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FOCUSING on the recent cases of canine babesiosis in Essex, your Comment ‘Ticking the wrong boxes’ (VR, March 26, 2016, vol 178, p 302) reviews long-standing concerns about the potential introduction and establishment of exotic tickborne diseases in the UK, concluding with the need for diligent surveillance and education. Babesia canis infections have been demonstrated in dogs without previous history of travel outside the UK and the parasite has been detected in the local Essex Dermacentor reticulatus tick population (Phipps and others 2016).
B canis is transmitted through generations of ticks via their eggs and, now that the natural transmission requirements for the parasite are evident, the logical expectation is that this pathogen is not only here to stay, but will also spread across the UK as ticks increase in geographic range. …