Detection of Babesia caballi in Amblyomma variegatum ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) collected from cattle in the Republic of Guinea

L Tomassone, P Pagani, D De Meneghi
Parassitologia 2005, 47 (2): 247-51
A reverse line blot hybridisation (RLB) assay was applied to screen Amblyomma variegatum adult ticks (n = 504) collected from N'Dama cattle in the Republic of Guinea. In a PCR, the V1 hypervariable region of the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene was amplified with a set of primers unique for species of the genera Anaplasma and Ehrlichia, and the V4 hypervariable region of the 18S rRNA gene was amplified with primers specific for members of the genera Theileria and Babesia. Amplified PCR products from A. variegatum ticks were hybridised onto a membrane, to which oligonucleotide probes species-specific for Ehrlichia/Anaplasma and Theileria/Babesia parasites were covalently linked. No pathogens belonging to Ehrlichia/Anaplasma species were found, while 10 DNA samples resulted positive for Babesia caballi and 5 samples for Theileria velifera. This is the first report of B. caballi in A. variegatum ticks. One of the B. caballi positive samples was sequenced. This new strain (BcabGuinea) showed a 97% similarity to the Z15104 B. caballi GenBank sequence.

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