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Study of protozoan parasites belonging to the Apicomplexa and Sarcomastigophora phyla in free-ranging birds of prey from São Paulo City

Abstract

Birds of prey, including eagles and hawks (Accipitriformes), falcons and caracaras (Falconiformes), vultures (Cathartiformes) and owls (Strigiformes) can be found in small forest fragments, parks, vacant lots, outskirts and open areas in the city of São Paulo. This group of birds is characterized by presenting adaptations for active hunting, such as a curved, sharp beak, strong claws and specialized vision and hearing. They may obtain their nutrition from vertebrate animals, such as rodents and birds, and invertebrates obtained by hunting or from leftover food and carrion. Uncontrolled urbanization can threaten the survival of these predators. There are few studies of the parasites of these birds, particularly protozoa. The objectives of the project will be the investigation of the occurrence of protozoa of the phyla Apicomplexa and Sarcomastigophora in free-living birds of prey in the city of São Paulo; the molecular characterization of protozoa found; their distribution in the major organs through molecular analysis and isolation of Toxoplasma gondii from these birds, with genotypic characterization of the isolates obtained or primary positive samples found. We expect to obtain a panel on the diversity of species of protozoa found in free-living birds of prey in the city of São Paulo, covering two extremely important phyla, not only in relation to their occurrence, but also in relation to their genetic diversity. In the particular case of T. gondii, the expectation is that molecular analysis will reveal some type of structure when compared to results of previous studies of parasite isolates from other species. In addition to the contribution to epidemiology, a contribution to ecology and conservation contribution is to be expected, since the results obtained may help establish diagnosis and treatment protocols for captive animals with a view to their reintroduction into the environment and the consequent conservation of wildlife. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PENA, HILDA FATIMA JESUS; FERREIRA, MARINA NEVES; GENNARI, SOLANGE MARIA; DE ANDRADE, JR., HEITOR FRANCO; MEIRELES, LUCIANA REGINA; GALISTEO, JR., ANDRES JIMENEZ. Toxoplasma gondii isolated from a Brazilian patient with rare pulmonary toxoplasmosis has a novel genotype and is closely related to Amazonian isolates. Parasitology Research, v. 120, n. 3 JAN 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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