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Differential diagnosis and molecular characterization of Theileria spp. in sika deer (Cervus nippon) in Hokkaido, Japan

Lee, Seung-Hun, Moumouni, Paul Franck Adjou, Galon, Eloiza May, Vudriko, Patrick, Liu, Mingming, Benedicto, Byamukama, Tumwebaze, Maria Agnes, Boldbaatar, Damdinsuren, Umemiya-Shirafuji, Rika, Fukumoto, Shinya, Xuan, Xuenan
Parasitology international 2019 v.70 pp. 23-26
Cervus nippon, Theileria, animals, internal transcribed spacers, parasites, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, restriction fragment length polymorphism, ribosomal DNA, ribosomal RNA, theileriosis, wildlife, China, Japan
Sika deer (Cervus nippon) is widely distributed in Asian countries and is one of the most common wildlife animals in Hokkaido, Japan. Previous studies identified Theileria spp. in sika deer in Japan including Theileria sp. Thrivae belonging to T. cervi group and Theileria sp. sola belonging to T. capreoli group. However, the studies failed to differentiate these two species without sequencing. Therefore, epidemiological information on cervine theileriosis in Hokkaido, Japan is limited. This study differentiated the two Theileria spp. using restriction fragments length polymorphism (RFLP). Based on the PCR-RFLP, Theileria spp. were identified in 103 (88.0%) of 117 samples, and the prevalence of each parasites were 86.3% (n = 101) and 57.3% (n = 67) for Theileria sp. Thrivae and T. capreoli-like, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 18S rRNA showed a close relationship between Theileria sp. Thrivae and T. cervi in China. In addition, phylogenetic analysis of internal transcribed spacer regions also showed a close relationship between Theileria sp. Thrivae and T. cervi.