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Theileria orientalis/Theileria buffeli infections

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Datasheet

Theileria orientalis/Theileria buffeli infections

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 03 January 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Animal Disease
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Theileria orientalis/Theileria buffeli infections
  • Overview
  • The Theileria orientalis/Theileria buffeli group are a genetically diverse group of tickborne intracellular protozoan parasites of cattle and buffaloes, whose exact taxonomy is uncertain. They are found on mo...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
The role of three-host ticks in the transmission of Theileria spp. and Babesia spp.
TitleThree-host tick life history
CaptionThe role of three-host ticks in the transmission of Theileria spp. and Babesia spp.
CopyrightModified with permission of Elsevier Science
The role of three-host ticks in the transmission of Theileria spp. and Babesia spp.
Three-host tick life historyThe role of three-host ticks in the transmission of Theileria spp. and Babesia spp.Modified with permission of Elsevier Science
Diagrammatic representation of the intra-erythrocytic stages of T. annulata, T. parva and members of the T. orientalis/T. buffeli group. Some forms of piroplasms dominate in certain species: round and oval forms in T annulata; rods in T. parva; rods and elongate forms in T. orientalis/T. buffeli. Veils consist of a haemoglobin derived substance; bars are connected with the parasite and the outside of the cell. Both structures are thought to be of parasite origin. T. parva only produces a veil in Syncerus cafffer. Bars occur in all strains of T. orientalis/T. buffeli; veils are absent in N. American strains and not yet recorded for Chinese or African strains.
TitleDiagram
CaptionDiagrammatic representation of the intra-erythrocytic stages of T. annulata, T. parva and members of the T. orientalis/T. buffeli group. Some forms of piroplasms dominate in certain species: round and oval forms in T annulata; rods in T. parva; rods and elongate forms in T. orientalis/T. buffeli. Veils consist of a haemoglobin derived substance; bars are connected with the parasite and the outside of the cell. Both structures are thought to be of parasite origin. T. parva only produces a veil in Syncerus cafffer. Bars occur in all strains of T. orientalis/T. buffeli; veils are absent in N. American strains and not yet recorded for Chinese or African strains.
CopyrightUsed with permission from Academic Press Ltd.
Diagrammatic representation of the intra-erythrocytic stages of T. annulata, T. parva and members of the T. orientalis/T. buffeli group. Some forms of piroplasms dominate in certain species: round and oval forms in T annulata; rods in T. parva; rods and elongate forms in T. orientalis/T. buffeli. Veils consist of a haemoglobin derived substance; bars are connected with the parasite and the outside of the cell. Both structures are thought to be of parasite origin. T. parva only produces a veil in Syncerus cafffer. Bars occur in all strains of T. orientalis/T. buffeli; veils are absent in N. American strains and not yet recorded for Chinese or African strains.
Diagram Diagrammatic representation of the intra-erythrocytic stages of T. annulata, T. parva and members of the T. orientalis/T. buffeli group. Some forms of piroplasms dominate in certain species: round and oval forms in T annulata; rods in T. parva; rods and elongate forms in T. orientalis/T. buffeli. Veils consist of a haemoglobin derived substance; bars are connected with the parasite and the outside of the cell. Both structures are thought to be of parasite origin. T. parva only produces a veil in Syncerus cafffer. Bars occur in all strains of T. orientalis/T. buffeli; veils are absent in N. American strains and not yet recorded for Chinese or African strains.Used with permission from Academic Press Ltd.

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Theileria orientalis/Theileria buffeli infections

International Common Names

  • English: oriental theileriosis; theileria buffeli in cattle; theileria orientalis infection in cattle - exotic; theileriosis in ruminants - exotic; theileriosis, oriental

Overview

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The Theileria orientalis/Theileria buffeli group are a genetically diverse group of tickborne intracellular protozoan parasites of cattle and buffaloes, whose exact taxonomy is uncertain. They are found on most continents. Infection is often relatively benign, but significant pathology or economic losses are not uncommon, mostly in Asia.

Datasheets are also available on bovine theilerioses and theileriosis in general (as well as other specific Theilieria infections).

