Identification of Theileria Species in Sheep and Vector Ticks Using PCR Method in Zabol, Eastern Iran

  • Fateme Zarei Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,University of Zabol
  • Maryam Ganjali
  • Reza Nabavi
Keywords: Theileria, PCR, Iran


Background: Theileria is a protozoal parasite that belongs to the phylum Apicomplexa. Theileriosis is an important tick-borne disease caused by various species of Theileria. Among these species, T. lestoquardi (T. hirci) is highly pathogenic, while other species such as T. ovis make Subclinical and mild infections in small ruminant. Therefore, the precise identification of the species and the vector ticks are very essential for epidemiological studies and the design of control programs. Methods: This research was conducted with the aim of molecular study to identify Theileria species and vectors in Zabol, eastern Iran in 2015. The presence of Theileria in 80 blood samples and vector ticks was evaluated using PCR method. Results: Of 80 blood samples, PCR analysis showed that 50 samples (62.5%) were infected with Theileria. The eval­uation of the first phase PCR with Nested PCR showed that infections with Theileria ovis and Theileria lestoquardi were 67.45% and 32.55% cases respectively. Overall, 110 ticks (78 males and 32 females) were collected and generally two genera and six spe­cies including Rhipicephalus bursa (9.1%), Rh. sanguineus (29.1%), Rh. turanicus (10.9%) Hyalomma asiati­cum asiati­cum (23.63%), Hy. excavatum (10.9%), Hy. anatolicum (16.37%) were detected. After evaluating ticks infection by PCR method, three species of Rh. turanicus, Rh. sanguineus and Hy. asiaticum asiaticum, were infected. Conclusion: Theileria ovis has a high prevalence among the sheep of zabol and Hy. asiaticum asiaticum, Rh. sanguineus and Rh. turanicus may be the main vectors of Theileria species in this area.

Author Biography

Fateme Zarei, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,University of Zabol
Department of Parasitology


1. Young AS, Groockok CN, Kariuki DP (1988) Integrated control of ticks and tick-borne diseases of cattle in Africa. Par¬asitology. 96: 403–411.
2. Hooshmand-Rad P, Hawa NJ (1973) Ma-lignant theileriosis of sheep and goats. Trop Anim Health Prod. 5: 97–102.
3. Nabian S, Rahbari S, Changizi A, Shayan P (2009) The distribution of Hyalomma spp. ticks from domestic ruminants in Iran. J Med Entomol. 23(3): 281–283.
4. Rahbari S, Nabian S, Shayan P, Sedghian M (2008) a study of Rhipicephalus Spe¬cies Iran. J Vet Res. 63: 195–198.
5. Ghadrdan Mashhadi AR, Razmi-Jalili M, Kavand M (2006) To determine serum ALP, AST, GGT AND bilirubin chang¬es in Theileriotic cows, (Medi-terranean coast fever). J Vet Med. 61: 23–28.
6. Burridge MI, Brown CG, Kimber CD (1974) Theileria annulata cross reaction between Acell culture schi¬zont antigen and an-ti¬gens of east Afri¬can species in the indi¬rect Fluorescent antibody test. Exp Parasi¬tol. 5: 374–380.
7. Altay K, Aydin MF, Dumanli N, Aktas M (2008) Molecular detection of Theleria and Babesia infections in cattle. Vet Parasi¬tol. 158: 295–301.
8. Walker AR, Bouattour A, Camicas JL, Estrada-Peña A, Horak IG, Latif AA, Pegram RG, Preston PM (2007) Ticks of domestic animals in Africa: a guide to identification of species. Biosci-ence Re¬ports, UK.
9. Purnell RE, Jouyner LP (1968) The de-vel¬opment of Theileria parva in the sali-vary glands of the tick Rhipicepha¬lus appen¬diculatus. Parasitology. 58: 725–732.
10. Shayan P, Rahbari S (2007) Differentia-tion of sheep Theileria spp. and Babe-sia spp. by Polymerase Chain Reac-tion. J Vet Res. 62(3): 250–260.
11. Schnittger L, Yin H, Qi B, Gubbels MJ, Beyer D, Niemann S, Jongejan F, Ah-med JS (2004) Simultaneously detec-tion and differentiation of Theileria and Babe¬sia parasite infection small rumi-nants by revers line blotting. Para¬sitol Res. 92: 189–196.
12. Yaghfoori S, Razmi G, Heidarpour M (2012) Molecular detection of Theil-eria spp, in sheep and vector ticks in Fasa and Kazeroun areas, Fars Prov-ince, Iran. Arch Razi Ins. 68: 159–164.
13. Razmi Gh, Yaghfoori S (2013) Molecu-lar surveillance of Theileria ovis, Theil¬eria lestoquardi and Theileria annu¬lata infection in sheep and ixodid ticks in Iran. J Vet Res. 80(1): 635.
14. Hoghooghi-Rad N, Hashemi S, Ab-digou¬darzi M (2014) Molecular detec-tion of Theileria ovis and T. lestoquardi in vec¬tor ticks in Lorestan Province, Iran. Int J Biosci. 12: 78–83.
15. Abdigoudarzi M (2013) Detection of Natu¬rally Infected Vector Ticks (Aca-ri: Ix¬odidae) by Different Species of Babesia and Theileria Agents from Three different Enzootic pars of Iran. J Arthropod Borne Dis. 7(2): 164–172.
16. Heidarpour-Bami M, Khazraiinia P, Had-dadza¬deh HR, Kazemi B (2010) Identi-fication of Theileria species in sheep in the eastern half of Iran using nested PCR-RFLP and microscopic tech-niques. Iran J Vet Res. 11(3): 262–266.
17. Jalali SM, Khaki Z, Kazemi B, Rahbari S, Shayan P, Bandehpour M, Yasini SP (2014) Molecular Detection and Identification of Theileria Species by PCR-RFLP Method in Sheep from Ahvaz, Southern Iran. Iran J Parasitol. 9(1): 99–106.
18. Shayan P, Ebrahimzadeh E, Tageldin MH, Amininia N, Eckert B (2011) Molecular study of sheep malignant theileriosis at Barka Region in the Sultanate of Oman. Iran J Porasitol. 6 (1): 66–72.
19. Aydin MF, Aktas M, Dumanli N (2015) Molecular identification of Theileria and Babesia in ticks collected from sheep and goats in the Black sea region of Turkey. Parasitol Res. 114(1): 65–69.
How to Cite
Zarei F, Ganjali M, Nabavi R. Identification of Theileria Species in Sheep and Vector Ticks Using PCR Method in Zabol, Eastern Iran. J Arthropod Borne Dis. 13(1):76.
Original Article