Parasitology Research

, Volume 108, Issue 6, pp 1365–1374 | Cite as

Theileria parva genetic diversity and haemoparasite prevalence in cattle and wildlife in and around Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda

  • Chris A. L. OuraEmail author
  • Andy Tait
  • Benon Asiimwe
  • George W. Lubega
  • William Weir
Original Paper


Wildlife, especially Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer), are thought to act as a reservoir for many of the important tick-borne pathogens of cattle. In this study, we have determined the prevalence of the most significant tick-borne haemoparasites in wildlife (buffalo, impala, eland and bushbuck) as well as in cattle grazing inside and neighbouring Lake Mburo National Park (LMNP) in Uganda. A high percentage of buffalo were carriers of Theileria parva, Theileria mutans, Theileria velifera, Theileria buffeli and Theileria sp. (buffalo) as well as Anaplasma marginale and Anaplasma centrale. The majority of impala sampled were carriers of A. centrale, and all were carriers of an unidentified Babesia/Theileria species. The eland and bushbuck sampled were all carriers of Theileria taurotragi and Theileria buffeli, and the majority were carriers of T. mutans. The bushbuck sampled were also carriers for Erhlichia bovis. There were some differences in the prevalence of haemoparasites between the calves sampled inside and neighbouring LMNP. In order to address the question of whether there is evidence for interbreeding between buffalo-associated and cattle-associated T. parva populations, multi-locus genotypes (MLGs) of T. parva (based on micro-satellite markers) from buffalo and from calves grazing inside and outside LMNP were compared, and the results revealed that buffalo and cattle gene pools were distinct, showing no evidence for transmission of buffalo-derived T. parva genotypes to the cattle population.


Babesia Cattle Grazing Cattle Population Reverse Line Blot East Coast Fever 
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.



C.A.L. Oura was funded by a Tropical Research Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust.

We are grateful to the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) for collecting the blood samples from the buffalo in LMNP in Uganda We are especially thankful to Joseph Okori from UWA for his help and we would like to thank the PACE programme for allowing us access to the buffalo blood samples for this study. We are grateful to staff in Uganda for collecting the blood samples and to Dr. Richard Bishop, ILRI, Kenya for providing some of the tissue culture isolate DNA.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris A. L. Oura
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Andy Tait
    • 2
  • Benon Asiimwe
    • 1
    • 4
  • George W. Lubega
    • 1
  • William Weir
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Vet. MedicineUniversity of MakerereKampalaUganda
  2. 2.Division of Veterinary Infection and ImmunityUniversity of Glasgow Veterinary SchoolGlasgowUK
  3. 3.Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright LaboratoryWokingUK
  4. 4.Department of Medical Microbiology, College of Health SciencesMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda

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