Journal article Open Access

Detection of Plasmodium sp. in capybara

dos Santos, Leonilda Correia; Curotto, Sandra Mara Rotter; de Moraes, Wanderlei; Cubas, Zalmir Silvino; Costa-Nascimento, Maria de Jesus; Filho, Ivan Roque de Barros; Biondo, Alexander Welker; Kirchgatter, Karin


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    <subfield code="a">In the present study, we have microscopically and molecularly surveyed blood samples from
11 captive capybaras (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) from the Sanctuary Zoo for Plasmodium
sp. infection. One animal presented positive on blood smear by light microscopy. Polymerase
chain reaction was carried out accordingly using a nested genus specific protocol, which uses
oligonucleotides from conserved sequences flanking a variable sequence region in the small
subunit ribosomal RNA (ssrRNA) of all Plasmodium organisms. This revealed three positive
animals. Products from two samples were purified and sequenced. The results showed less
than 1% divergence between the two capybara sequences. When compared with GenBank
sequences, a 55% similarity was obtained to Toxoplasma gondii and a higher similarity (73–
77.2%) was found to ssrRNAs from Plasmodium species that infect reptile, avian, rodents,
and human beings. The most similar Plasmodium sequence was from Plasmodium mexicanum
that infects lizards of North America, where around 78% identity was found. This work is the
first report of Plasmodium in capybaras, and due to the low similarity with other Plasmodium
species, we suggest it is a new species, which, in the future could be denominated
''Plasmodium hydrochaeri''.</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Curotto, Sandra Mara Rotter</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">10.1016/j.vetpar.2009.03.042</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Detection of Plasmodium sp. in capybara</subfield>
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