Article Text

Infections with Babesia canis and Ehrlichia canis in dogs in Zimbabwe
  1. LA Matthewman,
  2. PJ Kelly,
  3. PA Bobade,
  4. M Tagwira,
  5. PR Mason,
  6. A Majok,
  7. P Brouqui and
  8. D Raoult
  1. Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Zimbabwe, Mount Pleasant, Harare.

Abstract

Of 105 dogs examined at a veterinary hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe, 52 per cent had antibodies reactive with Ehrlichia canis in indirect fluorescent antibody tests, 26 per cent had Babesia canis parasites in peripheral blood smears and 17 per cent had both infections. None of the dogs with serological evidence of ehrlichiosis had typical E canis morulae detectable in blood smears. The infections were regarded as incidental findings not readily related to the reasons for examination in 46 per cent of the dogs with antibodies to E canis and 17 per cent of the dogs with both infections. The most common laboratory abnormalities were anaemia and thrombocytopenia and the prevalence and severity of these in concurrent infections were intermediate to those found in individual infections. There were no pathognomonic clinical signs or laboratory abnormalities which could be used to distinguish between individual and concurrent infections. However, there was a significantly higher prevalence of non-regenerative anaemia in dogs with antibodies to E canis than in dogs with both infections. The prevalence of thrombocytopenia was significantly higher in dogs with babesiosis than in dogs with antibodies to E canis and the prevalence of hyperglobulinaemia was significantly higher in dogs with both infections than in dogs with antibodies to E canis.

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