Babesia infection in urban and rural dogs in Ahvaz district, Southwest of Iran



Canine Babesiosis is an important worldwide, tick-born disease caused by apicomplexan hemoparasitic
from genus Babesia. The aim of the present survey was to identify the current state of Babesia infection in
urban and rural dogs in Ahvaz district, southwest of Iran. For this reason, 200 rural dogs from 5 village
around Ahvaz and 200 urban dogs (stratified random sampling) referred to the veterinary hospital of Shahid
Chamran University were examined for the presence of Babesia species within 2 years. The studied dogs
were classified based on age, sex, breed and season. Blood samples were taken from cephalic or saphenous
vein and then peripheral thin blood smears were prepared and stained with Giemsa for parasitological
examination. Among 400 dogs, 15 samples (3.75%) were infected with Babesia canis. The present study
showed that from 200 rural dogs, 11 samples (5.5%) and from 200 urban dogs, 4 samples (2%) were
positive for B. canis. Infection rate was higher in adult dogs 3-6 years-old (4.46; 5 out of 112) compared
with young's less than 3 years (3.59; 7 out of 195) and above 6 years (3.85; 3 out of 78). The infection was
higher in female dogs (4.29%; 6 out of 140) than males (3.46%; 9 out of 260) and in warm season (5.15%;
12 out of 233) compared with cold season (1.8%; 3 out of 167), nevertheless, there was not significant
relationship between sex, age and season in urban dogs (P>0.05), but significant difference was revealed
between season and infection in rural dogs population (P