Epidemiological Study of Equine Piroplasmosis (Theileria equi and Babesia caballi) by Microscopic Examination and Competitive-ELISA in Erbil Province North-Iraq
Background: Equine piroplasmosis is a major tick-borne disease that can lead to serious health problems and economic losses in horse industry. The aim of the study is to determine the prevalence of Theileria equi and Babesia caballi in different species of Equus namely (Horse, mule, donkey and pony) by Giemsa stained blood films and competitive ELISA.
Methods: This study was conducted at various geographic areas of Erbil governorate. A total of 349 blood samples from equine (209 horses, 62 mule, 57 donkey and 21 ponies) were collected to estimate the prevalence rate of Theileria equi and Babesia caballi by using Giemsa stained blood smear and competitive ELISA.
Results: The overall prevalence rates were (10.6%) consisting of (8.3%), (1.7%) and (0.6) for T. equi, B. caballi and both infection respectively by Giemsa stained blood smears, and the rate was 38.97%, consisting of 20.9% for T. equi, 11.2% for B. caballi and 6.9% for both infection by cELISA. Seroprevalence rate of T. equi was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than that B. caballi in equids. There was also a significant difference associated between age (P < 0.01), activity (P < 0.01), management (P < 0.001) and tick infestation (P < 0.001), but neither the type of equids nor the gender was significant differences associated with prevalence rate.
Conclusion: The present study concluded that the equine piroplasmosis is a vital infection distributed among the equine in Erbil province North of Iraq. Thus a better control programme should be implemented to contain and control the prevalence of the disease within the area.
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