Detection of Theileria lestoquardi cross infection in cattle with clinical theileriosis in Iran
Theileriosis caused by Theileria lestoquardi (malignant ovine theileriosis) in sheep and Theileria annulata (tropical theileriosis) in cattle is an important hemoprotozoal tick-borne disease in Iran. Due to major biologic and phylogenic similarities of these two species, this study was carried out to investigate the occurrence of natural infections with T.lestoquardi and T.annulata in cattle with clinical theileriosis in Ahvaz, southwest Iran. Fifty one cattle were selected based on clinical signs of theileriosis and confirmation by microscopic examination of blood smears. Blood samples were collected from each animal and hematologic and microscopic examinations were performed. Theileria piroplasmic forms were detected in all affected cattle. Pale mucous membranes (43.14%), icterus (11.76%) and fever (70.6%) were also observed. PCR-RFLP analysis revealed T annulata infection in all tested cattle while coinfections with T lestoquardi were found in two samples (3.92%). All sampled cattle including the two with mixed species Theileria infection were anemic. This is the first report of Theileria species cross infections in cattle with clinical theileriosis in Iran. It can be concluded that cattle can be infected with both pathogenic Theileria species, T lestoquardi and T annulata which can be an important issue in the epidemiology and spread of ovine malignant theileriosis.
KeywordsTheileria lestoquardi Theileria annulata cross infection cattle Iran
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