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First report of Theileria annulata in Nigeria: Findings from cattle ticks in Zamfara and Sokoto States

Mamman, AH, Lorusso, V, Adam, BM, Dogo, GA, Bown, KJ and Birtles, RJ (2021) First report of Theileria annulata in Nigeria: Findings from cattle ticks in Zamfara and Sokoto States. Parasites and Vectors, 14 (1). ISSN 1756-3305

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Background: Ticks and tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) represent a significant economic burden to cattle farming in sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeria. However, in the northern part of this country, where the largest livestock population resides, little is known about the contemporary diversity of ticks and TBPs. This area is particularly vulnerable to climate change, undergoing marked transformation of habitat and associated flora and fauna that is also likely to include ticks. This study aimed to document the occurrence of tick species and Apicomplexan TBPs in cattle from north-western Nigeria. Methods: In 2017, ticks were collected from cattle in Zamfara and Sokoto States and identified morphologically. Additionally, a subset of ticks was screened molecularly for the detection of apicomplexan DNA. Results: A total of 494 adult ticks were collected from 80 cattle in Zamfara and 65 cattle in Sokoto State. Nine tick species were encountered, among which the presence of one, Hyalomma turanicum, had not previously been recorded in Nigeria. Hyalomma rufipes was the most prevalent tick infesting cattle in Zamfara State (76%), while Hyalomma dromedarii was the most prevalent in Sokoto State (44%), confirming the widespread transfer of this species from camels onto livestock and its adaptation to cattle in the region. Of 159 ticks screened, 2 out of 54 (3.7%) from Zamfara State and 29 out of 105 (27.6%) from Sokoto State harboured DNA of Theileria annulata, the agent of tropical theileriosis. Conclusions: This study confirms the presence of a broad diversity of tick species in cattle from north-western Nigeria, providing the first locality records for Zamfara State. The occurrence of H. turanicum indicates a distribution of this tick beyond northern Africa. This study provides the first report for T. annulata in Nigerian ticks. Given its enormous burden on livestock farming in north Africa and across Asia, further investigations are needed to better understand its epidemiology, vector transmission and potential clinical significance in cattle from northern Nigeria and neighbouring Sahelian countries.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals; Cattle; Ixodidae; Theileria annulata; Tick Infestations; Theileriasis; Cattle Diseases; Nigeria; Camelus; Africa; Cattle; Livestock; Nigeria; Piroplasms; Theileria spp.; Tick-borne diseases; Tick-borne pathogens; Ticks; Animals; Camelus; Cattle; Cattle Diseases; Ixodidae; Nigeria; Theileria annulata; Theileriasis; Tick Infestations; 1108 Medical Microbiology; 1117 Public Health and Health Services; Mycology & Parasitology; Tropical Medicine
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: BioMed Central
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2024 09:47
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2024 09:47
DOI or ID number: 10.1186/s13071-021-04731-4
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22820
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