Molecular detection of piroplasms in ixodid ticks infesting cattle and sheep in western Oromia, Ethiopia

Bersissa Kumsa, Manuela Signorini, Sori Teshale, Cinzia Tessarin, Reta Duguma, Dinka Ayana, Marco Martini, Rudi Cassini
Tropical Animal Health and Production 2014, 46 (1): 27-31
In Ethiopia, ticks and tick-borne diseases are widely distributed and contribute to important economic losses. Several studies investigated the prevalence and species composition of ticks infesting ruminants; however, data on tick-borne pathogens are still scarce. During the study period from October 2010 to April 2011, a total of 1,246 adult ticks and 264 nymphs were collected from 267 cattle and 45 sheep in Bako District, western Oromia, Ethiopia. The study showed infestation of 228/267 (85.4 %) cattle and 35/45 (77.8 %) sheep with adult ticks. Overall, eight tick species, belonging to three genera (Amblyomma, Rhipicephalus, Hyalomma), were identified and Amblyomma cohaerens (n = 577), Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi (n = 290), Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus (n = 287), and Amblyomma variegatum (n = 85) were the more prevalent species. A statistically significant host preference in A. cohaerens for cattle and R. evertsi evertsi for sheep was noticed. Molecular detection of piroplasms, performed only for adult ticks of two species of the genus Rhipicephalus (R. evertsi evertsi and R. decoloratus), revealed an overall prevalence of 4 % (8/202) Theileria buffeli/sergenti/orientalis, 0.5 % (1/202) Theileria velifera, and 2 % (4/202) Theileria ovis. The study showed that tick infestation prevalence is considerably high in both cattle and sheep of the area, but with a low intensity of tick burden and a moderate circulation of mildly pathogenic piroplasm species.

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