Ticks and tick-associated spotted fever group Rickettsia from birds in the southwestern Brazilian Amazon


  • Mirna Amoêdo Lima Federal University of Acre
  • Thiago Fernandes Martins University of São Paulo
  • Sebastián Muñoz-Leal University of São Paulo
  • Edson Guilherme Federal University of Acre
  • Maria Ogrzewalska Oswaldo Cruz Foundation
  • Marcelo Bahia Labruna University of São Paulo




Amblyomma, disease, epidemiology, rainforest, wildlife


Background: South American birds are known to play a significant role in life cycles of various hard ticks, particularly within Amblyomma genus. However, the tick fauna from the Amazon region has been poorly studied, being limited to very few studies. Objective: To report tick infestations on wild birds captured in a region of the Amazon forest, Acre state, Brazil, and to evaluate rickettsial infection in these ticks. Methods: Wild birds were captured by mist-nets and examined for the presence of ticks, which were all collected and identified to species level by taxonomic keys and/or molecular methods. In addition, part of these ticks was individually tested by PCR targeting portions of three rickettsial genes (gltA, ompA, ompB). Results: Among 1,322 captured birds, 79 individuals (6.0%) were infested by one of the following ticks species: Amblyomma nodosum Neumann, 1899 (72 nymphs), Amblyomma longirostre (Koch, 1844; seven larvae, 13 nymphs), Amblyomma humerale Koch 1844 (four nymphs), Amblyomma geayi Neumann, 1899 (two larvae, two nymphs), and 421 larvae of Amblyomma spp Rickettsia sp strain NOD was detected in 3/26 A. nodosum, and Rickettsia amblyommatis in 5/8 A. longirostre and 1/2 A. geayi ticks tested. Conclusion: This is the first study about ticks parasitizing wild birds in Acre state, adding new host-parasite relationships, new tick species records (A. humerale and A. nodosum) and two rickettsial agents (R amblyommatis and Rickettsia sp strain NOD) for the first time in Acre.

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Author Biographies

Mirna Amoêdo Lima, Federal University of Acre

MSc., Ornithology Laboratory, Federal University of Acre, Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil.

Thiago Fernandes Martins, University of São Paulo

VM, PhD., Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Sebastián Muñoz-Leal, University of São Paulo

VM, PhD., Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Edson Guilherme, Federal University of Acre

PhD., Ornithology Laboratory, Federal University of Acre, Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil.

Maria Ogrzewalska, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation

PhD., Laboratory of Hantaviroses and Rickettsioses, Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC), Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Marcelo Bahia Labruna, University of São Paulo

VM, PhD., Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


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How to Cite

Lima, M. A., Fernandes Martins, T., Muñoz-Leal, S., Guilherme, E., Ogrzewalska, M., & Labruna, M. B. (2018). Ticks and tick-associated spotted fever group Rickettsia from birds in the southwestern Brazilian Amazon. Revista Colombiana De Ciencias Pecuarias, 31(1), 26–35. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.rccp.v31n1a04



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