The appearance of the novel porcine haemotrophic mycoplasma (HM) species ‘Candidatus Mycoplasma haemosuis’ was reported in apparently healthy but also in clinically sick animals in China, Korea and in a case report from Germany. Outside of Asia, however, nothing further is known about the frequency of ‘Ca. M. haemosuis’ in pigs to date. To investigate the distribution of this novel HM species in Germany, fattening pigs, sows and pre-suckling piglets were examined using a herein developed quantitative real-time PCR assay (qPCR). Because the piglets were sampled before the first colostrum uptake, additional information on a possible vertical transmission from dams to their offspring was obtained.
Our novel qPCR assay successfully detected ‘Ca. M. haemosuis’ in all blood samples from the ‘Ca. M. haemosuis’-infected pigs. No cross-reactivity was detected when DNA from non-target Mycoplasma spp. and other bacterial species representing 105 bacteria/reaction were used as a template. The lower limit of detection of the qPCR was thus 10 gap gene copies per reaction and 2.5 x 103 genome equivalents (GE) per mL blood.
‘Candidatus M. haemosuis’ was detected by this qPCR in blood samples from a total out of 6.25% sows (13/208), 4.50% pre-suckling piglets (28/622) and 17.50% fattening pigs (35/200). On farm level, 3 out of 21 piglet producing farms (14.28%) and 9 out of 20 fattening farms (45.00%) were positive for ‘Ca. M. haemosuis’. Co-infections with M. suis were evident in all age groups.
‘Candidatus M. haemosuis’ infection is present in German pig farms and the detection of the novel porcine HM species in piglets immediately after birth before colostrum intake indicates vertical transmission. The novel qPCR assay specific for ‘Ca. M. haemosuis’ described herein will be a prerequisite for future studies on the prevalence, epidemiology as well as the clinical and economic impact of ‘Ca. M. haemosuis’ infections.
In addition to Mycoplasma haemocanis and Candidatus Mycoplasma haematoparvum, a few hemoplasma species that mainly infect other livestock have been detected in dogs. ‘Candidatus Mycoplasma haemobos’ (Ca. M. haemobos) has been found in a variety of animals in China. The present study was aimed to investigate the occurrence of ‘Ca. M. haemobos’ infections in dogs and ticks collected from the Henan province, China.
Overall, 55 dog blood samples and 378 ticks on skins were collected from anemic and healthy dogs, and these samples were subjected to PCR, sequence analysis, and identification. The results showed that Haemaphysalis longicornis (266) and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (112) were the only two parasitic ticks on dogs. Molecular detection revealed that 163 M. haemocanis, 88 ‘Ca. M. haemobos’ and 32 Anaplasma platys positive amplicons could be amplified from dogs, H. longicornis and R. (B.) microplus. In addition, co-infections (M. haemocanis + A. platys and ‘Ca. M. haemobos’+ A. platys) could be also detected.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first molecular evidence of ‘Ca. M. haemobos’ natural infection in dogs and tick species identified as H. longicornis and R. (B.) microplus from China.
Serious disease outbreaks in cattle are usually associated with blood pathogens. This study aims to detect blood pathogens namely Theileria species, Anaplasma species, Candidatus Mycoplasma haemobos and Trypanosoma evansi, and determine their phylogenetic relationships and haemato-biochemical abnormalities in naturally infected cattle.
Molecular analysis was achieved by PCR amplification and sequencing of PCR amplicons of 18SrRNA gene of Theileria species, 16SrRNA genes of Anaplasma and Mycoplasma species, MPSP genes of T. orientalis and T. sinensis, MSP4 gene of A. marginale, 16SrRNA gene of Candidatus Mycoplasma haemobos, and RoTat1.2 VSG gene of Trypanosoma evansi, in sixty-one (61) clinically ill Kedah-Kelantan x Brahman cattle in Pahang, Malaysia.
A total of 44 (72.13%) cattle were infected with more than one blood pathogen. Theileria species was the blood pathogen with the highest molecular detection rate (72.13, 95% CI 59.83–81.81%). Nucleotide blast analyses of all sequences demonstrated high degree of molecular similarity (98–100%) in comparison with their respective reference sequences. Analysis of 18SrRNA gene sequences of Theileria species and 16SrRNA gene sequences of Anaplasma species revealed Theileria sinensis and Anaplasma platys respectively as additional species detected in these cattle. MPSP-PCR analysis was conducted for further confirmation of T. sinensis. The blood picture of eight infected cattle groups revealed poikilocytosis, anisocytosis, rouleaux formation and degenerative left shift. High mean erythrocyte fragility values were common in infected cattle groups. Anaemia of the macrocytic normochromic type and spherocytes were observed in the T. evansi and Anaplasma platys + Theileria sinensis double species co-infected cattle group. Normocytic normochromic anaemia was observed in the T. sinensis infected cattle group. Significant (p < 0.05) increases in serum liver and kidney parameters, total protein, globulin, total and unconjugated bilirubin and decreased albumin values were observed in the T. evansi infected cattle when compared to clinically healthy cattle.
We present the first evidence of Theileria sinensis-associated bovine anaemia (TSABA) in Malaysian cattle. Because of the high occurrence of bovine theileriosis and detection of A. platys, there is an urgent need for appropriate preventive and control measures against these blood pathogens.