, Volume 99, Issue 6, pp 638-642
Date: 19 May 2006

Seroprevalence of canine babesiosis in Hungary suggesting breed predisposition

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Six hundred fifty-one blood samples were collected from urban and rural dogs in various parts of Hungary to measure antibody levels to Babesia canis with indirect fluorescent antibody test. Thirty-seven (5.7%) of the sera showed positivity with titers between 1:80 and 1:10,240. Seroconverted dogs were found in 13 locations of the country. It is concluded that canine babesiosis is becoming more prevalent in Eastern Hungary. Seropositivity increased then declined with age, reaching a maximum in case of 3.1- to 5-year-old dogs. Prevalence of antibodies to B. canis was significantly higher among german shepherds and komondors. This suggests a genetic predisposition of german shepherd dogs to chronic babesiosis (carrier status) with long-term maintenance of their seropositivity. On the other hand, heavy-coated komondors are phenotypically more suitable for repeated exposure to ticks, potentially infected with B. canis. This is the first report on the seroprevalence of canine babesiosis in Hungary.