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PREVALENCE OF THEILERIA ANNULATA INFECTED HARD TICKS OF CATTLE AND BUFFALO IN PUNJAB, PAKISTAN.

Byline: Z. Ali, A. Maqbool, K. Muhammad, M. S. Khan and M. Younis

ABSTRACT

A study to investigate prevalence of theilleria infected hard ticks of dairy cattle and buffalo was carried out in Faisalabad, Jhang and Khanewal districts of Punjab, Pakistan. Ticks were collected during July and August, 2007 from infested dairy animals irrespetive of age, sex and weight. These animals were from 30 livestock farms, each having more than 25 animals (cattle and buffaloes). Six thousand two hundred and sixty three ticks were collected from 710 cattle and 320 buffaloes. Overall prevalence of Hyalomma species was significantly higher (61%) than that of other genera of hard ticks (p (greater than) 0.05). In sex-wise distribution, it was found that female Hyalomma species were the highest (85%) followed by Amblyomma species (81%), while prevalence of Boophilus species and Haemaphysalis species were 77%. The ticks infestation rate in cattle (70%) was significantly higher than that of buffaloes (34%).

PCR results showed that Theilleria annulata was detected in 50% Hyalomma anatolicum and 40% Hyalomma dromedary ticks. No theilerial organism was detected in Hyalomma marginatum, Boophilus annulatus and Amblyomma varigatum ticks.

In conclusion, Theilleria annulata was prevailing in more than 40% Hyalomma species of cattle. It means that Hyalomma species are mainly responsible for transmission of the Theileria in dairy animals.

Key words: Prevalence, Buffaloes, Hard ticks, Livestock census.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Study Area: This study was conducted at 30 randomly selected livestock farms of districts Faisalabad, Jhang and Khanewal in the Punjab province, Pakistan. The area is canal irrigated and heavily populated with livestock. Total livestock population in these three districts is estimated to be 1.75 million cattle (local, cross bred and exotic breeds), 2.88 million buffaloes, 0.59 million sheep and 1.98 million goats (Ahmad et al., 2000). Cattle on these farms are mostly cross bred and exotic and kept in cemented and bricked farm buildings.

Collection of Ticks and tick infestation level: The ticks were collected in morning and evening in the months of July and August, 2007 from 710 cattle and 320 buffaloes. Tick infestation rate and tick infestation level were also estimated in all these bovine, 10 farms from each of three districts were selected randomly for these studies. Tick infestation level study was performed by categorizing cattle and buffalo population into three levels i.e. low, moderate and high infestation levels. Animals having 1-25 ticks were designated as low infestation level, while animals having 26-50 and above 50 ticks were characterized as moderate and high infestation levels, respectively. With the help of small forceps ticks were collected systemically as per Muhammad et al. (2008) starting from head towards tail direction and placed in a Petri dish. Care was taken to avoid decapitulation and shedding of legs. The tick samples were dispatched to Parasitology laboratory in clean and dry properly labeled plastic bottles.

The mouths of these plastic bottles were covered by cheese cloth for proper aeration.

Tick collection for the T. annulata detection: Twenty morphologically speciated ticks were taken from each of five species (Hyalomma anatolicum, H. dromedari, H.marginatum, Boophilus microplus and Amblyomma vareigatum) and were used for detection of T. annaula by PCR. Tick collection for this experiment was made in sterile glass bottles from cross bred cattle.

Identification of Ticks: In the laboratory, the ticks were kept in 70% ethyl alcohol for the purpose of preservation. The collected ticks were characterized microscopically on the basis of morphology with the help of dichotomous key described by Hoogstral (1956).

Separation of female hard ticks from the male: After genera identification of collected ticks, female adult ticks of each genus were separated by observing small area of scutum on the anterior dorsum of each tick (Urquhart et al., 1996).

Primers: Primers (IA-1 and IA-2: First base, Singapor) were used for the amplification of the gene coding for surface protein of the merozoite (Table-2).

Table- Oligonuleotide primers used for amplification in PCR Analysis

Primer###Sequence###Position Expected

###Amplified

###DNA

###length

IA-1###5'-###142-158###721

###GTAAccmAAAAAcGT-

###3,

IA-2###5'-###862-846

(F)###GTTACGAACATGGGflT-3'

DNA was extracted from ticks by Phenol- Chloroform method as described by d'Oliveira et al., 1997 and 2ul of extracted DNA was used for PCR reaction. DNA quantity was measured at 260 nm. The ratios of 260/280 were ranging from 1.80 to 1.95 for purified DNA samples which showed that preparations were free of any major protein. After quantification, DNA samples thus extracted were stored at -40oC till used for PCR analysis.

