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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

    DAO prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03667

    Serological and molecular investigation of Leptospira spp. and Brucella spp. in Amazonian manatees Trichechus inunguis, Amazon river dolphins Inia geoffrensis, and a tucuxi Sotalia fluviatilis

    Thaís Carneiro Santos Rodrigues*, André Luiz Quagliatto Santos, Eliana Scarcelli Pinheiro, Rosa Maria Piatti, Vanessa Castro, Ana Beatriz Garcez Buiatte, Anna Monteiro Correia Lima, Miriam Marmontel

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: Leptospirosis and brucellosis are zoonotic diseases with global distribution that represent severe hazard to humans and animals. We aimed at investigating 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 three 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. Enterococcus faecalis was, however, isolated from uterine fluid, lymph node, and lung of 3 Amazon river dolphins. Bacillus spp. was 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.