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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128

J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. vol.79 n.1 Pretoria  2008




Occurrence of Theileria parva infection in cattle on a farm in the Ladysmith district, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa



B E ThompsonI; A A LatifI, II; M C OosthuizenI; M TroskieI; B L PenzhornI

IDepartment of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa
IIParasitology Section, ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Private Bag X5, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa




Theileria parva causes widespread morbidity and mortality in cattle in endemic regions. An outbreak of theileriosis occurred on a farm near Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, which is not a declared Corridor disease-infected area. A survey of Red Brangus cattle from all age groups and areas of the farm was performed. Transmission of the parasite from infected animals on the farm to susceptible animals by tick transmission and tick-stabilate injection, was attempted. The survey indicated high numbers of animals with antibody titres to T. parva but only 6 infected animals, based on real-time PCR and RLB analysis. The transmission experiments failed to transmit the parasite. The study shows the difficulty in elucidating a source of infection and determining the dynamics of new infections in a herd where multiple possible sources are present and treatment with tetracyclines has taken place.

Key words: real-time PCR, RLB, transmission experiments, South Africa, Theileria parva



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Received: August 2007
Accepted: February 2008



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