Amblyomma ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) parasitizing feral pigs in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Boars are exotic animals in Brazil, which have bred with domestic pigs resulting in a hybrid known as "javaporco". Both cause problems related to invasion of forests and farms. These animals are hosts of important tick species, which are vectors of zoonotic pathogens. The aim of this work was to identify ticks collected on these animals, as well as to screen these arthropods for pathogens they can transmit. In total, 29 hosts were evaluated for the presence of ticks by a group in charge of handling and controlling boars in Minas Gerais. The ticks collected were identified, the DNA was extracted, and PCR was performed for detection of Rickettsia, Babesia, Theileria, Borrelia, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. From 29 inspected animals, four (13.8%) were infested by ticks, which were identified as Amblyomma ovale and A. sculptum. Mean intensity and mean abundance for tick infestation were 1.5 and 0.2, respectively. PCR analyzes indicated no tick infection by the targeted pathogens. Due to the small number of collected specimens, further studies are needed to get results that are more reliable. The genus Amblyomma parasitizes "javaporcos" and these results are of great importance since both tick species herein identified are vectors of zoonotic pathogens.