Research Article

Molecular characterization of Babesia vogeli in dogs from Belém, northern Brazil

Abstract

Babesiosis is an infectious hemolytic disease that occurs worldwide, and is caused by a protozoan of the Babesia genus (Apicomplexa). Little is known about this genus; therefore, this study conducted a molecular characterization of Babesia spp in naturally infected dogs in northern Brazil. Blood samples were collected from 172 dogs from metropolitan Belém, and screened for Babesia spp using semi-nested polymerase chain reactions. Subsequently, 18S rDNA gene fragments were amplified and sequenced. Alignments of the 27 nucleotide sequences returned fragments measuring 1023 bp in size, which did not include any polymorphic sites (100% identity). This genotype was very similar to the 18S rDNA gene in B. vogeli. This study provides an important molecular characterization of the parasite responsible for canine babesiosis in naturally infected dogs in metropolitan Belém. In addition, the 18S rDNA gene in B. vogeli may represent the most common genotype occurring in South America.

Babesiosis is an infectious hemolytic disease that occurs worldwide, and is caused by a protozoan of the Babesia genus (Apicomplexa). Little is known about this genus; therefore, this study conducted a molecular characterization of Babesia spp in naturally infected dogs in northern Brazil. Blood samples were collected from 172 dogs from metropolitan Belém, and screened for Babesia spp using semi-nested polymerase chain reactions. Subsequently, 18S rDNA gene fragments were amplified and sequenced. Alignments of the 27 nucleotide sequences returned fragments measuring 1023 bp in size, which did not include any polymorphic sites (100% identity). This genotype was very similar to the 18S rDNA gene in B. vogeli. This study provides an important molecular characterization of the parasite responsible for canine babesiosis in naturally infected dogs in metropolitan Belém. In addition, the 18S rDNA gene in B. vogeli may represent the most common genotype occurring in South America.