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Babesia FAQ

Babesiosis in Dogs

An Overview of Canine Babesiosis

Atavaquone / Azithromycin Study

Malaria Drugs - CDC

Australian Study

Australian Update - Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis

Bartonellosis and Babesiosis in a dog

Atovaquone and Azithromycin in dogs 2004

Babesia gibsoni infection in a dog from Indiana

Babesia gibsoni-like isolates from Oklahoma

Atovaquone and Azithromycin in Humans

Vaccination of donkeys against Babesia equi

Growth inhibitory effect of triclosan

Serosurvey from North Carolina

novel large Babesia species

Search (by pub date is best)

The following link should give you a good list of current links relating to Babesia (click "go" once there):

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=PureSearch&db=pubmed&details_term=%28%22babesia%22%5BMeSH%20Terms%5 D%20OR%20babesia%5BText%20Word%5D%29%20AND%20canis%5BAll%20Fields%5D%20AND%20gibsoni%5BAll%20Fields

Babesia and Breeding

« Thread Started on 30th Oct, 2005 »

There have been many discussions I've seen involving babesia and whether it can be transmitted from bitch to pups, and if so, how. I guess there was a recent study in Japan about this.


Fatal experimental transplacental Babesia gibsoni infections in dogs.

Fukumoto S, Suzuki H, Igarashi I, Xuan X.

Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.

A Babesia gibsoni infected bitch was mated with an uninfected dog in order to determine whether this parasite could be vertically transmitted. The bitch delivered a litter of four live and one stillborn pup. The four pups died from congenital babesiosis between 14 and 39 days post-birth. Babesia gibsoni DNA was detected in tissue from all five pups. These results show that vertical transmission occurred by the uterine route and not via the transmammary route. This is the first confirmed report of transplacental Babesia infection in any animal species.


Canine Babesia Fatality in Britain

« Thread Started on 2nd Nov, 2006 »


Fatal babesiosis in an untravelled British dog.

Holm LP, Kerr MG, Trees AJ, McGarry JW, Munro ER, Shaw SE.
Peter Edgar's Veterinary Surgery, Ashford, Kent TN24 0NR.

PMID: 16891426 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Intervet working on a vaccine?

« Thread Started on 14th Jun, 2006 »

Vaccination against canine babesiosis.

Schetters T.

Parasitology Research and Development Department, Intervet International, PO Box 31, 5830 AA Boxmeer, The Netherlands. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

It has been known for several decades that the soluble parasite antigen (SPA) of several Babesia species can be used as a vaccine against the clinical manifestations of babesiosis. Originally observed in the plasma of infected animals, SPA can also be recovered from the supernatants of in vitro cultures of these parasites. Variable success has been reported for vaccines against the bovine and canine Babesia parasites, which seems to be related to antigenic diversity within Babesia species. In this article, an overview is presented of the development of such vaccines for dogs, and additional research that has led to improvement of an SPA-based vaccine against Babesia canis in dogs.

Publication Types:

PMID: 15780840 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



Prime-boost immunization with DNA followed by a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing P50 induced protective immunity against Babesia gibsoni infection in dogs.

Fukumoto S, Tamaki Y, Okamura M, Bannai H, Yokoyama N, Suzuki T, Igarashi I, Suzuki H, Xuan X.
Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan; National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Inada-cho, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.

A heterologous prime-boost immunization regime with priming DNA followed by recombinant vaccinia virus expressing relevant antigens has been shown to induce effective immune responses against several infectious pathogens. In this study, we constructed a recombinant plasmid and vaccinia virus, both of which expressed P50 of Babesia gibsoni, to investigate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a heterologous prime-boost immunization against canine babesiosis. The dogs immunized with the prime-boost regime developed a significantly high level of specific antibody against P50 when compared with the control groups, and the antibody level was strongly increased after a booster immunization with a recombinant vaccinia virus. The prime-boost immunization regime induced a specific IgG2 antibody response and IFN-gamma production in dogs. Two weeks after the booster immunization with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing P50, the dogs were challenged with B. gibsoni patasites. The dogs immunized with the prime-boost regime showed partial protection, manifested as a significantly low level of parasitemia and a 2-day delay of the peak parasitemia. These results indicated that such a heterologous prime-boost immunization approach might be useful against B. gibsoni infection in dogs.

PMID: 17055131 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


Immunity against Babesia rossi infection in dogs vaccinated with antigens from culture supernatants.

Schetters TP, Strydom T, Crafford D, Kleuskens JA, van de Crommert J, Vermeulen AN.
Parasitology R&D Department, Intervet International B.V., P.O. Box 31, 5830 AA Boxmeer, The Netherlands.

