Skip to main content
Log in

Biometeorological analysis on the molecular incidence of babesiosis and ehrlichiosis in dogs

  • Research
  • Published:
Theoretical and Applied Climatology Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Babesiosis and ehrlichiosis are highly morbid vector-borne diseases causing fatal conditions among dogs of the tropics and the pertinent association of the environmental determinants on their epidemiology remains unexplored. The present study aimed to evaluate the impact of biometeorological factors like climate and air quality parameters on the molecular incidence of babesiosis and ehrlichiosis in clinically anemic dogs. The dogs having clinical signs suggestive of hemoparasitism were randomly screened from July 2022 to June 2023 for the molecular incidence of Babesia gibsoni, Ehrlichia canis, and B. canis organisms. The weather parameters [maximum and minimum temperatures, mean daily temperature, daily variation in temperature, average relative humidity, Temperature Humidity Index-THI and bright sunshine hours] and air quality parameters [Air Quality Index-AQI, Particulate Matter 2.5 μm-PM2.5 (minimum, maximum, average, daily variation), and Particulate Matter 10 μm-PM10 (minimum, maximum, average, daily variation)] of the sampling days were recorded and statistically evaluated for identifying any correlation with the molecular incidence of each organism. The results depict an evident correlation between the studied parameters and the molecular incidence of these hemoparasites in dogs. Out of 448 samples screened, the high prevalence of hemoparasitism (28.35%), including B. gibsoni (40.89%), E. canis (15.17%) and B. canis (16.67%) infections, was observed among the dogs of the study region during the study period. Also, the variability in the distribution pattern of each organism with respect to the biometeorological parameter points towards the future possibility of developing a disease surveillance-cum-forecast system, based on the host-vector-environment-pathogen epidemiological interplay dynamics.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Abdullah DA, Ali MS, Omer SG, Ola-Fadunsin SD, Ali FF, Gimba FI (2019) Prevalence and climatic influence on hemoparasites of cattle and sheep in Mosul, Iraq. J Adv Vet Anim Res 6(4):492

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Ajith Y, Dimri U, Madhesh E, Gopalakrishnan A, Verma MR, Samad HA, Reena KK, Chaudhary AK, Devi G, Bosco J (2020) Influence of weather patterns and air quality on ecological population dynamics of ectoparasites in goats. Int J Biometeorol 64:1731–1742

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Angelou A, Gelasakis AI, Verde N, Pantchev N, Schaper R, Chandrashekar R, Papadopoulos E (2019) Prevalence and risk factors for selected canine vector-borne diseases in Greece. Parasit Vectors 12(1):1–11

    Google Scholar 

  • Augustine S, Sabu L, Lakshmanan B (2017) Molecular identification of Babesia spp. in naturally infected dogs of Kerala, South India. J Parasit Dis 41:459–462

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Balasubramanian R, Yadav PD, Sahina S, Nadh VA (2021) The species distribution of ticks & the prevalence of Kyasanur forest disease virus in questing nymphal ticks from Western Ghats of Kerala, South India. Indian J Med Res 154(5):743

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Baril C, Pilling BG, Mikkelsen MJ, Sparrow JM, Duncan CA, Koloski CW, LaZerte SE, Cassone BJ (2023) The influence of weather on the population dynamics of common mosquito vector species in the Canadian Prairies. Parasit Vectors 16(1):1–14

    Google Scholar 

  • Barker CM, Reisen WK (2019) Epidemiology of vector-borne diseases. Med Vet Entomol pp.33-49 Academic Press

  • Beugnet F, Marié JL (2009) Emerging arthropod-borne diseases of companion animals in Europe. Vet Parasitol 163(4):298–305

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Birkenheuer AJ (2021) Babesiosis. In Greene’s infectious diseases of the dog and cat (pp. 1203-1217). WB Saunders.

