Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research
On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
RAZMI, Gholamreza and YAGHFOORI, Saeed. Molecular surveillance of Theileria ovis, Theileria lestoquardi and Theileria annulata infection in sheep and ixodid ticks in Iran. Onderstepoort j. vet. res. [online]. 2013, vol.80, n.1, pp. 01-05. ISSN 2219-0635.
A molecular study was undertaken to detect Theileria ovis, Theileria lestoquardi and Theileria annulata in sheep and tick vectors. Investigation was conducted from 2010 to 2011 in the south of Khorasan Razavi Province, Iran. A total of 150 blood samples were collected from 30 different sheep flocks. In addition, ixodid ticks were sampled from the same flocks. The stained blood smears were microscopically examined for the presence of piroplasms and a semi-nested polymerase chain reaction-restriction (PCR) was used for subsequent molecular speciation. Salivary glands were isolated from the ticks and subsequently analysed by semi-nested PCR. polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) was used to differentiate between T. lestoquardi and T. annulata from PCR-positive samples. Theileria species infection was microscopically detected in 18.6% of blood smears. The presence of T. ovis and T. lestoquardi or T. annulata was detected by semi-nested PCR in 58.6% and 6.6% of blood samples respectively. In total, 169 ixodid ticks were collected from different areas of the province. The most prevalent ticks were Rhipicephalus turanicus (n = 155; 91.7% of the total), followed by Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum (n = 8; 4.7%) and Hyalomma marginatum turanicum (n = 6; 3.5%). From an organ pooling of 33 ticks, three pools of salivary glands from R. turanicus were positive for Theileria species by semi-nested PCR. Of the three R. turanicus samples testing positive for Theileria species, two (6.1%) were positive for T. ovis and one (3.0%) for T. lestoquardi or T.annulata. Amongst the 11 PCR-positive samples for T. lestoquardi or T. annulata, 10 were positive for T. lestoquardi and one sample was positive for both T. lestoquardi and T. annulata using PCR-RFLP. The results also demonstrated that PCR-RFLP could be used for the detection of T. ovis. Based on the results, it can be concluded that T. ovis has a higher prevalence than T. lestoquardi, and that R. turanicus could be a possible vector for T. ovis and T. lestoquardi. Finally, the PCR-RFLP based on Msp1 restriction enzyme is a simple method for differentiation of Theileria species in sheep and ixodid ticks.