Questing Dermacentor reticulatus harbouring Babesia canis DNA associated with outbreaks of canine babesiosis in the Swiss Midlands

Schaarschmidt, Daniel; Gilli, Urs; Gottstein, Bruno; Marreros Canales, Nelson; Kuhnert, Peter; Daeppen, Jérôme A.; Rosenberg, Gertrud; Hirt, Didier; Frey, Caroline (2013). Questing Dermacentor reticulatus harbouring Babesia canis DNA associated with outbreaks of canine babesiosis in the Swiss Midlands. Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 4(4), pp. 334-340. Urban und Fischer 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2013.01.007

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In 2011 and 2012, outbreaks of clinical canine babesiosis were observed in 2 areas of the Swiss Midlands that had no history of this disease so far. In one area, cases of canine babesiosis occurred over 2 consecutive tick seasons. The outbreaks involved 29 dogs, 4 of which died. All dogs were infected with large Babesia sp. as diagnosed in Giemsa-stained blood smears and/or PCR. These were identified as B. canis (formerly known as B. canis canis) by subsequent partial sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene of Babesia sp. Interestingly, the sequence indicated either a genotype with heterogeneity in the ssrRNA gene copies or double infection with different B. canis isolates. None of the dogs had a recent travel history, but one had frequently travelled to Hungary and had suffered twice from clinical babesiosis 18 and 24 months prior to the outbreak in autumn 2011. Retrospective sequencing of a stored blood DNA sample of this dog revealed B. canis, with an identical sequence to the Babesia involved in the outbreaks. For the first time in Switzerland, the partial 18S rRNA gene of B. canis could be amplified from DNA isolated from 19 out of 23 adult Dermacentor reticulatus ticks flagged in the same area. The sequence was identical to that found in the dogs. Furthermore, one affected dog carried a female D. reticulatus tick harbouring B. canis DNA. Our findings illustrate that, under favourable biogeographic and climatic conditions, the life-cycle of B. canis can relatively rapidly establish itself in previously non-endemic areas. Canine babesiosis should therefore always be a differential diagnosis when dogs with typical clinical signs are presented, regardless of known endemic areas.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Parasitology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Host-Pathogen Interaction
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Animal Pathology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology

UniBE Contributor:

Gottstein, Bruno; Marreros Canales, Nelson; Kuhnert, Peter; Rosenberg, Gertrud; Hirt, Didier and Frey, Caroline

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

1877-959X

Publisher:

Urban und Fischer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Kuhnert-Ryser

Date Deposited:

08 Jan 2014 09:26

Last Modified:

25 Jan 2016 15:56

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.ttbdis.2013.01.007

PubMed ID:

23571114

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Babesia canis; Dermacentor reticulatus; PCR; Dogs; Swiss Midlands; Canine babesiosis

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.39035

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/39035

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