TROPICAL ANIMAL HEALTH AND PRODUCTION, vol.35, no.6, pp.521-539, 2003 (SCI-Expanded)
An epidemiological survey for Theileria annulata infection was conducted in 12 selected villages around Ankara in Central Anatolia, Turkey, during the period April 1990 to January 1993. During the survey, 198 cattle of 30 local breeds, 84 Holstein-Friesian x local breeds and 84 Holstein-Friesian breed were examined for antibodies to T annulata and the presence of the vector ticks. Four species of Hyalomma ticks were identified: Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum, Hyalomma anatolicum excavtum, Hyalomma detritum and Hyalomma marginatum marginatum. Salivary gland staining indicated that infected adult ticks of all four species were present and, therefore, were implicated in the transmission of tropical theileriosis in the field. Generally, the Hyalomma infestation rate was low, with the heaviest infestations occurring on the older animals. Young adults and calves had very low infestation rates. Most ticks seen on cattle were adults, very few nymphs were found. The blood smear and serological examination of the 198 cattle conducted in March, before the start of the first disease season, showed that the prevalence of piroplasmosis was 11.1% (22 out of 198) and the seroprevalence of T annulata was 10.6% (21 out of 198). Forty-three animals were then excluded from the study because they were seropositive and/or harboured piroplasms. Ninety-two seronegative animals showed piroplasmosis (92 out of 155) and 34 seronegative animals became seropositive for T annulata (34 out of 155) during the three disease seasons. One animal became clinically ill with tropical theileriosis and required treatment. The incidence of cattle showing piroplasmosis and disease in the total study sample was 50.7% and 0.5% per disease season, respectively The seroconversion rate of new infection with T annulata in the total study was 14.3% per animal season. The number of cattle showing piroplasmosis was much greater than the number of seropositive cattle, which may indicate the presence of another species of Theileria. The two different management systems encountered in the study were considered to have influenced the tick infestation levels.