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Molecular detection of tick-borne protozoan parasites in a population of domestic cats in midwestern Brazil

Braga, Ísis Assis, de Souza Ramos, Dirceu Guilherme, Marcili, Arlei, Melo, Andréia Lima Tomé, Taques, Isis Indaiara Gonçalves Granjeiro, Amude, Alexandre Mendes, Chitarra, Cristiane Silva, Nakazato, Luciano, Dutra, Valéria, de Campos Pacheco, Richard, Aguiar, Daniel Moura
Ticks and tick-borne diseases 2016 v.7 no.5 pp. 1004-1009
Babesia, Cytauxzoon, Felidae, Hepatozoon, Protozoa, cats, genes, genotype, nucleotide sequences, pathogens, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal RNA, tick-borne diseases, ticks, veterinary medicine, Brazil, Israel, Spain
Some tick-borne pathogens that infect domestic cats have been considered emergent in veterinary medicine. Occurrences of Hepatozoon spp., Babesia spp. and Cytauxzoon spp. have been described in several regions of Brazil. This paper offers a comprehensive analysis of the 18S rRNA gene of a Hepatozoon sp. strain detected in domestic cats in the metropolitan area of Cuiabá, in Midwestern Brazil. Based on a molecular analysis, we detected the presence of Hepatozoon species circulating among cats in this region. The aforementioned strain is closely related to other isolates of H. felis detected in wild felids. Moreover, a phylogenetic analysis indicates that this genotype is grouped into a clade of 18S rRNA sequences previously described for the genus Hepatozoon in wild felids around the world. Hepatozoon felis strains detected in cats from Spain and Israel showed, respectively, 98% and 97% identity to our sequence and are clustered on a separate branch of the phylogenetic tree. This finding suggests a high diversity of Hepatozoon genotypes occurring in cats in Europe and South America. None of the analyzed cats were positive for Babesia spp. or Cytauxzoon spp. by PCR analysis.