PREVALENCE OF NEOSPORA CANINUM AND TOXOPLASMA GONDII ANTIBODIES IN SERA FROM CAMELS (CAMELUS DROMEDARIUS) IN RIYADH PROVINCE, SAUDI ARABIA By

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1 Journal of the Egyptian Society of Parasitology, Vol. 41, No. 2, August 2011 J. Egypt. Soc. Parasitol., 41 (2), 2011: PREVALENCE OF NEOSPORA CANINUM AND TOXOPLASMA GONDII ANTIBODIES IN SERA FROM CAMELS (CAMELUS DROMEDARIUS) IN RIYADH PROVINCE, SAUDI ARABIA By ABDULLAH D. AL-ANAZI Department of Quality Inspection, Ministry of commerce, P.O. Box , Riyadh Saudi Arabia; Abstract From April to December 2010, blood samples were collected from 412 healthy camels in Riyadh province, Saudi Arabia and used to evaluate serological screening for Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii infection by an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Of the 412 camels, antibodies to N. caninum were found in sixteen in titers of 1:20 and in seven in titers of 1:40 using whole N. caninum tachyzoites as IFAT slide (VMRD Inc., Pullman, WA 99163, USA). Antibodies to T. gondii were found in nineteen camels in titers 1:20 and in eight camels in titers 1:40 using whole T. gondii tachyzoites as IFAT slide. Keywords: Camels; Neospora caninum; Toxoplasma gondii; IFAT; Riyadh Province; Saudi Arabia Introduction apicomplecxan infections in Saudi Arabian camels (Hossain et al. 1987; Hussein et al. 1988; Hilali et al. 1995). Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii are coccidian parasites. They are structurally and biologically similar (Dubey et al. 1988; Dubey and Lindsay, 1996). N. caninum can cause abortion and neonatal mortality in sheep, goats and cattle in many countries (Dubey, 2003). Several serological tests are used to diagnose N. caninum infection include the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT), Neospora agglutination test (NAT) and ELISA (Bjorkman and Uggla, 1999; Von Blumroder et al. 2004; Dubey, 2003). But, there were few reports of The aim of this study was to determine seroprevalence of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii in camels from Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods The blood samples were collected from 412 clinically healthy adult camels during April to December 2010 in Riyadh province, Saudi Arabia. The blood samples (5-10 ml) were col245

2 lected from the jugular vein of each camel in vacuum tubes without anticoagulant. The blood samples were transported to the laboratory of Parasitology, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, King Saud University. After clotting, the samples were centrifuged at 1000 rpm for 10 min, the serum was decanted and stored at 20 C until assayed for the antibodies to N. caninum and T. gondii (Frossling et al. 2003). The serological test was performed using a Teflon-masked 12-well N. caninum NC-1 antigen slide (VMRD Inc Pullman, WA 99163, USA), within which whole N. caninum tachyzoites were used as antigen and T. gondii tachyzoites as IFAT slide, fluorescein-conjugated, affinity-purified rabbit anti-camel IgG (Parasitology laboratory, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, King Saud University) after Bjorkman and Uggla (1999). Results Of 412 camels, antibodies to N. caninum were found in twenty three (5.6%), sixteen (3.8%) in titers of 1:20 and in seven (1.7%) in titers of 1:40. Antibodies against T. gondii were found in twenty seven (6.5%), in nineteen (4.6%) in titers 1:20 and in eight (1.9%) in titers 1:40. All positive sera with N. caninum antibodies had no T. gondii antibodies in 1:20 titers. Discussion According to estimates by the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture, Saudi Arabia, the number of camels population in the country in 2009 exceeded 567,555 (Ministry Agriculture statistic book, 2009). They mainly used as a load animal, which is an important role in transportation in desert, sport activates and as a source of meat, skin, and leathers. However, there is a lack of studies on camel's protozoan parasites in from Saudi Arabia. The current study is the first on Neospora caninum sero-prevalence study in camels from Saudi Arabia. The present results can be compared with those obtained in other countries. Prevalence of 5.6% N. caninum and 6.5% T. gondii antibodies in the present study was similar to the prevalence of 5.83% and 4.16%, respectively in camels from Iran (Sadrebazzaz et al. 2006). Also, N. caninum prevalence similar to the 3.72% prevalence in Egypt, but the 6.5% prevalence of T. gondii antibodies in current study is lower than the 17.4% of Egyptian camels (Hilali et al. 1998), 16% of the camels from different regions of Saudi Arabia (Hussein et al. 1988) and 11.8% of the camels from eastern Sudan (Elamin et al. 1992). However, the seroprevalence rates varied depending on the serologic test(s) used and the initial serum dilution tested. In Saudi Arabia, camels kept most of time in the desert, there was limited contact with definitive host (i.e. cats) and therefore the prevalence in these cases was too low. Similar findings were reported in semi-arid camels from eastern Sudan (Elamin et al. 246

