Molecular detection of Anaplasma species parasites in small ruminants in Budongo sub county of Masindi district
Nalumenya, David Paul
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Tick borne diseases caused by protozoans (Theileria, Babesia) and bacteria (Anaplasma/ Ehrlichia) impose a serious constraint upon livestock health and production in tropical and sub- tropical regions. There are several species of Anaplasma that are associated with causing disease in small ruminants such as A. ovis, A. marginale, A. phagocytophilum. PCR has taken up pace due to its specificity and sensitivity for the detection of the different Anaplasma species. Certain risk factor such as the age of the animals, the gender as well as the species of the small ruminants greatly influence susceptibility to disease. In Budongo sub-county encroachment and settlement of the people on the edges of the Budongo forest reserve is a likely factor for the spread of the tick-borne diseases. This study aimed to establish the prevalence of Anaplasma species in small ruminants of Budongo sub-county in western Uganda were 711 DNA samples were analyzed by PCR amplification of the 16SrRNA gene specific for the Anaplasma species using the Ehrlichia (Anaplasma) specific primers. There was a prevalence of 79.7% (n positive = 567) of Anaplasmosis, with 41 sheep and 526 goats positive for the Anaplasma species. 79.5% of the females (89.9%) as well as 81.9% of the males (10.1%) were positive. 79.1% of the goats and 89.1% of the sheep were positive, with 78.8% of the juveniles and 80.4% of the adults being positive for the Anaplasma species. This study showed that there is a high prevalence of Anaplasma species among the small ruminants in Budongo sub-county among the communities keeping small ruminants. Further research is required to determine the specific Anaplasma species infectious to the small ruminants as well as determine the spatial distribution of Anaplasma species to justify the high prevalence of the hemoparasite in Budongo sub-county Masindi district in western Uganda.