Babesia PCR test for dogs and cats
dog and cat assay data sheet
X0020 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection but not differentiation of most
reported species of
Babesia, such as Entopolypoides (Babesia)
B. microti, by real
time polymerase chain reaction
included on P0025 - tickborne
disease panel and on P0039 canine
Babesiosis is an
illness caused by the parasite
Babesia which is an intra-erythrocytic protozoan. This parasite
can infect a wide range of mammals including primates, dogs, cats and
various livestock. The parasite can also be transmitted to humans by
ticks. Infected animals
and humans may develop fever, chills, sweating, myalgias (muscle
aches), fatigue, hepatosplenomegaly (enlargement of the liver and
spleen) and hemolytic anemia.
Currently, more than 100 species of
Babesia have been reported
but only a few have been identified as causing human infection.
Babesia microti and Babesia
divergens have been identified in most human cases, but variants
(considered different species) have also been identified recently.
There is only scanty knowledge about the occurrence of Babesia species
in malarial areas where Babesia
can easily be misdiagnosed as
Plasmodium, the agent of malaria.
parasites of the genus Entopolypoides macaci have been
reported to infect nonhuman primates. Analyses of the
small-subunit rRNA (SSUrRNA) sequences of
E. macaci and serological
and epidemiological data suggest that the genus
Entopolypoides is synonymous with that of Babesia.
In various primate centers, natural infections with this
parasite have been reported in baboons (Papio cynocephalus),
cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis),
and rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta).
Sub-clinical infections with this parasite may exist in various
primate centers and breeding farms; the use of these infected animals
could pose a significant problem to research studies and occupational
hazard to workers who handle these animals.
Infections with this parasite are common in livestock. For example,
bovine babesiosis is an important tick-borne disease caused by
B. bigemina and
B. divergens. Currently, control methods such as chemotherapy,
premunition and vaccination with attenuated parasites are used to
avoid economic losses caused by
Blood smear examination is considered to be the “gold standard” for
diagnosis of babesiosis.
However, parasite visualization in blood smears may be difficult in
cases where small numbers of parasites are present in the peripheral
blood (Böse et al., 1995), and Babesia can be difficult to differentiate visually from
Serological detection is of limited value because of the existence of
multiple species of Babesia.
Many animals have been previously exposed to this parasite and
have developed antibody responses, so that a positive serological
result may not reflect a recent infection.
Currently, molecular detection is considered to be the most
sensitive and specific method to identify animals infected with this
parasite (Costa-Júnior et al., 2006).
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Help ensure that animal populations are free of
Early prevention of spread of these parasites among a
group of animals
Minimize human exposure to these parasites
Safety monitoring of biological products and vaccines
that derive from susceptible animals
Böse, R., Jorgensen, W.K.,
Dalgliesh, R.J., Friedhoff, K.T. and De Vos, A.J. (1995)
Current state and future trends in the diagnosis of babesiosis, Vet.
Parasitol. 57 61–74.
Costa-Júnior, L.M., Rabelo, E.M.L., Filho, O.A.M. and Ribeiro,
M.F.B.(2006) Comparison of different direct diagnostic methods to
identify Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina in animals vaccinated with
live attenuated parasites. Vet. Parasitol. 139:231-
0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top) tube,
or 0.2 ml synovial fluid, or tick.
Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
For all specimen
types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during very warm
weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship with a cold pack
unless more stringent shipping requirements are specified. Frozen
specimens should be shipped so as to remain frozen in transit. See
shipping instructions for more
2 business days
Qualitative real time PCR