Abstract

Here we report on an epidemiological study regarding the molecular prevalence of different genotypes of Theileria orientalis present among domestic cattle and water buffalo populations bred in Thailand. A phylogenetic analysis based on the parasitic gene encoding a major piroplasm surface protein revealed the presence of 5 genotypes (Types 1, 3, 5, 7, and N-3) in cattle and 7 genotypes (Types 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, N-2, and N-3) in water buffaloes. Types 4, 7, and N-3 of T. orientalis were reported for the first time in water buffaloes. The previously reported C and Thai types from Thailand clustered as types 7 and 6, respectively, in the present analysis. Great similarities were observed among nucleotide sequences of isolates of the same genotype from cattle and water buffaloes, and, therefore, water buffaloes were considered to serve as a reservoir for these genotypes of T. orientalis in Thailand. In conclusion, T. orientalis parasites circulating in Thailand are more diverse in their genetic characters than previously anticipated.

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