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Online Journal of Veterinary Research


 Volume 22 (4):273-280, 2018.

Prevalence of Theileria equi in horses in central Iraq determined by microscopy and PCR.


Hayder Dawood Saleem, Firas Rashad Al-Samarai


Department of Veterinary Public Health/College of Veterinary Medicine/University of Baghdad/Iraq


Saleem HD, Al-Samarai FR., Prevalence of Theileria equi in horses in central Iraq determined by microscopy and PCR. Onl J Vet Res., 22 (4):273-280, 2018. We report incidence of Theileria equi in 94 horses from 7 locations in Iraq during March to May 2017. Differences in prevalence between countries are attributed to sample size, method of detection, breed and/or climate. Infected horses can appear healthy but still be carriers being a continuous source of infection. Blood samples were subjected to slide stain for microscopy and real-time PCR (RT-PCR) of a 450bp long section of 18S rRNA. We found that T. equi was present in all locations in central Iraq. By microscopy we found ~20% and by RT-PCR, 32% prevalence. Incidence was much higher (~64%) in Baghdad. For microscopy, sensitivity was ~30% and specificity 84.4%. Differences in prevalence due to location and activity (of horse) were significant (P<0.0001) but not for gender, age or period of data collection. Risk factors were location and type of horse (draft/sports) (P<0.0001). We find that microscopy is not suitable for detection of T equi in horses and confirm that PCR is more precise.


Keywords: Prevalence, Theileria equi, Iraq, RT-PCR, Risk factors.