Determination of the presence of babesia DNA in blood samples of cattle, camel and sheep in Iran by PCR


Babesia species are protozoan parasites that parasitize the erythrocytes of domestic animals and humans, caus- ing anemia in the host affected. These parasites cause a zoonotic disease known as babesiosis. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has proven to be very sensitive for detecting Babesia in blood samples of affected animals, particular in ruminants. The purpose of the current study was to determine the presence of Babesia DNA in the blood samples obtained from cattle, camel and sheep in Iran. In addition, the study aimed at establishing a rapid, reliable, specific and sensitive molecular tool, the PCR, for the detection of Babesia DNA in ruminants and dromedaries. Blood samples were collected from 372 rumi- nants and dromedaries (155 cattle, 95 sheep and 122 camel) kept at the Livestock Experimental Station. The animals came from randomly selected herds located in the important livestock-production regions of Iran of Isfahan and Chaharmahal va Bakhtiary during December 2012 to March 2013. PCR was used to detect Babesia DNA in the blood samples whereby an amplified band size of 428 bp was considered positive for Babesia spp. The results indicated that 7.10% (n= 155), 6.56% (n= 122) and 0.00% (n= 95) of the blood samples from cattle, camel and sheep were positive for Babesia DNA, respectively. The findings from this study revealed that there were Babesia DNA in blood taken from cattle and camel. To our knowl- edge, this is the first report to show the presence of Babesia DNA in blood samples of Iranian ruminants and dromedaries in Chaharmahal Va Bakhtiari and Isfahan provinces by PCR method. Though, diagnosis of low-level infections by the pa- rasite is important for the epidemiological studies. Our findings support the power of PCR test for Babesia DNA detection in blood samples and could be easily used for routine diagnosis.


Journal article


Babesia spp, cattle, sheep, camel, Blood, PCR