Association of acute Babesia canis infection and serum lipid, lipoprotein, and apoprotein concentrations in dogs

Zorana Milanović, Jelena Vekić, Vladimir Radonjić, Anja Ilić Božović, Aleksandra Zeljković, Jelena Janac, Vesna Spasojević-Kalimanovska, Jesse Buch, Ramaswamy Chandrashekar, Žanka Bojić-Trbojević, Ljiljana Hajduković, Mary M Christopher, Milica Kovačević Filipović

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9 Scopus citations


Background: Babesia canis infection induces a marked acute phase response (APR) that might be associated with alteration in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism and disease prognosis. Hypothesis: Dogs with B. canis-induced APR develop dyslipidemia with altered lipoprotein concentration and morphology. Animals: Twenty-nine client-owned dogs with acute B. canis infection and 10 clinically healthy control dogs. Methods: Observational cross-sectional study. Serum amyloid A (SAA) was measured using ELISA. Cholesterol, phospholipids, and triglycerides were determined biochemically. Lipoproteins were separated using agarose gel electrophoresis. Lipoprotein diameter was assessed by polyacrylamide gradient gel electrophoresis; correlation with ApoA-1 (radioimmunoassay) and SAA was determined. Results: Dogs with B. canis infection had a marked APR (median SAA, 168.3 μg/mL; range, 98.1-716.2 μg/mL) compared with controls (3.2 μg/mL, 2.0-4.2 μg/mL) (P <.001). Dogs with B. canis infection had significantly lower median cholesterol (4.79 mmol/L, 1.89-7.64 mmol/L versus 6.15 mmol/L, 4.2-7.4 mmol/L) (P =.02), phospholipid (4.64 mmol/L, 2.6-6.6 mmol/L versus 5.72 mmol/L, 4.68-7.0 mmol/L) (P =.02), and α-lipoproteins (77.5%, 27.7%-93.5% versus 89.2%, 75.1%-93.5%) (P =.04), and higher ApoA-1 (1.36 U, 0.8-2.56 U versus 0.95 U, 0.73-1.54 U) concentrations (P =.02). Serum amyloid A correlated with high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) diameter (rho =.43; P =.03) and ApoA-1 (rho =.63, P <.001). Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Major changes associated with B. canis-induced APR in dogs are related to concentration, composition, and morphology of HDL particles pointing to an altered reverse cholesterol transport. Parallel ApoA-1 and SAA concentration increase is a unique still unexplained pathophysiological finding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • acute phase response
  • apolipoprotein A-1
  • high-density lipoprotein
  • lipoprotein diameter
  • serum amyloid A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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