Clinical, anatomic, and immunopathologic characterization of Babesia gibsoni infection in the domestic dog (Canis familiaris)

J Parasitol. 1997 Aug;83(4):692-9.


The pathology associated with acute, chronic, and recrudescent Babesia gibsoni infections was characterized in a group of 6 naturally or experimentally infected, spleen-intact and splenectomized dogs. All experimentally infected dogs became acutely parasitemic, lethargic, anemic, thrombocytopenic, and hemoglobinuric. Anatomic lesions associated, with the disease included diffuse nonsuppurative periportal and centrilobular hepatitis, multifocal necrotizing arteritis, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, reactive lymphadenopathy, diffuse erythrophagocytosis, and extramedullary hematopoiesis. The density of CD3+ lymphocytes within the liver sinusoids was markedly increased. Aggregates of large mononuclear cells with immunohistochemical features of activated macrophages were demonstrated in the central veins of the liver. Kupffer cells throughout the hepatic sinusoids appeared hypertrophic and prominent. The density of sinusoidal T lymphocytes, macrophages in central veins, and the degree of Kupffer cell hypertrophy were greatest in the splenectomized dogs. Multifocal deposits of IgM antibody were immunohistochemically demonstrated within the walls of inflamed arteries and renal glomeruli. The results of this study suggest that intense immunostimulation resulting in activation and expansion of T and B lymphocyte populations, macrophage recruitment and activation, vasculitis, glomerulonephritis and anemia contribute to the pathology associated with B. gibsoni infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Arteries / pathology
  • Babesia / immunology*
  • Babesia / isolation & purification
  • Babesiosis / blood
  • Babesiosis / immunology
  • Babesiosis / pathology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dog Diseases / blood
  • Dog Diseases / immunology
  • Dog Diseases / pathology*
  • Dogs
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Parasitemia / immunology
  • Parasitemia / pathology
  • Parasitemia / veterinary*
  • Recurrence
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Splenectomy / veterinary