Vet Parasitol. 2010 May 31; [Epub ahead of print]
Babesia microti-like infections are prevalent in North American
Birkenheuer AJ, Horney B, Bailey M, Scott M, Sherbert B, Catto V,
Marr HS, Camacho AT, Ballman AE.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences,
North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine,
4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27606, United States.
Babesia microti-like organisms have recently been identified as a
cause of hemolytic anemia and azotemia in European dogs. A
genetically and morphologically similar B. microti-like parasite
has been identified in two foxes from North America. In order to
assess the prevalence of this parasite in North American wild
canids we screened blood samples from coyotes (Canis
latrans) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from eastern Canada and
red foxes and gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) from North
Carolina, USA for the presence B. microti-like DNA by polymerase
chain reaction. Thirty-nine percent (50/127) of the red fox
samples, 26% (8/31) of the gray fox samples and none (0/12) from
the coyote samples tested positive for the presence of B.
Partial 18S ribosomal ribonucleic acid and beta-tubulin genes
from the North American B. microti-like parasites of foxes were
sequenced and samples from six domestic dogs from Spain that were
infected with a B. microti-like parasite were analyzed for
comparison. Partial 18S ribosomal ribonucleic acid and
beta-tubulin gene sequences from the North American B.
microti-like parasites of foxes were nearly identical to those
previously reported from foxes as well as those from domestic
dogs from Spain characterized in this study. Interestingly,
partial beta-tubulin gene sequences characterized from the B.
microti-like parasites of domestic dogs from Spain in this study
were different from those previously reported from a Spanish
domestic dog sample which is believed to be a pseudogene. The
ability of the North American B. microti-like parasite to infect
and induce disease in domestic dogs remains unknown. Further
studies investigating the pathogenic potential of the North
American B. microti-like parasite in domestic dogs are indicated.
Copyright (c) 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V.
PMID: 20580162 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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