Free Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 36, Number 5-6, September-December 2005
Page(s) 713 - 722
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2005) 713-722
Vet. Res. 36 (2005) 713-722
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2005026

Serum protein response and renal failure in canine Babesia annae infection

Angel Tomas Camachoa, Francisco Javier Guitianb, Estrella Pallasc, Juan Jesus Gestald, Sonia Olmedae, Heidi Goethertf, g, Sam Telford IIIf, g and Andrew Spielmanf

a  Laboratorio Lema & Bandín, C./Lepanto 5, bajo, 36201 Vigo, Spain
b  The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield AL9 7TA, United Kingdom
c  Servicio de Otorrinolaringología, Hospital Xeral-Cíes, C./ Pizarro, 36203 Vigo, Spain
d  Departamento de Medicina Preventiva y Salud Pública, Hospital Clínico Universitario, A. Choupana, 15706 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
e  Departamento de Patología Animal I, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense, Avda. Puerta de Hierro s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
f  Laboratory of Public Health Entomology, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA
g  Present address: Division of Infectious Diseases, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, Massachusetts 01536, USA

(Received 29 June 2004; accepted 11 February 2005)

Abstract - Babesia annae piroplasms have recently been recognised as a cause of infection and disease among dogs in Europe. The pathogenesis and clinical implications of this emerging disease remain poorly understood. We conducted this study to describe the electrophoretic profiles associated with the infection and to determine if B. annae associated azotaemia is caused by renal failure. We examined by microscopy 2 979 canine blood samples submitted to a diagnostic laboratory in NW Spain between September 2001 and April 2002. Small ring-shaped piroplasms were detected in blood smears of 87 samples and the identity of 58 of these presumptive cases were confirmed by PCR. This group of 58 infected dogs and a reference group of 15 healthy non-infected dogs were our study population. For all the dogs, serum protein response to -albumin, alpha-1 globulin, alpha-2 globulin, beta globulin and gamma globulin- was measured by capillary electrophoresis. The response of infected and non-infected dogs was compared and within infected dogs, the response of those with azotaemia (19) was compared with that of non-azotaemic dogs (39). Infected dogs presented a significant elevation of total proteins and all the different globulin fractions, and significantly lower levels of albumin compared to non-infected dogs. Among infected dogs, those presenting azotaemia had significantly lower concentrations of total proteins, albumin, beta and gamma globulins, and significantly higher values of alpha-2 globulin. Specific gravity was below the threshold of 1 025 for all dogs with azotaemia for which a urine sample was available (7) suggesting that azotaemia, in these dogs was of renal origin. Azotaemic dogs had higher concentrations of cholesterol and triglycerides, probably as a result of a liver compensatory response to the loss of proteins. We conclude that serum protein response in B. annae infected dogs corresponds to the pattern of a haemolytic syndrome with intense inflammatory reaction and that the azotaemia associated to the infection is very likely of renal origin.

Key words: serum proteins / Babesia annae / azotaemia / renal failure

Corresponding author: Angel Tomas Camacho

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005