Friday, 10 November 2017

High prevalence of small Babesia species in canines of Kerala, South India

Research (Published online: 10-11-2017)
6. High prevalence of small Babesia species in canines of Kerala, South India
Kollannur Jose Jain, Bindu Lakshmanan, Karunakaran Syamala, Jose E Praveena and Thazhathuveetil Aravindakshan
Veterinary World, 10(11): 1319-1323
Aim: Canine babesiosis is an important vector-borne hemoparasitic disease caused by Babesia canis vogeli and Babesia gibsoni, in India. The communication places on record the salient findings of the study directed to detect and characterize the pathogenic B. gibsoni isolates of Kerala state.
Materials and Methods: A total of 150 dogs were examined for the presence of hemoparasites by light microscopy as well as by PCR targeting the 18S rRNA gene of B. gibsoni. Hematological parameters were also analysed. Phylogenetic tree was constructed based on Tamura kei model adopting ML method.
Results: A sensitive and specific polymerase chain reaction assay was developed with newly designed primer pair BAGI-F/ BAGI-R for the amplification of 488 bp fragment of 18S rRNA gene of B. gibsoni. Out of the 150 dogs examined, molecular evidence of B. gibsoni was recorded in 47.3% animals, while light microscopy detected the infection in 26.67% cases. The phylogenetic analyses revealed that B. gibsoni, Kerala, isolate was closest and occurred together with Bareilly isolate. Anemia and thrombocytopenia were the significant hematological alterations in chronic B. gibsoni infection.
Conclusion: A high prevalence of natural infection of B. gibsoni was detected among the study population. The affected animals showed anaemia and thrombocytopenia. Phylogenetic analysis of this pathogenic isolate from south India revealed the closest similarity with Bareilly isolates.
Keywords: 18S rRNA gene, Babesia gibsoni, dogs, hematology, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction.

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