Document Type: Original Article
Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran
A total number of 450 blood samples were collected from 45 different randomly selected cattle herds. Light microscopic examination of blood smears revealed Babesia spp. infection in 4.2%, while 8.9% of blood samples were positive using PCR. Upon multiplex-PCR (mPCR), B. bigemina and B. bovis infections were detected in 37/40 (92.5%) and 3/40 (7.5%) samples, respectively. 530 ticks of 10 Ixodid species were collected from the same cattle. Hyalomma anatolicum was the most prevalent tick species (19.9%). An expected 520 bp fragment of Babesia spp. was generated in 22 (48.8%) of Rhpicephalus annulatus, 18 (40.0%) of R. bursa and 12 (30.0%) R. sanguineus sensu lato. The mPCR findings revealed that all infected ticks including R. annulatus, R. bursa and R. sanguineus were totally infected with B. bigemina. The DNA amplification of B. bovis and B. bigemina in egg samples showed that only B. bigemina was detected in two specimens of R. annulatus. It could be concluded that B. bigemina was the dominant causative agent in this region but the evidence of B. bovis infection of cattle in a few cases was noted, as well. The results suggested that B. bigemina and B. bovis could be detected in the DNA extracted from R. annulatus, R. bursa and R. sanguineus sensu lato confirming previous reports. Since B. bigemina is transmitted transovarially by R. annulatus, it might act as an important vector for B. bigemina.