Preparation of final reaction volume and PCR analysis: The mixture for PCR was prepared in volume of 50ul containing 200uM of dNTPS, 1.5mM of MgCl2, 10mM of Tric HCl, 50mM of KCl, 200pM of each of reverse and forward primer, 0.1% of Tritone and 2.5 IU units of Taq DNA polymerase. The temperature cycles used for PCR analysis are: initial heating for five minutes at 940C, following by 35 cycles of 94oC for 30 sec, 55oC for 30 sec and 72oC for one minute. Final extension step was programed at 72oC for seven minutes. Two controls, one negative and one positive were included in each test. The reaction mixtures were performed in automatic conventional DNA thermocylcler (Esco Technologies, Inc.: USA). The amplified samples were electrophoresed on 1.0 % agarose gel (Research Organics, Inc. USA) containing 1X Tris-acetate EDTA buffer containing 0.1ug/ml of Ethidium bromide and were saved after UV light visualization.

RESULTS

Faisalabad, Jhang and Khanewal are three closely located districts in the Punjab province of Pakistan, which is also known as Central Punjab. Central Punjab is canal irrigated area and has fertile land which supports agriculture and livestock farming. We selected Faisalabad, Jhang and Khanewal as these districts are considered as top livestock population districts in Pakistan. In the region people live in rural areas and depend upon crop agriculture and livestock for their livelihood. These districts have similar weather conditions around the year (Fig 1, Fig 2 and Fig 3) as they are located closely in hot and humid Central Punjab (Fig-4). Tick infestation prevalence in these areas is high due to favorable humidity and temperature conditions, particularly during hotter months of the year.

This study was conducted in the months of July and August, 2007. Temperature and humidity during study period were 30-35oC and 60-70%, respectively. In all three districts Hyalomma species were found the highest in prevalence at 61% as compared to other species (Table-3). Faisalabad district was the highest for Hyalomma species being 43% followed by Jhang at 28% and Khanewal at 29%. Boophilus species were the second most prevalent species with an average prevalence of 28%, Faisalabad being the highest at 66% followed by Jhang at 26% and Khanewal at 7%. Amblyomma species were the third major species detected (average 8%). This tick species was the highest in Jhang at 86% compared to Faisalabad at 8% and Khanewal at 6%. Haemaphysalis species were the lowest at 3% in prevalence in three districts; Jhang being the highest at 58% followed by Faisalabad at 18% and Khanewal at 24%. Rhipecephalis species were not detected in these districts in our study.

In sex-wise distribution of hard ticks, adult female ticks were significantly higher compared to adult male ticks and they were at 85% and 81% for Hyalomma species and Amblyomma species, respectively. Boophilus species and Haemaphysalis species have similar female to male ratio as 77% of adult ticks were females.

Tick infestation rate in cattle and buffalo population were also estimated in the districts and compared. It was found that infestation rate was significantly higher in cattle (70%) compared to buffaloes (34%). Tick infestation level study showed that high infestation level (tick number above 50) was in 59% cattle population compared to 18% buffalo population. Moderately infestation level (tick number 25-50) was in 38% buffalo and 23% in cattle. In low level infestation (1-25), it was found in 44% buffaloes and 18% in cattle.

PCR based detection of Th. annulata was performed from 100 ticks randomly selected to represent the species of ticks (20 ticks per tick species). The prevalence of Th.annulata in Hyalomma anatolicum and H.dromedari ticks was 50% and 40% respectively. No theilerial organism was detected from H. marginatum, B. annulatus and Amblyomma varigatum ticks. (Table-4, Fig-5).

Table-1: Some tick transmitted protozoan, bacterial and viral diseases with their hosts (Rajput et al. 2006 and Jongejan and Uilenberg, 2004)

###Pathogen###Disease with host

Protozoa###Theleiria annulata###Bovine theileriosis (cattle)

###Th.parva###East coast fever(cattle)

###Bebasia bovis###Bovine babesiosis (buffalo and cattle)

###B. caballi###Equine babesiosis (horse)

###B. canis###Canine babesiosis (dog)

###Anaplasma marginale###Bovine anaplasmosis (cattle)

Bacteria###Ehrlichia chaffeensis###Human ehrlichiosis (man)

###E.ruminatum###Cowdriosis (ruminants)

###Borrelia bugdorferri###Lyme Disease (man)

###Francisella tulerensis###Tuleraemia (animals, man)

Virus###Kyasnur Forest Virus (flavivirus)###Kyasnur Forest Disease (man)

###Cremian Congo Haemmorhagic virus (Bunya virus)###CCHV disease (man)

###Tick borne meningoencephalitis virus (flavi virus) Tick borne encephalitis (animals, man)

