A retrospective study of Babesia macropus associated with morbidity and mortality in eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) and agile wallabies (Macropus agilis)

Donahoe, Shannon L., Peacock, Christopher S., Choo, Ace Y.L., Cook, Roger W., O'Donoghue, Peter, Crameri, Sandra, Vogelnest, Larry, Gordon, Anita N., Scott, Jenni L., and Rose, Karrie (2015) A retrospective study of Babesia macropus associated with morbidity and mortality in eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) and agile wallabies (Macropus agilis). International Journal for Parasitology, 4 (2). pp. 268-276.

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Abstract

This is a retrospective study of 38 cases of infection by Babesia macropus, associated with a syndrome of anaemia and debility in hand-reared or free-ranging juvenile eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) from coastal New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland between 1995 and 2013. Infection with B. macropus is recorded for the first time in agile wallabies (Macropus agilis) from far north Queensland. Animals in which B. macropus infection was considered to be the primary cause of morbidity had marked anaemia, lethargy and neurological signs, and often died. In these cases, parasitised erythrocytes were few or undetectable in peripheral blood samples but were sequestered in large numbers within small vessels of visceral organs, particularly in the kidney and brain, associated with distinctive clusters of extraerythrocytic organisms. Initial identification of this piroplasm in peripheral blood smears and in tissue impression smears and histological sections was confirmed using transmission electron microscopy and molecular analysis. Samples of kidney, brain or blood were tested using PCR and DNA sequencing of the 18S ribosomal RNA and heat shock protein 70 gene using primers specific for piroplasms. The piroplasm detected in these samples had 100% sequence identity in the 18S rRNA region with the recently described Babesia macropus in two eastern grey kangaroos from New South Wales and Queensland, and a high degree of similarity to an unnamed Babesia sp. recently detected in three woylies (Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi) in Western Australia.

Item ID: 44460
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-0135
Additional Information:

Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Australian Society for Parasitology. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), International Postgraduate Research Scholarship, Australian Postgraduate Award
Projects and Grants: ARC Future Fellowship FT0992120
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 02:06
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070712 Veterinary Virology @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070709 Veterinary Pathology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920120 Zoonoses @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 50%
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