Haemosporidian parasites and emerging arbovirus in mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) and Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: ceratopogonidae) from the Zoological Park of São Paulo
The following questions will be addressed in this study:
i) which vector species (Culicidae and Culicoides) are present in the study area?
ii) in which vertebrate species do these vectors feed? and
(iii) what haemosporidians and arbovirus are infecting these vectors?
Studying avian malaria in the São Paulo Zoo in birds of 17 different orders we showed high positivity of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus among captive, free-living, migrant, endemic or exotic birds. We identified these parasites in 27% of the species of birds analyzed and established their barcoding for the new species of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus characterized. To identify their vectors we performed a one-month pilot study, capturing 2000 mosquitoes from 7 genera, including Culex, Aedes and Anopheles, which are also important vectors of arboviruses. In the São Paulo Zoo, arboviruses have all the necessary conditions for their emergence: there are species of reservoir animals (mainly birds and monkeys), mosquito vectors, the Atlantic Forest, large flow of animals from other localities by migration or transfer between zoos, in addition to the extensive visitation in the world's fourth-largest zoo.