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Detection of Babesia bigemina infection in cattle from north-eastern India by polymerase chain reaction and its genetic relatedness with other isolates


A total of 333 blood samples were collected from cattle suspected for haemoprotozoan infections from three states of north-eastern part of India. All the samples were examined for diagnosis of Babesia bigemina infection using PCR for detection of specific DNA. Out of these, 12 (3.60 %) samples were found positive for B. bigemina DNA on PCR using the organism-specific primers derived from 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene of B. bigemina. An expected size of 1124-bp PCR product was visualized on agarose gel electrophoresis with all the 12 samples, and four of the products was further cloned and sequenced. Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) analysis of B. bigemina sequences generated in the present study share 99.2 to 99.7 % identity at 18S rRNA gene nucleotide sequence level. These Indian B. bigemina sequences were found to be closely related with the cognate gene nucleotide sequences of B. bigemina from Argentina and Kenya where 99.1 to 99.9 % and 99.0 to 99.7 % nucleotide identities were observed, respectively. Distant relationship of these Indian organisms was observed with few cognate gene sequences from China where more than 7 % divergence was observed in the distance matrix.

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The authors are thankful to the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, for their financial support under ‘DBTs Twining programme for the NE’ entitled “Molecular diagnosis of Babesia spp. infections in animals and vectors of north eastern region of India” to conduct this research work. We thank the Director of ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Umiam, Meghalaya, and the Director of Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, for providing facilities to carry out this work.

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No conflicting financial interests exist.

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Correspondence to Ramgopal Laha.

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Laha, R., Mondal, B., Biswas, S.K. et al. Detection of Babesia bigemina infection in cattle from north-eastern India by polymerase chain reaction and its genetic relatedness with other isolates. Trop Anim Health Prod 47, 633–636 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-015-0769-8

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  • Babesia bigemina
  • Cattle
  • Diagnosis
  • Genetic relatedness
  • India
  • PCR