This study was carried out to evaluate the use of acridine orange fluorescence technique on blood slides as a rapid diagnostic test for tropical theileriosis in comparison with the Giemsa-stained thin blood film technique. Also the indirect fluorescent antibody test has been employed for the serodiagnosis of tropical theileriosis. The study was carried out on 62 young and 48 adult Friesian cattle suffering from clinical tropical theileriosis in Qassim Region, Central Saudi Arabia, during the period from August 2006 to July 2008. For control, blood samples were also obtained from 25 young and 25 adult, clinically healthy, Friesian cattle, selected at random from different dairy farms in Qassim Region. Thin blood films were fixed with methanol and stained with Giemsa and acridine orange and were examined by two independent microbiologists. There was 100% correlation in the interpretation of slides stained with Giemsa and acridine orange both with respect to positivity and negativity, between the two microbiologists. It is concluded that if facilities are available acridine orange is a valuable alternative for screening tropical theileriosis. The method may also have potential value in the diagnosis of Theileria parva, which causes East Coast fever, and also other Theileria species. Results of the present study also showed that IFA test was not found sufficiently sensitive and specific as has been reported earlier.
Theileria annulata; Cattle-protozoa; Diagnosis; Acridine orange; IFA.