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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 150:17-29 (2022)  -  DOI:

Survey for Leptospira and Brucella in Amazonian manatees, Amazon river dolphins, and a tucuxi in the Brazilian Amazon

Thaís Carneiro Santos Rodrigues1,2,*, André Luiz Quagliatto Santos1, Eliana Scarcelli Pinheiro3, Rosa Maria Piatti3, Vanessa Castro3, Ana Beatriz Garcez Buiatte1, Anna Monteiro Correia Lima1, Miriam Marmontel2

1Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU), Uberlândia, MG 38400-902, Brazil
2Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute (IDSM), Tefé, AM 69553-225, Brazil
3Biological Institute of São Paulo (IB), São Paulo, SP 125204014-900, Brazil
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Leptospirosis and brucellosis are zoonotic diseases with global distributions that represent severe hazards to humans and animals. We investigated exposure to Leptospira spp. and Brucella spp. in samples from Amazonian manatees Trichechus inunguis, Amazon river dolphins Inia geoffrensis, and a tucuxi Sotalia fluviatilis. The animals were free-ranging or undergoing in situ rehabilitation in the mid-Solimões River region, Brazilian Amazon. Serum samples from 19 Amazonian manatees were tested by microscopic agglutination test, Rose Bengal test, and 2-mercaptoethanol Brucella agglutination test. Antibodies against Leptospira spp. were detected in 63% of the manatees tested and serovar Patoc was considered the infecting serovar in all positive samples. Titers were generally low, indicating chronic exposure, but higher titers indicative of an active infection were detected in 3 animals. Anti-Brucella spp. antibodies were not detected. Tissue and/or body fluid samples from 12 Amazon river dolphins, a tucuxi, and 2 Amazonian manatees were investigated by multiplex PCR and bacteriology for Leptospira spp. and Brucella spp. All samples were negative. However, Enterococcus faecalis was isolated from uterine fluid, lymph node, and lung of 3 Amazon river dolphins. Bacillus spp. were isolated from milk and synovial fluid from 2 Amazon river dolphins and from a milk sample from 1 Amazonian manatee. Knowledge of the pathogens present in Amazonian manatees, Amazon river dolphins, and tucuxis is of great relevance to species conservation and environmental health. Although no clinical signs were noted, further research is needed to elucidate the clinical relevance of infection by Leptospira sp. serovar Patoc in Amazonian aquatic mammals.

KEY WORDS: Zoonosis · Cetacean · Sirenia · Serovar Patoc · Serology · Trichechus inunguis · Inia geoffrensis · Sotalia fluviatilis

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Cite this article as: Rodrigues TCS, Santos ALQ, Pinheiro ES, Piatti RM and others (2022) Survey for Leptospira and Brucella in Amazonian manatees, Amazon river dolphins, and a tucuxi in the Brazilian Amazon. Dis Aquat Org 150:17-29.

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