Indexed on: 18 May '16Published on: 18 May '16Published in: Folia parasitologica
Babesiosis is an emerging zoonotic disease and various wildlife species are reservoir hosts for zoonotic species of Babesia Starcovici, 1893. The objective of the present study was to investigate the presence and prevalence of Babesia spp. in moose Alces alces (Linnaeus) in two regions of Norway. A total of 99 spleen samples were collected from animals of various ages from an area with the occurrence of the tick Ixodes ricinus (Linnaeus, 1758), and from an area where the ticks are known to be absent. Infection was detected by the amplification of different regions of the 18S rRNA gene by using two different PCR primer sets specific of Babesia. Babesia spp. were found in the spleen samples of four moose. All Babesia-infected animals were from an area where ticks occur, with an infection rate of 6% (4 of 70). Babesia-positive samples were obtained from a five-month old moose calf and three adults. Two Babesia species, Babesia capreoli (Enigk et Friedhoff, 1962) and a B. odocoilei-like, were identified. Co-infection with Anaplasma phagocytophilum was obtained in two animals. This is the first report of the occurrence of B. capreoli and B. odocoilei-like species in moose.