence and molecular characterization of in dogs from urban and rural areas in Southeast Brazil. Hepatozoon canisRes Vet Sci 2014; 97(2): 325-328. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06.015. PMid:25039064
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06...
) in dogs from urban areas of Recife and Uberlândia, respectively. In a single survey conducted in Campo Grande, a Hepatozoon spp. infection rate of 2.4% (4/165) was observed by microscopic examination of blood smears of stray dogs caught by the Center for Zoonosis Control of the city (SALGADO, 2006Salgado FP. Identificação de hemoparasitos e carrapatos de cães procedentes do Centro de Controle de Zoonoses de Campo Grande estado Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil [Dissertação]. Campo Grande: Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul; 2006.). Although the methodology used in the present study (PCR) is more sensitive than optical microscopy, and the current sampling has been performed in sick dogs, in which a higher frequency of infected animals would be expected, no relevant difference was observed with respect to the previous study (SALGADO, 2006Salgado FP. Identificação de hemoparasitos e carrapatos de cães procedentes do Centro de Controle de Zoonoses de Campo Grande estado Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil [Dissertação]. Campo Grande: Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul; 2006.). On the other hand, a comparative analysis of data from different regions of Brazil revealed significant differences in H. canis infection rates in urban areas (RAMOS et al., 2010Ramos R, Ramos C, Araújo F, Oliveira R, Souza I, Pimentel D, et al. Molecular survey and genetic characterization of tick-borne pathogens in dogs in metropolitan Recife (north-eastern Brazil). Parasitol Res 2010; 107(5): 1115-1120. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-1979-7. PMid:20680344
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-197...
; PEREIRA et al., 2011Pereira AM, Cerqueira AMF, Velho PB, Sá AG, Ferreira RF, Macieira DB, et al. Ocurrence of Hepatozoon spp. in naturally infected dogs from Piraí, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rev Bras Ci Vet 2011; 18(2-3): 121-125.; MIRANDA et al., 2014Miranda RL, O’Dwyer LH, de Castro JR, Metzger B, Rubini AS, Mundim AV, et al. Prevalence and molecular characterization of in dogs from urban and rural areas in Southeast Brazil. Hepatozoon canisRes Vet Sci 2014; 97(2): 325-328. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06.015. PMid:25039064
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06...
).

In Brazil, the brown dog tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus has been incriminated as the main vector of H. canis in urban areas (SPOLIDORIO et al., 2009Spolidorio MG, Labruna MB, Zago AM, Donatele DM, Caliari KM, Yoshinari NH. infecting dogs in the State of Espírito Santo, southeastern Brazil. Hepatozoon canisVet Parasitol 2009; 163(4): 357-361. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2009.05.002. PMid:19482427
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2009....
; MIRANDA et al., 2014Miranda RL, O’Dwyer LH, de Castro JR, Metzger B, Rubini AS, Mundim AV, et al. Prevalence and molecular characterization of in dogs from urban and rural areas in Southeast Brazil. Hepatozoon canisRes Vet Sci 2014; 97(2): 325-328. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06.015. PMid:25039064
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06...
) because it is the most common tick in these areas (LABRUNA & PEREIRA, 2001Labruna MB, Pereira M. C. Carrapato em cães no Brasil. Clin Vet 2001; 30: 24-32.; DANTAS-TORRES et al., 2004Dantas-Torres F, Figueiredo LA, Faustino MAG. Ectoparasitos de cães provenientes de alguns municípios da região metropolitana do Recife, Pernambuco, Brasil. Rev Bras Parasitol Vet 2004; 13(4): 151-154.). However, an association has not always been observed between high levels of tick infestation and high frequency of H. canis infection in dogs (SPOLIDORIO et al., 2009Spolidorio MG, Labruna MB, Zago AM, Donatele DM, Caliari KM, Yoshinari NH. infecting dogs in the State of Espírito Santo, southeastern Brazil. Hepatozoon canisVet Parasitol 2009; 163(4): 357-361. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2009.05.002. PMid:19482427
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2009....
; MIRANDA et al., 2014Miranda RL, O’Dwyer LH, de Castro JR, Metzger B, Rubini AS, Mundim AV, et al. Prevalence and molecular characterization of in dogs from urban and rural areas in Southeast Brazil. Hepatozoon canisRes Vet Sci 2014; 97(2): 325-328. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06.015. PMid:25039064
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06...
). In some cases, low infection rates have been reported despite high tick infestation (SALGADO, 2006Salgado FP. Identificação de hemoparasitos e carrapatos de cães procedentes do Centro de Controle de Zoonoses de Campo Grande estado Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil [Dissertação]. Campo Grande: Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul; 2006.).

