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PLoS One. 2015 Oct 15;10(10):e0139581. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139581. eCollection 2015.

Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Theileria annulata in Oman.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O Box 35 Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Sultanate of Oman.
2
Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O Box 34 Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Sultanate of Oman.
3
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom.
4
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Muscat, Oman.
5
Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO), University of Porto, Rua Padre Armando Quintas 7, Vairão, 4485-661, Portugal.
6
Centre for Immunity, Infection & Evolution. Institutes of Evolution, Immunology and Infection Research, School of Biological Sciences, Ashworth Laboratories, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
7
Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O Box 35 Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Sultanate of Oman; Centre for Immunity, Infection & Evolution. Institutes of Evolution, Immunology and Infection Research, School of Biological Sciences, Ashworth Laboratories, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Theileriosis, caused by a number of species within the genus Theileria, is a common disease of livestock in Oman. It is a major constraint to the development of the livestock industry due to a high rate of morbidity and mortality in both cattle and sheep. Since little is currently known about the genetic diversity of the parasites causing theileriosis in Oman, the present study was designed to address this issue with specific regard to T. annulata in cattle.

METHODS:

Blood samples were collected from cattle from four geographically distinct regions in Oman for genetic analysis of the Theileria annulata population. Ten genetic markers (micro- and mini-satellites) representing all four chromosomes of T. annulata were applied to these samples using a combination of PCR amplification and fragment analysis. The resultant genetic data was analysed to provide a first insight into the structure of the T. annulata population in Oman.

RESULTS:

We applied ten micro- and mini-satellite markers to a total of 310 samples obtained from different regions (174 [56%] from Dhofar, 68 [22%] from Dhira, 44 [14.5%] from Batinah and 24 [8%] from Sharqia). A high degree of allelic diversity was observed among the four parasite populations. Expected heterozygosity for each site ranged from 0.816 to 0.854. A high multiplicity of infection was observed in individual hosts, with an average of 3.3 to 3.4 alleles per locus, in samples derived from Batinah, Dhofar and Sharqia regions. In samples from Dhira region, an average of 2.9 alleles per locus was observed. Mild but statistically significant linkage disequilibrium between pairs of markers was observed in populations from three of the four regions. In contrast, when the analysis was performed at farm level, no significant linkage disequilibrium was observed. Finally, no significant genetic differentiation was seen between the four populations, with most pair-wise FST values being less than 0.03. Slightly higher FST values (GST' = 0.075, θ = 0.07) were detected when the data for T. annulata parasites in Oman was compared with that previously generated for Turkey and Tunisia.

CONCLUSION:

Genetic analyses of T. annulata samples representing four geographical regions in Oman revealed a high level of genetic diversity in the parasite population. There was little evidence of genetic differentiation between parasites from different regions, and a high level of genetic diversity was maintained within each sub-population. These findings are consistent with a high parasite transmission rate and frequent movement of animals between different regions in Oman.

PMID:
26469349
PMCID:
PMC4607491
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0139581
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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