Blood parasites including Theileria, Babesia and Anaplasma are causative agents for theileriosis, babesiosis and anaplasmosis, respectively, which are responsible for tremendous economic loss to sheep farming industry worldwide. These parasites are mainly transmitted by hard ticks and carrier sheep are responsible for resistance of parasites in affected regions. Dezful city, south-west of Iran, has warm and humid climate and parasitic diseases including Haemoparasites seems to be prevalent among herds in this area. The purpose of this study was to evaluate prevalence of blood parasites in sheep of Dezful area using direct microscopy and PCR methods. For this reason, in August 2016, in a cluster sampling, a total of 200 blood samples from sheep of 4 regions of Dezful were collected randomly. Blood films were prepared and evaluated by microscopy. PCR was performed on 112 randomly selected samples. Prevalence of Babesia, Theileria and Anaplasma was 1.5%, 26% and 33% using microscopy, respectively while 72.72% and 0% of sheep were PCR positive for Theileria spp. and Babesia spp., respectively. No other blood parasite was observed in microscopy. The results of this study indicate high prevalence of Theileria and Anaplasma and low prevalence of Babesia among sheep of Dezful area. Regarding the results of this study, measures such as promoting knowledge of breeders regarding parasitic diseases of livestock, and in particular blood parasites and raising awareness of economic loss from these diseases through decrement in livestock production and increment in the costs of treatment, insecticide spraying of livestock places and bathing of animals against ecto-parasites are necessary for reduction of this parasitic infection.
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