Bacteria of the genus Ehrlichia are Gram-negative and coccoid-shaped microorganisms that cause ehrlichiosis – a serious infectious disease that often leads to death. These bacteria present a strong zoonotic potential and primates may act as reservoir hosts. This study involved a molecular analysis to detect these microorganisms in blood samples collected from nineteen primates of the genus Callithrix living free in an Atlantic Forest fragment in the municipality of Viçosa, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. One of the 19 primates was found to be infected with Ehrlichia canis. This finding points to a new wild host of E. canis with a strong potential for transmission to humans because of its increasing contact with people. This is the first report of Ehrlichia spp. in primate of the genus Callithrix.
Ehrlichia; Callithrix; marmoset; ticks