3 1992). However, the transmission and infection rates in one host species depend on several factors such as the proximity to domestic and wild host, climatic conditions and the type of soil (Fayer and Reid, 1982). Acquisition of Neospora and Toxoplasma infection by camels occur through ingestion or inhalation of sporulated oocysts that are shed by hosts (i.e. domestic and wild cats) in the environment. However, the heteroxenous transmission cycle of N. caninum is unknown in Saudi Arabia, and finding of N. caninum antibodies in camels need further research in different areas and host for N. caninum Generally speaking, N. caninum is a protozoan agent causing abortion and infertility problems in dairy cattle worldwide and other farm animals (Yildiz et al. 2009). Dubey et al. (1998) in Egypt reported antibodies to N. caninum and T. gondii in water buffaloes, which are economically very important domestic animals in developing countries. Ibrahim et al. (2009) reported high prevalence of toxoplasmosis and neosporosis in cattle affects the de velopment of the livestock industry and is also an important infective source for human infection in Egypt. Razmi (2009) mentioned that dog is the definitive host for N. caninum and can infect dairy cattle. He reported N. caninum DNA in feces of farm dogs in Mashhad area, Iran. Abo- Shehada and Abu-Halaweh (2010) stated that the farmers education with regard to the role of dogs in transmitting N. caninum infection was expected to enhance small ruminant health in Jordan. Hässig et al. (2010) studied bovine spongiform encephalopathy, brucellosis, neosporosis, and tuberculosis. They concluded that in the post modern information based society, the interval between recognition of a new emerging disease and its eradication program becomes much shorter when the disease in question has a zoonotic potential, and that the different recognition of risk and the broad context of measurements in society to fight against zoonosis. On the other hand, T. gondii occurs globally among both humans and animals (Deorari et al. 2000; Elshei- kha et al. 2008; Haridy et al. 2010; Harfoush and Tahoonm, 2010). Transmission to humans occurs either through the ingestion of T. gondii oocysts shed into the environment by cats or by eating the meat of infected animals (Kasper, 2004). About onethird of the world population is infected with T. gondii and the disease has asymptomatic progress in 90% of the patients with sound immune systems (Kang et al., 2004). Toxoplasmosis superimposed many zoonotic diseases from geo-graphical and zoological distribution worldwide (Elsheikha and Morsy, 2009). Generally, Anti-T. gondii antibodies and toxoplasmosis are well documented in Saudi Arabia. Human toxoplasmosis infections were reported by many authors (Shoura et al. 1973; Morsy and El Dasouki, 1974; Abdalla 247

4 et al. 1974; Kandil et al. 1980), among pilgrims (Morsy and El Dasouki, 1977) and among blood donors (Sarwat et al. 1973; Al-Amari, 1994; Yanaza and Kumari, 1994). Infection in edible animals (Amin and Morsy, 1997) and rodents (Morsy et al. 1994; Al Dakhil and Morsy, 1996) were reported as well. Conclusion The outcome results showed that camels are naturally infected with both protozoan parasites Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii as proved serologically. T. gondii is well documented as a zoological and geographical zoonotic parasite including Saudi Arabia. N. caninum is prevalent at least regionally and is considered as one of the first etiological agent of abortion in dairy cattle. Dog and wild carnivores are the proved definitive host and source of infection in farm animals. Acknowledgements The author would like to thank the Staff Members Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, King Saud University for kind technical support. References Abdalla, K.F., El Fakahany, A.F., Arafa, M.A.S., Salama, M.M.I., Morsy, T.A. 1994: Congenital toxoplasmosis among premature in Saudi Arabia. J. Egypt. Soc. Parasitol. 24, 3: Abo-Shehada, M.N., Abu-Halaweh, M.M. 2010: Flock-level seroprevalence of, and risk factors for, Neospora caninum among sheep and goats in northern Jordan. Prev. Vet. Med. 93, 1: Al-Amari, O.M. 1994: Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii among blood donors in Abha, Asir Region, southwestern Saudi Arabia. J. Egypt. Pub. Hlth. Assoc. 69: Al Dakhil, M.A. and Morsy, T.A., 1996: Natural Toxoplasma infection sought in the Indian grey monogoose (H. edwardi, Greffroy, 1818) trapped in the Eastern Region, Saudi Arabia. J. Egypt. Soc. Parasitol. 26, 3: Amin, A.M., Morsy, T.A. 1997: Anti-Toxoplasma antibodies in butchers and slaughtered sheep and goats in Jeddah Municipal abattoir, Saudi Arabia. J. Egypt. Soc. Parasitol. 27, 3: Bjorkman, C., Uggla, A. 1999: Serological diagnosis of Neospora caninum infection. Int. J. Parasitol. 29: Deorari, A.K., Broor, S., Maitreyi, R.S., Agarwal, D., Kumar, H., et al. 2000: Evaluation of a test system for measuring cytokine production in human whole blood cell cultures. J. Immunol. Meth.139: Dubey, J.P. 2003: Review of Neospora caninum and neosporosis in animals. Korean J. Parasitol. 41, 1:1-16. Dubey, J.P., Lindsay, D.S. 1996: A review of Neospora caninum and neosporosis. Vet. Parasitol. 67:1-59. Dubey, J.P., Carpenter, J.L., Spe-er, C.A., Topper, M.J., Uggla, A. 1988: Newly recognized fatal protozoan dis- 248

