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Title: Studies on Theileria parva in Rhipicephalus appendiculatus
Author: Watt, D. H.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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Aspects of the association between the haemoprotozoan parasite Theileria parva and it's tick vector Rhipicephalus appendiculatus were investigated. Examination of dissected and stained tick salivary glands by light microscopy is the traditional technique for assessing tick infections. Field collected ticks are often alcohol preserved, or die before they are returned to the laboratory which precludes dissection. A PCR was developed which detected the parasite within alcohol preserved ticks. Parasite detection by this method was highly correlated with that of microscopy. The technique was then used on cattle and tick samples collected from three field sites in Kenya to assess T. parva prevalence. One field site (Limuru) had been vaccinated with a live 'infection and treatment' vaccine, while the other two areas (Kakamega and Kitale) were unvaccinated at that time. Limuru showed lower T. parva prevalence than may have been expected if a carrier state had been created as a result of vaccination. All the cattle sampled in Kakamega and Kitale were infected with an unidentified Theileria species and tick infections ranged from 1.5% to 20% respectively. The results from the three areas were discussed in relation to the effect of the vaccine in Limuru and the implications of vaccine introduction into Kitale and Kakamega. T. parva infection levels in tick salivary glands can the characteristically represented by a negative binomial distribution. The dynamics of infection needs to be better understood for a number of reasons. Ticks are used as the raw material for the 'infection and treatment vaccine' and the production process could be greatly improved by reliably obtaining a greater abundance of less aggregated tick infections. Another reason is that mathematical models for disease prediction and control would greatly benefit by increased knowledge of parasite dynamics through the tick T. appendiculatus infected with T. parva and control, uninfected ticks (for comparison) were dissected at regular times throughout their moult, fixed and embedded in plastic.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available