Confirmation of occurrence of Babesia vogeli in a dog in Windhoek, central Namibia

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Peer-Reviewed Research


Although there is evidence of high seroprevalence of antibodies to Babesia spp. in dogs in central Namibia, clinical babesiosis is rarely diagnosed. Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato, the vector of Babesia vogeli, is common in Namibia while Haemaphysalis elliptica, the vector of the highly virulent but morphologically indistinguishable Babesia rossi, has rarely been recorded, mainly in northern Namibia. On the basis of vector occurrence, clinical cases of canine babesiosis in Windhoek, central Namibia, have been ascribed to B. vogeli. DNA extracted from a blood smear made from a sick dog was subjected to the reverse line blot hybridisation assay. The polymerase chain reaction amplicons hybridised with the B. vogeli–specific probe, but not with the Babesia canis– and B. rossi–specific probes. Although attempts at cloning and sequencing of the full-length 18S rRNA gene were unsuccessful, we can confirm that B. vogeli occurs in central Namibia.