Detection of incidence of Babesia spp. in sheep and goats by parasitological diagnostic techniques

  • Shakuntala Kage
  • G. S. MamathaEmail author
  • Jaya Nagappa Lakkundi
  • B. P. Shivashankar
  • Placid Eugene D’Souza
Original Article


The present study was undertaken on epidemiology and diagnosis of babesiosis in sheep and goats in Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts of Karnataka state from November 2017 to May 2018. Out of 343 (225 sheep and 118 goats) blood smears examined by Giemsa and acridine orange (AO) fluorescent dye staining methods, 3.55 and 4.0 per cent of sheep and 0.84 and 1.69 per cent of goat samples were found positive for Babesia organisms, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity was found to be higher in AO fluorescent dye staining method. In agewise susceptibility, the percent positivity was found to be higher in animals > 6 months old. In genderwise susceptibility, the percent positivity was found to be higher in females than males. Hence, AO fluorescent dye staining method is found to be very rapid and cost effective diagnostic method for treatment and control of babesiosis.


Babesia Diagnosis Goats Morphometrics Sheep 



The facilities provided to carry out research work through Centre of Advanced Faculty Training, ICAR, New Delhi is greatfully acknowledged.

Authors’ contribution

SK, GSM and PED conceived of or designed study. SK performed research. SK, JNL and SS analyzed data. SK and GSM contributed new methods or models. SK and GSM wrote the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The work was carried out in a Teaching Veterinary Clinical Hospital and Research Institute, Veterinary College, Bengaluru, Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University (KVAFSU), Bidar, India. The KVAFSU 2004 Act legislates collection of clinical materials for the diagnosis and treatment of animals.


