Open Access
Research (Published online: 03-03-2018)
2. Semi-nested polymerase chain reaction-based detection of Babesia spp. in small ruminants from Northwest of Iran
Ahad Bazmani, Amir Abolhooshyar, Abbas Imani-Baran and Hamid Akbari
Veterinary World, 11(3): 268-273

Ahad Bazmani: Infectious and Tropical Diseases Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Amir Abolhooshyar: Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.
Abbas Imani-Baran: Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.
Hamid Akbari: Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.

doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2018.268-273

Share this article on [Facebook] [LinkedIn]

Article history: Received: 02-10-2017, Accepted: 24-01-2018, Published online: 03-03-2018

Corresponding author: Abbas Imani-Baran


Citation: Bazmani A, Abolhooshyar A, Imani-Baran A, Akbari H (2018) Semi-nested polymerase chain reaction-based detection of Babesia spp. in small ruminants from Northwest of Iran, Veterinary World, 11(3): 268-273.

Aim: The present study aimed to detect Babesia ovis and Babesia motasi in the blood samples of sheep and goats from Northwest of Iran by the semi-nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique.

Materials and Methods: A total of 166 whole blood samples (including 123 sheep and 43 goats) were collected. In the first stage, the PCR was performed to amplify a piece of 18S rRNA gene of Babesia and Theileria genera. Then, semi-nested PCR was carried out on all PCR products to differentiate B. ovis and B. motasi.

Results: The PCR indicated that totally, 19 (11.44%) out of 166 samples were positive for Babesia or Theileria spp. The semi-nested PCR showed that 38 samples (22.89%) were positive only for B. ovis. No significant association was found between the infection rate of B. ovis and age, gender and species of animals.

Conclusion: In the present study, there was no evidence for B. motasi infection in small ruminants from Northwest of Iran. Therefore, B. ovis was the main causative agent of ovine Babesiosis in this region.

Keywords: Babesia motasi, Babesia ovis, Iran, semi-nested polymerase chain reaction, small ruminants.


1. Razmi, G., Naghibi, A., Aslani, M., Dastjerdi, K. and Hossieni, H. (2003) An epidemiological study on Babesia infection in small ruminants in Mashhad suburb, Khorasan province, Iran. Small Rumin. Res., 50: 39-44. [Crossref]

2. Uilenberg, G. (2006) Babesia-a historical overview. Vet. Parasitol., 138: 3-10. [Crossref] [PubMed]

3. Schnittger, L., Rodriguez, A.E., Florin-Christensen, M. and Morrison, D.A. (2012) Babesia: A world emerging. Infect. Genet. Evol., 12: 1788-1809. [Crossref] [PubMed]

4. Theodoropoulos, G., Gazouli, A., Ikonomopoulos, J.A., Kantzoura, V. and Kominakis, A. (2006) Determination of prevalence and risk factors of infection with Babesia in small ruminants from Greece by polymerase chain reaction amplification. Vet. Parasitol., 135: 99-104. [Crossref]

5. Dehkordi, Z.S., Zakeri, S., Nabian, S., Bahonar, A., Ghasemi, F., Noorollahi, F. and Rahbari, S. (2010) Molecular and biomorphometrical identification of ovine babesiosis in Iran. Iran J. Parasitol., 5: 21-30. [PubMed] [PMC]

6. Aktas, M., Altay, K. and Dumanli, N. (2007) Determination of prevalence and risk factors for infection with Babesia ovis in small ruminants from Turkey by polymerase chain reaction. Parasitol. Res., 100: 797-802. [Crossref]

7. Aktas, M., Altay, K. and Dumanli, N. (2005) Development of a polymerase chain reaction method for diagnosis of Babesia ovis infection in sheep and goats. Vet. Parasitol., 133(4): 277-281. [Crossref] [PubMed]

8. Esmaeilnejad, B., Tavassoli, M., Asri-Rezaei, S., Dalir-Naghadeh, B., Mardani, K., Golabi, M., Arjmand, J., Kazemnia, A. and Jalilzadeh, G. (2015) Determination of prevalence and risk factors of infection with Babesia ovis in small ruminants from west azerbaijan province, Iran by polymerase chain reaction. J. Arthropod Borne Dis., 9: 246-252. [PubMed] [PMC]

9. Hashemzadeh, F.H., Nabavi, L., Seyfiabad, S.M., Rahbari, S. and Azizi, F. (2006) Development of an ELISA technique for the detection of Babesia ovis and serological survey of the parasite in Khouzestan province, Southern Iran. Iran J. Vet. Res., 7: 53-58.

