Molecular Detection and Identification of Piroplasms in Semi-Intensively Managed Cattle from Abeokuta, Nigeria
AbstractPiroplasmosis is a tick-borne haemolytic disease caused by different species of the Babesia and Theileria genera. Data on the prevalence of bovine piroplasms and their genetic diversity are scanty in Nigeria. Hence, this study reported the detection of some piroplasms in the blood of cattle in Abeokuta, Nigeria by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Blood samples were collected from 252 cattle and subjected to DNA extraction followed by PCR amplification of the partial region of 18S
... al region of 18S rRNA of the haemoprotozoans. Selected positive amplicons were unidirectionally sequenced and compared to the reference sequences from the Genbank. A total of 220 (87.3 %) cattle were positive for Theileria velifera and/or Babesia bigemina. The T. velifera was detected only in 163 (64.7 %) cattle, while 7 (2.8 %) cattle had a single infection with B. bigemina. Fifty cattle (19.8 %) had mixed infections with both parasites. There were no significant differences in piroplasm infections between the ages of cattle for both parasites. There were no significant differences in infection rates between the sexes for T. velifera, while the males had a significantly higher (P < 0.05) rate of infection for B. bigemina than the female cattle. The molecular detection of Babesia and Theileria species of cattle are reported for the first time in cattle in Abeokuta, Nigeria. This study, which confirmed the endemic nature of the parasites in cattle in the study area, stresses their importance in livestock health and production in Nigeria.