Molecular characterization of Theileria orientalis from cattle in Ethiopia

Hagos Gebrekidan, Robin B. Gasser, Gad Baneth, Daniel Yasur-Landau, Yaarit Nachum-Biala, Asrat Hailu, Abdul Jabbar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This study reports the first molecular characterization of Theileria orientalis in local breeds of cattle in Ethiopia. A conventional PCR utilizing major piroplasm surface protein (MPSP) gene and an established multiplexed tandem PCR (MT-PCR) were used to characterize T. orientalis and to assess the infection intensity, respectively. Of 232 blood samples tested, T. orientalis DNA was detected in only 2.2% of samples using conventional PCR; two genotypes buffeli (1.3%; 3/232) and type 5 (0.9%; 2/232) of T. orientalis were detected. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the buffeli MPSP sequences from Ethiopia were closely related to those reported from Kenya, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, and type 5 sequences from Ethiopia grouped with those from Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand. A higher number of samples (3.9%; 9/232) were test-positive by MT-PCR and four genotypes (buffeli, chitose, ikeda and type 5) of T. orientalis were detected. The average intensity of infections with genotypes buffeli (DNA copy numbers 11,056) and type 5 (7508) were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) than the pathogenic genotype ikeda (61 DNA copies). This first insight into T. orientalis from cattle in Ethiopia using MPSP gene provides a basis for future studies of T. orientalis in various agroclimatic zones and of the impact of oriental theilerosis on cattle in this and other countries of Africa.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)742-747
Number of pages6
JournalTicks and Tick-borne Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier GmbH


  • Cattle
  • Ethiopia
  • MT-PCR
  • PCR
  • Theileria orientalis


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