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Babesia canis

Table of Contents
  1. General Information
    1. NCBI Taxonomy ID
    2. Disease
    3. Introduction
  2. Vaccine Information
    1. Pirodog and Nobivac Piro
  3. References
I. General Information
1. NCBI Taxonomy ID:
5867
2. Disease:
Piroplasmosis
3. Introduction
Babesia canis was formerly called Piroplasma canis, so you may hear infection with this parasite called 'canine piroplasmosis.' B. canis is a one-celled parasite that infects dogs and other wild carnivores like wolves and fox. It can be quite common in certain areas of the southern United States, and is found most often in kennel situations.

Not everything about the life cycle of this parasite has been discovered, but here is what we know. The parasite lives in red blood cells where it reproduces by dividing in two. Sometimes 2, 4, or even more parasites can be found in a single red blood cell. The infected cells rupture and release the parasites that can then enter new cells. The parasite is transmitted from animal to animal by ticks.

The severity of signs may vary depending on the strain of parasite, the level of infection, and the immune status of the dog. In most cases, anemia occurs. If large numbers of red blood cells rupture at the same time, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, and kidney failure can result. Sometimes skin lesions can be present. Rarely, the infected cells may clog some of the small blood vessels and cause nervous system abnormalities and muscle weakness. Sometimes, the same tick can transmit Babesia canis and other organisms (e.g.; Ehrlichia canis, which causes anemia in dogs) at the same time. This causes the canine piroplasmosis to be more severe. Chronic forms of the disease can occur. Dogs have recurring fevers, lose their appetites and can become emaciated (Pet Education.com: Babesia canis).
II. Vaccine Information
1. Pirodog and Nobivac Piro
a. Tradename:
Pirodog and Nobivac Piro
b. Manufacturer:
Merial and Intervet (respectively)
c. Vaccine Ontology ID:
VO_0000863
d. Type:
Inactivated or "killed" vaccine
e. Status:
Licensed
f. Host Species for Licensed Use:
Dog
g. Immunization Route
Intramuscular injection (i.m.)
h. Description
In vitro-cultured supernatant antigens, reduce clinical disease(Moreau et al., 1989)
III. References
1. Moreau et al., 1989: Moreau Y, Vidor E, Bissuel G, Dubreuil N. Vaccination against canine babesiosis: an overview of field observations. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 1989; 83 Suppl; 95-96. [PubMed: 2623757].
2. Pet Education.com: Babesia canis: Babesia canis: The Cause of Piroplasmosis [http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2101&aid=720]