A previous study by Ramos et al. (2010)Ramos R, Ramos C, Araújo F, Oliveira R, Souza I, Pimentel D, et al. Molecular survey and genetic characterization of tick-borne pathogens in dogs in metropolitan Recife (north-eastern Brazil). Parasitol Res 2010; 107(5): 1115-1120. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-1979-7. PMid:20680344
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-197...
in the metropolitan region of Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, detected a H. canis infection rate of only 0.48% in dogs treated at the UFRPE Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Although the tick infestation of the animals in that study was not evaluated, the high frequency of infection by other tick-borne pathogens such as Ehrlichia canis (38.04%) and Anaplasma platys (48.78%) suggests that tick infestation in dogs occurs frequently in the region. Similar findings were reported in Campo Grande, where high frequencies of infection by other tick-borne pathogens have been observed (DAGNONE et al., 2009Dagnone AS, Souza AI, André MR, Machado RZ. Molecular diagnosis of Anaplasmataceae organisms in dogs with clinical and microscopical signs of ehrlichiosis. Rev Bras Parasitol Vet 2009; 18(4): 20-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.4322/rbpv.01804004. PMid:20040204
http://dx.doi.org/10.4322/rbpv.01804004...
; SOUSA et al., 2013Sousa KC, André MR, Herrera HM, Andrade GB, Jusi MMG, Santos LL, et al. Molecular and serological detection of tick-borne pathogens in dogs from an area endemic for in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Leishmania infantumRev Bras Parasitol Vet 2013; 22(4): 525-531. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-29612013000400012. PMid:24473877
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-29612013...
). Therefore, considering the wide distribution of R. sanguineus in different urban areas, one question remains: How can the wide variations in H. canis infection rates in dogs from Brazil be explained?

One explanation could be the climate conditions of each region, which influence tick populations. However, even in regions whose climate conditions are favorable for tick reproduction, discrepancies have been observed among frequencies of infection by H. canis. For example, based on PCR frequencies of 3,63% (present study) and 75.9% have been reported in Campo Grande, MS and Uberlândia, MG, respectively (MIRANDA et al., 2014Miranda RL, O’Dwyer LH, de Castro JR, Metzger B, Rubini AS, Mundim AV, et al. Prevalence and molecular characterization of in dogs from urban and rural areas in Southeast Brazil. Hepatozoon canisRes Vet Sci 2014; 97(2): 325-328. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06.015. PMid:25039064
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06...
). These areas are distant approximately 770 km, and have similar climatic conditions.

Another important factor may be related with the methods of detection, which have different levels of sensitivity. However, again, many results do not corroborate this observation. For example, although Ramos et al. (2010)Ramos R, Ramos C, Araújo F, Oliveira R, Souza I, Pimentel D, et al. Molecular survey and genetic characterization of tick-borne pathogens in dogs in metropolitan Recife (north-eastern Brazil). Parasitol Res 2010; 107(5): 1115-1120. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-1979-7. PMid:20680344
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-197...
in Recife, Pereira et al. (2011)Pereira AM, Cerqueira AMF, Velho PB, Sá AG, Ferreira RF, Macieira DB, et al. Ocurrence of Hepatozoon spp. in naturally infected dogs from Piraí, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rev Bras Ci Vet 2011; 18(2-3): 121-125. in Piraí and Miranda et al. (2014)Miranda RL, O’Dwyer LH, de Castro JR, Metzger B, Rubini AS, Mundim AV, et al. Prevalence and molecular characterization of in dogs from urban and rural areas in Southeast Brazil. Hepatozoon canisRes Vet Sci 2014; 97(2): 325-328. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06.015. PMid:25039064
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rvsc.2014.06...
in Uberlândia employed the same PCR reaction (Inokuma et al., 2002Inokuma H, Okuda M, Ohno K, Shimoda K, Onishi T. Analysis of the 18S rRNA gene sequence of a detected in two Japanese dogs. HepatozoonVet Parasitol 2002; 106(3): 265-271. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4017(02)00065-1. PMid:12062514
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4017(02)...
), all these researchers reported very different frequencies of infection (0.48%, 2.2% and 75.9%, respectively). It is still interesting to note that the lower rate of infection (0.48%) observed by Ramos et al. (2010)Ramos R, Ramos C, Araújo F, Oliveira R, Souza I, Pimentel D, et al. Molecular survey and genetic characterization of tick-borne pathogens in dogs in metropolitan Recife (north-eastern Brazil). Parasitol Res 2010; 107(5): 1115-1120. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-1979-7. PMid:20680344
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-197...
, was detected in sick animals, while the other studies have been conducted in domiciled animals.

