Journal Article Serosurvey of Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina in cattle in Mongolia

Battsetseg, Badgar  ,  Sivakumar, Thillaiampalam  ,  Khandsuren, Naranbaatar  ,  Narantsatsral, Sandagdorj  ,  Myagmarsuren, Punsantsogvoo  ,  Enkhtaivan, Batsaikhan  ,  Davaasuren, Batdorj  ,  Mizushima, Daiki  ,  Weerasooriya, Gayani  ,  Igarashi, Ikuo  ,  Battur, Banzragch  ,  Yokoyama, Naoaki

Mongolia is an agriculturally rich country with large livestock populations that contribute significantly to its national economy. However, the export market for live animals and livestock products is often constrained for various reasons including infectious diseases. Babesia bovis and B. bigemina, which are bovine hemoprotozoan parasites, cause severe forms of clinical babesiosis, in cattle. However, a country-wide survey to determine the exposure rates in various provinces in Mongolia was not conducted to determine the risk for infections with these parasite species. Therefore, we investigated the frequency of antibodies to B. bovis and B. bigemina in cattle reared throughout Mongolia. B. bovis-and B. bigemina-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were used to screen the serum samples sourced from 1946 cattle in 19 of 21 provinces and a provincial municipality (Ulaanbaatar) in Mongolia. We found 351 (18.0%) samples positive for B. bovis and 435 (22.4%) samples positive for B. bigemina infections. The B. bovis- and B. bigemina-positive rates ranged from 0.8 to 61.5% and 4.0 to 50.6%, respectively, among the surveyed provinces. The positive rates of B. bovis and B. bigemina infections were relatively higher in the provinces located in northernmost, northern, eastern, southeastern, and southern Mongolia. Additionally, the B. bovis- and B. bigemina-positive rates were not significantly different between females (18.2 and 22.2%, respectively) and males (17.2 and 18.8%, respectively) or between the 1–3-year-old (16.2 and 19.4%, respectively) and >3-year-old (17.1 and 20.9%, respectively) age groups. The differential seropositivity for B. bovis and B. bigemina infections among the provinces may reflect the variations in the risk of cattle being infected with these parasite species. The findings of the present study highlight the need for country-wide control measures, including tick control programs, to minimize the rates of B. bovis and B. bigemina infections in Mongolian cattle. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.

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