Assessment of the prevalence of Theileria lestoquardi in sheep from the Sudan using serological and molecular methods.

Hassan S, Skilton RA, Pelle R, Odongo D, Bishop RP, Ahmed J, Seitzer U, Bakheit M, HASSAN SM, El Hussein AM. "Assessment of the prevalence of Theileria lestoquardi in sheep from the Sudan using serological and molecular methods." Prev Vet Med. 2019;169:104697.


Malignant theileriosis of sheep and goats caused by Theileria lestoquardi is considered to be among the most important tick borne diseases in the Sudan. Information on the prevalence of the disease in different parts of the Sudan is limited. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of the disease in five states of the Sudan using molecular and serological assays. A total of 393 blood and serum samples from clinically asymptomatic sheep were analysed using nested reverse line blot (nRLB) and loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), as well as an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results indicated a sero-prevalence of 33.8% while RLB and LAMP assays revealed molecular prevalences of 29.5 and 22.6% respectively. The prevalence of Theileria lestoquardi varied significantly according to the geographical origin of the infected animals, whereas age and gender did not have a significant effect. RLB data indicated that T. lestoquardi usually occurred as a co-infection with the non-pathogenic Theileria ovis. Using RLB as a gold standard, a sensitivity of 68.1% and a specificity of 96.4% were recorded for LAMP and a sensitivity of 75.9% and a specificity of 83.8% for ELISA. The Kappa coefficient between nRLB and LAMP indicated a significant level of agreement (0.692), but only moderate concordance (0.572) between nRLB and ELISA. The results of the present study confirm and extend earlier findings regarding the widespread of T. lestoquardi infections in sheep in the Sudan. The data provide evidence that should enable the veterinary authorities to deploy appropriate control measures.

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