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Molecular Confirmation of Trypanosoma evansi and Babesia bigemina in Cattle from Lower Egypt
Mahmoud M. Elhaig1,*, Abdelfattah Selim2, Mohamed M. Mahmoud1 and Eman K El-Gayar3
1Department of Animal Medicine (Infectious Diseases), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, 41522, Egypt; 2Department of Animal Medicine (Infectious Diseases), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Benha University, P.O. Box 13736, Toukh, Egypt; 3Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, 41522, Egypt
*Corresponding author:;


Trypanosomosis and babesiosis are economically important vector-borne diseases for animal health and productivity in developing countries. In Egypt, molecular epidemiological surveys on such diseases are scarce. In the present study, we examined 475 healthy and 25 clinically diagnosed cattle from three provinces in Lower Egypt, for Trypanosoma (T.) and Babesia (B.) infections using an ITS1 PCR assay that confirmed Trypanosoma species presence and an 18S rRNA assay that detected B. bigemina. Results confirmed Trypanosoma spp. and B. bigemina presence in 30.4% and 11% individuals, respectively, with eight animals (1.6%) being co-infected with both hemoparasites. Subsequent type-specific PCRs revealed that all Trypanosoma PCR positive samples corresponded to T. evansi and that none of the animals harboured T. brucei gambiense or T. brucei rhodesiense. Nucleotide sequencing of the variable surface glycoprotein revealed the T. evansi cattle strain to be most closely related (99% nucleotide sequence identity) to strains previously detected in dromedary camels in Egypt, while the 18S rRNA gene phylogeny confirmed the presence of a unique B. bigemina haplotype closely related to strains from Turkey and Brazil. Statistically significant differences in PCR prevalence were noted with respect to gender, clinical status and locality. These results confirm the presence of high numbers of carrier animals and signal the need for expanded surveillance and control efforts.

Key words: 18S rRNA gene, Babesia bigemina, Cattle, ITS1 PCR, Trypanosoma evansi


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