TitleMolecular detection of Theileria species and Babesia caballi from horses in Nigeria.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsMshelia, PW, Kappmeyer, L, Johnson, WC, Kudi, CA, Oluyinka, OO, Balogun, EO, Richard, EE, Onoja, E, Sears, KP, Ueti, MW
JournalParasitol Res
Date Published2020 Sep
KeywordsAnimals, Babesia, Babesiosis, Cattle, Horse Diseases, Horses, Nigeria, Phylogeny, Polymerase Chain Reaction, RNA, Ribosomal, 18S, Theileria, Theileriasis, Tick-Borne Diseases

Equine piroplasmosis (EP) is an infectious, tick-borne disease caused by the hemoprotozoan parasites, Theileria equi, Babesia caballi, and a recently reported new species, T. haneyi. Infections by these apicomplexan parasites limit performance and cause economic losses for the horse industry. Equine piroplasmosis is widespread in the northern regions of Nigeria, where an increasing portion of the animal population is composed of horses. This disease has remained epidemiologically challenging, especially as the movement of horses increases across Nigeria. In this study, blood samples from 300 horses were collected in three states of northwestern Nigeria. The presence of piroplasms was screened by nested PCR targeting 18S rDNA and positive samples were analyzed using species-specific-nested PCR-targeting genes including ema1 (T. equi), rap1 (B. caballi), and a gene coding a protein of unknown function (T. haneyi). Species-specific-nPCR results demonstrated that the prevalence of T. equi was 13.0% (39/300), B. caballi was 3.3% (10/300) and T. haneyi was 2.7% (8/300). Mixed infections with T. equi and B. caballi was 2.7% (8/300) while T. equi, B. caballi, and T. haneyi multiple infection prevalence was 0.6% (2/300). We used 18S rDNA sequences to determine close relationships between T. equi by phylogenetic analysis and demonstrated that among 57 sequences of Theileria parasites, 28 samples belonged to clade A (49%), 13 samples were found to be clade C (22%), and 16 were clade D (28%). These results demonstrate the genetic diversity of T. equi circulating in horses from Nigeria.

Alternate JournalParasitol Res
PubMed ID32647992
PubMed Central IDPMC7431391
Grant List2090-32000-039-00D / / Agricultural Research Service /