Advertisement

Parasitology Research

, 103:435 | Cite as

A molecular survey of Theileria and Babesia parasites in cattle, with a note on the distribution of ticks in Tunisia

  • Y. M’ghirbi
  • A. Hurtado
  • J. Brandika
  • K. Khlif
  • Z. Ketata
  • A. Bouattour
Original Paper

Abstract

Between October and November 2006, a total of 278 bovine blood samples were examined, and 104 (37.4%) were positive for piroplasms by microscopy. A reverse line blot hybridisation with polymerase chain reaction detected Theileria annulata, T. buffeli, Babesia bovis and B. bigemina in cattle accounting for 48.6% of positive samples. The most frequently found species was T. buffeli, which was present in 39.2% of the samples. T. annulata was found in 48 samples (17.3%). Babesia infections were less frequently detected: B. bovis was found in 6.8% of the samples and B. bigemina in 4.3%. Mixed infections were detected in 45 samples, accounting for seven different combinations of species. Seven Ixodid tick species (Boophilus annulatus, Ixodes ricinus, Hyalomma marginatum, Hyalomma excavatum, Hyalomma detritum, Haemaphysalis punctata and Haemaphysalis sulcata) were collected from examined cattle in the 23 visited farms. I. ricinus was the dominant species (36%), mainly collected in the humid zone, while it seemed to be very rare in the semi-arid zone (where only 15 specimens were collected), whereas B. annulatus was the most commonly collected species in the sub-humid area (68.5% of ticks collected in this zone).

Keywords

Mixed Infection Babesia Tick Infestation Babesiosis Humid Zone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Drs Hsairi M. and Ben Aleya N. for assistance in statistical analysis; we would like to thank Dr. Saieh Leila, Dr. Amouri M., Dr. Ben Omrane R. and A. Rhim for their help in field work. We also thank Dr G. Uilenberg and Pr M.H. Ktari, for constructive comments on early drafts of the manuscript. We would like to thank Beatriz Oporto for technical assistance and Josune Garcia-Sanmartin for helpful discussion. This work was supported by grant from the Ministry for Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology in Tunisia.

