Babesia gibsoni Infection in a Cat with Immune-Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia and Thrombocytopenia

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Original languageEnglish
Article number2128
Number of pages8
Journal / PublicationAnimals
Issue number13
Online published27 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023



Tick-borne haemoparasite Babesia gibsoni has been detected rarely in cats, in surveys of apparently healthy animals. In stored blood from a 6-year-old male-neutered domestic shorthair cat in Hong Kong, B. gibsoni DNA was detected retrospectively using PCR for Babesia spp. 18S rRNA and mitochondrial cytochrome B genes, followed by sequencing and basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) analysis. The cat presented with severe haemolytic anaemia and thrombocytopenia. The cat responded to supportive care and glucocorticoids and was clinically normal despite persistent subclinical thrombocytopenia until six months after presentation, when it succumbed to a fatal haemorrhagic episode. Necropsy revealed severe intestinal and pulmonary haemorrhage and hypocellular bone marrow with megakaryocytosis but no other causes of immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (IMTP) or immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA). Blood stored on days 158 and 180 tested PCR negative for Babesia spp. This report demonstrates that geographic range of B. gibsoni detection in cats includes Hong Kong. The exclusion of other causes suggests that B. gibsoni might have potentially played a role in triggering immune-mediated disease in this case. © 2023 by the authors.

Research Area(s)

  • Babesia gibsoni, babesiosis, feline, cat, Evan’s syndrome, immune-mediated, anaemia, thrombocytopenia, tick fever

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