Similar levels of diversity in the gene encoding the p67 sporozoite surface protein of Theileria parva are observed in blood samples from buffalo and cattle naturally infected from buffalo

Tatjana Sitt, Sonal Henson, W Ivan Morrison, Philip Toye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Theileria parva is a tick-transmitted, apicomplexan protozoan found in buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and cattle in eastern, central and southern Africa. The parasite causes a fatal, lymphoproliferative disease in susceptible cattle. Previous studies have shown that the parasites in buffalo comprise a more heterogeneous population than those in cattle, which has led to the concept that the population of parasites circulating in cattle represents a restricted subpopulation of those in buffalo. The present study was undertaken to identify if and where this restriction may occur in cattle naturally infected with parasites from buffalo, by sequencing the T. parva p67 antigen gene from eight buffalo and 12 acutely infected cattle from the same endemic site in Kenya. From 103 sequences, we detected 44 different alleles. Nine alleles were found in both cattle and buffalo, and 17 and 18 found only in the cattle and buffalo populations respectively. Nucleotide and amino acid sequence analyses revealed a similar level of diversity of parasites in both hosts. Principal coordinates and phylogenetic tree analyses did not reveal any clustering associated with the host animals, and the number and degree of mixed T. parva infections was similar in the respective populations. The results suggest that any restriction in the ability of T. parva from buffalo to survive and be transmitted from cattle occurs after entry into and initial transformation of bovine lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Volume269
Early online date13 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2019

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Similar levels of diversity in the gene encoding the p67 sporozoite surface protein of Theileria parva are observed in blood samples from buffalo and cattle naturally infected from buffalo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this