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Intestinal Parasitic Survey on Free-living and Captive Brazilian Sirenians

Thalita Faita1 | Horwald A. B. Llano1 | Daniella C. R. Oliveira1 | Gláucia P. Sousa2 | Lilian R. A. Ferreira3 | Aline R. Souza4 | Stella M. Lazzarini4 | Fábia O. Luna2 | Fernanda L. N. Attademo5 | Iran C. Normande6 | Jairo M. Oliveira7 | Ianny R. G. Posiadlo7 | Lara Borges Keid1 | Rodrigo Martins Soares1

  1. Departamento de Medicina Veterinária Preventiva e Saúde Animal (VPS), Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brasil; 2. Instituto Chico Mendes para Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio), Centro Nacional de Pesquisa e Conservação de Mamíferos Aquáticos (CMA), Brasil; 3. Instituto Transire, Brasil; 4. Centro de Preservação e Pesquisa de Mamíferos Aquáticos (CPPMA), Eletrobrás Amazonas Energia G&T, Brasil; 5. Projeto Cetáceos da Costa Branca (PCCB), Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UERN), Brasil; 6. ICMBIO, Núcleo de Gestão Integrada ICMBio Costa dos Corais (ICMBio/NGICC), Brasil; 7. Zoológico das Faculdades Integradas do Tapajós (ZOOFIT), Universidade da Amazônia (UNAMA), Brasil.

Ponente: Thalita Faita, thalitafaita@hotmail.com

Trichechus manatus and Trichechus inunguis are species of sirenians classified as Vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN Red List and included in the National Action Plan for the Conservation of Sirenians in Brazil, which involves the rehabilitation and reintroduction of specimens into the wild. Due to the lack of sanitary information regarding these species and the relevance of diseases caused by protozoan parasites in aquatic mammals, the aim of this study is to survey parasites from fecal samples of Brazilian sirenians. One fresh fecal sample was collected in 2016 from seven free-living T. manatus from the APA Costa dos Corais, Alagoas State, Brazil, and from eight captive T. inunguis from the ZOOFIT, Pará State, Brazil. Also, multiples fresh fecal samples from thirty-six captive T. inunguis were collected between 2017 and 2018, from the CPPMA, Amazonas State, Brazil. The samples were stored at 4°C in 2.5% potassium dichromate solution. Direct examination was performed after centrifugal sedimentation technique and centrifugal flotation method. In one fecal sample of T. manatus were observed Eimeria sp. oocysts (14,28%) and in another one, trematode’s eggs (subclass Digenea). In three fecal samples of T. inunguis from the ZOOFIT were identified Eimeria sp. oocysts (37,5%), in another three stool samples were observed trematode’s eggs (subclass Digenea).  Eimeria sp. oocysts were observed in all animals (100%) and in ninety-seven samples (92,4%) from the CPPMA. Preliminary results demonstrated on this study highlight the necessity of evaluating the impact of Eimeria sp. infection on health status of these animals, since this protozoon is commonly associated with immunosuppression and diarrhea episodes. This study will be further enriched by molecular characterization of the species of Eimeria involved in the infections. Data collection of this nature is relevant to guide management actions and to evaluate possible risks of reintroducing captive animals into the wild.

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