Distribution

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Updated information on the distribution of theileriosis in general (as distinct from Theileria orientalis/T. buffeli infections in particular) can be found in OIE's WAHID database on disease occurrence: http://www.oie.int/en/links/wahid/.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ChinaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-GansuPresentLu and Yin, 1994; Luo and Lu, 1997
-GuangdongPresentLuo and Lu, 1997
-GuangxiPresentLu and Yin, 1994; Luo and Lu, 1997
-GuizhouPresentLu and Yin, 1994; Luo and Lu, 1997
-HebeiPresentLuo and Lu, 1997
-HenanPresentLu and Yin, 1994; Luo and Lu, 1997
-HubeiPresentHe et al., 2012
-HunanPresentLu and Yin, 1994; Luo and Lu, 1997
-JiangsuPresentLu and Yin, 1994; Luo and Lu, 1997
-JilinPresentLu and Yin, 1994; Luo and Lu, 1997
-LiaoningPresentLu and Yin, 1994; Luo and Lu, 1997
-QinghaiPresentLu and Yin, 1994; Luo and Lu, 1997
-ShaanxiPresentLu and Yin, 1994; Luo and Lu, 1997
-ShandongPresentLu and Yin, 1994; Luo and Lu, 1997
-SichuanPresentLu and Yin, 1994; Luo and Lu, 1997
-YunnanPresentLu and Yin, 1994; Huang, 1997; Luo and Lu, 1997
IndiaPresentShastri et al., 1985
IndonesiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-JavaPresentGovaerts et al., 1998
-SumatraPresentGubbels et al., 2000
IranPresentUilenberg and Hashemi-Fesharki, 1984; Uilenberg et al., 1985
JapanPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-HokkaidoPresentMinami et al., 1980; Kim et al., 1998; Onuma et al., 1998
-HonshuPresentMinami et al., 1980; Kakuda et al., 1998; Onuma et al., 1998
-KyushuPresentShimizu et al., 2000; Shimizu et al., 2000
Korea, DPRPresentStepanova, 1976
Korea, Republic ofPresentPurnell and Rae, 1981; Purnell et al., 1981; Kim et al., 1998; Onuma et al., 1998
KyrgyzstanPresentDuisheev and Vecherkin, 1985
MalaysiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentUilenberg, 1981; Chansiri et al., 1999
MongoliaPresentAltangerel et al., 2011
Sri LankaPresentThillaiampalam Sivakumar et al., 2014
TaiwanPresentUilenberg, 1981; Kim et al., 1998; Onuma et al., 1998
ThailandPresentKakuda et al., 1998; Chansiri et al., 1999; Gubbels et al., 2000
TurkeyPresentAltay et al., 2008
VietnamPresentNeveu-Lemaire, 1912a; Neveu-Lemaire, 1912b; Kawazu et al., 1999

Africa

AlgeriaPresentSergent et al., 1945
BurundiPresentKiltz et al., 1986
EthiopiaPresentBecerra et al., 1983
KenyaPresentAllsopp et al., 1993
TanzaniaPresentFyumagwa et al., 2011
UgandaPresentOura et al., 2011

North America

USALocalisedSplitter, 1950; Chae et al., 1998; Stockham et al., 2000
-KansasPresentSplitter, 1950
-MissouriPresentStockham et al., 2000
-North CarolinaPresentChae et al., 1998
-TexasPresentKuttler and Craig, 1975; Uilenberg et al., 1985; Chae et al., 1998

Europe

FrancePresentCriado-Fornelio et al., 2009
GermanyPresentLiebisch and Rahman, 1978
GreecePresentPapadopoulos et al., 1996
ItalyPresentCeci et al., 1997; Onuma et al., 1998; Ceci and Carelli, 1999; Ceci et al., 1999; Loria et al., 1999; Maxia et al., 1999; Savini et al., 1999
NetherlandsPresentMohammed, 1978
PortugalPresentAboim-Inglez and Orvalho, 1942
RomaniaPresentIonita et al., 2013
Russian FederationPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Russian Far EastPresentMarkov, 1958; Markov, 1962; Stepanova, 1976
-Southern RussiaPresentMarkov, 1962
SpainPresentGimenez et al., 2009
-Balearic IslandsPresentRos-García et al., 2012
SwitzerlandPresentHilpertshauser et al., 2007
UKPresentUilenberg et al., 1977b; Brocklesby and Barnett, 1972; Morzaria et al., 1974; Morzaria et al., 1977; Joyner et al., 1979; Uilenberg et al., 1985

