[Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and red deer (Cervus elaphus) as a reservoir of protozoans from Babesia and Theileria genus in north-western Poland]

Marek Sawczuk, Agnieszka Maciejewska, Małgorzata Adamska, Bogumiła Skotarczak
Wiadomości Parazytologiczne 2005, 51 (3): 243-7
The species of genus Babesia and Thelieria are obligate intracellular pathogens that multiply in both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. Some species of Babesia cause bovine babesiosis infecting erythrocytes of the cattle and wild ruminants, and undergo a complex developmental cycle in ticks which serve as biological vectors. Majority of Theileria spp. cause bovine theileriosis infecting lymphocytes as well as erythrocytes of the cattle and wild ruminants, and similar to Babesia undergo a complex developmental cycle in ticks. In this study, hunter killed roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and red deer (Cervus elaphus) from north-western Poland were tested for Babesia and Theileria infection in two seasons (spring and autumn, 2004). Infection with babesias and theilerias was detected by PCR assay based on the fragment of nuclear small subunit rRNA gene (nss-ribosomal DNA). Four types of products different in size were obtained and then sequenced. Sequence analysis of nucleotides showed that two kinds of products (385 and 475 bp) were unspecific, the third was characteristic for Theileria sp. (430bp) and the last one for Babesia divergens (407bp). We found that 24.4% of the animals examined were infected with Babesia divergens and 11% with Theileria sp. Percentage of infected animals with B. divergens was almost equal in the spring and autumn (24.6 and 24% respectively). Infection with Theileria was lower in the spring than in the autumn (10.5 and 12% respectively).

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