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PCR-Based Detection of Trypanosoma evansi Infection in Semi-Captive Asiatic Black Bears (Ursus thibetanus)
 
MalihaShahid, SafiaJanjua, Syed Fakhir I Abbas and Jan Schmidt Burbach1
Bioresource Research Centre, 34 Bazar Road G-6/4, Islamabad, Pakistan; 1Wildlife Programmes Department, World Society for the Protection of Animals, Asia office, Bangkok, Thailand
*Corresponding author:safiajanjua@hotmail.com

Abstract   

Clinical signs, vizlethargy, increased heart rate and reduced appetite, making trypanosomiasisis a possible differential diagnosis, were found in five out of twenty semi-captive Asiatic black bears (Ursusthibetanus) in a sanctuary, located in Kund, District Sawabi, KPK, Pakistan. Microscopic examination of blood samples of bears expressing clinical signs and symptoms revealed the presence of haemoflagellates, which was found to be trypanosomes. Subsequently, the PCR technique was exploited to screen for the presence of trypanosomal species in all bears’ blood samples. Blood samples from 20 individual bears were screened using three sets of primers specific to Trypanosomaevansi species. Three primer pairs used are equally effective in successful detection of the parasite. Two out of five, diseased bears died prior to any trypanosoma specific medication while the rest were given an administered dose of Melarsomine (Immiticide). The treated bears survived and were assured to be aparasitemic on post-treatment examination after six weeks.

Key words: Asiatic black bear, Immiticide, PCR based diagnostics, Trypanosomaevansi, Trypanosomiasis

 
   

ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)



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