Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Animal Disease Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343939

Research Project: Development of Detection and Control Strategies for Bovine Babesiosis and Equine Piroplasmosis

Location: Animal Disease Research

Title: Molecular detection and characterization of theileria spp infecting cattle in Sennar State, Sudan

Author
item Mohamad, Sofia - University Of Khartoun
item Alagib, Atif - University Of Khartoun
item Abdelkareim, Tahani - University Of Khartoun
item Haasan, Mohamed - University Of Khartoun
item Johnson, W Carl - Carl
item Hussein, Hala - Washington State University
item Taus, Naomi
item Ueti, Massaro

Submitted to: Parasitology Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/17/2018
Publication Date: 3/7/2018
Citation: Mohamad, S.B., Alagib, A., Abdelkareim, T.B., Haasan, M.M., Johnson, W.C., Hussein, H.E., Taus, N.S., Ueti, M.W. 2018. Molecular detection and characterization of theileria spp infecting cattle in Sennar State, Sudan. Parasitology Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436

Interpretive Summary: Theileriosis is a serious disease caused by parasites, Theileria spp, transmitted by ticks. Infection with Theilera causes major economic losses for the livestock industry worldwide. Efforts to control theileriosis include reducing the tick burden using acaracides, immunizing animals with live vaccines and treating infected animals. All of these methods have limitations and research is directed toward finding a safe, effective subunit vaccine to protect against multiple species of Theileria. To determine whether a vaccination strategy is feasible for any particular country, it is important to know the extent of infection in the livestock population as well as which species of parasite are present. This study used molecular diagnostic methods to determine the incidence of infection in cattle with Theileria and related parasites in Sudan. The study also documented co-infection of cattle with multiple species of Theileria. These findings emphasize the urgent need for effective measures to control parasites circulating in the cattle population.

Technical Abstract: Theileriosis is a serious animal disease transmitted by tick vectors. The agents of theileriosis are obligate intracellular parasites that cause mild to severe disease in the mammalian host. Tropical theileriosis has been recognized as a burden to the development of the dairy industry in Sudan and causes major economic losses. However, knowledge about the distribution of Theileria spp. in Sudan and extent of sequence variation within the 18S rRNA gene is currently unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the diversity of Theileria spp using 18S rRNA-based PCR to detect parasites in cattle followed by cloning and sequencing. We observed an overall prevalence rate of 63% hemoparasite infection in cattle from Sennar state. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that four Theileria spp. were predominant in cattle including T. annulata, T. velifera, Theileria sp. B15a, and T. mutans. Nineteen of forty-four animals were co-infected with more than one species of Theilera. The present study provides information regarding the incidence of theileriosis in Sudan and will help to design strategies to control it. Additionally, more study is needed to determine tick vector competence and degree of co-infection with multiple Theileria spp. in Sudan. This represents the first molecular phylogeny report to identify Theileria spp in cattle from Sudan.