References

  1. Bouattour A (2002) Clé dichotomique et identification des tiques (Acari: Ixodidae) parasites du bétail au Maghreb. Arch Inst Pasteur Tunis 79:43–50PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bouattour A, Darghouth MA (1996) First report of Babesia divergens in Tunisia. Vet Parasitol 63:161–165PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bouattour A, Darghouth MA, Ben Miled L (1994) Epidémiologie de la theilériose bovine en Tunisie. Arch Inst Pasteur Tunis 71:459–462PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bouattour A, Darghouth MA, Ben Miled L (1996) Cattle infestation by Hyalomma ticks and prevalence of Theileria in Hyalomma detritum species in Tunisia. Vet Parasitol 65:233–245PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bouattour A, Darghouth MA, Daoud A (1999) Distribution and ecology of ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) infesting livestock in Tunisia: an overview of eight years field collection. Parassitologia 41:5–10PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bouattour A, Ghammam M, Darghouth M, Touil S, Tahri M, Ben Hamouda F (2004) Séroépidémiologie de la babésiose bovine à B. divergens en Tunisie. Rev Elev Méd Vét des Pays Trop 57:59–64Google Scholar
  7. Bishop R, Sohanpal B, Kariuki DP, Young AS, Nene V, Baylis H, Allsopp BA, Spooner PR, Dolan TT, Morzaria SP (1992) Detection of a carrier state in Theileria parva-infected cattle by the polymerase chain reaction. Parasitology 104:215–232PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Brigido C, Pereira da Fonseca I, Parreira R, Fazendeiro I, do Rosario VE, Centeno-Lima S (2004) Molecular and phylogenetic characterization of Theileria spp. parasites in autochthonous bovines (Mirandesa breed) in Portugal. Vet Parasitol 123:17–23PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown CGD (1997) Dynamics and impact of tick borne-diseases of cattle. Trop A Health Prod 29:1S–3SCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Calder JA, Reddy GR, Chieves L, Courtney CH, Littell R, Livengood JR, Norval RA, Smith C, Dame JB (1996) Monitoring Babesia bovis infections in cattle by using PCR-based tests. J Clin Microbiol 34:2748–2755PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Cordier G (1941) Des fléaux de nos vacheries: les tiques et les piroplasmoses. Office Publique de l’Expérimentation et de la Vulgarisation Agricole, TunisieGoogle Scholar
  12. Cottier MH (1936) Les affections à hématozoaires endoglobulaires en Afrique du Nord. Office International des Epizooties, ParisGoogle Scholar
  13. Criado A, Martinez J, Buling A, Barba JC, Merino S, Jefferies R, Irwin PJ (2006) New data on epizootiology and genetics of piroplasms based on sequences of small ribosomal subunit and cytochrome b genes. Vet Parasitol 142:238–247PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Darghouth MA (2004) Piroplasmids of livestock in Tunisia. Arch Inst Pasteur Tunis 81:1–4Google Scholar
  15. Darghouth MA, Bouattour A, Ben Miled L, Kilani M, Brown CGD (1996) Epidemiology of tropical theileriosis (Theileria annulata infection of cattle) in an endemic region of Tunisia: characterisation of endemicity states. Vet Parasitol 65:199–211PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dschunkowsky E, Luhs J (1904) Die piroplasmosen der Rinder Central blatt fur Bakteriologie, Parasitenkunde, Infections Kraukheiten und Hygiene. Abteilung Originale 35:486–492Google Scholar
  17. Estrada-Peňa A, Bouattour A, Camicas JL, Walker AR (2004) Ticks of domestic animals of the Mediterranean region: a guide to the identification of species. Atlanta, Houten, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  18. Figueroa JV, Buening GM (1995) Nucleic acid probes as a diagnostic method for tick-borne hemoparasites of veterinary importance. Vet Parasitol 57:75–92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Figueroa JV, Chieves LP, Johnson GS, Buening GM (1992) Detection of Babesia bigemina-infected carriers by polymerase chain reaction amplification. J Clin Microbiol 30:2576–2582PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Figueroa JV, Chieves LP, Johnson GS, Buening GM (1993) Multiplex polymerase chain reaction based assay for the detection of Babesia bigemina, Babesia bovis and Anaplasma marginale DNA in bovine blood. Vet Parasitol 50:69–81PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Flach EJ, Ouhelli H (1992) The epidemiology of tropical theileriosis (Theileria infection on cattle) in an endemic area of Morocco. Vet Parasitol 44:51–65PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Flach EJ, Ouhelli H, Waddington D, El Hasnaoui M (1993) Prevalence of Theileria in the tick Hyalomma detritum in the Doukkala region, Morocco. Med Vet Entomol 7:343–350PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Garcia-Sanmartin J, Nagore D, Garcia-Perez AL, Juste RA, Hurtado A (2006) Molecular diagnosis of Theileria and Babesia species infecting cattle in Northern Spain using reverse line blot marcoarrays. BMC Vet Res 2:16PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gayot G (1953) Les maladies du cheptel en Tunisie en été. Tunis Agric 10:151–162Google Scholar
  25. Georges K, Loria GR, Rüli S, Greco A, Caracappa S, Jongejan F, Sparagano O (2001) Detection of haemoparasites in cattle by reverse line blot hybridisation with a note on the distribution of ticks in Sicily. Vet Parasitol 99:273–286PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gubbels JM, de Vos AP, van der Weide M, Viseras J, Schouls LM, de Vries E, Jongejan F (1999) Simultaneous detection of bovine Theileria and Babesia species by reverse line blot hybridization. J Clin Microbiol 37:1782–1789PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Homer MJ, Aguilar-Delfin I, Telford SR, Krause PJ, Persing DH (2000) Babesiosis. Clin Microbiol Rev 13:451–469PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mahoney DF (1977) Babesia of domestic animals. In: Kreier JP (ed) Parasitic protozoa. Academic, New York, pp 1–52Google Scholar
  29. Mehlhorn H, Schein E (1984) The piroplasms: lifecycle and sexual stages. Adv Parasitol 23:37–103PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nagore D, Garcia-Sanmartin J, Garcia-Perez AL, juste RA, Hurtado A (2004a) Identification, genetic diversity and prevalence of Theileria and Babesia species in a sheep population from Northern Spain. Int J Parasitol 34:1059–1067PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nagore D, Garcia-Sanmartin J, Garcia-Perez AL, Juste RA, Hurtado A (2004b) Detection and identification of equine Theileria and Babesia species by reverse line blotting: epidemiological survey and phylogenetic analysis. Vet Parasitol 3:41–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sergent E, Donatien PL, Lestoquard F (1928) Transmission de la piroplasmose bovine à Theileria dispar, de l’Afrique du Nord, par la tique Hyalomma mauritanicum. C R Acad Sci 187:259–260Google Scholar
  33. Sergent E, Donatien A, Parrot L, Lestoquard F, Plantureux E, Rougebief H (1924) Les piroplasmoses bovines d’Algérie. Arch Inst Pasteur Algérie II:1–146Google Scholar
  34. Sergent E, Donatien A, Parrot L, Lestoquard F (1945) Etude des piroplasmoses bovines. Inst Pasteur d’Algérie, Algeria, p 816Google Scholar
  35. Schnittger L, Yin H, Qi B, Gubbels JM, Beyer D, Niemann S, Jongejan E, Ahmed JS (2004) Simultaneous detection and differentiation of Theileria and Babesia parasites infecting small ruminants by reverse line blotting. Parasitol Res 92:189–196PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sparagano O (1999) Molecular diagnosis of Theileria and Babesia species. J Vet Parasitol 13:83–92Google Scholar
  37. Yousfi-Monod R, Aeschlimann A (1986) Recherches sur les tiques (Acarina, Ixodidae) parasites de bovidés dans l’ouest algérien. I Inventaire systématique de dynamique saisonnière. Ann Parasitol Hum Comp 61:341–358PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. M’ghirbi
    • 1
  • A. Hurtado
    • 2
  • J. Brandika
    • 2
  • K. Khlif
    • 3
  • Z. Ketata
    • 3
  • A. Bouattour
    • 1
  1. 1.Service d’Entomologie MédicaleInstitut Pasteur de TunisTunisTunisia
  2. 2.Department of Production and Animal HealthNEIKER—Instituto Vasco de Investigación y Desarrollo AgrarioDerioSpain
  3. 3.Circonscription Santé AnimaleCRDA ZaghouanTunisia

Personalised recommendations