Infection with a Proposed New Subspecies of Babesia canis, Babesia canis subsp. presentii, in Domestic Cats

Gad Baneth*, Martin J. Kenny, Séverine Tasker, Yigal Anug, Varda Shkap, Amos Levy, Susan E. Shaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parasitemia with a large Babesia species was identified in two domestic cats from Israel. One cat, also coinfected with feline immunodeficiency virus and "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum," had profound icterus and anemia which resolved after therapy, whereas a second cat was an asymptomatic carrier. Amplification and sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene, followed by phylogenetic analyses, indicated that infection was caused by Babesia canis. However, the sequences of the internal transcribed and 5.8S rRNA regions of the ribosomal operon used for subspeciation of B. canis were markedly different from the recognized subspecies of B. canis, which include B. canis vogeli, B. canis canis, and B. canis rossi. Based on phylogenetic comparisons of the 18S rRNA gene, 5.8S, and internal transcribed spacer sequences of the isolates from the cats and on the smaller sizes of the merozoite and trophozoite stages of this parasite, which distinguish it from the subspecies of B. canis present in dogs, we propose to identify the novel feline genotype of B. canis described in the present study as a new subspecies, B. canis subsp. presentii.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2004

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