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Analyses of genes encoding Theileria parva p104 and polymorphic immunodominant molecule (PIM) reveal evidence of the presence of cattle-type alleles in the South African T. parva population

Sibeko, Kgomotso P., Collins, Nicola E., Oosthuizen, Marinda C., Troskie, Milana, Potgieter, Frederick T., Coetzer, Jacobus A.W., Geysen, Dirk
Veterinary parasitology 2011 v.181 no.2-4 pp. 120-130
Theileria parva, alleles, amino acid motifs, amino acid sequences, buffaloes, cattle, farms, nucleotide sequences, parasites, polymerase chain reaction, restriction fragment length polymorphism, theileriosis
Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of PCR products (PCR-RFLP) and sequencing of the variable region of the p104 and PIM genes was performed on samples obtained from South African T. parva parasites originating from cattle on farms with suspected theileriosis and from buffalo. p104 and PIM PCR-RFLP profiles similar to those of the T. parva Muguga stock, an isolate that causes ECF in Kenya, were obtained from three of seven cattle samples collected on a farm near Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal Province. Amino acid sequences of the p104 and PIM genes from two of these samples were almost identical to the T. parva Muguga p104 and PIM sequences. This result supports findings from a recent p67 study in which p67 alleles similar to those of the T. parva Muguga stock were identified from the same samples. While these results suggest the presence of a cattle-derived T. parva parasite, reports of cattle-to-cattle transmission could not be substantiated and ECF was not diagnosed on this farm. Although extensive diversity of p104 and PIM gene sequences from South African T. parva isolates was demonstrated, no sequences identical to known cattle-type p104 and PIM alleles were identified from any of the buffalo T. parva samples analyzed. ‘Mixed’ PIM alleles containing both cattle- and buffalo-type amino acid motifs were identified for the first time, and there appeared to be selection of cattle-type and ‘mixed’-type PIM sequences in the cattle samples examined.