Population genetic analysis and sub-structuring of Theileria parva in the northern and eastern parts of ZambiaReport as inadecuate

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Parasites and Vectors

, 5:255

First Online: 12 November 2012Received: 05 May 2012Accepted: 01 October 2012


BackgroundTheileriosis, caused by Theileria parva, is an economically important disease in Africa. It is a major constraint to the development of the livestock industry in some parts of eastern, central and southern Africa. In Zambia, theileriosis causes losses of up to 10,000 cattle annually.

MethodsCattle blood samples were collected for genetic analysis of Theileria parva from Isoka and Petauke districts in Zambia. Microsatellite analysis was then performed on all Theileria parva positive samples for PCR using a panel of 9 microsatellite markers. Microsatellite data was analyzed using microsatellite toolkit, GenAlEx ver. 6, Fstat ver., and LIAN computer softwares.

ResultsThe combined percentage of positive samples in both districts determined by PCR using the p104 gene primers was 54.9% 95% CI: 46.7 – 63.1%, 78-142, while in each district, it was 44.8% 95% CI: 34.8 – 54.8% and 76.1% 95% CI = 63.9 – 88.4% for Isoka and Petauke districts, respectively. We analyzed the population genetic structure of Theileria parva from a total of 61 samples 33 from Isoka and 28 from Petauke using a panel of 9 microsatellite markers encompassing the 4 chromosomes of Theileria parva. Wright’s F index FST = 0.178 showed significant differentiation between the Isoka and Petauke populations. Linkage disequilibrium was observed when populations from both districts were treated as a single population. When analyzed separately, linkage disequilibrium was observed in Kanyelele and Kalembe areas in Isoka district, Isoka district overall and in Petauke district. Petauke district had a higher multiplicity of infection than Isoka district.

ConclusionPopulation genetic analyses of Theileria parva from Isoka and Petauke districts showed a low level of genotype exchange between the districts, but a high level of genetic diversity within each district population, implying genetic and geographic sub-structuring between the districts. The sub-structuring observed, along with the lack of panmixia in the populations, could have been due to low transmission levels at the time of sampling. However, the Isoka population was less diverse than the Petauke population.

KeywordsTheileria parva Genetic diversity Sub-structuring Zambia Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1756-3305-5-255 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Walter Muleya, Boniface Namangala, Martin Simuunza, Ryo Nakao, Noboru Inoue, Takashi Kimura, Kimihito Ito, Chihiro Sugimoto contributed equally to this work.

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Author: Walter Muleya - Boniface Namangala - Martin Simuunza - Ryo Nakao - Noboru Inoue - Takashi Kimura - Kimihito Ito - Chihiro 

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