10. Shayan, P., Hooshmand, E., Nabian, S. and Rahbari, S. (2008) Biometrical and genetical characterization of large Babesia ovis in Iran. Parasitol. Res., 103: 217-221. [Crossref] [PubMed]

11. Ranjbar-Bahadori, S., Eckert, B., Omidian, Z., Shirazi, N.S. and Shayan, P. (2012) Babesia ovis as the main causative agent of sheep babesiosis in Iran. Parasitol. Res., 110: 1531-1536. [Crossref] [PubMed]

12. Haghi, M.M., Etemadifar, F., Fakhar, M., Teshnizi, S.H., Soosaraei, M., Shokri, A., Hajihasani, A. and Mashhadi, H. (2017) Status of babesiosis among domestic herbivores in Iran: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Parasitol. Res., 116: 1101-1109. [Crossref]

13. Motavalli, H.S.M., Fakar, M., Sharif, M., Paghe, A., Sharbatkhori, M., Tavakoli, R. and Gholami, S. (2013) Molecular identification of ovine Babesia spp. in north of Iran. Res. Mol. Med., 1: 36-40. [Crossref]

14. Abai, M., Azari-Hamidian, S., Ladonni, H., Hakimi, M., Mashhadi-Esmail, K., Sheikhzadeh, K., Kousha, A. and Vatandoost, H. (2007) Fauna and checklist of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) of east azerbaijan province, northwestern Iran. J. Arthropod Borne Dis., 1: 27-33.

15. Shayan, P. and Rahbari, S. (2005) Simultaeus differentiation between Theileria spp. and Babesia spp. on stained blood smear using PCR. Parasitol. Res., 97: 281-286. [Crossref] [PubMed]

16. Aydin, M.F., Aktas, M. and Dumanli, N. (2013) Molecular identification of Theileria and Babesia in sheep and goats in the black sea region in Turkey. Parasitol. Res., 112: 2817-2824. [Crossref] [PubMed]

17. Razmi, GR., Naghibi, A., Aslani, M., Fathivand, M. and Dastjerdi, K. (2002) An epidemiological study on ovine babesiosis in the Mashhad suburb area, province of Khorasan, Iran. Vet. Parasitol., 108: 109-115. [Crossref]

18. Altay, K., Dumanli, N. and Aktas, M. (2007) Molecular identification, genetic diversity and distribution of Theileria and Babesia species infecting small ruminants. Vet. Parasitol., 147: 161-165. [Crossref] [PubMed]

19. Iqbal, F., Fatima, M., Shahnawaz, S., Naeem, M., Shaikh, R., Ali, M., Shaikh, A. and Aktas, M. (2011) A study on the determination of risk factors associated with babesiosis and prevalence of Babesia sp., by PCR amplification, in small ruminants from Southern Punjab (Pakistan). Parasite, 18: 229-234. [Crossref] [PubMed] [PMC]

20. Shahzad, W., Noor, H., Ahmad, M.U.D., Munir, R., Saghar, M.S., Mushtaq, M.H., Ahmad, N., Akbar, G. and Mehmood, F. (2013) Prevalence and molecular diagnosis of Babesia ovis and Theileria ovis in lohi sheep at livestock experiment station (LES), Bahadurnagar, Okara, Pakistan. Iran J. Parasitol., 8: 570-578. [PubMed] [PMC]

21. Shahbazi, A., Fallah, E., Mamagani, A.J., Khanmohammadi, M., Nematollahi, A. and Bazmani, A. (2013) Identification of Babesia species in sheep isolated from villages of East Azerbaijan by Semi-nested PCR. J. Pure Appl. Microbiol., 7: 201-205.

22. Razmi, G., Pourhosseini, M., Yaghfouri, S., Rashidi, A. and Seidabadi, M. (2013) Molecular detection of Theileria spp. and Babesia spp. in sheep and ixodid ticks from the northeast of Iran. J. Parasitol., 99: 77-81. [Crossref] [PubMed]

23. Rjeibi, M.R., Gharbi, M., Mhadhbi, M., Mabrouk, W., Ayari, B., Nasfi, I., Jedidi, M., Sassi, L., Rekik, M. and Darghouth, M.A. (2014) Prevalence of piroplasms in small ruminants in North-West Tunisia and the first genetic characterisation of Babesia ovis in Africa. Parasite, 21: 23. [Crossref] [PubMed] [PMC]

24. Friedhoff, K.T. (1997) Tick-borne diseases of sheep and goats caused by Babesia, Theileria or Anaplasma spp. Parassitologia, 39: 99-109. [PubMed]