Soluble parasite antigens (SPA) from different Babesia species have been shown earlier to induce protective immunity when used as vaccine. However, initial attempts to produce such vaccine against Babesia rossi infection using SPA from B. rossi culture supernatants were not or only partially successful. Here we show that when dogs were vaccinated with a vaccine comprising SPA from B. rossi combined with SPA from Babesia canis protective immunity against experimental challenge infection was induced. Immunity was reflected in reduced clinical signs that resolved spontaneously, and reduction of parasitaemia and SPA in the blood. Not a single infected erythrocyte could be found in blood smears of dogs that had been repeatedly boosted (three vaccinations in total). In contrast, three out of four control dogs required chemotherapeutic treatment to prevent death. The fourth control dog showed a transient parasitaemia that resolved spontaneously. Vaccination did not prevent the development of a transient anaemia. It is concluded that a vaccine containing a mixture of SPA obtained from in vitro culture supernatants of B. rossi and B. canis induces protection in dogs against heterologous challenge infection with B. canis (as shown before) or B. rossi.

PMID: 17056181 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

can someone explain babesia drugs?

« Thread Started on 14th Jun, 2006 »

I'd like to know if any of the drugs used to treat babesia are used for anything other than babesia, as well as ingredients that make them up and proper dosages. Malorone and zithromax particularly, and any others that I don't know about. Were they designed to fight babesia specifically, or were they derived from something already in the medical field? If so, what was it originally used for? And what about side effects and risks of overdose for any of them? Thanks, I appreciate any help I can get.

malarone is actually atavaquone in combination with proguanil and is used as an anti-malarial. atavaquone has been used to treat many illnesses from malaria to hiv and babesiosis in humans. azithromycin is an antibiotic commonly used to treat various opportunistic infections related to cancers as well as pneumonia, and other infections.

here is one of the best links that I use to look up babesia and other medical related stuff:


just put in different search terms you're interested in. For example "babesia gibsoni", "atavaquone", "atavaquone and azithromycin", etc. I usually choose to sort by date since I have looked over most of the older stuff and that way I can just focus on the newer items.


Babesia may become resistant to atavaquone?

« Thread Started on 14th Jun, 2006 »

Short report: cloning of the Babesia gibsoni cytochrome B gene and isolation of three single nucleotide polymorphisms from parasites present after atovaquone treatment.

Matsuu A, Miyamoto K, Ikadai H, Okano S, Higuchi S.

Department of Small Animal Internal Medicine 1, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Towada, Aomori, Japan. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We determined the nucleotide sequence of the Babesia gibsoni cytochrome b (cytb) gene. DNA was extracted from B. gibsoni isolated from Aomori Prefecture, Japan, and 1,288 basepairs of the cytb gene, including 1,071 basepairs of the open reading frame, were sequenced. The cytb gene of B. gibsoni obtained from three dogs that had been experimentally infected with B. gibsoni and treated with atovaquone was also sequenced. The B. gibsoni cytb gene obtained from all three atovaquone-treated dogs contained a single polymorphism resulting in an amino acid change in one of the putative ubiquinone-binding sites of Plasmodium falciparum. This polymorphism was homologous to mutations in other apicomplexan protozoa that exhibit resistance to atovaquone. Two other single polymorphisms were identified in parasites isolated from two of the dogs. These results indicate that single nucleotide polymorphisms in the sequence for mitochondrial cytb gene may be associated with decreased susceptibility of Babesia species to atovaquone.

PMID: 16606990 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


another study indicating possible resistance to atavaquone.....

Efficacy of atovaquone against Babesia gibsoni in vivo and in vitro.

Matsuu A, Koshida Y, Kawahara M, Inoue K, Ikadai H, Hikasa Y, Okano S, Higuchi S.

Department of Small Animal Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Towada, Aomori 034-8628, Japan. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The therapeutic efficacy of atovaquone against Babesia gibsoni was examined in three dogs experimentally infected with B. gibsoni isolated from naturally infected dogs in Aomori Prefecture, Japan. Once parasitemia reached 10%, atovaquone was administered orally (30 mg/kg twice daily for 7 days). Within 2 days of atovaquone treatment, the parasite disappeared from blood smears without any clinical side effects. Anemia and thrombocytopenia were significantly improved in all the dogs. However, a polymerase chain reaction assay revealed that a B. gibsoni marker gene was intermittently present in peripheral blood after atovaquone therapy, indicating that the organism had not been eliminated, and parasites reappeared in blood smears 33 days after the last treatment. To investigate the change in sensitivity against atovaquone, an in vitro sensitivity test was performed using peripheral blood obtained from an untreated dog that was infected with the original parasite isolate, and from two of the experimentally infected and atovaquone-treated animals (blood was collected at the time of the post-treatment recurrence of the B. gibsoni infection). Atovaquone was added to the culture medium to final concentrations of 0.1, 1, 10, 100, and 1000 nM. For the untreated parasites, complete growth inhibition occurred at 1000 nM of atovaquone, whereas the recurrent parasites were inhibited by only 39.52 +/- 8.34% and 31.31 +/- 8.14% at this concentration after 48 h of incubation. Thus, the recurring parasites were less sensitive to atovaquone than the untreated originally isolated parasites.

PMID: 15350657 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


New Canine Babesia Species identified in So Cal

« Thread Started on 14th Jun, 2006 »

A review of the small canine piroplasms from California: Babesia conradae in the literature.

