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Trypanosome Project in the Pantanal

Alberto Roberto Davila - CPAP alrida at sede.embrapa.br
Fri Oct 20 05:56:53 EST 1995

                                                                                       Corumba August 24, 1995
Dear Sir,

We would like to obtain the cooperation in  salivarian trypanosomes 
(Trypanosoma evansi and T.vivax) of some experienced scientists  
for a research project in the Pantanal, Brazil. The Pantanal (the word means 
swamp) is an area of 140,000 km2 located in the center of South America. Its 
fauna is very rich and diverse. There are 230 species of fishes, 658 species 
of birds, 80 species of mammals,and 50 species of reptiles. Extensive beef 
cattle farms of 10,000 to 200,000 hectares occupy the majority of this 
floodplain.Its populated by 6,000,000 bovines, 400,000 equines and 5,000 
buffaloes.The Pantanal is considered the most important beef cattle production 
center in Brazil.The trypanosomosis due to Trypanosoma evansi and T. vivax is 
the principal protozoal disease of horses, cattle and wildlife in the Pantanal. 
T.evansi causes several hundred deaths of horses and non-estimated fauna 
mortality per year.Recently several outbreaks caused high mortality of horses,
for example in a farm 51%( herd with 98 horses)of horses died  and other farm 
30 horses in a herd with 40 equines died both due to T.evansi infection.
T.evansi has been found in capybaras (prevalence of 27%), coatis(Nasua nasua),
and vampire bats. We have found a high prevalence(* 30%) in coatis during the 
raining season.We have isolated and maintened the parasite by rat and mice 
inoculation and cryopreservation. In this year T. vivax caused a high mortality 
and abortion of bovines.
I am a scientist working in the EMBRAPA.The EMBRAPA ( Brazilian Corporation for 
Agricultural Research) is a public company,attached to the Ministry of 
agriculture,acting through 40 research centers in different fields of 
agriculture.Present in every state of the federation,under diversified ecological 
conditions,is mission is to generate and promote scientific and technological 
production in order to make possible sustained develop of agriculture and 
agro-industry for well-being of the Brazilian society,through the rational use 
of natural resources and environmental protection.The EMBRAPA is responsible 
for coordinating the Cooperative Agricultural Research System(SCPA), made up 
of various institutions which carry out research in specific knowledge.It has 
9,942 employees, 2,117 of which are research scientists (80% have doctorate or 
master degrees) and administer a budget of approximately 200 million dollars 
per year.Recently, EMBRAPA was assigned the responsability to coordinate the 
Brazilian System of Rural Technical Assistance and Extension under a new 
organization aimed at sustained development.
EMBRAPA has a wide scope of action in the area of international cooperation,
first in terms of receiving knowledge from other parts of the world in order 
to use it in generating appropriate technology and later in transfering it to 
other countries,especially those of Central and South America and Africa.
Since its foundation in 1973, EMBRAPA has generated more than 8,000 new 
technologies for Brazilian agriculture and agroindustry.
Management of the  Pantanal today reflects the dilemma between environmental
protection and economic development in Brazil.With the goal of rational 
utilization of the region,the EMBRAPA created the Center for Agricultural 
Research in the Pantanal (CPA-Pantanal), based in Corumba.
Founded in 1984,CPA-Pantanal presently has 157 employees,including 47 
scientists.Research by CPA-Pantanal emphasizes the sustainable development of
currently existing production systems(cattle raising and fisheries), as well 
as the search for alternative production systems for natural resources 
(crocodile and capybara breeding ).
The research is interdisciplinary,involving fields such as Animal Production 
and Health,Wildlife and Plant Resourses,Geosciences,Limnology,and Economic 
aspects of resource exploitation.Field research is perfomed at two research 
station with an area of 6,400 hecteres.

Sincerely yours,
                         Roberto A.M.S.Silva
                     e-mail: ramss at sede.embrapa.br

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