Identification of Theileria species in sheep in the eastern half of Iran using nested PCR-RFLP and microscopic techniques

Document Type: Full paper (Original article)

Authors

1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Parasitology, Cellular and Molecular Biology Research Center, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Theileria species are common in tropical and subtropical regions and cause great economical losses in
ruminants. Two species, T. lestoquardi and T. ovis, are suspected to cause ovine theileriosis in Iran. The
epidemiological aspects of ovine theileriosis in Iran are poorly understood and further investigations by
sensitive and precise techniques are required. In a previous study, a sensitive and specific PCR-RFLP method was used for the identification of Theileria spp. in sheep. In the present study, Theileria species involved in ovine theileriosis were determined in five different regions in eastern half of Iran (Zabol, Lar, Ferdows, Semnan and Gorgan). Blood samples were collected in EDTA. Of 220 blood samples obtained from sheep in different regions, 60% (132.220) were positive for Theileria spp. by nested-PCR compared with 22.27% (49.220) by microscopic examination. Using RFLP of PCR products, out of 132 positive blood samples, 55.3% (73.132) were positive for T. lestoquardi and 44.7% (59.132) were positive for T. ovis. The infection with these two Theileria species in different areas is compared in the article. This is the first report in which ovine theileriosis has been studied in different regions in Iran using molecular identification techniques.

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