Babesia infection in rodents trapped in Riyadh Region, Saudi Arabia, with a general discussion.J Egypt Soc Parasitol. 1994 Apr; 24(1):177-85.JE
Species of Babesia are intraerythrocytic protozoal parasites of many species of mammalians in all parts of the world where the tick-vectors are found. Babesiosis or piroplasmosis causes considerable damage to the livestock and other animals. Human babesiosis has been documented in many countries. Consequently, babesiosis is a zoonotic disease of medical, veterinary and economic importance. In this study, a total of 310 rodents of different species were trapped from different areas in Riyadh Region, Saudi Arabia. These rodents were; Rattus rattus (142), R. norvegicus (24), Mus musculus (8), Meriones crassus (56), Jaculus jaculus (16), Gerbillus cheesmani (50) and Acomys c. dimidiatus (14). Natural Babesia infection was parasitologically detected in 95 of them (30.65%). The highest infection rate was among R. rattus (34.5%). The lowest rate was among G. cheesmani (20%). None of the M. musculus was infected. Since most of these rodents are commensal ie living in close contact with man, a general discussion on the pathogenesis, immunity and diagnosis was given.