First report of malaria parasites in water buffalo in Nepal.
We present the first molecular-based report on ungulate malaria parasites from water buffalo in Nepal. Fifty-six blood samples were collected from different groups of water buffalo (wild, feral, and domestic) and PCR assays were conducted using Plasmodium spp. cytb specific primers. Two positive cases were detected, one each from feral and domestic individuals. Complete mitochondrial genome sequence (5987 bp) was obtained and examined for nucleotide variations. Sequence analysis revealed identity with type II water buffalo malaria parasites, reported previously, with one A to T nucleotide difference at position 5344. Prevalence, as well as possible economic impacts of water buffalo malaria, should be determined on a wider set of samples from buffalo across Nepal.