Oceania

AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentStewart et al., 1996
-New South WalesPresentStewart et al., 1996
-QueenslandPresentStewart et al., 1996
-VictoriaPresentStewart et al., 1996
-Western AustraliaPresentStewart et al., 1996
FijiPresentFAO, 1997
New CaledoniaPresentStewart et al., 1996
New ZealandPresentJames et al., 1984
Papua New GuineaPresentWelte, 1994

Pathology

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The gross pathological changes of acute, lethal disease, as described for Chinese stocks (Ding et al., 1997) are:
Blood: incomplete clotting.
Subcutaneous tissues: haemorrhages present.
Serous membranes: haemorrhages present.
Lymph nodes: haemorrhages present.
Heart: enlarged with numerous haemorrhagic foci on the auricle.
Spleen: splenomegaly and appears dark brown.
Liver: hepatomegaly.
Gall bladder: tawny coloured bile produced.
Abomasum, small and large intestines: haemorrhages in intestinal mucosa; surface like a piece of red cloth.

The post-mortem features of one of the infrequent cases in the USA, which was attributed to infection with a member of the T. orientalis/buffeli group, were: oedematous lymphadenopathy, splenic hemosiderosis, acute pneumonia, subcutaneous oedema, thoracic and peritoneal effusions (Stockham et al., 2000).

The 'Disease course' section contains more information on pathogenicity and pathology.

