Babesia, Theileria and Anaplasma spp. infecting sable antelope, Hippotragus niger (Harris, 1838), in southern Africa

22 Feb 2016

Some observations are recorded on blood parasites of sable antelopes. Blood smears of 124 of these antelopes from South Africa and Zimbabwe were examined and 7 were found to be positive for a Babesia sp., identified as Babesia irvinesmithi Martinaglia 1936. A total of 70 of the smears were positive for Theilerial piroplasms, while 1 smear had macroschizonts (with cytomeres) and microschizonts of a Theileria (=Cytauxzoon) sp. One blood smear was positive for an Anaplasma sp. Attempts to isolate the Babesia sp. by subinoculating blood from sable to splenectomized and intact sable and splenectomized cattle were unsuccessful. Attempts to infect sable with Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina were likewise unsuccessful. Theilerial piroplasms reached high levels in a splenectomized sable but could not be transmitted with blood to cattle. The Anaplasma sp. was found to be infective for sheep but not for cattle.