Babesia conradae, sp. Nov., a Small Canine Babesia Identified in California
Small piroplasms as a cause of canine babesiosis have usually been identified as Babesia gibsoni. Recent genetic studies suggested that small piroplasms are more likely comprised of at least three genotypically distinct species. In southern California, canine babesiosis caused by a small piroplasm has been documented since 1990. Morphological characteristics of this parasite include a small (0.3–3.0 μm) intraerythrocytic merozoite stage with predominantly ring, piriform, tetrad, amoeboid, or anaplasmoid forms. Transmission electron microscopic images of merozoites demonstrate the presence of an apical complex consisting of an inner subplasmalemmal membrane and rhoptries. Based on phylogenetic analyses of the 18S rRNA and the ITS-2 genes, the Californian small piroplasm isolate is more closely related to piroplasm isolates from wildlife and humans in the western United States than it is to B. gibsoni. Molecular and morphologic evidence supports naming the small piroplasm from southern California as a distinct species, Babesia conradae.
Carreno, Ramon A.; Kjemtrup, Anne M.; Wainwright, Katlyn; Miller, Melissa; and Penzhorn, B.L., "Babesia conradae, sp. Nov., a Small Canine Babesia Identified in California" (2006). Zoology Faculty Work. 24.
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