Babesiosis as a disease of people and dogs. Molecular diagnostics: a review

https://doi.org/10.17221/1946-VETMEDCitation:Skotarczak B. (2008): Babesiosis as a disease of people and dogs. Molecular diagnostics: a review. Veterinarni Medicina, 53: 229-235.
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Babesia is the causative agent of babesiosis, a tick-borne zoonosis which has been increasingly described throughout the world. Babesia microti and Babesia divergens are the etiological agents of human babesiosis. Babesia canis is the principal etiological agent of canine babesiosis. Currently, the diagnostics of babesiosis is based mainly on serological methods and the immunofluorescent antibody test (IFA) is most commonly used. However, even in the acute phase of the disease, seroconversion does not always occur. Clinical symptoms, because of their unspecificity, cannot be used to make a correct diagnosis. In this situation other diagnostic methods are needed. The use of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is the most promising of these. An advantage of this method is that it allows identification of the parasite in the early stage of disease which enables early diagnosis, implementation of therapy and avoidance of complications. However, the standardization of this technique remains to be carried out. Selection of a genetic marker for PCR is very important for the sensitivity of this technique and it is discussed in this paper.
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