  1. Achar SD, Sreekantaiah GN (1934) A note on Babesia motasi Wenyon (1926) in sheep in Mysore state Indian. Vet J 10:29–31Google Scholar
  2. Aktas M, Altay K, Dumanli N (2007) Determination of prevalence and risk factors for infection with Babesia ovis in small ruminants from Turkey by polymerase chain reaction. Parasitol Res 100:797–802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ali Shah SS, Khan MI, Rahman HU (2017) Epidemiological and hematological investigations of tick-borne diseases in small ruminants in Peshawar and Khyber Agency, Pakistan. J Adv Parasitol 4(1):15Google Scholar
  4. Altay K, Aktas M, Dumanli N (2008) Detection of Babesia ovis by PCR in Rhipicephalus bursa collected from naturally infested sheep and goats. Res Vet Sci 85:116–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bai Q, Liu G, Liu D, Ren J, Li X (2002) Isolation and preliminary characterization of a large Babesia spp. from sheep and goats in the eastern part of Gansu Province, China. Parasitol Res 88:S16–S21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bazmani A, Abolhooshyar A, Imani-Baran A, Akbari H (2018) Semi-nested polymerase chain reaction-based detection of Babesia spp. in small ruminants from Northwest of Iran. Vet World 11(3):268–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bose R, Jorgensen WK, Dalgliesh RJ, Friedhoff KT, De Vos AJ (1995) Current state and future trends in the diagnosis of babesiosis. Vet Parasitol 57:61–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Christensson D, Thunegard E (1981) Babesia motasi in sheep on the island of Gotland in Sweden. Vet Parasitol 9:99–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) (1984) Ticks and tick-borne disease control. A practical field manual, vol 1, Tick Control. FAO, Rome, pp 299Google Scholar
  10. Hansen WD, Hunter DT, Richards DE, Allred L (1970) Acridine orange in the staining of blood parasites. Parasitol 56:386–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Haq AU, Tufani N, Gugjoo MB, Nabi SU, Malik HU (2017) Therapeutic amelioration of severely anaemic local Kashmiri goats affected with babesiosis. Adv Anim Vet Sci 5(11):463–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jagannath MS, Hedge KS, Shivaram K, Nagaraja KV (1974) An outbreak of babesiosis in sheep and goats and its control. Mysore J Agri Sci 8:441–443Google Scholar
  13. Kaufmann J (1996) Text book of parasitic infections of domestic animals. Birkhauser Verlag, Postfach 133, CH-4010 Basel, Schweiz. pp 169–170Google Scholar
  14. Lestoquard F (1925) Troisieme note sur les piroplamoses du mouton en Algerie La piroplasmosevraie: Piroplasma (s.sstr.) ovis (n. sp.). Comparison Babesiella ovis. Bull Soc Pathol Exot 18:140Google Scholar
  15. Levine ND (1985) Veterinary protozoology. 1st edition. Iowa State University Press, Ames pp 306–309Google Scholar
  16. Madhav AKR (1966) Some observations on Babesia motasi infection in sheep in Andhra Pradesh. Indian Vet J 43:785–789Google Scholar
  17. Minjauw B, Mcleod A (2003) Tick-borne diseases and poverty. The impact of ticks and tick-borne diseases on the livelihood of small scale and marginal livestock owners in India and eastern and southern Africa. Research report, DFID Animal Health Programme, Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UKGoogle Scholar
  18. Muraleedharan K, Ziauddin KS, Margoob HP, Puttabytappa B, Seshadri SJ (1994) Prevalence of parasitic infection among small domestic animals. Karnataka J Agric Sci 7:64–68Google Scholar
  19. Muthuramalingam T, Pothiappan P, Gnanaraj P, Tensingh Meenakshisundaram S, Pugazhenthi TR, Parthiban S (2014) Report on an outbreak of babesiosis in Tellicherry Goats. Indian J Vet Anim Sci Res 43:58–60Google Scholar
  20. Naderi A, Nayebzadeh H, Gholami S (2017) Detection of Babesia infection among human, goats and sheep using microscopic and molecular methods in the city of Kuhdasht in Lorestan Province, West of Iran. J Parasit Dis 41(3):837–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nair AS, Ravindran R, Lakshmanan B, Kumar SS, Tresamol PV, Saseendranath MR, Senthilvel K, Rao JR, Tewari AK, Ghosh S (2011) Haemoprotozoa of cattle in Northern Kerala, India. Trop Biomed 28(1):68–75Google Scholar
  22. Papadopoulos B, Brossard M, Perie NM (1996) Piroplasms of domestic animals in the Macedonia region of Greece. Piroplasms of small ruminants. Vet Parasitol 63(1–2):67–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Prabhakar KS (1976) Studies on theileriosis of sheep with special reference to its prevalence in Karnataka and haematology in splenectomized carriers. M. V. Sc. Thesis, University of Agricultural Sciences, BangaloreGoogle Scholar
  24. Ravindran R, Lakshmanan B, Sreekumar C, John L, Gomathinayagam S, Mishra AK, Tewari AK, Rao JR (2007) Acridine orange staining for quick detection of blood parasites. J Vet Parasitol 21:85–86Google Scholar
  25. Ray HN, Raghavachari K (1941) Observations on Babesia foliata sp. from a sheep. Indian J Vet Sci 11:239–242Google Scholar
  26. Razmi GR, Naghibi A, Aslani MR, Dastjerdi K, Hossieni H (2003) An epidemiological study on Babesia infection in small ruminants in Mashhad suburb, Khorasan Province, Iran. Small Rum Res 50:39–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Reijbei MR, Gharbi M, Mhadhbi M, Mabrouk W, Ayar B, Nasfi I, Jedidi M, Sassi L, Rekik M, Darghouth MA (2014) Prevalence of piroplasms in small ruminants in North-West Tunisia and the first genetic characterisation of Babesia ovis in Africa. Parasite 21:23–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ried JF, Armour J, Jennings FW, Urquhart GM (1976) Babesia in sheep: first-isolation. Vet Rec 99:419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sarwar SM (1935) A hitherto undescribed piroplasm of goats (Piroplasma taylori). Indian J Vet Sci Anim Husb 5:71–176Google Scholar
  30. Sevinc F, Sevinc M, Ekici OD, Yildiz R, Isik N, Aydogdu U (2013) Babesia ovis infections: detailed clinical and laboratory observations in the pre and post treatment periods of 97 field cases. Vet Parasitol 191:35–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Shayan P, Hooshmand E, Nabian S, Rahbari S (2008) Biometrical and genetical characterization of large Babesia ovis in Iran. Parasitol Res 103:217–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Soulsby EJL (1982) Helminths, arthropods and protozoa of domesticated animals, 7th edn. Elsevier, New Delhi, p 763Google Scholar
  33. Thomson JG, Hall GN (1933) The occurrence of Babesia motasi Wenyon, 1926, in sheep in northern Nigeria, with a discussion on the classification of the piroplasms. J Comp Pathol Ther 46:218–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vidya MK, Puttalakshamma GC, Halbmandge SC, Kasaralikar VK, Bhoyar R, Patil NA (2011) Babesia ovis infection in goat—a case report. 29th convention and veterinary symposium, ISVM, Feb. 17–19th 2011, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Mumbai Veterinary College, MAFSU, Mumbai, 400 012, pp 35Google Scholar
  35. Yeruham I, Hadani A, Galker F, Rosen S (1996) The seasonal occurrence of ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) on sheep and in the field in the Judean area of Israel. Exp Appl Acarol 20:47–56Google Scholar
  36. Yin H, Leonhard S, Luo J, Seitzer U, Ahmed JS (2007) Ovine theilerioisis in China: a new look at an old story. Parasitol Res 101(2):191–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zangana IK, Naqid IA (2011) Prevalence of piroplasmosis (Theileriosis and Babesiosis) among goats in Duhok Governorate. J Vet Sci 4(2):50–57Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Society for Parasitology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shakuntala Kage
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. S. Mamatha
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jaya Nagappa Lakkundi
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. P. Shivashankar
    • 3
  • Placid Eugene D’Souza
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Parasitology, Veterinary CollegeKarnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences UniversityHebbal, BengaluruIndia
  2. 2.Department of ParasitologyVeterinary CollegeBengaluruIndia
  3. 3.Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary BiologicalsBengaluruIndia

Personalised recommendations