Pathology of the cattle babesiosis

Typical symptoms of babesiosis are the result of the massive infection of erythrocytes and the resulting lysis of the latter. The following symptoms have been described in the literature:

Shock syndrome is the result of the release of massive amounts of parasite material into the circulation

Babesiosis control

A. Tick control is carried out by dipping of cattle into a solution of an acaricide. However this measure is in general not very effective because of the following reasons:

Moreover a limited challenge of cattle by infective ticks is allowed and even preferredbecause it has been observed that under conditions of intensive dipping of the animals, or under conditions of severe drought, when the degree of challenge goes down, there is a loss of immunity. Young calves become susceptible to babesiosis which then may lead to enormous outbreaks of and tremendous economic losses

Innate resistance
A more effective method to reduce the economic losses by cattle babesiosis is the introduction of tick-resistant cattle. This has especially been carried out in Australia.

In general there is some innate resistance to babesiosis in cattle but there are significant differences between breeds.

Susceptibility of cattle to ticks:

As a consequence in many parts of the tropics B.taurus has been replaced by B.indicus . However, this has created a major problem in the case of trypanosomiasis, since Bos indicus is very sensitive to Nagana or cattle trypanosomiasis.

The observation that animals under challenge develop resistance against babesiosis has led to the development of a vaccine for cattle based on attenuated strains of Babesia


For cattle babesiosis berenil and imidocarb are the drugs of choice.

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Last updated: 1 January 1999.

created by :Fred Opperdoes