Phylogenetic analysis of benign Theileria species based on major piroplasm surface protein (MPSP) genes from ticks of grazing cattle in Korea.
ABSTRACT Complete major piroplasm surface protein (MPSP) gene sequences of benign Theileria parasites were isolated from ticks of grazing cattle in Korea. A total of 556 tick samples were collected in five provinces: Chungbuk, Jeonbuk, Jeonnam, Gyeongbuk, and Jeju during 2010-2011. Fifteen samples from Chungbuk and Jeonnam were positive for the Theileria MPSP gene by PCR amplification using a specific primer set. A phylogenetic tree was constructed with the amplified gene sequences and 26 additional sequences published in GenBank. The benign Theileria parasites were classified into eight types, those isolated from Korean cattle ticks belonged to Types 1 (Ikeda), 2 (Chitose), 4, and 8. Types 2 and 4 were the most common types, with the rate of 40%, followed by Types 1 and 8 (with the rate of 13% and 7%, respectively). Nucleotide sequence identities of 23 theilerial MPSP sequences (15 MPSP gene sequences amplified and 8 sequences published) ranged from 67.3 to 99.8%. Multiple alignments of the deduced amino acid sequences also showed that each type was characterized by specific amino acids: 7 for Type 1, 9 for Type 2, 4 for Type 4, and 3 for Type 8.