Molecular Identification of Hemoprotozoan Parasites in Camels (Camelus dromedarius) of Iran
AbstractBackground: Although camels represent a valuable source of food, wool and hide in many countries, in-depth information about their vector-borne pathogens is scarce compared to other animals. The aim of the current study was to characterize vector-borne protozoa in the blood of dromedaries from Iran by molecular tools.Methods: From June to July 2014, 200 peripheral blood samples were collected from asymptomatic one-humped camels in two provinces of Kerman and Sistan- va-Baloochestan in central and southeastern Iran. Microscopic examination was performed on Giemsa-stained blood smears, and drops of blood were spotted on Whatman FTA® cards for further analyses. Genomic DNA was extracted from the cards, and PCR was carried out for the detection of piroplasms and trypanosomes, followed by sequence analysis of positive samples.Results: One sample was positive Trypanosoma spp. trypomastigotes in light microscopy. PCR results revealed one positive sample each with Theileria annulata and Trypanosoma evansi.Conclusion: Camels were identified as hosts for bovine Mediterranean theileriosis in the investigated area. The presence of Tr. evansi, the causative agent of surra disease, was also confirmed in camels of Iran. Further studies are recommended in order to investigate their impact on the health and productivity of camels and other livestock in this region.
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