Skip to main content

Age Distribution of Naturally Occurring Acute Babesiosis in Cattle in Sweden

Åldersfördelning av naturligt uppträdande akut babesios hos nötkreatur

Abstract

The age distribution of clinical cases of babesiosis reported by local veterinary practitioners was investigated in 1976 and 1981. The first study was based on material collected primarily for identifying the Babesia species, the second on computerized reports from a part of one county in Sweden.

The results were similar. Most diseased animals, 135/165 (82%) and 145/161 (90%) respectively, were more than 2.5 years old (cows), while 27/165 (169b) and 12/161 (8%) respectively, were 1–2.5 years old and only 3–4 (2–3%) animals were calves less than 1 year old. This age group, however, probably did not meet the same infection risk as did older animals. Among cows (>2.5 years old) there seemed to be no influence of age on the distribution of clinical babesiosis. Calculation based upon the entire animal population of the county investigated in 1981 revealed that clinical babesiosis was reported about 11 times more often among cows than among heifers and steers. The comparatively high resistance among 1–2.5 year–old cattle may be a function of an inverse age resistance, and/or may be influenced by vaccination against babesiosis on »high risk« farms in Sweden and a lower risk of infection on other farms such that animals tend to escape infection prior to adultness. Babesia organisms were found in 156 of 165 cases (95%) reported as clinical babesiosis.

Sammanfattning

Åldersfördelningen bland nötkreatur rapporterade för babesios undersöktes 1976 och 1981. Vid första tillfället insamlades blodprov för undersökning av Babesia-art, vid andra tillfället användes datorbaserade rapportsammanställningar från södra Kalmar län. Resultaten var samstämmiga, 135/165 (82%) resp. 145/161 (90%) var djur (kor) äldre än 2,5 år och 27/165 (16%) resp. 12/161 (8%) var 1–2,5 år gamla och endast 3 resp. 4 djur (ca 2%) var kalvar under 1 års ålder. Kalvar löper troligen dock inte samma risk att bli infekterade som äldre djur, vilka oftare går på bete. Bland kor (>2,5 år) sågs inget samband mellan stigande ålder och antal rapporterade fall av babesios.

Omräknat på hela nötkreaturspopulationen ingående i nötkreaturskontrollen inom södra Kalmar län rapporterades babesios ca 11 gånger så ofta hos kor som hos ungdjur, 1–2,5 år gamla. Denna resistens hos djur 1-2,5 år kan förutom att vara ett utslag av omvänd åldersresistens även ha påverkats av att i Sverige vaccineras en stor del av kalvarna, ffa. på »högriskgardar« innan de släpps på bete. Det är också möjligt att infektionsrisken på övriga gårdar är så låg att endast ett mindre antal djur hinner bli infekterade före vuxen ålder. Babesia-infekterade blodkroppar påvisades hos 156 (95%) av 165 undersökta fall rapporterade till Lantbruksstyrelsen som babesios.

References

  • Adam K M G, Blewett DA: A serological survey for Babesia in cattle in Scotland. II. The occurrence of antibody in the population and the distribution of infected herds. Ann. trop.Med.Parasit. 1978, 72, 417–428.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bodin S, Hlidar G: Skyddsympningar i Sverige mot piroplasmos. (Vaccinations against piroplasmo–sis i Sweden). Proc. 9th Nordic Vet.Congr. Copenhagen, 1963,1, 328–333.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blood D C, Henderson J A: Veterinary Medicine. Baillere, Tindall & Co. London 1960, p. 677–682.

    Google Scholar 

  • Christensson D, Hellgren N-O, Pehrson Β & Streith G: Piroplasmos under stallsäsongen (Babesiosis in cattle stabeled during non–grazing season). Sv.VetTidn. 1975,11, 525–526.

    Google Scholar 

  • Christensson D: Vaccination of cattle against Babesia divergens. Information 15. Inst, of Parasitology, Åbo Akademi 1979, 56.

    Google Scholar 

  • Emmerson FR, Knott S G & Callow L L: Vaccination with Babesia argentina in 5 beef herds in southeast Queensland. Aust.vet.J. 1976, 52, 451–454.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Gray J S, Fitzgerald Ε & Strickland Κ L: Prevalence of clinical babesiosis in an area in north Co Meath, Ireland. Vet.Rec. 1983,773, 537–539.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heijbel H: Piroplasmosen, behandling och skydd–sympning (Piroplasmosis, treatment and vaccination). 3 Nordiske Vet.møte, Oslo, 9–11 juli 1963, 166–178.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mahoney D F: Immune response to haemoprotozoa II, Babesia spp. In: Immunity to animal parasites. Ed: E.J.L. Soulsby. Academic Press, New York 1972, 301–341.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nilsson A: Ticks and their small mammal hosts. A study on dynamics and host relations of Ixodes ricinus and I.trianguliceps (Acari). Thesis. University of Lund, Sweden, 1978.

    Google Scholar 

  • Olson H: Studien tiber das Auftreten und die Ver–breitung der Rinderleukose in Schweden (Studies of the occurrence and distribution of bovine leucosis in Sweden). Acta vet. scand. 1961, 2, suppl. 2, 22–46.

    Google Scholar 

  • Riek, R F: Babesiosis. In: Infectious Blood Diseases of Man and Animals. Vol. II, ed. D. Weinmand & M. Ristic. Academic Press 1968, p. 220–265.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosenberger G: Krankheiten des Rindes (Diseases of cattle). Paul Parey, Berlin, Hamburg 1979, p. 893–897.

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith T, Kilborne F L: Investigations into the nature, causation and prevention of Texas or Southern cattle fever. Bull. Bur. Anim. Ind. U.S. Dep. Agric. 1893,1, 1–301.

    Google Scholar 

  • Taylor S M: Assessment of prevalance of clinical babesiosis in cattle in northern Ireland. Vet. Rec. 1983,112, 247–250.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Trees A J: The application of acridin orange staining to quartitate low levels of Babesia divergens pa–rasitaemia. Trans. R. Soc. trop. Med. Hyg. 1974, 68, 277.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Wahlgren M, Christensson D, Bergquist R, Björk–man A, Pehrsson P–O, Rombo L: Babesios, en risksjukdom för immunodefekta i Sverige (Babesiosis, a disease at risk for people with immunodeficiency disease). Opusc. med. 1984,29, 26–28.

    Google Scholar 

  • Winter H: Staining with acridin orange. Res. Vet. Sci. 1967, 8, 170.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgment

The authors wish to express their gratitude to Ms Elisabeth Persson, Association for Swedish Livestock Breeding and Production (ASLBP), Hâllsta for making the data on the ASLBP and NBA registers available, Mr Gunnar Hökas, ASLBP, Hâllsta for giving all other information of the ASLBP register, and all the 52 veterinary colleagues interested in contributing to the result by collecting blood samples from field cases of babesiosis.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Christensson, D.A., Thorburn, M.A. Age Distribution of Naturally Occurring Acute Babesiosis in Cattle in Sweden. Acta Vet Scand 28, 373–379 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03548605

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03548605

Keywords

  • Babesia divergens
  • clinical babesiosis
  • inverse age distribution