Host identifiation and molecular screening for Apicomlexans (Babesia and Eimeria) of bat guano sampled from Obafemi Awolowo University

Abstract :

Bats (Chiroptera) are one of the most diverse groups of mammals which carry out important ecological and agricultural functions that are beneficial to humans. However, they are increasingly recognized as natural vectors for a number of zoonotic pathogens and favourable hosts for zoonotic infections. Large populations of the Straw-Coloured Fruit Bat (Eidolon helvum) colonize the main campus of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria, but the public health implications of fecal contamination and pollution by these flying mammals is unknown. This study screened DNA obtained from fecal samples of these migratory mammals with a view to genotype the host and investigate the possibility of these flying animals as potential reservoir for zoonotic Apicomplexan infections. Molecular screening of the faecal samples from straw coloured fruit bat was positive for Eimeria in 1 out of 11 samples screened showing about 9% prevalence of this Apicomplexa parasite, but negative for Babesia in all samples. The host genotyping identified the prevalent species as Eidolon helvum as it gave positive result for the two primers used and the species typed is found to correlate with the result of the morpholiogical classification. This study has demonstrated on the possible existence of a reservoir of indigenous and anciently-divergent Eimeria clones among mammals in Africa.

Keyword :

Bats, Babesia, Eimeria, Nigeria

Author(s) : Emmanuel-Akerele, H. A., Ajiboye, O. T.
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Published Issue : 2021 Vol. 16 Number 2

2021 Vol. 16 Number 2