Table-3 Genus-wise distribution of hard tick in three districts of Punjab

Name of ticks###Prevalence percentage in three districts (%)

###Faisalabad###Jhang###Khanewal

Hyalomma###43###28###29

Boophilus###66###26###7

Amblyomma###8###86###6

Haemaphysalis###18###57###24

Rhipicephalus###0###0###0

Table-4 Prevalence of Th. annulata in different hard tick species by PCR Analysis

###No. of ticks###Positive ticks###Prevalence %###Overal

Name of Species###Prevalence%

###Female###Male###Female###Male###Female###Male

H.analiticum###10###10###7###3###70###30###50

H.dromedari###10###10###3###1###30###10###40

H.marginatum###10###10###0###0###0###0###0

B.annulatus###10###10###0###0###0###0###0

A.variegatum###10###10###0###0###0###0###0

DISCUSSION

Tick infestation is a common problem of dairy cattle in Punjab, Pakistan. Prevalence of Boophilus species, Haemaphyslis species and Rhipecephalus species were 8.1%, 5% and 3.1%, respectively. Ticks infestation is a common problem in domestic animals of Rawalpindi, Lahore and Multan districts of Punjab, Pakistan. Prevalence rate of Hyalomma species (12%) that was very low previously in Punjab and Amblyomma species were not reported (Durrani and Shakoori 2009). However, prevalence of H. anatolicum is high (41%) in cattle population in districts of Muzaffargarh and Layyah and prevalence rate of R. sanguineus is 25.5%, while prevalence rate of H. anatolicum in buffalo population is 36.3%. Prevalence of Hyalomma species is higher than that of other tick species (Sajid et al. 2008). In Peasawar region in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, prevalence of Boophilus species, Hyalomma species, Rhipicephalus species and Amblyomma species was 46%, 31.25%, 17.9% and 4.6%, respectively (Manan et al. 2007).

In Rawalpindi and Islamabad area, Boophilus species, Amblyomma species and Rhipicephalus species are not reported but prevalence of Haemaphysalis species is 74% and Hyalomma species is 26%. (Rehman et al., 2004).

Present study showed that prevalence of female adult ticks was significantly higher than male ticks. The information is in accordance to Sayin et al. (2003) who recorded higher distribution of female ticks compared to male ticks. Prevalence of female tick population of Hyalomma species was higher than male ticks (Flach et al. 1993 and Aktas et al. 2004). In Bangladesh, prevalence of Boophilus species and Haemaphysalis species is 77% and 72%, respectively (Ghosh et al. 2007). Salivary gland of adult female Hyalomma ticks have more type III acini compared to male and Theileria species are only found in Type III acini. This could be plausible reason that female ticks has more Theileria transmission potential as compared to male Hyalomma tick (Young et al., 1983). Moreover, histamine binding proteins which counteract pain/response of host to tick attachment are two in female tick compared to male ticks (Bross and Wikel, 2004).

Intensity of tick infestation in cattle was higher than that of buffaloes. In tick infestation level study (tick number above 50), it was significantly higher in cattle (59%) compared to buffalo (18%). Moderately infestation level (tick umber 25-50) was higher in buffaloes (38%) compared to cattle (23%) while in case of low infestation level (1-25), it was significantly higher in buffalo (44%) compared to cattle (18%). Tick infestation is recorded in 75% cattle and 40% buffaloes (Sajid et al., 2008). Double magnitude of ticks in cattle are found compared to buffaloes (Rehman et al. 2004 and Manan et al. 2007). High tick infestation rate and high tick level infestation in cattle may be due to the reason that majority of cattle in the area of study were cross bred which are more vulnerable to tick infestation (Fesharki, 1988).

Theileria annulata was only detected in H. annatolicum and H. dromedari but not in H. marginatum. B.annulatus and A.variegatum. High incidence of theileriosis in the districts under investigation may be the indication of high infestation of Hyalomma species (Khan et al., 2004).

It is concluded that prevalence of Hyalomma species of hard ticks in cattle and buffaloes is significantly higher than other species of the ticks. More over, Theileria annulata is prevailing in more than 40% Hyalomma species of cattle. It indicated that only Hyalomma species of ticks are spreading Theileria infection amongst cattle population.

Acknowledgements: Authors extend their sincere thanks to Dr. Roman Ganta and Chuanmin Cheng for their assistance in preparation of paper. This study is funded by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, Islamabad under IRSIP (International Research Supportive Initiative Program) and Indigenous Scholarship 5000 Scheme.

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Department of Parasitology, Department of Microbiology, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery,

Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan (MY) Corresponding Author E.mail: drkhushi.muhammad@uvas.edu.pk
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Publication:Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Mar 31, 2013
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