Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Candidatus Mycoplasma haematonasua' and tick-borne pathogens in ring-tailed coatis (Nasua nasua Linnaeus, 1976) from the Iguaçu National Park, Paraná State, southern Brazil.

Abstract

The Iguaçu National Park (INP) is the largest remnant of Atlantic Forest in southern Brazil, representing an ecological continuum with Argentina. The INP harbours a diverse fauna, with ring-tailed coatis (Nasua nasua Linnaeus, 1976, Carnivora: Procyonidae) in close contact with tourists either begging and/or snatching food from visitors. A potentially novel haemotropic Mycoplasma sp. has been previously detected in the ring-tailed coatis from central-western and southern Brazil. Therefore, the aims of this study were to investigate the occurrence of haemotropic Mycoplasma sp. and tick-borne pathogens in wild ring-tailed coatis from the INP, Foz do Iguaçu municipality, Paraná State, southern Brazil. Blood samples were collected from 18 wild ring-tailed coatis and evaluated by conventional PCR (cPCR) assays for haemotropic Mycoplasma spp. (16S and 23S rRNA), Theileria/Babesia spp. (18S rRNA) and Ehrlichia/Anaplasma spp. (16S rRNA, sodB, dsb and groEL). Eight out of 18 (44.44%; 95% CI: 24.56%-66.28%) animals were positive for haemotropic Mycoplasma spp. All ring-tailed coatis tested negative for Theileria/Babesia spp. and only one out of 18 (5.56%; 95% CI: 0.99%-25.76%) animals tested positive for Ehrlichia/Anaplasma spp. by the 16S rRNA cPCR. Unfortunately, multiple attempts to sequence the 16S rRNA gene of the Ehrlichia/Anaplasma-positive sample have failed. Phylogenetic and network analysis of the hemoplasma 16S and 23S rRNA gene fragments confirmed that animals were infected by a potentially novel haemotropic Mycoplasma sp. previously reported in ring-tailed coatis from Brazil. The name 'Candidatus Mycoplasma haematonasua' is proposed for this novel organism.