Canine babesiasis: occurrence and molecular characterization of Babesia isolates

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Title: Canine babesiasis: occurrence and molecular characterization of Babesia isolates
Author: Lehtinen, Lauren Elyse
Abstract: Canine babesiosis is an important worldwide disease caused by protozoan hemoparasites of the genus Babesia , which are primarily transmitted to a dog by the bite of an Ixodid tick , although vertical transmission has recently been reported . The disease is typically characterized by hemolytic anemia , fever , splenomegaly , and thrombocytopenia , with clinical signs ranging from clinically normal to acute anemia . Death may even result in some severe cases . Two species of Babesia , Babesia gibsoni and Babesia canis , have long been known to cause babesiosis in dogs . To date , almost all B . gibsoni infections in the United States have been reported in American Pit Bull Terriers or in dogs associated with the breed through either transfusion or fighting . Dog blood samples received from kennels , shelters , and veterinary clinics throughout Texas were tested for the presence of B . gibsoni and B . canis . A total of 254 samples were tested for B . gibsoni and B . canis by light microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR ) . Babesia gibsoni was detected in four of the dogs tested and B . canis was detected in one of the dogs tested . The average packed cell volumes (PCVs ) of infected dogs were compared with those of uninfected dogs , with the infected , on average , having lower PCVs . Molecular characterization of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene and the ribosomal RNA internal transcribed spacer regions was performed on all sequences obtained in this study , and results were consistent with those previously reported for B . gibsoni and B . canis . Also , positive samples and additional samples provided by North Carolinia State University were used to initiate in vitro cultures of the parasites . To date , one isolate of a large unknown Babesia sp . from a North Carolina dog was successfully established in vitro . The establishment of Babesia spp . parasites in culture may aid in the development of a vaccine for babesiosis and will also be beneficial in improving diagnostic tests for the parasite .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -1634
Date: 2009-05-15

Citation

Canine babesiasis: occurrence and molecular characterization of Babesia isolates. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -1634 .

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