  • Cacciò SM, Antunovic B, Moretti A, Mangili V, Marinculic A, Baric RR, Slemenda SB, Pieniazek NJ (2002) Molecular characterisation of Babesia canis canis and Babesia canis vogeli from naturally infected European dogs. Vet Parasitol 106(4):285–292

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Campbell-Lendrum D, Manga L, Bagayoko M, Sommerfeld J (2015) Climate change and vector-borne diseases: what are the implications for public health research and policy? Philos Trans R Soc Lond Ser B Biol Sci 370(1665).

  • Dhiman RC, Pahwa S, Dhillon GPS, Dash AP (2010) Climate change and threat of vector-borne diseases in India: are we prepared? Parasitol Res 106:763–773

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Duarte SC, Linhares GFC, Romanowsky TN, da Silveira Neto OJ, Borges LMF (2008) Assessment of primers designed for the subspecies-specific discrimination among Babesia canis canis, Babesia canis vogeli and Babesia canis rossi by PCR assay. Vet Parasitol 152(1-2):16–20

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Fouque F, Reeder JC (2019) Impact of past and on-going changes on climate and weather on vector-borne diseases transmission: a look at the evidence. Infect Diseas Poverty 8(03):1–9

    Google Scholar 

  • Gal A, Loeb E, Yisaschar-Mekuzas Y, Baneth G (2008) Detection of Ehrlichia canis by PCR in different tissues obtained during necropsy from dogs surveyed for naturally occurring canine monocytic ehrlichiosis. Vet J 175(2):212–217

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Gilbert L (2021) The impacts of climate change on ticks and tick-borne disease risk. Annu Rev Entomol 66:373–388

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Goo YK, Jia H, Terkawi MA, Aboge GO, Yamagishi J, Nishikawa Y, Kim S, Jang HK, Fujisaki K, Xuan X (2009) Babesia gibsoni: identification, expression, localization, and serological characterization of a Babesia gibsoni 22-kDa protein. Exp Parasitol 123(3):273–276

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Groves MG, Dennis GL (1972) Babesia gibsoni: field and laboratory studies of canine infections. Exp Parasitol 31(1):153–159

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Harrus S, Waner T (2011) Diagnosis of canine monocytotropic ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis): an overview. Vet J 187(3):292–296

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Harrus S, Waner T, Mylonakis ME, Sykes JE, Qurollo B (2021) Ehrlichiosis. In Greene’s infectious diseases of the dog and cat (pp. 522-541). WB Saunders

  • Inokuma H, Yoshizaki Y, Matsumoto K, Okuda M, Onishi T, Nakagome K, Kosugi R, Hirakawa M (2004) Molecular survey of Babesia infection in dogs in Okinawa, Japan. Vet Parasitol 121(3-4):341–346

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Jain J, Lakshmanan B, Nagaraj HV, Praveena JE, Syamala K, Aravindakshan T (2018) Detection of Babesia canis vogeli, Babesia gibsoni and Ehrlichia canis by multiplex PCR in naturally infected dogs in South India. Veterinarski arhiv 88(2):215–224

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jain KJ, Lakshmanan B, Syamala K, Praveena JE, Aravindakshan T (2017) High prevalence of small Babesia species in canines of Kerala, South India. Vet World 10(11):1319

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Janjić F, Beletić A, Radaković M, Spariosu K, Diklić M, Andrić JF, RadonjićV AJ, Filipović MK (2022) Seasonal differences in the intensity of acute phase response in dogs infected with Babesia canis. Int J Biometeorol 66(4):691–698

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Jose J, Lakshmanan B, Aravindakshan TV (2018) Molecular characterization of Babesia vogeli and Ehrlichia canis isolates. J Vet Res 27(1):12–18

    Google Scholar 

  • Karasová M, Tóthová C, Grelová S, Fialkovičová M (2022) The etiology, incidence, pathogenesis, diagnostics, and treatment of canine babesiosis caused by Babesia gibsoni infection. Animals 16;12(6):739

