SALOMON Oscar Daniel
Molecular identification of Leishmania in free-ranging black and gold howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya) in northeastern Argentina
MARTÍNEZ, MARIELA FLORENCIA; KOWALEWSKI, MARTÍN M.; GIULIANI, MAGALÍ GABRIELA; ACARDI, SORAYA ALEJANDRA; SALOMÓN, OSCAR DANIEL
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Año: 2020 vol. 210
Parasitological surveys of non-human primates provides an important opportunity to better understand the epidemiology, transmission dynamics and emergence risk of anthropozoonoses such as leishmaniasis, which affect human populations in several regions accross South America. Our study area, in northeastern Argentina, can be considered a southern marginal region for the presence of leishmaniases and includes the habitat of black and gold howler monkeys, Alouatta caraya. To evaluate if A. caraya serve as potential hosts in the Leishmania cycle, we used molecular methods to examine infection by Leishmania spp. in 109 howler monkeys of different ages captured between July and August 2010. External ear tissue samples were subjected to PCR amplification for the Leishmania ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1) and a RFLP assay with the Hae III restriction enzyme, and finally confirmed by sequencing. Nine howler monkeys (8.3%) were infected with Le. braziliensis(2.8%), Le. amazonensis (2.8%) and/or Le. infantum (3.7%). The results also suggest a case of co-infection between Le. braziliensis and Le. amazonensis. Further, we report the first observation of Le. amazonensis in the northeastern region of Argentina. The detection of Leishmania spp. in free-ranging howler monkeys gives rise to questions about the actual prevalence of the parasite in the wild, as well as if the number of infected wild monkeys detected may present a risk of leishmaniasis emergence in surronding human populations. Anyway, the presence of Leishmania spp. in A. caraya suggests the possible importance of these monkeys in the sylvatic and periurban transmission.