The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a natural reservoir host for both pathogenic and nonpathogenic
Theileria species. These often occur naturally as mixed infections in buffalo.
Although the benign and mildly pathogenic forms do not have any significant economic
importance, their presence could complicate the interpretation of diagnostic test results aimed
at the specific diagnosis of the pathogenic T. parva in cattle and buffalo in South Africa. The
18S rRNA gene has been used as the target in a quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assay for
the detection of T. parva infections. However, the extent of sequence variation within this
gene in the non-pathogenic Theileria spp. of the Africa buffalo is not well known. The aim of
this study was, therefore, to characterize the full-length 18S rRNA genes of T. mutans,
Theileria sp. (strain MSD) and T. velifera and to determine the possible influence of any sequence variation on the specific detection of T. parva using the 18S rRNA qPCR. The
reverse line blot (RLB) hybridization assay was used to select samples which either tested
positive for several different Theileria spp., or which hybridized only with the
Babesia/Theileria genus-specific probe and not with any of the Babesia or Theileria speciesspecific
probes. The full-length 18S rRNA genes from 14 samples, originating from 13
buffalo and one bovine from different localities in South Africa, were amplified, cloned and
the resulting recombinants sequenced. Variations in the 18S rRNA gene sequences were
identified in T. mutans, Theileria sp. (strain MSD) and T. velifera, with the greatest diversity
observed amongst the T. mutans variants. This variation possibly explained why the RLB
hybridization assay failed to detect T. mutans and T. velifera in some of the analysed samples.
Pienaar, Ronel; Latif, Abdalla A.; Thekisoe, Oriel M.M.; Mans, Ben J. (Barend Johannes)(Cambridge University Press, 2014)
Strict control measures apply to movement of buffalo in South Africa including testing for Theileria parva, the causative
agent of Corridor disease in cattle. The official test is a real-time hybridization PCR assay that ...
Pienaar, Ronel; Potgieter, Fred T.; Latif, Abdalla A.; Thekisoe, Oriel M.M.; Mans, Ben J. (Barend Johannes)(Cambridge University Press, 2011-02-11)
Buffalo-adapted Theileria parva causes Corridor disease in cattle. Strict control measures therefore apply to the movement
of buffalo in South Africa and include mandatory testing of buffalo for the presence of T. parva. ...
Theileria parva is the causative agent of Corridor disease in cattle in South Africa. The African
buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is the reservoir host, and, as these animals are important for eco-tourism in
South Africa, it ...