Diagnosis

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For information on diagnosis, see the 'bovine theilerioses' datasheet. The  indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) is a prescribed test for international trade, and is described, primarily but not exclusively with reference to T. annulata and T. parva, in OIE's Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals (OIE, 2013; http://www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/Health_standards/tahm/2.04.16_THEILIERIOSIS.pdf). Other tests are also mentioned there.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Cardiovascular Signs / Tachycardia, rapid pulse, high heart rate Sign
Cardiovascular Signs / Tachycardia, rapid pulse, high heart rate Sign
Cardiovascular Signs / Tachycardia, rapid pulse, high heart rate Sign
Digestive Signs / Anorexia, loss or decreased appetite, not nursing, off feed Sign
Digestive Signs / Anorexia, loss or decreased appetite, not nursing, off feed Sign
Digestive Signs / Anorexia, loss or decreased appetite, not nursing, off feed Sign
Digestive Signs / Bloody stools, faeces, haematochezia Sign
Digestive Signs / Decreased amount of stools, absent faeces, constipation Sign
Digestive Signs / Diarrhoea Sign
Digestive Signs / Diarrhoea Sign
Digestive Signs / Excessive salivation, frothing at the mouth, ptyalism Sign
Digestive Signs / Mucous, mucoid stools, faeces Sign
Digestive Signs / Rumen hypomotility or atony, decreased rate, motility, strength Sign
Digestive Signs / Rumen hypomotility or atony, decreased rate, motility, strength Sign
General Signs / Abnormal proprioceptive positioning, knuckling Sign
General Signs / Ataxia, incoordination, staggering, falling Sign
General Signs / Dysmetria, hypermetria, hypometria Sign
General Signs / Exercise intolerance, tires easily Sign
General Signs / Fever, pyrexia, hyperthermia Sign
General Signs / Fever, pyrexia, hyperthermia Sign
General Signs / Fever, pyrexia, hyperthermia Sign
General Signs / Generalized weakness, paresis, paralysis Sign
General Signs / Generalized weakness, paresis, paralysis Sign
General Signs / Generalized weakness, paresis, paralysis Sign
General Signs / Head, face, ears, jaw, nose, nasal, swelling, mass Sign
General Signs / Icterus, jaundice Sign
General Signs / Icterus, jaundice Sign
General Signs / Inability to stand, downer, prostration Sign
General Signs / Inability to stand, downer, prostration Sign
General Signs / Lack of growth or weight gain, retarded, stunted growth Sign
General Signs / Lymphadenopathy, swelling, mass or enlarged lymph nodes Sign
General Signs / Lymphadenopathy, swelling, mass or enlarged lymph nodes Sign
General Signs / Neck swelling, mass cervical region Sign
General Signs / Opisthotonus Sign
General Signs / Pale mucous membranes or skin, anemia Sign
General Signs / Pale mucous membranes or skin, anemia Sign
General Signs / Pale mucous membranes or skin, anemia Sign
General Signs / Paraparesis, weakness, paralysis both hind limbs Sign
General Signs / Petechiae or ecchymoses, bruises, ecchymosis Sign
General Signs / Reluctant to move, refusal to move Sign
General Signs / Reluctant to move, refusal to move Sign
General Signs / Sudden death, found dead Sign
General Signs / Swelling skin or subcutaneous, mass, lump, nodule Sign
General Signs / Tetraparesis, weakness, paralysis all four limbs Sign
General Signs / Trembling, shivering, fasciculations, chilling Sign
General Signs / Trembling, shivering, fasciculations, chilling Sign
General Signs / Underweight, poor condition, thin, emaciated, unthriftiness, ill thrift Sign
General Signs / Weight loss Sign
Nervous Signs / Abnormal behavior, aggression, changing habits Sign
Nervous Signs / Circling Sign
Nervous Signs / Coma, stupor Sign
Nervous Signs / Dullness, depression, lethargy, depressed, lethargic, listless Sign
Nervous Signs / Dullness, depression, lethargy, depressed, lethargic, listless Sign
Nervous Signs / Dullness, depression, lethargy, depressed, lethargic, listless Sign
Nervous Signs / Head pressing Sign
Nervous Signs / Hyperesthesia, irritable, hyperactive Sign
Nervous Signs / Hyperesthesia, irritable, hyperactive Sign
Nervous Signs / Seizures or syncope, convulsions, fits, collapse Sign
Nervous Signs / Tremor Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Blindness Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Corneal edema, opacity Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Entropion, inverted eyelid Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Lacrimation, tearing, serous ocular discharge, watery eyes Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Nystagmus Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Photophobia Sign
Reproductive Signs / Abortion or weak newborns, stillbirth Sign
Reproductive Signs / Agalactia, decreased, absent milk production Sign
Reproductive Signs / Agalactia, decreased, absent milk production Sign
Respiratory Signs / Abnormal lung or pleural sounds, rales, crackles, wheezes, friction rubs Sign
Respiratory Signs / Coughing, coughs Sign
Respiratory Signs / Dyspnea, difficult, open mouth breathing, grunt, gasping Sign
Respiratory Signs / Dyspnea, difficult, open mouth breathing, grunt, gasping Sign
Respiratory Signs / Increased respiratory rate, polypnea, tachypnea, hyperpnea Sign
Respiratory Signs / Increased respiratory rate, polypnea, tachypnea, hyperpnea Sign
Respiratory Signs / Mucoid nasal discharge, serous, watery Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Pruritus, itching skin Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Skin edema Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Skin papules Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Skin plaque Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Skin wheal, welt Sign
Urinary Signs / Haemoglobinuria or myoglobinuria Sign
Urinary Signs / Haemoglobinuria or myoglobinuria Sign
Urinary Signs / Red or brown urine, pink Sign
Urinary Signs / Red or brown urine, pink Sign

Disease Course

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Oriental theileriosis is caused by members of the T. orientalis/T. buffeli group, which are a widespread complex of pathogenic and apathogenic strains (Uilenberg, 1981; Markov, 1962; Stepanova, 1976). It is often relatively benign, but not always; pathogenic strains usually occur as subclinical infections, but may cause significant disease in Central Asia (Duisheev and Vercherkin, 1985), Far Eastern Russia (Primor'ye and Khabdorovosk Kray) maritime regions (Markov, 1962; Stepanova, 1976), Northern China (Lu and Yin, 1994; Luo and Lu, 1997), Korea (Purnell et al., 1981; Purnell and Rae 1981) and Japan (Minami et al., 1980; Sugimoto, 1997; Kim et al., 1998; Onuma et al., 1998; Shimazu et al., 2000). Parasites of the distinct but related Ikeda stock also cause disease in Japan (Kawasu et al., 1999). Apathogenic strains in Europe, Africa, America, Australia and New Zealand very rarely cause disease except in stressed animals (James et al., 1984; Stewart et al., 1996; Stockam et al., 2000); but Perera et al. (2014) report significant milk production losses in infected cows in Victoria, Australia, in particular in those with significant clinical signs. Gill (2006) discusses pathogenicity with regard to India.