  • Kirade P, Shukla S, Shrivastava N, Audarya SD, Jatav GP (2018) Rickettsial and haemoparasitic infections in dogs of Malwa region, Madhya Pradesh-an etiopathological study. Intas Polivet 19(1):3–6

    Google Scholar 

  • Kumar GS, Varghese A, Hembram PK (2021) Molecular detection of Babesia gibsoni in stray dogs of Southern Kerala. SP-10(12): 1167-1170

  • Kundu K, Kumar S, Maurya PS, Mandal M, Ram H, Garg R, Pawde AM, Raina OK, Banerjee PS (2012) PCR based identification of Babesia canis vogeli in clinically affected dogs. J Vet Parasitol 26(2):167–169

    Google Scholar 

  • Lakshmanan B, John L, Gomathinayagam S, Dhinakarraj G (2007) Molecular detection of Ehrlichia canis from blood of naturally infected dogs in India. Veterinarski arhiv 77(4):307

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lashnits Erin W, Dawson Daniel E (2019) Ecological and socioeconomic factors associated with Bartonella henselae exposure in dogs tested for vector-borne diseases in North Carolina. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis

  • Lindner-Cendrowska K, Bröde P (2021) Impact of biometeorological conditions and air pollution on influenza-like illnesses incidence in Warsaw. Int J Biometeorol 65(6):929–944

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Liu Q, Guan XA, Li DF, Zheng YX, Wang S, Xuan XN, Zhao JL, He L (2023) Babesia gibsoni whole-genome sequencing, assembling, annotation, and comparative analysis. Microbiol Spectr 11(4):e00721–e00723

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Maggi RG, Krämer F (2019) A review on the occurrence of companion vector-borne diseases in pet animals in Latin America. Parasit Vectors 12(1):1–37

    Google Scholar 

  • Manoj RRS, Iatta R, Latrofa MS, Capozzi L, Raman M, Colella V, Otranto D (2020) Canine vector-borne pathogens from dogs and ticks from Tamil Nadu, India. Acta Trop 203:105308

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Megat Abd Rani PA, Irwin PJ, Gatne M, Coleman GT, Traub RJ (2010) Canine vector-borne diseases in India: a review of the literature and identification of existing knowledge gaps. Parasit Vectors 3(1):1–7

    Google Scholar 

  • Oliveira AR, Cohnstaedt LW, Cernicchiaro N (2018) Japanese encephalitis virus: placing disease vectors in the epidemiologic triad. Ann Entomol Soc Am 111(6):295–303

    Google Scholar 

  • Rocklöv J, Dubrow R (2020) Climate change: an enduring challenge for vector-borne disease prevention and control. Nat Immunol 21(5):479–483

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Sadeghieh T, Waddell LA, Ng V, Hall A, Sargeant J (2020) A scoping review of importation and predictive models related to vector-borne diseases, pathogens, reservoirs, or vectors (1999–2016). PLoS One 15(1):e0227678

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Sangeetha SG, Ajith Y, Dixit SK, Reena KK (2017) PCR Based diagnosis and clinical management of ehrlichiosis in a dog. Intas Polivet 18(1):187–191

    Google Scholar 

  • Schlatter TW (1987) Temperature-humidity index. In: Climatology. Encycl. Earth Sci Springer, Boston, MA USA 837-838

  • Singh MN, Raina OK, Sankar M, Rialch A, Tigga MN, Kumar GR, Banerjee PS (2016) Molecular detection and genetic diversity of Babesia gibsoni in dogs in India. Infect Genet Evol 41:100–106

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Singh R, Bhardwaj RK, Gupta AK (2018) Prevalence and molecular detection of Babesia canis in dogs of Jammu Region. J Animal Res 8(6):1121–1124

