Different Babesia canis isolates, different diseases.

PMID 9368899


Using surface immunofluorescence isolate-specific antigens were detected on the membrane of erythrocytes infected with Babesia parasites. In addition, the strains reacted differently with Plasmagel in that the European isolate (B.c. canis) could be purified on Plasmagel effectively, whereas infected erythrocytes of the South-African isolate (B.c. rossi) could not. Experimental infection of dogs with Babesia canis isolates from geographically different areas revealed different pathology. The European isolate obtained from France exhibited transient parasitaemia, usually below 1%, associated with low PCV values and congestion of internal organs. Clinical disease was correlated with an effect on the coagulation system, and not with peripheral parasitaemia. Infection of dogs with South-African-derived isolate induced high parasitaemia usually much higher than 1%, which required chemotherapeutic treatment. In these animals clinical disease was correlated with peripheral parasitaemia and not with parameters of the coagulation system. The results show that the etiology of disease caused by these isolates of B.c. canis and B.c. rossi is different. This might have implications for the development of vaccines against these infections.