Hemoparasitoses are very important infectious diseases, especially in Brazil, because it has a high prevalence at veterinary clinical attendance. Canine babesiosis is mostly caused by Babesia vogeli in this country and it is transmitted by Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks. The diagnosis of this disease depends significantly on laboratory-based methods because the clinical manifestations are often non-specific.
The aim of the present study was to investigate epidemiological aspects of canine babesiosis at the Itaguaí microregion, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
Three hundred seventy-three blood samples were collected from the previous local cited above. During collection, an epidemiological questionnaire was applied to identify factors potentially associated with infection. Laboratory analysis was carried out through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) aiming the detection of pathogens by the amplification of heat shock protein 70kDa gene and sequencing. The multiple logistic regression model was created as a function of testing positive dogs for Babesia vogeli.
Among the 373 blood samples from dogs, 8.9% (n=33/373) were positive. According to the multiple logistic regression model three variables better explain the disease in dogs. The habit to live in the residence (OR=1.88; IC=0,94–3,80), the presence of ectoparasites (OR=3,00; IC=1,03–8,75) and veterinary assistance (OR=0,41; IC=0,18–8,70) were associated with Babesia vogeli infection in dogs.
The presence of ectoparasites and the habit to live inside the house are factors that increase the probability of Babesia vogeli infection in dogs in the studied region.