Seroprevalence and Risk Factors for Theileria equi Infection in Equines from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan
AbstractBackground: Theileria equi is a tick borne protozoan parasite which causes piroplasmosis among equines worldwide. The present study was aimed to determine seroprevalence of T. equi in donkeys, horses, and mules from two equine populated districts (Peshawar and Charsadda) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Pakistan.Methods: A total of 393 equine (195 horses, 194 donkeys and 4 mules) serum samples were collected from five and four randomly selected localities in Charsadda (n = 193) and Peshawar (n = 200), respectively. The presence of antibodies to T. equi was determined using a commercially available competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.Results: An overall seroprevalence of 38.2% (n=150) was observed among all the tested animals suggesting a higher seropositivity among equids belonging to Charsada (50.3%) as compared to Peshawar (27.5%). Binary logistic regression analysis revealed that being a donkey (OR 2.94), having tick infestation (OR 4.32), history of voiding red (i.e., blood containing) urine (OR 3.97) and anemia (OR 2.1) were the factors significantly associated with the seroprevalence of T. equi. For animals with higher anti-T. equi antibody titers, a strong association of seroprevalence for T. equi was recorded with species, age, sex, tick infestation, anemia and history of hematuria.Conclusion: The present study indicates a high level of exposure of working equids to T. equi in KPK region, Pakistan. Future studies should focus on tick vector identification and other factors responsible for spread of the disease.
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