The prevalence of selected vector-borne diseases in dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) in the United Arab Emirates

Laia M. Pardinilla, Saeed Aljaberi, Miranda Procter, Layaly Hamdan, Syed Kamaal Pasha, Ahmad Al Aiyan, Moneeb A. Qablan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) affecting dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) have considerable importance in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because of the consequences associated with production decline and economic losses. Our study aimed to determine the prevalence of selected VBDs in camels in the UAE and identify risk factors. This research is currently affected by the low number of epidemiological molecular surveys addressing this issue. Blood samples were obtained from 425 dromedary camels from different locations across the UAE. Whole genomic DNA was isolated, and PCR screening was done to detect piroplasmids (Babesia/Theileria spp.), Trypanosoma spp., and Anaplasmataceae spp. (Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Neorickettsia and Wolbachia spp.). Amplicons were sequenced, and phylogenetic trees were constructed. Trypanosoma sequences were identified as T. brucei evansi, whereas Anaplasmataceae sequences were identified as A. platys-like. All camels were negative for Babesia/Theileria spp. (0%); however, 18 camels were positive for T. b. evansi (4%) and 52 were positive for A. platys-like (12%). Mixed infection with T. b. evansi and A. platys-like was found in one camel. Statistical analyses revealed that camels with a brown coat colour were significantly more prone to acquire the A. platys-like strain compared with those having a clearer coat. A similar finding was observed when comparing urban moving camels with desert indoor and urban indoor camels. Continuous disease surveillance is required to ensure and maintain the good health status of the camels in the UAE. Nonetheless, the risk of disease outbreak remains if the misuse of drugs continues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101006
JournalVeterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • Anaplasma
  • Babesia
  • Dromedary camel
  • Theileria
  • Trypanosoma
  • Vector-borne diseases
  • Veterinary epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • General Veterinary


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