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Article

Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing and Informatics as an Effective Tool to Establish the Composition of Bovine Piroplasm Populations in Endemic Regions

Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Melbourne Veterinary School, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Werribee, VIC 3030, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9010021
Received: 18 November 2020 / Revised: 12 December 2020 / Accepted: 19 December 2020 / Published: 23 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Tick-Borne Diseases Research)
Protists of the genera Babesia and Theileria (piroplasms) cause some of the most prevalent and debilitating diseases for bovines worldwide. In this study, we established and used a next-generation sequencing-informatic approach to explore the composition of Babesia and Theileria populations in cattle and water buffalo in a country (Pakistan) endemic for these pathogens. We collected individual blood samples from cattle (n = 212) and water buffalo (n = 154), extracted genomic DNAs, PCR-amplified the V4 hypervariable region of 18S small subunit rRNA gene from piroplasms, sequenced amplicons using Illumina technology, and then analysed data using bioinformatic platforms. The results revealed piroplasms in 68.9% (252/366) samples, with overall occurrence being markedly higher in cattle (85.8%) than in water buffaloes (45.5%). Babesia (B.) occultans and Theileria (T.) lestoquardi-like species were recorded for the first time in Pakistan, and, overall, T. annulata was most commonly detected (65.8%) followed by B. bovis (7.1%), B. bigemina (4.4%), and T. orientalis (0.5%), with the genetic variability within B. bovis being pronounced. The occurrence and composition of piroplasm species varied markedly across different agro-ecological zones. The high detection of T. annulata in asymptomatic animals suggested a relatively high level of endemic stability of tropical theileriosis in the bovine population. View Full-Text
Keywords: targeted next-generation sequencing; informatics; protist populations; Babesia; Theileria; bovines; 18S ribosomal RNA targeted next-generation sequencing; informatics; protist populations; Babesia; Theileria; bovines; 18S ribosomal RNA
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ghafar, A.; Koehler, A.V.; Hall, R.S.; Gauci, C.G.; Gasser, R.B.; Jabbar, A. Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing and Informatics as an Effective Tool to Establish the Composition of Bovine Piroplasm Populations in Endemic Regions. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 21. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9010021

AMA Style

Ghafar A, Koehler AV, Hall RS, Gauci CG, Gasser RB, Jabbar A. Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing and Informatics as an Effective Tool to Establish the Composition of Bovine Piroplasm Populations in Endemic Regions. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(1):21. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9010021

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ghafar, Abdul; Koehler, Anson V.; Hall, Ross S.; Gauci, Charles G.; Gasser, Robin B.; Jabbar, Abdul. 2021. "Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing and Informatics as an Effective Tool to Establish the Composition of Bovine Piroplasm Populations in Endemic Regions" Microorganisms 9, no. 1: 21. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9010021

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