Removal of Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) population as measure to control Amblyomma tick population and reduce Brazilian Spotted Fever transmission risk in a Gated Community in Bragança Paulista (SP, Brazil) – Case Study
Keywords:Rickettsia rickettsii, Ticks, Amblyomma sculptum, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Public health risk
This study reports the factors which led a gated community located in Bragança Paulista (SP, Brazil), a non-endemic area for Brazilian Spotted Fever (BSF), to be classified as a Risk Area for transmission of this disease, showing that an increasing resident population of capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) in the area was likely responsible for a proliferation of Amblyomma sculptum ticks and acted as an amplifying host for Rickettsia rickettsii, the main etiologic agent of BSF. We report management actions proposed to control the local tick burden and reduce BSF risk, including measures to control parasitic and free-living tick populations and exclusion of the resident capybara population. Analyses of tick population data and R. rickettsii serology tests indicate that these measures were effective, greatly reducing the environmental burden of Amblyomma sculptum ticks and reducing the BSF transmission risk at the area.
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