Equine piroplasmosis caused by Babesia caballi and Theileria equi is widespread in Asia. The presence of these haemozoans in Mongolia was previously confirmed in domestic as well as in reintroduced Przewalski horses in which they cause significant pathology. The data on occurrence of piroplasms from Bactrian camels in Asia is lacking. A total of 192 horses, 70 Bactrian camels, and additional 16 shepherd dogs from the Hentiy province were included in our study. No clinical signs typical for piroplasmid infection were observed during the field survey. Microscopic examination revealed the presence of T. equi in blood smears from 67% of examined horses, with camels and dogs being negative. A two step PCR approach was used to detect piroplasms in peripheral blood. In the first " catch all" PCR reaction, amplification of the 496. bp-long fragment of the SSU rRNA gene enabled the detection of Babesia and Theileria spp. Second round multiplex PCR reaction used for species discrimination allowed the amplification of T. equi- and B. caballi-specific 340. bp and 650. bp-long regions of the SSU rRNA, respectively. This assay detected T. equi in 92.7% of horses, while the infections with B. caballi and dual infections were rare. In both PCR setups, camels and dogs were negative indicating that in the studied region, these hosts do not share piroplasms with horses.
- Bactrian camel
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