5 ease of dogs. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 192: Dubey, J.P., Romand, S., Hilali, M., Kwok, O., Thulliez, P. 1998: Seroprevalence of antibodies to Ne-ospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii in water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) from Egypt. Int. J. Parasitol. 28, 3: Elamin, E.A., Elias, S., Daugsch- ies, A., Rommel, M. 1992: Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in pastoral camels (Camelus dromedarius) in the Butana plains, mid-eastern Sudan. Vet. Parasitol. 43, 3/4: Elsheikha, H.M., Morsy, T.A. 2009: Role of immune response in Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoite-bradyzote stage inter-conversion: A ja-nus in determining disease outcome (short communication). J. Egypt. Soc. Parasitol. 39, 2: Elsheikha, H., Hafez, A.O., Zaalouk, T.Kh., El Shazly, A.M., Khalil, H. M., Morsy, T.A. 2008: Phylogenetic evidence for recombination in sag 5 locus in Toxoplasma gondii. J. Egypt. Soc. Parasitol. 38, 2: Fayer, R., Reid, W.M. 1982: Control of coccidiosis, In: P. Long (Editor), The Biology of the Coccidia: University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA. Frossling, J., Bonnett, B., Lindberg, A., Bjorkman, C. 2003: Vali- dation of Neospora caninum iscom ELISA without a gold standard. Prev. Vet. Med. 57: Hässig, M., Paganini, C., Simmen- Fritschy, B., Knab, C., Herren, M. 2010: Perception of zoonosis in veterinary medicine and society. Schweiz. Arch. Tierheilkd. 152, 8: Harfoush, M., Tahoonm A. 2010: Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in domestic ducks, freerange chickens, turkeys and ra-bbits in Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate, Egypt. J. Egypt. Soc. Parasitol. 40, 2: Haridy, F.M., Saleh, N.M.K., Khalil, H.H.M., Morsy, T.A. 2010: Anti- Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in working donkeys and donkey's milk in Greater Cairo, Egypt. J. Egypt. Soc. Parasitol. 40, 2: Hilali, M., Romand, S., Thulliez, P., Kwok, O.C., Dubey, J.P. 1998: Prevalence of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in sera from camels from Egypt. Vet. Parasitol. 75, 2/3: Hossain, A., Bolbol, A.S., Bakir, T., Bashandi, A.M. 1987: A serologic survey of the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in slaughtered animals in Saudi Arabia. Ann. Trop. Med. Parasitol 81: Hussein, M.F., Bakkar, M.N., Basmaeil, S.M., Gar elnabi, A. 1988: Prevalence of toxoplasmosis in Saudi Arabian camels (Camelus dromedarius). Vet. Parasitol. 28, 1/2: Ibrahim, H., Huang, P., Salem, T., Talaat, R., Nasr, M., et al. 2009: Short report: prevalence of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in northern Egypt. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 80, 2: Kandil, O.F., Gamal-Eddin, F.M., Hosni, M.A., El Dasouqi, I.T. 1980: Toxoplasmosis and its effect on still- 249

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