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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 28, 2016

Genetic diversity among Babesia rossi detected in naturally infected dogs in Abeokuta, Nigeria, based on 18S rRNA gene sequences

Michael I. Takeet, Adeoye J. Oyewusi, Simon A.V. Abakpa, Olukayode O. Daramola and Sunday O. Peters
From the journal Acta Parasitologica


Adequate knowledge of the genetic diversity among Babesia species infecting dogs is necessary for a better understanding of the epidemiology and control of canine babesiosis. Hence, this study determined the genetic diversity among the Babesia rossi detected in dogs presented for routine examination in Veterinary Hospitals in Abeokuta, Nigeria. Blood were randomly collected from 209 dogs. Field-stained thin smears were made and DNA extracted from the blood. Partial region of the 18S small subunit ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene was amplified, sequenced and analysed. Babesia species was detected in 16 (7.7%) of the dogs by microscopy. Electrophoresed PCR products from 39 (18.66%) dogs revealed band size of 450 bp and 2 (0.95%) dogs had band size of 430 bp. The sequences obtained from 450 bp amplicon displayed homology of 99.74% (387/388) with partial sequences of 18S rRNA gene of Babesia rossi in the GeneBank. Of the two sequences that had 430 bp amplicon, one was identified as T. annulata and second as T. ovis. A significantly (p<0.05) higher prevalence of B. rossi was detected by PCR compared to microscopy. The mean PCV of Babesia infected dogs was significantly (p<0.05) lower than non-infected dogs. Phylogenetic analysis revealed minimal diversity among B. rossi with the exception of one sequence that was greatly divergent from the others. This study suggests that more than one genotype of B. rossi may be in circulation among the dog population in the study area and this may have potential implication on clinical outcome of canine babesiosis.

Acknowledgement. Funding

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

  1. Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

    Ethical consideration

    This study protocol was approved by the Research and Ethical Committee of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria


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Received: 2016-6-15
Revised: 2016-10-11
Accepted: 2016-11-10
Published Online: 2016-12-28
Published in Print: 2017-3-1

© 2017 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS