Blood Parasites in Camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Northern West Coast of Egypt

Tarek R Abou El-Naga and Safaa M Barghash

An epidemiological study was conducted on the occurrence of blood parasitic infection in local camels in three selected sites representing Northern West Coastal zone of Egypt using Giemsa-stain blood smears (GSBS) and Polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This is the first molecular diagnosis report, which gives a picture of blood parasites covering this areas in Egypt. Results revealed that GSBS examination stopped at genus level on contrary to PCR techniques that detected and identified DNAs of blood parasites. Theileria was the most common pathogen (50.8%, 71.9%), followed by Anaplasma (47.4%, 67.37%), Trypanosoma (20.24%, 67.06%), and a lesser extent Babesia (11.8%, 18.43%) by GSBS and PCR, respectively. Mixed infections were present in 68.9%, with at least two hemoparasites belonged to different genus. Statistical analysis showed considerable variation in values within locations and age category reflected in a high significant (p<0.001), and both sexes were at risk of parasitic infections, particularly females. Only A. marginale caused anaplasmosis in 51 (22.9%) of infected dromedaries, while the majority were having A. marginale together with A. centrale 172 (77.13%). This is the first time to record B. bovis, B. bigemina, A. centrale and A. marginale in camels in this area. We concluded that blood parasites infection is highly prevalent in this area which strengthens the need to control programs help to prevent the spread of these parasites. The present results can serve as the basis for subsequent studies in dromedaries in Egypt; particularly Theileria genotype needs further studies.