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Vet Parasitol. 2007 Mar 15;144(1-2):167-71. Epub 2006 Nov 22.

A serological study of Babesia caballi and Theileria equi in Thoroughbreds in Trinidad.

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Department of Paraclinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Trinidad, West Indies.


Ninety-three (93) horses were investigated for serum antibodies to Theileria equi (T. equi) and Babesia caballi (B. caballi) using the immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Seventy-seven (82.8%) horses were seropositive; 31 (33.3%) were positive to T. equi compared to 64 (68.8%) to B. caballi while 18 (19.4%) horses were seropositive to both parasites. No significant differences in antibody frequencies among females and males for either T. equi or B. caballi were noted. Differences in seropositivity to B. caballi among age groups were not significant. Antibodies to T. equi were more frequent than to B.caballi in the age group 5 years and over than in the 1-2 and 2-4 years age groups (p<0.05). Unlike T. equi antibodies, B. caballi antibodies in horses in the county of Caroni were significantly less frequent when compared to other counties (p<0.05). Of 18 (19.4%) clinically ill horses, seven (42.9%) had clinicopathological evidence of anemia. Only one-third (6 of 18) horses were positive for the parasite on Wright-Giemsa stained blood smears and anemia was present in only 2. We report here that B. caballi and not T. equi may be the more common agent of piroplasmosis in Trinidad.

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