Canine Babesiosis: SAVSNET confirms presence of Babesia in Chelmsford

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Using diagnostic data from commercial laboratories, SAVSNET confirms the presence of a clear focus of Babesia in dogs in the Chelmsford postcode area of Essex (shown below), with four cases identified in the first three months of this year.

This canine babesiosis outbreak, associated with transmission of Babesia to dogs from infected ticks in the local area, was first brought to the attention of the veterinary profession by the timely and thoughtful clinical work of Swainsbury and colleagues in one veterinary practice who linked together their first three cases of canine babesiosis in untravelled dogs (Pubmed).

As well as this hotspot, their appears to be a low level of diagnosis in other areas of the country, most likely to represent occasional imported cases to the UK. These sporadic areas also need ongoing monitoring. SAVSNET will continue to use its data from veterinarians and laboratories to maintain a watching brief on this developing situation. Babeisa is transmitted by ticks, and Veterinarians and people finding ticks are encouraged to submit them to Public Health England’s Tick Recording Scheme or the Big Tick Project (University of Bristol).

Map of England, Scotland and Wales with colour key to show areas where babesia noted