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Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research

On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
Print version ISSN 0030-2465

Onderstepoort j. vet. res. vol.76 n.3 Pretoria  2009




Detection of natural Trypanosoma vivax infections in pigs with microhaematocrit centrifugation and amplification of ITS1 rDNA



S. BiryomumaishoI; S.E. MelvilleII; E. Katunguka-RwakishayaI; G.W. LubegaIII

IDepartment of Veterinary Medicine, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
IIDepartment of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1QP, UK. Present address: Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB1 2EW, UK
IIIDepartment of Veterinary Parasitology and Microbiology, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda




Different species of trypanosomes may infect their mammalian hosts both singly or in combination. This study was undertaken to determine the trypanosome species that may be afflicting pigs in Uganda. Blood was collected from pigs of all ages and sexes from two districts, Kasese in Western and Jinja in Central Uganda. Of the 133 pig blood samples from Kasese that were tested for trypanosomes using the microhaematocrit centrifugation technique (MHCT), none was found to be infected. However, of the 253 pigs from Jinja district, nine were infected with trypanosomes of which three had T. vivax as determined by MHCT. However, application of the ITS1 rDNA PCR test revealed that eight pigs had T. vivax in mixed infections and one pig had T. vivax monolithic infection. These observations show that under certain circumstances, pigs may be important reservoirs for, as well as hosts to, T. vivax, contrary to earlier reports.

Keywords: ITS-PCR, pigs, Trypanosoma vivax, Uganda



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Accepted for publication 19 February 2009-Editor



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