Epidemics in exotic cattle, in the Far East, are characterized by high morbidity but low mortality (Brown, 1990a). There are a number of major clinical symptoms, described for the disease caused by Chinese stocks (Ding et al., 1997; Luo and Lu, 1997). These include pyrexia, enlargement of the superficial lymph nodes, inappetance, weakness, listlessness, haemorrhages in the visible mucosa, hyperaemic or haemorrhagic conjunctiva, thinning of the blood, haemolytic anaemia and icterus related to the proliferation of the piroplasms. Parasitaemia may reach 30% accompanied by a 70% reduction in haematocrit, but haemaglobulinurea is not seen. As described in Kyrgyzstan (Duisheev and Vercherkin, 1985), T. orientalis/T.buffeli (syn. T. sergenti) causes a sub-acute infection characterized by intermittent fever, anaemia, icterus of the mucosa and conjunctiva, loss of appetite and condition, atony of the rumen and recurrence of the disease. Weight loss may reach 8-11%.

Overall, outbreaks of disease appear to be related to the behaviour of particular geographical strains and the breed, origin, age and physiological condition of the cattle. Increased levels of stress and decreased immunocompetency appear to convert subclinical infections to obvious disease. In China (Luo and Lu, 1997) where almost all cattle are infected, the incidence rates and fatalities vary widely between areas and cattle breeds. The parasites are normally avirulent in indigenous cattle but dairy, exotic and hybrid cattle are highly susceptible. Outbreaks involving 100% of cattle with 40% fatalities have occurred. In this context, 'exotic' includes indigenous breeds moved between different regions as well as animals imported into China. In Korea (Purnell et al., 1981; Purnell and Rae, 1981) and Japan (Minami et al., 1980; Sugimoto, 1997; Onuma et al., 1998; Shimazu et al., 2000), infection with these parasites usually causes little harm in healthy and immunocompetent animals. However, subclinically infected animals may develop severe anaemia if stressed by pregnancy, parturition or sudden environmental changes. In Japan, grazing calves often suffer from severe anaemia (Kim et al., 1998). Exotic imported cattle are more prone to infection than indigenous cattle (Purnell et al., 1981; Purnell and Rae, 1981). Mortality is low but the cost of controlling and treating the disease is high (Shimizu et al., 2000). Aparna et al. (2011) describe fatal infections in crossbred cattle in southern India.

Information on immune responses induced by members of the T. orientalis/buffeli group is scanty. Infection with a Japanese stock (described as T. sergenti) has been shown to induce both humoral and 'cellular' responses, as indicated by the production of IgM and IgG antibodies, macrophage migration inhibitory factor and activated macrophages during the first three weeks after infection (Sato et al., 1986).

Epidemiology

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Parasites of the T. orientalis/buffeli group are transmitted by species of Haemaphysalis; these widespread three-host ticks inhabit humid, well-vegetated biotopes (Varma, 1993). In the Northern Hemisphere, they are active during the spring and summer - from April to August.

Impact: Economic

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Although T. annulata and T. parva infection are considered to be the most important theilerioses, there are increasing records of the ‘T. orientalis/T.buffeli/T. sergenti’ groupcausing economically significant infections, especially in imported, immunocompromized or stressed animals. This has been described for example in Kyrgyzstan (Duisheev and Vercherkin, 1985), China (Luo and Lu, 1997), Korea (Purnell et al., 1981) and Japan (Minami et al., 1980; Sugimoto, 1997; Kim et al., 1998; Onuma et al., 1998; Shimizu et al., 2000). Members of the Theileria orientalis/buffeli group are the most important tick-borne parasites in Japan and Korea; estimates for the cost of controlling the disease in Japan vary from US$ 1-2 million (Shimizu et al., 2000), to more than US$ 15 million per annum (Sugimoto, 1997). Perera et al. (2014) report significant milk production losses in infected cows in Victoria, Australia.

Disease Treatment

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Imidocarb diproprionate and primaquine diphosphate are effective against members of the T. orientalis/T. buffeli group (Purnell et al., 1981; Purnell and Rae, 1981; Ding, 1997; Luo and Lu, 1997), as are extracts of the plant Perganum harmala (Hu et al., 1997; Fan et al., 1997). For further information, see the Disease Treatment table.

References

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