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The use of different diagnostic tools for Babesia and Theileria parasites in cattle in Menofia, Egypt.


Bovine piroplasmosis is caused by tick-borne hemoprotozoans of the genera Babesia and Theileria and is the most prevalent in tropical and subtropical countries, causing a major economic impact worldwide. In the current study, a total of 405 cattle of different ages, sexes, and breeds were randomly sampled for surveying and diagnosis of babesiosis and theileriosis using three methods: direct microscopy (blood smears), indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Giemsa-stained blood smears revealed that, out of 405 examined cattle, 33 (8.15 %) were infected with Babesia sp. and 65 (16.05 %) with Theileria sp. (total number of infected cattle was 98). Mixed infection was seen in 11 (2.72 %) animals. Moreover, application of the three diagnostic assays on 158 randomly sampled cattle indicated that 17 (10.76 %) and 33 (20.89 %) were positive for Babesia and Theileria spp. by the direct smear technique, 25 (15.82 %) and 33 (20.89 %) by IFAT (fluorescence was greenish yellow for Babesia and yellowish for Theileria), and 20 (12.66 %) and 38 (24.05 %) by PCR. Using primers specific for Babesia and Theileria spp., we found that diagnostic bands appeared at ~350 and ~370 bp, respectively indicating the presence of these piroplasms. Statistically, there was a non-significant difference of the positivity in response to the three techniques; thus, any of these methods can be described as useful for diagnosing blood parasites in both domesticated animals and birds. On the basis of the obtained results, it could be concluded that direct microscopy can be used in acute infections, whereas IFAT and PCR are useful in chronicity.


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    Department of Animal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Menofia University, Sadat City, Egypt.

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    Parasitology research 111:3 2012 Sep pg 1019-24



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    Journal Article



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