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Molecular detection of Babesia spp. and other haemoparasitic infections of cattle in Maputo Province, Mozambique

  • TIAGO M. MARTINS (a1) (a2), LUÍS NEVES (a3), OLÍVIA C. PEDRO (a3) (a4), JOSÉ M. FAFETINE (a3) (a4), VIRGÍLIO E. DO ROSÁRIO (a2) and ANA DOMINGOS (a1) (a2)...

Summary

Molecular detection of Babesia species in apparently healthy cattle within an endemic region was carried out in order to determine the prevalence of carriers and the geographical distribution of Babesia bigemina and Babesia bovis in Maputo Province, Mozambique. Samples from 477 animals at 5 localities were analysed using 2 techniques, the semi-nested hot-start PCR and the reverse line blot (RLB) assay. With the semi-nested hot-start PCR, detection of B. bigemina ranged between 30% and 89%, and of B. bovis between 27% and 83%. The RLB assay was comparatively less sensitive in this study and detection of B. bovis ranged from 0% to 17%, and B. bigemina was not detected at all by this technique. Analysis of new sequences of the 18S rRNA gene revealed that the current B. bigemina RLB probe is not specific for the identification of isolates in Mozambique. The RLB assay, however, resulted in the detection of 8 other haemoparasite species belonging to the genera Babesia, Theileria, Anaplasma and Ehrlichia. 18S rRNA gene sequences from the Theileria spp. were identified, and a phylogenic tree constructed with these sequences yielded a heterogeneous T. mutans-like group. In conclusion, infection with B. bigemina and B. bovis is endemic in Maputo Province, but rates of transmission vary. Furthermore, mixed infections with the haemoparasites responsible for several tick-borne diseases in cattle are common in Mozambique.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Unidade de Tecnologias de Proteínas e Anticorpos Monoclonais, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Estrada do Paço do Lumiar 22, 1649-038 Lisboa, Portugal. Tel: +351 210924712. Fax: +351 217163636. E-mail: tmlmartins@gmail.com

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Keywords

Molecular detection of Babesia spp. and other haemoparasitic infections of cattle in Maputo Province, Mozambique

  • TIAGO M. MARTINS (a1) (a2), LUÍS NEVES (a3), OLÍVIA C. PEDRO (a3) (a4), JOSÉ M. FAFETINE (a3) (a4), VIRGÍLIO E. DO ROSÁRIO (a2) and ANA DOMINGOS (a1) (a2)...

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