Uncovering Trypanosoma spp. diversity of wild mammals by the use of DNA from blood clots

International Journal for Parasitology. Parasites and Wildlife
Marina Silva RodriguesAna Maria Jansen


Trypanosoma spp. infection in wild mammals is detected mainly through parasitological tests that usually display low sensitivity. We propose the use of DNA extracted directly from blood clots (BC), which are neglected sources of DNA for diagnosis and identification of Trypanosoma spp. This approach followed by nested PCR targeting the 18S SSU rDNA demonstrated to be sensitive and suitable to evaluate the diversity of trypanosomes infecting sylvatic mammals, including subpatent and mixed infections. Infection was detected in 95/120 (79.2%) samples from bats, carnivores and marsupials that included negative serological and hemoculture testing mammals. Thirteen Trypanosoma spp. or Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs) were identified, including two new MOTUs. The high diversity of trypanosomes species and MOTUs infecting bats and marsupials showed that these hosts can be considered as bio-accumulators of Trypanosoma spp., with specimens of Didelphis spp. displaying the highest trypanosome diversity. The use of blood clots allowed direct access to non-culturable parasites, mixed infections, besides bypassing the selective pressure on the parasites inherent to cultivation procedures. Trypanosoma cruzi was the species found i...Continue Reading


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