|dc.description.abstract||Background: Trypanosoma evansi is the causative agent of surra, a disease that occurs in many animal species. The
disease is responsible for substantial losses in global production and can be fatal if not diagnosed early. This study
aims to determine the prevalence of T. evansi in livestock, equids and dromedary camels in Palestine.
Methods: Blood samples were collected during 2015–2017 from domesticated animals (n = 259 animals; 77%
females and 23% males) including camels (n = 87), horses (n = 46), donkeys (n = 28), mules (n = 2), sheep (n = 49)
and goats (n = 48) from eight districts: Ariha (Jericho), Nablus, Bethlehem, Deir Al Balah, Jenin, Rafah, Tubas, and Khan
Yunis. Parasite prevalence was determined using PCR and blood smear microscopy. PCR-positive samples were further
phylogenetically analyzed using DNA sequences of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene.
Results: The overall infection prevalence was 18% (46/259). The positivity rates according to PCR and microscopy
examination were 17% (45/259) and 2.7% (7/259), respectively. The infection rates were as follows: camels, 26/61
(30%); horses, 8/46 (17%); donkeys, 3/28 (11%); mules, 1/2 (50%); sheep, 2/42 (4%); and goats, 6/42 (13%). Phylogenetic
analyses of the 18S rRNA gene showed that 24 positive T. evansi samples from Palestine formed a monophyletic
cluster with seven T. evansi sequences from Africa, Asia and South America, and three T. brucei sequences from Africa
retrieved from GenBank. The spatial analysis showed three statistically significant foci of T. evansi infection in Jenin,
Tubas (P = 0.02) and Ariha (Jericho) (P = 0.04). No statistically significant foci were detected in the Gaza Strip.
Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first confirmation of high levels of infection with T. evansi as
a causative agent of surra in Palestine. Our study emphasizes the need for a stringent surveillance system and risk
assessment studies as prerequisites for control measures. Further investigations focusing on vectors and evaluation of
risk factors are needed.||en_US
AN, SE, AA-J and ZA conceived and designed the experiments. AN, SE, HA-J,
NA-L and AA-J performed the experiments. SE, AN and AA-J analyzed the data.
AN, AA-J and SE wrote the first draft of the manuscript. AN, SE, NA-L, HA, AA-J
and ZA competed the final revision of the manuscript to be published. All
authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This research received no financial support.||en_US