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Vet Parasitol. 2012 Jun 8;187(1-2):23-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.01.006. Epub 2012 Jan 8.

Re-emergence of Babesia conradae and effective treatment of infected dogs with atovaquone and azithromycin.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Health Complex, North Carolina State University, 1052 William Moore Drive, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA.


Babesia conradae (B. conradae) causes hemolytic anemia in dogs. This organism has not been reported clinically since it was originally described in southern California in 1991. To date, no anti-protozoal therapies have been associated with clearance of B. conradae. This report describes the use of atovaquone and azithromycin for the treatment of dogs naturally infected with B. conradae and report the re-emergence of B. conradae in southern California. Twelve dogs naturally infected with B. conradae were identified by practicing veterinarians and public health officials in southern California. Treatments consisted of a 10 day course of atovaquone (13.3mg/kg PO q 8h) and azithromycin (10-12.5mg/kg PO q 24h). Four dogs were treated in a randomized blinded placebo-controlled fashion, four additional cases were treated in a non-random, non-blinded fashion and one dog received no treatment. All dogs were tested for B. conradae DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) initially and then once or 3 times post treatment (60-210 days). B. conradae infected dogs that received treatment did not have any detectable Babesia DNA by PCR after treatment. In contrast, dogs receiving placebo had detectable Babesia DNA by PCR throughout the study period. Combination therapy with atovaquone and azithromycin appears to be effective for acute and chronic babesiosis caused by B. conradae.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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