First record of Babesia and Theileria parasites in ticks from Kassena-Nankana, Ghana

Seth Offei Addo*, Ronald Essah Bentil, Bernice Olivia Ama Baako, Charlotte Adwoa Addae, Eric Behene, Victor Asoala, Suzanne Mate, Daniel Oduro, James C. Dunford, John Asiedu Larbi, Philip Kweku Baidoo, Michael David Wilson, Joseph W. Diclaro, Samuel K. Dadzie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Ticks are efficient vectors for transmitting pathogens that negatively affect livestock production and pose a risk to public health. In this study, Babesia and Theileria species were identified in ticks collected from cattle, sheep and goats from the Kassena-Nankana Districts of Ghana between February and December 2020. A total of 1550 ticks were collected, morphologically identified, pooled and screened for pathogens using primers that amplify a 560 bp fragment of the ssrRNA gene and Sanger sequencing. Amblyomma variegatum (62.98%) was the predominant tick species. From the 491 tick pools screened, 12/15 (2.44%) positive pools were successfully sequenced. The pathogen DNA identified were Theileria ovis in eight (15.38%) pools of Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi, Theileria velifera in two (0.78%) pools of A. variegatum and Babesia occultans and Babesia sp. Xinjiang in one (1.72%) pool each of Hyalomma truncatum. It was further observed that T. ovis occurred in ticks collected from only sheep (p < 0.001) which were females (p = 0.023) and < =1 year old (p = 0.040). This study reports the first identification of these pathogens in ticks within Kassena-Nankana. With the constant trade of livestock, there is a need for effective tick control measures to prevent infection spread.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)878-882
Number of pages5
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • B. occultans
  • B. sp. Xinjiang
  • Ghana
  • T. ovis
  • T. velifera
  • ticks


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