Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Babesia spp

Contributor(s): Stephen Kania, Ian Wright

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Phylum: Apicomplexa.
  • Class: Sporozoea.
  • Subclass: Piroplasmea.
  • Order: Piroplasmida.
  • Family: Babesiidae.
  • Genus:Babesia.

Active Forms

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Within erythrocytes of primary host.
  • Intermediate hosts are ticks of the family Ixodidae.

Lifecycle

In primary host
  • Organism divides asexually by budding within red blood cells → 2 or 4 individuals per cell.
  • Erythrocyte eventually ruptures → organisms liberated → penetrate new red cells.
  • Parasitemic blood ingested by tick.
In intermediate host
  • Sexual reproduction may occur in gut of tick.
  • Followed by schizogony → motile club-shaped vermicules.
  • Migrate to tissues of tick, especially ovaries → multiplication.
  • Invade eggs of tick → multiply in hatched larvae.
  • Enter salivary glands of larvae → infective sporozoites → inoculated into new host.

Transmission

Pathological effects

  • Humans: fever, hemolytic anemia, may be fatal. More common in splenectomized patients.
  • Dog/cat: progressive anemia Anemia: overview ; may be acute or chronic; often subclinical.

Control

Vaccination

  • None in North America or the UK.
  • Available for dogs in France.

Other countermeasures

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Swainsbury C, Bengtson G & Hill P (2016) Babesiosis in dogs. Vet Rec 178, 172 PubMed.
  • Taboada J & Merchant S R (1991) Babesiosis of companion animals and man. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 21, 103.
  • Taboada J et al (1992) Seroprevalence of babesiosis in greyhounds in Florida. JAVMA 200, 47.
  • Conrad P et al (1991) Hemolytic anemia caused by Babesia gibsoni infection in dogs. JAVMA 199, 601.
  • Adullaki S U et al (1990) Clinical and haematological findings in 70 naturally occurring cases of canine babesiosis. JSAP 31, 145.

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