    Google Scholar 

  • Singla LD, Sumbria D, Mandhotra A, Bal MS, Kaur P (2016) Critical analysis of vector-borne infections in dogs: Babesia vogeli, Babesia gibsoni, Ehrlichia canis and Hepatozoon canis in Punjab, India. Acta Parasitol 61(4):697–706

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Soundararajan C, Nagarajan K, Selvakumar S, Kanna KC, Prakash MA, Raja RA (2016) Prevalence of Rhipicephalus sanguineus on dogs in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. J Vet Parasitol 30(1):12–16

    Google Scholar 

  • Teodorowski O, Kalinowski M, Winiarczyk D, Dokuzeylül B, Winiarczyk S, Adaszek Ł (2022) Babesia gibsoni infection in dogs—a European perspective. Animals (Basel) 12(6):730

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Tokarevich N, Tronin A, Gnativ B, Revich B, Blinova O, Evengard B (2017) Impact of air temperature variation on the ixodid ticks habitat and tick-borne encephalitis incidence in the Russian Arctic: the case of the Komi Republic. Int J Circumpolar Health 76(1):1298882

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Vismaya KK, Varuna PP, Kumar SA, Narayanan A, Kavitha S, Lakshmanan B (2020) Clinico-haematological evaluation and molecular identification of Babesia gibsoni, Babesia canis vogeli, Ehrlichia canis and Trypanosoma evansi in dogs. J Vet Parasitol 34(1):17–26

    Google Scholar 

  • Wahlang L, Lakshmanan B, Bosewell A, Jose J, Aravindakshan TV (2019) SYBR-green based real-time PCR assay for the detection of Ehrlichia canis in ticks. J Vet Parasitol 33(2):8–12

    Google Scholar 

  • World Health Organization (2014) A global brief on vector-borne diseases (No. WHO/DCO/WHD/2014.1). World Health Organization

  • Yabsley MJ, McKibben J, Macpherson CN, Cattan PF, Cherry NA, Hegarty BC, Breitschwerdt EB, O’Connor T, Chandrashekar R, Paterson T, Perea ML (2008) Prevalence of Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma platys, Babesia canis vogeli, Hepatozoon canis, Bartonella vinsonii berkhoffii, and Rickettsia spp. in dogs from Grenada. Vet Parasitol 151(2-4):279–285

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Yogeshpriya S, Sivakumar M, Saravanan M, Venkatesan M, Veeraselvam M, Jayalakshmi K, Selvaraj P (2018) Clinical, haemato-biochemical and ultrasonographical studies on naturally occurring Babesia gibsoni infection in dogs. J Entomol Zool Stud 6:1334–1337

    Google Scholar 

  • Zamora-Vilchis I, Williams SE, Johnson CN (2012) Environmental temperature affects prevalence of blood parasites of birds on an elevation gradient: implications for disease in a warming climate. PLoS One 7(6):e39208

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was conducted using the facilities developed under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Government of India and state plan projects, Government of Kerala at Teaching Veterinary Clinical Complex, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU). The manpower for the laboratory studies was funded under the revolving fund scheme of KVASU and the Startup Research Grant Scheme (Grant no. SRG/2022/000837) of the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Y. Ajith.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval

This work was undertaken in compliance with the universal ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


• First study on the impact of biometeorological parameters in the molecular incidence of babesiosis and ehrlichiosis in dogs.

• The test positivity rates of Babesia gibsoni and Ehrlichia canis are dependent on the increase in certain weather parameters like temperature and Temperature Humidity Index.

• The biometeorological parameters including weather and air quality variables of the sampling days are negatively correlated with B. canis incidence.

• The prevalence of VBDs is supposed to be associated with the favourable environmental conditions for increased vector activity, larval maintenance and host susceptibility to climate stress.

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ajith, Y., Adithya, S., Panicker, V.P. et al. Biometeorological analysis on the molecular incidence of babesiosis and ehrlichiosis in dogs. Theor Appl Climatol 155, 1573–1582 (2024).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: