RESEARCH PAPER
Babesia canis and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) co-infection in a sled dog
 
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1
Department of Parasitology, Institute of Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Poland
2
Department of Pathology and Veterinary Diagnostics, University of Life Sciences – SGGW Warsaw, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2013;20(3):426–430
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Introduction and objectives:
Sporting dogs, including sled dogs, are particularly prone to tick-borne infection either due to training/racing in forest areas or through visits to endemic areas. The aim was to present tick-borne infections in a 6-dog racing team after a race in Estonia.

Material and Methods:
On the 4th day after return to Poland, the first dog presented with babesiosis symptoms and was diagnosed and treated accordingly. Next morning, the dog showed neurological symptoms and was diagnosed with tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Diagnosis was confirmed by a high level of IgG antibodies (922 IU/ml), detected in serum 3 months later. The second dog presented with babesiosis symptoms on the 7th day after return. Babesia DNA was extracted from blood, amplified and sequenced to answer the question of whether the dogs became infected during the race in Estonia or in Poland.

Results and conclusions:
Sequencing of a fragment of Babesia 18S rDNA revealed that these two isolates were identical to one another and closely related to the B. canis sequence originally isolated from the dog and Dermacentor reticulatus ticks in Poland. Thus, this is the first confirmed case of B.canis and TBEV co-infection and first confirmed case of TBE in a dog in Poland.

 
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