Feline babesiosis: signalment, clinical pathology and concurrent infections

J S Afr Vet Assoc. 2001 Mar;72(1):4-11. doi: 10.4102/jsava.v72i1.601.

Abstract

Fifty-six cats with naturally occurring Babesia felis infection were studied. No breed or sex predilection could be identified, but there was an apparent predilection for young adult cats less than 3 years of age. Macrocytic, hypochromic, regenerative anaemia was present in 57% of the cats and in-saline agglutination tests were positive in 16%. No characteristic changes were observed in total or differential leukocyte counts. Thrombocyte counts were variable and thrombocytopaenia was an inconsistent finding. Hepatic cytosol enzyme activity and total bilirubin concentrations were elevated in the majority of cats. Serum protein values were mostly normal, but increased values were occasionally observed and polyclonal gammopathies were observed in all cats with increased total globulin concentrations. No remarkable changes in renal parameters were observed. A variety of electrolyte abnormalities occurred in a number of cats, but no consistent pattern of change could be identified. A close correlation was evident between peripheral and central parasite counts. Concurrent infections with Haemobartonella felis, feline immunodeficiency virus and/or feline leukemia virus were identified in a number of cats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Agglutination Tests / veterinary
  • Anaplasmataceae Infections / blood
  • Anaplasmataceae Infections / complications
  • Anaplasmataceae Infections / veterinary
  • Anemia, Hypochromic / blood
  • Anemia, Hypochromic / parasitology
  • Anemia, Hypochromic / veterinary
  • Anemia, Macrocytic / blood
  • Anemia, Macrocytic / parasitology
  • Anemia, Macrocytic / veterinary
  • Animals
  • Babesiosis / blood
  • Babesiosis / complications
  • Babesiosis / epidemiology
  • Babesiosis / veterinary*
  • Blood Chemical Analysis / veterinary
  • Breeding
  • Cat Diseases / blood*
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cat Diseases / etiology
  • Cats
  • Female
  • Hematocrit / veterinary
  • Immunodeficiency Virus, Feline
  • Lentivirus Infections / blood
  • Lentivirus Infections / complications
  • Lentivirus Infections / veterinary
  • Leukemia Virus, Feline
  • Leukocyte Count / veterinary
  • Male
  • Parasitemia / blood
  • Parasitemia / epidemiology
  • Parasitemia / veterinary
  • Platelet Count / veterinary
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retroviridae Infections / blood
  • Retroviridae Infections / complications
  • Retroviridae Infections / veterinary
  • Sex Distribution
  • South Africa / epidemiology