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Original Article

AJVS. 2015; 47(1): 104-112

Canine Babesiosis in an Endemic Area of the Middle East; Causative Agent Identification, Prevalence Estimation and Risk Factors Determination

Ali A. Abdel-Rhman, Yamen M. Hegazy, Magdy H. Al-Gaabary.

Canine babesiosis is a worldwide spread disease with high economic and welfare impact. This disease has not been studied intensively in developing countries. The current study was carried out in an endemic area with canine babesiosis of the Middle East, Egypt. Between March 2014 and February 2015, 200 dogs were examined clinically for Babesia spp. infection. Blood samples were taken from examined animals to look for the intraerythrocytic stage of Babesia spp. PCR was carried out on 5 positive whole blood samples of dogs positive to blood films to identify the causative agent. A Multivariate logistic regression model, with positive animals as the response variable, was used to study the association between the potential risk factors and babesiosis positive status. Blood film examination showed that 17 (8.5%) of examined dogs were infected with Babesia spp. (95%CI: 4.5 - 12.5%). Most of infected dogs showed intermittent pyrexia, partial anorexia, loss of body condition, pale mucous membranes. The identification of Babesia spp. using PCR showed that only Babesia canis vogeli was found in examined infected animals. Dogs infested with ticks were at risk of getting Babesia spp. infection 3 times more than non-infested dogs. Age and sex are not risk factors for Babesia spp. infection among dogs. In conclusion, Babesia canis vogeli is the causative agent of canine babesiosis in Egypt with moderate endimicity and most of infected dogs show mild clinical signs except puppies.

Key words: Babesia canis vogeli, Canine babesiosis, Prevalence, Risk factors

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