Piroplasms in feral and domestic equines in rural areas of the Danube Delta, Romania, with survey of dogs as a possible reservoir

Martina Gallusová, Moneeb A. Qablan, Gianluca D'Amico, Miroslav Oborník, Klára J. Petrželková, Andrei D. Mihalca, David Modrý

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Rural areas of Romania, particularly the localities covering Danube Delta, are still not sufficiently explored in terms of epidemiological aspects, despite the large density of domestic animals living in close contact with people and natural environment of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. Between 2010 and 2012, a survey on equine piroplasmids species was performed in this area, using a total of 178 horses, 15 donkeys and 177 dogs from 18 localities inside and outside the Danube Delta. None of the sampled hosts showed any clinical symptoms typical for equine piroplasmoses. A 25.4% overall prevalence for both equine species of piroplasmids was detected by PCR. Detection by "catch-all" primers followed by multiplex PCR revealed 20.3% prevalence of T. equi, beside 2.2% of B. caballi and 3.0% of mixed infections for all examined animals. Based on sequencing of 67 PCR amplicons of 18S rRNA gene of T. equi, four genotypes (A, C, D and E) were detected, whereas four B. caballi sequences clustered within a single genotype (A). A single dog infected with T. equi was found and confirmed by sequencing, clustering within genotype D. Our study further proved limited host specificity of piroplasmid. Higher prevalence was revealed inside the Danube delta, presumably caused by different environmental conditions, different tick densities and lower availability of veterinary services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-292
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Babesia caballi
  • Danube Delta
  • Equine piroplasmoses
  • Genetic diversity
  • T. equi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • General Veterinary


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