Original Research

Molecular characterisation of Babesia gibsoni infection from a Pit-bull terrier pup recently imported into South Africa

P.T. Matjila, B.L. Penzhorn, A.L. Leisewitz, R. Bhoora, R. Barker
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 78, No 1 | a277 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v78i1.277 | © 2007 P.T. Matjila, B.L. Penzhorn, A.L. Leisewitz, R. Bhoora, R. Barker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 May 2007 | Published: 31 May 2007

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P.T. Matjila,
B.L. Penzhorn,
A.L. Leisewitz,
R. Bhoora,
R. Barker,

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Canine babesiosis caused by Babesia gibsoni was diagnosed in a 3-month-old Pit-bull pup during a routine clinical examination. Diagnosis was confirmed by way of smear examination, PCR, Reverse Line Blot (RLB) and sequence analysis which showed 100% homology with B. gibsoni (Japan AB118032) and Babesia sp. (Oklahoma) (AF205636). Haematology showed moderate anaemia and severe thrombocytopenia. Treatment was initiated with diminazene aceturate (Berenil RTU(R) followed by 2 doses of imidocarb diproprionate (Forray-65(R) 3 days and 14 days later, respectively. Babesia gibsoni DNA was still detectable 2 weeks post-treatment on the PCR/RLB test. A 10-day course of combination drug therapy using atovaquone and azithromycin was initiated. Blood samples taken on Day 1 and Day 40 after completion of treatment were negative for B. gibsoni DNA on PCR/RLB test. The implications of a possible introduction of B. gibsoni into South Africa are discussed.


Atovaquone; Azithromycin; Babesia Gibsoni; Controlled Disease; Pit-Bull Terrier Pup


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