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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128


GOVENDER, D; OOSTHUISEN, M C  and  PENZHORN, B L. Piroplasm parasites of white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum) in the Kruger National Park, and their relation to anaemia. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2011, vol.82, n.2, pp.36-40. ISSN 2224-9435.

As part of a larger survey to map the geographical distribution of Babesia and Theileria parasites in the southern African rhinoceros population, white rhinoceroses were sampled during routine immobilisations in the Kruger National Park. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse line blot (RLB) hybridisation assays were used to screen for the presence of piroplasms and complete blood counts were used to assess associated changes in clinical parameters. Of the 195 rhinoceroses sampled, 71 (36.4 %) tested positive for the presence of Theileria bicornis, with no significant change in the haematological parameters measured, while 18 (9.2 %) tested positive for Theileria equi. None of the rhinoceroses sampled tested positive for Babesia bicornis, a parasite associated with mortalities in black rhinoceroses.

Keywords : anaemia; Babesia bicornis; Theileria bicornis; Theileria equi; white rhinoceros.

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