A molecular study of tick-borne haemoprotozoan parasites (Theileria and Babesia) in small ruminants in Northern Tunisia

Youmna M'ghirbi, Amaia Ros-García, Pilar Iribar, Adel Rhaim, Ana Hurtado, Ali Bouattour
Veterinary Parasitology 2013 November 15, 198 (1): 72-7
In this study, the frequency of Theileria and Babesia species in sheep and goats was assessed via reverse line blotting (RLB). A total of 263 apparently healthy sheep and goats, from 16 randomly selected flocks located in 9 localities situated in 3 bioclimatic zones in Tunisia, were investigated for the blood protozoans. RLB hybridization with polymerase chain reaction detected only Theileria ovis in sheep and goats, accounting for 22.4% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 17.6-27.1%) positive samples. The infection rate in sheep (28.1%; 95% CI: 23.8-32.3%) was higher than in goats (4.7%; 95% CI: -10.9 to 20.4%). Neither Babesia nor mixed infections were detected. Only two Ixodid tick species (Rhipicephalus turanicus and Rhipicephalus bursa) were collected from the examined sheep and goats in 5 localities. R. turanicus was the dominant species (95.5%) collected mainly in the humid zone, while apparently rare in the sub-humid zone. R. bursa was the only species collected in the semi-arid area. RLB analysis identified six different piroplasms in ticks, with an overall prevalence of 31.5% (95% CI: 28.1-34.9%). Twenty percent (95% CI: 14.4-25.5%) of the collected ticks tested positive for Theileria spp., 3% (95% CI: -5.6 to 11.6%) for Babesia spp. and 0.9% (95% CI: -8.1 to 9.9%) of the ticks harbored both genera; several of these species are not known to occur in small ruminants. This is the first report on the detection of Theileria and Babesia species DNA in small ruminants and ticks in Tunisia.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"