BABESIOSIS (Tick-Borne Disease)

Monday, 01 April 2013

BABESIOSIS (Tick-Borne Disease)
BABESIOSIS (Tick-Borne Disease)

Babesiosis is an economically important (Uilenberg 2006), most common and life threatening (Boozer and Macintire 2003; Miyama et al. 2005) tick-borne disease that affects a wide range of vertebrate hosts in both the tropical and subtropical regions of the world (Uilenberg 2006). It is a well-recognized disease of veterinary importance and has shown appreciable morbidity and mortality in domestic animals including, cattle, horses cats and dogs (Schoeman 2009), which has gained increasing attention as an emerging zoonotic disease problem (Vial and Gorenflot 2006). Canine babesiosis is a disease characterized by malaria-like syndrome, including fever, hemolysis and hemoglobinuria, icterus and the disease presentation varies widely from chronic or subclinical to peracute and fatal state (Vial and Gorenflot 2006).

Canine babesiosis is caused by haemotropic protozoa of the genus Babesia, family Babesiidae, order Piroplasmida, within the phylum Apicomplexa (Vial and Gorenflot 2006). A few genetically and clinically distinct species are currently recognised to cause disease in dogs; Babesia gibsoni, Babesia conradae and Babesia microti like piroplasm. The species of ticks such as Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Dermacentor spp. and Haemaphysalis ellipticum can transmit the large babesia (B. rossi, B. canis, B. vogeli) of dogs whereas B. gibsoniis transmitted by Haemaphysalis bispinosa and Haemaphysalis longicornis. In rural areas where dogs are commonly reared by livestock owners as watchdogs, dogs having ticks on their body are among the major risk factors for spread of babesioisis in small ruminants in Pakistan (Iqbal et al. 2011). B. gibsonioccurs principally in the Middle East, Southern Asia, Japan, North Africa and South America. Babesiosis caused by B. gibsoni is an emerging disease and wide spread in United States, also transmitted by blood exchange during fighting and biting of dogs (Birkenheuer et al. 2005).

For the treatment of babesiosis, a variety of drugs have been used in the past but only imidocarbdipropionate (IMDP) and diminazeneaceturate are commonly used (Merck 2007). In a comparative efficacy trial among these drugs, IMDP with its therapeutic and prophylactic significance against babesiosis, is an efficacious and safe chemotherapeutic agent belonging to the group of carbanilide derivatives (3,3¢-bis (2-imidazolin-2-yl)-carbanilide) (Zintl et al. 2003; Vial and Gorenflot 2006; Joyner  1981). It has also been used for the treatment and prophylaxis of anaplasmosis in domestic animals for over 20 years (Su et al. 2007).
Authors: Muhammad Imran Khan; Tanzila Bashir

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