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Babesia divergens is responsible for clinical disease in temperate Europe and the UK and is spread by the sheep tick, Ioxodes ricinus. Babesia bigemina is responsible for clinical disease in Africa, Australia, Southern Europe, Central and Southern America. Although not present in the UK, Babesia bovis, is found throughout the world where boophilus ticks proliferate, in particular Southern Europe. Babesia major is a non-pathogenic species found in South East England.

Written by Mike Reynolds BVM&S DCHP MRCVS RCVS
Reviewed by Mark Burnell BVSc CHP DBR MRCVS

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Blood transfusion

Of all the domestic animals, cattle have the most complex blood groups – comprised of: A, B, C, F, J (Soluble antigen), L, M, R, S, T and Z. Of these 11 group systems, B and J groups are the two major systems of clinical importance. In cases where cross-matching is carried out, transfused erythrocytes could live for between 2 and 4 days compared to the normal lifespan of approximately 160 days. This small window of opportunity will allow for endogenous hematopoiesis to fill the deficit.

Written by Patrick Craig ASc DVM PhD
Reviewed by Jo Oultram BVSc Cert CHP DBR MRCVS

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Ticks are invertebrate arthropods, belonging to the subclass Acari. There are 2 types of tick; hard-bodies and soft-bodies. The tick lifecycle takes between 2-3 years to complete, depending on the tick species and climatic factors. Some tick species can act as vectors for multiple pathogens via their blood feeding activities. There are no licensed treatments for ticks, although the topical and injectable macrocyclic lactones provide some protection when applied at regular intervals during the spring and summer months.

Written by Sophie Mahendran BVM BVS MRCVS
Reviewed by Prof Hany Elsheikha BVSc, MSc, PhD, FRSPH, DipEVPC

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