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Vet Parasitol. 1996 Dec 2;67(1-2):89-98.

Experiments on the transmission of Babesia major and Babesia bigemina by Haemaphysalis punctata.

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  • 1Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu, People's Republic of China.


Experiments on the transmission by Haemaphysalis punctata of three large Babesia strains were carried out. Three Babesia-free batches of laboratory reared H. punctata ticks were infected with two strains of Babesia major, B. major (Xingjiang strain), isolated with adult ticks of H punctata and B. major (Henan strain), isolated with H. longicornis) and a strain of Babesia bigemina by feeding them on the calves infected by inoculation of blood stabilates. H. punctata was shown to be capable of transmitting the B. major strains transovarially. The larvae, nymphs and adults developed from female ticks engorged on the calf infected with B. major (Xingjiang strain) transmitted the pathogen to splenectomised calves with prepatent periods of 15, 11 and 12 days, respectively. The calves infested with larvae and nymphs died of babesiosis with parasitemias of 400 and 710 per 1000 erythrocytes. The calf infested with adult ticks survived babesiosis, but the number of erythrocytes and the amount of haemoglobin were reduced greatly. H. punctata transmitted B. major (Henan strain) in the same way. The prepatent periods of the calves infested with larvae, nymph and adult ticks were 9, 10 and 12 days, respectively. Calves infested with larvae survived, but those infested with nymphal and adult ticks died of babesiosis with parasitemias of 410 and 100 per 1000 erythrocytes, respectively. H. punctata ticks did not transmit the B. bigemina strain to splenectomised calves. There were no clinical symptoms and no parasites were discovered in the blood films during a 2 month observation period after the calves were infested with larval, nymphal and adult ticks derived from female ticks engorged on calves inoculated with B. bigemina.

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