Kjemtrup AM, Conrad PA.

California Department of Health Services, Vector-Borne Disease Section, 1616 Capital Avenue, MS 7307, Sacramento, CA 95899-7413, United States.

Small piroplasms as a cause of canine babesiosis in southern California were first documented in 1990. Initially these piroplasms were considered to be Babesia gibsoni, the only small Babesia parasite known to infect dogs at that time. In the following decade, the use of molecular analysis made it clear that small canine Babesia in fact are comprised of at least three distinct species, and the isolates from dogs in southern California were not B. gibsoni. Molecular, antigenic, and morphological characteristics of the southern California species of canine piroplasm supported naming it as a distinct species, Babesia conradae. The renaming of this species prompted this literature review of small canine piroplasms in California in order to clarify clinical, diagnostic, epidemiological, and molecular characteristics of B. conradae in comparison to other small canine piroplasms. Clinical symptoms of B. conradae are similar to those of B. gibsoni; however, B. conradae infections may be more pathogenic, resulting in higher parasitaemia and more pronounced anaemia when compared with B. gibsoni-infected dogs. The immunofluorescent antibody test is the most commonly used test to diagnose B. conradae. It is important to specify which small Babesia species to test for since there is little serological cross reactivity between the small canine Babesia antigens or cross-detection in the newer molecular tests. Molecular characterization of B. conradae, based principally on the 18S small subunit rRNA gene, and recently the second internal transcribed spacer region, demonstrate that B. conradae is most closely related to piroplasms recovered from humans and animals in the western United States.

PMID: 16522352 [PubMed - in process]


Babesia conradae, sp. Nov., a small canine Babesia identified in California.

Kjemtrup AM, Wainwright K, Miller M, Penzhorn BL, Carreno RA.

California Department of Health Services, Vector-Borne Disease Section, 1616 Capital Avenue, MS 7307, Sacramento, CA 95899-7413, USA; Department of Zoology, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH 43015, USA.

Small piroplasms as a cause of canine babesiosis have usually been identified as Babesia gibsoni. Recent genetic studies suggested that small piroplasms are more likely comprised of at least three genotypically distinct species. In southern California, canine babesiosis caused by a small piroplasm has been documented since 1990. Morphological characteristics of this parasite include a small (0.3-3.0mum) intraerythrocytic merozoite stage with predominantly ring, piriform, tetrad, amoeboid, or anaplasmoid forms. Transmission electron microscopic images of merozoites demonstrate the presence of an apical complex consisting of an inner subplasmalemmal membrane and rhoptries. Based on phylogenetic analyses of the 18S rRNA and the ITS-2 genes, the Californian small piroplasm isolate is more closely related to piroplasm isolates from wildlife and humans in the western United States than it is to B. gibsoni. Molecular and morphologic evidence supports naming the small piroplasm from southern California as a distinct species, Babesia conradae.

PMID: 16524663 [PubMed - in process]


Hungarian Study of Clinical Manifestations

« Thread Started on 2nd Nov, 2006 »


Clinical manifestations of canine babesiosis in Hungary (63 cases).

Mathe A, Voros K, Papp L, Reiczigel J.
Department and Clinic of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Szent Istvan University, H-1400 Budapest, P.O. Box 2, Hungary. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Clinical observations of Babesia canis infection in 63 dogs during a 1-year period are summarised, demonstrating the pathogenicity of the Babesia strain endemic in Hungary. Most patients had babesiosis in the spring and autumn, correlating with the seasonal activity of ticks. Male animals appeared in higher numbers, probably due to an overrepresentation of outdoor dogs. Uncomplicated babesiosis was diagnosed in 32 cases. The disease affected dogs of any age in this study. Symptoms were similar to those published from other parts of the world: lethargy, fever, splenomegaly, pallor, icterus, haemoglobinuria and presence of ticks were the most common observations. Thrombocytopenia, lymphopenia and neutropenia were frequent haemogram changes. Imidocarb appeared to be highly effective in eliminating the Babesia infection. Thirty-one animals demonstrated babesiosis with complications. Most Rottweilers (7/9) developed complicated disease. Old age was a risk factor for multiple complications. Multiple organ manifestations had poor prognosis. Hepatopathy (44%), pancreatitis (33%), acute renal failure (ARF; 31%) and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC; 24%) were frequent complications, while immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA; 10%), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS; 6%) and cerebral babesiosis (3%) were rarely observed. There was a significant difference between the mean age of dogs having uncomplicated disease, babesiosis with a single complication and babesiosis with multiple complications (3.4, 4.8 and 8.6 years, respectively, p < 0.001). The recovery rate (78, 68 and 25%, respectively, p = 0.005) and mortality rate (3, 21 and 67%, respectively, p < 0.001) also tended to differ significantly in these groups. Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and DIC are two possible pathways leading to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) in babesiosis. DIC was found to predict MODS more sensitively in this study than SIRS: there were 6 animals developing MODS out of 11 identified with DIC, while only 5 dogs developed MODS out of 22 having SIRS.

PMID: 17020140 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]