Veterinary World

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Research (Published online: 06-12-2016)

6. Diagnosis and management of bovine babesiosis outbreaks in cattle in Punjab state - Mandeep Singh Bal, Vishal Mahajan, Gursimran Filia, Paramjit Kaur and Amarjit Singh

Veterinary World, 9(12): 1370-1374



   doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2016.1370-1374


Mandeep Singh Bal: Animal Disease Research Centre, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India;

Vishal Mahajan: Animal Disease Research Centre, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India;

Gursimran Filia: Animal Disease Research Centre, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India;

Paramjit Kaur: Department of Veterinary Parasitology, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India;

Amarjit Singh: Animal Disease Research Centre, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India;


Received: 10-05-2016, Accepted: 02-11-2016, Published online: 06-12-2016


Corresponding author: Gursimran Filia, e-mail:

Citation: Bal MS, Mahajan V, Filia G, Kaur P, Singh A (2016) Diagnosis and management of bovine babesiosis outbreaks in cattle in Punjab state, Veterinary World, 9(12): 1370-1374.

Aim: The aim of the present study was to diagnose severe outbreaks of bovine babesiosis in Punjab state, in the year 2015 and to suggest control and preventive measures to animal owners.

Materials and Methods: Mortality of animals was recorded in two cattle herd comprising a total of 465 cattle in Sangrur (n=125) and Faridkot (n=340) districts. There was a history of purchase of animals at one farm. 23 blood samples were collected from diseased (n=15) and healthy animals (n=8) for hematological analysis, parasitological, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based diagnosis. Ticks were also collected from animals for identification.

Results: Out of 465 cattle at risk, 28 were critically ill and 14 died of disease with morbidity, mortality, and case fatality rate of 6.02%, 3.01%, and 50.00%, respectively. Clinical signs and necropsy findings were suggestive of babesiosis. Ticks collected from both the outbreaks were identified as Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. Thin blood smears from infected animals (especially with clinical sign of hemoglobinuria) were found positive for Babesia bigemina organisms; however, molecular diagnosis (PCR) further confirmed the disease. Animals were successfully treated with diminazene aceturate, hematinics, and antipyretics.

Conclusions: Two fatal outbreaks of babesiosis in cattle were diagnosed with application of conventional parasitological, hematological, and molecular diagnostic techniques. PCR was found to be far more sensitive in detecting the disease, especially in latent infections. Animal owners were advised to follow quarantine measures before mixing new animals in the herd and strategic acaricidal treatments for effective tick control.

Keywords: Babesia bigemina, cattle, outbreaks, parasitological diagnosis, polymerase chain reaction.

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