Babesia gibsoni Infection in a Dog from Indiana

Armando R. Irizarry-Rovira, Julie Stephens, John Christian, Anne Kjemtrup, Dennis B. DeNicola, William R. Widmer, Patricia A Conrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


A 10-year-old spayed female mixed-breed dog was presented to the Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital (PUVTH) with complaints of persistent anemia with occasional exacerbations, anorexia, and lethargy. The dog had been presented to the referring veterinarian 2 months prior with multiple bite wounds received during a fight with 3 Pit Bull Terriers. The dog was discharged after the wounds were cleaned and surgically closed. Upon admission to the PUVTH, blood was collected for a complete blood count and biochemical analysis. Microscopic examination of peripheral blood smears revealed intraerythrocytic protozoal parasites consistent with Babesia gibsoni. Molecular analysis confirmed that the organism was B gibsoni and that its 18S ribosomal RNA sequence was identical to that of other B gibsoni isolates from Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Okinawa, Japan. Hematologic changes included moderately severe, regenerative, macrocytic, normochromic anemia, with poikilocytosis, polychromasia, anisocytosis, and a marked increase in nucleated RBCs. Biochemical changes included increased serum alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma glutamyltransferase activities. The dog was treated with imidocarb, but despite initial clinical improvement, the dog died 2 weeks after the first dose. A necropsy was not performed. The infection in this dog is the first reported case of B gibsoni infection in Indiana. Because of the widespread geographical distribution of the organism, veterinarians and veterinary clinical pathologists throughout the United States should carefully examine Romanowsky-stained blood smears from patients with acute hemolytic anemia for small intraerythrocytic babesial parasites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-188
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Anemia
  • Babesia gibsoni
  • Hematology
  • Hemolysis
  • Thrombocytopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • veterinary(all)


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