Babesiosis due to the canine Babesia microti-like small piroplasm in dogs - First report from Portugal and possible vertical transmission

Paula Brilhante Simes, Luís Cardoso*, Manuela Arajo, Yael Yisaschar-Mekuzas, Gad Baneth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Canine babesiosis (or piroplasmosis) is endemic in northern Portugal, but molecularly confirmed cases of infection with small piroplasms have not been reported in the country. Three German shepherd dogs - a bitch and its 2-month old pup and an unrelated male - clinically suspected of piroplasmosis were assessed for babesial infection. Results: Parasitemia with small piroplasms was detected by microscopy in two dogs. All three dogs were positive by PCR and the Babesia microti-like small piroplasm (syn. Theileria annae) was identified by DNA sequencing. These are the first confirmed cases of babesiosis caused by the B. microti-like piroplasm both in dogs from Portugal and in dogs suspected of clinical piroplasmosis outside of Spain. Conclusions: Although the bitch and the male had visited neighboring Galicia (northwestern Spain), where the disease is endemic, incursion of this piroplasm into northern Portugal is evident and infection of the non-traveled pup was due to either vertical transmission or autochthonous tick infection.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number50
JournalParasites and Vectors
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

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