Original Research

Piroplasm parasites of white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum) in the Kruger National Park, and their relation to anaemia

D. Govender, M. C. Oosthuisen, B. L. Penzhorn
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 82, No 1 | a31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v82i1.31 | © 2011 D. Govender, M. C. Oosthuisen, B. L. Penzhorn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 April 2011 | Published: 13 April 2011

About the author(s)

D. Govender, Scientific Services, South African National Parks, Private Bag X402, Skukuza, Mpumalanga, 1350 South Africa. Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa., South Africa
M. C. Oosthuisen, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa., South Africa
B. L. Penzhorn, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa., South Africa

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Abstract

As part of a larger survey to map the geographical distribution of Babesia and Theileria parasites in the southern African rhinoceros population, white rhinoceroses were sampled during routine immobilisations in the Kruger National Park. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse line blot (RLB) hybridisation assays were used to screen for the presence of piroplasms and complete blood counts were used to assess associated changes in clinical parameters. Of the 195 rhinoceroses sampled, 71 (36.4 %) tested positive for the presence of Theileria bicornis, with no significant change in the haematological parameters measured, while 18 (9.2 %) tested positive for Theileria equi. None of the rhinoceroses sampled tested positive for Babesia bicornis, a parasite associated with mortalities in black rhinoceroses.

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