The prevalence and parasitemia of the piroplasm Sauroplasma sp. were evaluated in the Amazon chelonian Podocnemis expansa in Brazil. Samples were collected from 75 chelonians from 3 locations, including a commercial breeding facility, an indigenous subsistence breeding facility, and a wild population. Sauroplasma were found in 72% (54/75) of the chelonians, and the prevalence varied among the sampling sites. No significant correlations were found between the prevalence and the sex and body condition index of the chelonians. The mean parasitemia rate was 44.14/2,000 erythrocytes (2.2%), and no significant correlation was found between the parasitemia and sex and body condition index of the chelonians. These results suggest that the parasite is not pathogenic to P. expansa. No ectoparasites were found in the animals evaluated in the present study; however, due to the aquatic habit of the chelonian, it is likely that the piroplasm is transmitted by leeches and not by ticks, as would be expected for piroplasms.

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