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Vet Parasitol. 2008 Oct 1;156(3-4):199-204. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2008.05.027. Epub 2008 May 25.

Babesia canis canis and Babesia canis vogeli infections in dogs from northern Portugal.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Sciences and CECAV, University of TrĂ¡s-os-Montes e Alto Douro, P.O. Box 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal.


Canine babesiosis represents an important veterinary medical problem. This study describes the molecular characterization of babesial parasites detected in eight clinically suspected dogs from northern Portugal, affected by lethargy, muscle tremors, weight loss, pale mucous membranes, hyperthermia or red-coloured urine. Microscopic examination of peripheral blood smears showed large intraerythrocytic piroplasms morphologically compatible with Babesia canis in all eight animals. DNA was extracted from blood on filter paper, and a Babesia spp. infection confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of a 408bp fragment of the 18S rRNA gene. Analysis of PCR-derived sequences revealed that seven dogs were infected with B. canis canis and one with B. canis vogeli. This is the first molecular identification report of both the species B. canis and the subspecies B. canis canis and B. canis vogeli in dogs from Portugal.

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