A seroepidemiological study was conducted on 151 cattle from the Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu areas in the central Free State Province of South Africa, two areas where small scale, peri-urban cattle farming is practised. An indirect fluorescent antibody test was used to test for Babesia bigemina and B. bovis antibodies. To test for Anaplasma marginale antibodies a competitive inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method was used. There were no significant differences in serological test results between the cattle from Botshabelo and those from Thaba Nchu. The herd (two areas combined) had an average seroprevalence of 62,42% to B. bigemina, 19,47% to B. bovis and 98,60% to A. marginale. Based on the percentage of cattle that were seropositive to B. bigemina the immune status of cattle in the Botshabelo-Thaba Nchu area is approaching a situation of endemic stability. With reference to A. marginale, the high seroprevalence is indicative of a situation of endemic stability. The occurrence of B. bovis antibodies in the cattle is difficult to explain as Boophilus microplus ticks do not occur in the area in which the study was conducted.
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