Piroplasmosis is one of the most important diseases of livestock, constraining optimal production and leading to economic loss. This study was carried out to detect Theileria annulata by using 2 different molecular techniques: recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) and conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Blood samples were collected from 274 ticks infesting asymptomatic cattle from several counties in the Chakwal, Faisalabad, and Jhang districts of Punjab Province in Pakistan by using FTA cards. After extraction of genomic DNA, each sample was subjected to RPA optimized to amplify a 281-bp fragment of the Enolase gene for T. annulata. The specificity of the test was confirmed using positive DNA samples of related piroplasm species, whereas the analytical sensitivity was calculated using different serial dilutions of a long fragment of the same gene. The RPA results were positive for 48 (17.51%) of 274 samples. All 274 samples were screened using conventional PCR, and 21 (7.66%) samples were positive for T. annulata. All the samples that were RPA positive but PCR negative were sequenced, which confirmed the results of RPA. The highest positive rate was found in Chakwal district, followed by Faisalabad and Jhang districts. This study demonstrates the application of highly sensitive and specific rapid diagnostic methods for T. annulata to a regional screening program. This is the first report of tick-borne disease from Pakistan by using RPA.

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