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Bats are ancient hosts of Trypanosoma species and their flying ability, longevity and adaptability to distinct environments indicate that they are efficient dispersers of parasites. Bats from Acre state (Amazon Biome) were collected in four expeditions conducted in an urban forest (Parque Zoobotânico) and one relatively more preserved area (Seringal Cahoeira) in Rio Branco and Xapuri municipalities. Trypanosoma sp. infection was detected by hemoculture and fresh blood examination. Isolated parasite species were identified by the similarity of the obtained DNA sequence from 18S rDNA polymerase chain reaction and reference strains. Overall, 367 bats from 23 genera and 32 species were examined. Chiropterofauna composition was specific to each municipality, although Artibeus sp. and Carollia sp. prevailed throughout. Trypanosoma sp. infection was detected in 85 bats (23·2%). The most widely distributed and prevalent genotypes were (in order) Trypanosoma cruzi TcI, T. cruzi marinkellei, Trypanosoma dionisii, T. cruzi TcIV and Trypanosoma rangeli. At least one still-undescribed Trypanosoma species was also detected in this study. The detection of T. cruzi TcI and TcIV (the ones associated with Chagas disease in Amazon biome) demonstrates the putative importance of these mammal hosts in the epidemiology of the disease in the Acre State.
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