Molecular detection of Theileria annulata, Theileria mutans and Theileria velifera but no evidence of Theileria parva infected or vaccinated cattle in Nigeria despite extensive transboundary migrations

Joshua Kamani*, Thállitha Samih Wischral Jayme Vieira, Rafael Felipe da Costa Vieira, Audu Shekaro, Yaarit Nahum-Biala, Toyin Olubade, Moses Samuel Abasiama, Umar A. Gajibo, Laminu Bukar, Mike Shand, Shimon Harrus, Gad Baneth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The extensive livestock management system predominant in Nigeria necessitates active disease surveillance for the early detection and prompt control of transboundary animal diseases. Theileriae are obligate intracellular protozoa which infect both wild and domestic bovidae throughout much of the world causing East Coast Fever (Theileria parva), Tropical or Mediterranean theileriosis (Theileria annulata) or benign theileriosis (Theileria mutans; Theileria velifera). This study aimed to detect and characterize Theileria spp. infecting cattle in Nigeria using conventional PCR and sequencing approach. Five hundred and twenty-two DNA samples obtained from different cattle blood samples were subjected to PCR targeting the 18S rRNA gene of piroplasmida and specifically, the p104 kDa and Tp1 genes for the evidence of infection or vaccination respectively, with T. parva. A total of 269 out of 522 (51.5%) of the cattle tested PCR- positive for DNA of piroplasmida. Nucleotide sequence and phylogenetic analyses showed that the cattle were infected with T. annulata, T. mutans and T. velifera. Piroplasmida DNA was associated with sex (ꭓ2 = 7.2; p = 0.007), breed (ꭓ2 = 115; p = 0.000002) of animals and the state where the samples were collected (ꭓ2 = 78.8; p = 0.000002). None of the samples tested positive for T. parva DNA or showed evidence of vaccination (Tp1 gene). This is the first report on the molecular detection and characterization of T. annulata in the blood of cattle from Nigeria. Continuous surveillance of Nigerian cattle for East Coast Fever (ECF) is encouraged considering the recent report of the disease in cattle in the neighboring country, Cameroon, where unregulated transboundary cattle movement into Nigeria has been observed.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number100887
JournalVeterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports
Volume41
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Bovidae
  • Nigeria
  • PCR
  • Piroplasmosis
  • Theileriosis
  • Tp1 gene

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