The low frequency of infection despite high tick infestation rates is most likely the result of the low vector competence of this tick (R. sanguineus) in acquiring and transmitting specific isolates of the protozoan. The vector competence of some tick species, including R. sanguineus, has been assessed recently (DEMONER et al., 2013Demoner LC, Rubini AS, Paduan KS, Metzger B, Paula Antunes JM, Martins TF, et al. Investigation of tick vectors of in Brazil. Hepatozoon canisTicks Tick Borne Dis 2013; 4(6): 542-546. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2013.07.006. PMid:24209494
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2013....
). The authors reported an unsuccessful attempt to describe the development of H. canis in R. sanguineus and A. cajennense ticks (DEMONER et al., 2013Demoner LC, Rubini AS, Paduan KS, Metzger B, Paula Antunes JM, Martins TF, et al. Investigation of tick vectors of in Brazil. Hepatozoon canisTicks Tick Borne Dis 2013; 4(6): 542-546. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2013.07.006. PMid:24209494
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2013....
). Similarly, previous studies performed by Forlano et al. (2005)Forlano M, Scofield A, Elisei C, Fernandes KR, Ewing SA, Massard CL. Diagnosis of Hepatozoon spp. in and its experimental transmission in domestic dogs in Brazil. Amblyomma ovaleVet Parasitol 2005; 134(1-2): 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2005.05.066. PMid:16081219
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2005....
and Gomes et al. (2010)Gomes PV, Mundim MJ, Mundim AV, Ávila DF, Guimarães EC, Cury MC. Occurrence of Hepatozoon sp. in dogs in the urban area originating from a municipality in southeastern Brazil. Vet Parasitol 2010; 174(1-2): 155-161. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2010.07.020. PMid:20810218
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2010....
also failed to detect any developmental stages of H. canis in ticks (R. sanguineus, A. aureolatum and A. cajennense) collected from naturally infected dogs in Rio de Janeiro and Uberlândia, respectively. On the other hand, the development of H. canis in populations of R. sanguineus in Europe has been reported frequently (BANETH et al., 2001Baneth G, Samish M, Alekseev E, Aroch I, Shkap V. Transmission of Hepatozoon canis to dogs by naturally-fed or percutaneously-injected ticks. Rhipicephalus sanguineusJ Parasitol 2001; 87(3): 606-611. http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/0022-3395(2001)087[0606:TOHCTD]2.0.CO;2. PMid:11426725
http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/0022-3395(2001...
; GIANNELLI et al., 2013Giannelli A, Ramos RAN, Di Paola G, Mencke N, Dantas-Torres F, Baneth G, et al. Transstadial transmission of Hepatozoon canis from larvae to nymphs of . Rhipicephalus sanguineusVet Parasitol 2013; 196(1-2): 1-5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.02.017. PMid:23537949
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2013....
).

Interestingly, over the last few years, genetic and morphological differences have been detected in R. sanguineus populations in different regions (SZABÓ et al., 2005Szabó MPJ, Mangold AJ, João CF, Bechara GH, Guglielmone AA. Biological and DNA evidence of two dissimilar populations of the tick group (Acari: Ixodidae) in South America. Rhipicephalus sanguineusVet Parasitol 2005; 130(1-2): 131-140. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2005.03.008. PMid:15893080
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2005....
; MORAES-FILHO et al., 2011Moraes-Filho J, Marcili A, Nieri-Bastos FA, Richtzenhain LJ, Labruna MB. Genetic analysis of ticks belonging to the group in Latin America. Rhipicephalus sanguineusActa Trop 2011; 117(1): 51-55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2010.09.006. PMid:20858451
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica....
). This variability can probably be ascribed to the tick’s ability to transmit pathogens.

In conclusion, a systematic analysis of the tick species that parasitize dogs in urban areas, including Campo Grande, as well as their genetic structure, is needed to gain a better understanding of the transmission of H. canis in different regions.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Apr-Jun 2015

History

  • Received
    03 Dec 2014
  • Accepted
    04 Feb 2015
Colégio Brasileiro de Parasitologia Veterinária FCAV/UNESP - Departamento de Patologia Veterinária, Via de acesso Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane s/n, Zona Rural, , 14884-900 Jaboticabal - SP, Brasil, Fone: (16) 3209-7100 RAMAL 7934 - Jaboticabal - SP - Brazil
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