Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. are apicomplexan protozoans (Piroplasmorida: Babesiidae/Theileriidae) that affect several species of domestic and wild species, due to the worldwide distribution of their vectors and high proficiency in their transmission. Although studies have been investigated the occurrence and genetic diversity of piroplasms in wild species from Brazil, only a few investigated those agents in sloths from Brazil. The present study aims to investigate the presence and characterize Babesia/Theileria spp. DNA in 227 blood samples from sloth sampled in the states of Pará (n= 128) and Rondônia (n= 99) of the following species: 188 Bradypus variegatus, 3 Bradypus sp., 5 Choloepus didactylus, 31Choloepus sp. The blood samples will be submitted to DNA extraction and screeningfor Babesia/Theileria spp. by nested PCR assays based on the 18S rRNA gene. The positive samples will be submitted to additional conventional PCR assays basedon18S rRNA (1500 pb), cox-1, cox-3, cytB and hsp70. Amplicons will be purified and sequenced by Sanger method. The obtained sequences will be submitted to phylogenetic inferences in order to position them among piroplasmids previously detected in Brazil and all around the world. Lastly, the alignment of the sequences will be used to calculate the diversity of nucleotides and the level of polymorphisms for the genetic diversity analysis. In a nutshell, the present study will contribute to the understanding of genetic diversity and epidemiology of piroplasmids in sloths from Brazil.
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