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Accueil > Productions scientifiques > Autres ... > First evidence and molecular characterization of Babesia vogeli in naturally infected dogs and Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks in southern France

First evidence and molecular characterization of Babesia vogeli in naturally infected dogs and Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks in southern France

Babesiosis is an emerging tick-borne disease of animals and humans caused by intraerythrocytic protozoa of the genera Babesia and Theileria. In France canine babesiosis has a high prevalence with Babesia canis thought to be the main aetiological agent of the disease. Babesia vogeli has already been reported to occur in Europe and in other countries around the Mediterranean Sea. The tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus, the main known vector of B. vogeli, occurs in southern France. However, only one case of a B. vogeli infected dog has been reported to date in France. To gain further insight into the prevalence of Babesia and Theileria infections in dogs and ticks of the R. sanguineus complex, a study was conducted in a veterinary practice in the south of France from January to September 2010. Twelve bloods from dogs and 36 R. sanguineus ticks were analyzed using PCR and sequencing. For the analysis of ticks, a new primer was designed to specifically amplify the B. vogeli 18S rRNA gene. Four dogs (33.3%) and 8 ticks (22.2%) were found to be infected with B. vogeli.

This approach has thus revealed for the first time a cluster of cases of canine babesiosis caused by B. vogeli in France and highlights the need to systematically screen for pathogens potentially responsible for canine babesiosis at the species level using suitable molecular tools.

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