Two Theileria cervi SSU rRNA gene sequence Types, F and G, from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) isolates in North America were confirmed. Previously, nucleotide sequencing through a single variable (V4) region showed the presence of SSU rRNA gene Types F and G in T. cervi isolates from white-tailed deer and an elk. In this study, both sequence types were found in four T. cervi isolates (two from deer and two from elk). Microheterogeneity only appeared in the Type G gene, resulting in Subtypes G1, G2 and G3. Subtype G1 was found in two elk and one white-tailed deer T. cervi isolate; Subtypes G2 and G3 were found in a white-tailed deer T. cervi isolate. The Type F SSU rRNA genes were identical in nucleotide sequence in both elk and white-tailed deer T. cervi isolates. The high degree of conservation in the Type F variable regions may be exploited to design specific oligonucleotide primers for parasite detection by the polymerase chain reaction in cervine or tick hosts.
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