Theirelia orientalis is a tick-borne haemoprotozoan parasite, and infection with this parasite is one of the most important diseases for grazing cattle. Co-infection of cattle with different genotypes of T. orientalis often occurs. In this study, we investigated the temporal dynamics of genotypes in cattle in a year-round grazing system in Japan. Genotype-specific PCR assays to determine major piroplasm surface protein (MPSP) genotypes (types 1 to 5) of T. orientalis were performed by using time-course blood samples collected from grazing cattle and ticks in a pasture. All 20 cattle investigated in this study were infected with T. orientalis. By using genotype-specific PCR, we detected the combination of genotypes of T. orientalis (types 1 to 5) from each cattle. These multiple genotypes of T. orientalis were also confirmed in ticks. Notably, each genotype of T. orientalis in cattle was temporally detected from cattle and more variable genotypes were found in summer. The observed temporal dynamics of the MPSP genotypes of T. orientalis in cattle could be explained by host immunity against the parasites or genetic recombination of parasite in ticks.
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