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Abstract

MOLECULAR IDENTIFICATION OF SARCOCYSTIS FUSIFORMIS AND S. MOULEI INFECTING WATER BUFFALOES (BUBALUS BUBALIS) IN SOUTHERN IRAQ

Huda Ghanim Dakhil*, Basim Hashim Abdallah and Fawzia Ali Abdallah

ABSTRACT

The current study was aimed to screen infection rates and genetic identification of the macroscopic Sarcocystis spp. infecting Iraqi water buffalos. Sarcocystis were grossly examined through meat inspection in slaughterhouse, followed by molecular identification using PCR, sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rRNA gene was conducted. An over all rates of S. fusiformis and S. Moulei infection in Iraqi water buffaloes were 2.8% and 0.1% respectively. According to age, higher rates of Sarcocystis spp. infection was observed in older animals (>4 years) compare to that observed in younger animals (≤4 years). In case of old-aged animals 5.5% (24 /436) and 0.1% (1/904) were found to be infected with S. fusiformis and S. moulei respectively. Comparison of the obtained sequences of the local tested samples of S. fusiformis and S.moulei with those previously reported for different Sarcocystis spp. those were recorded in Genbank, revealed that all the tested specimens represented S. fusiformis and only one specimen was positive for S.moulei. Moreover, sequence alignments of the partial 18S rRNA gene ascertained the presence of genetic difference revealing the heterogenic nature of the gene among different strains of the same Sarcocystis species in relation to the geographic distribution. This is the first study for the evaluation of the PCR technique for apply genetic identification of the macroscopic Sarcocystis fusiformis infecting Iraqi water buffalos and the current study reported for the first time infection of water buffalo with S.moulei in the world.

Keywords: Sarcocystis fusiformis in Iraq, Sarcocystis moulei in water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis).


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