Original Research

Progression towards endemic stability to bovine babesiosis in cattle introduced onto a game ranch : research communication

Assefa Regassa, B.L. Penzhorn, N.R. Bryson
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 71, No 4 | a254 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v71i4.254 | © 2004 Assefa Regassa, B.L. Penzhorn, N.R. Bryson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 November 2004 | Published: 08 November 2004

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Assefa Regassa,
B.L. Penzhorn,
N.R. Bryson,

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An opportunity to study progression toward endemic stability to Babesia bigemina arose when cattle were reintroduced onto a game ranch in 1999 after an absence of three years. The study was conducted between August 2000 and June 2001. The unvaccinated breeding cows were sampled only once. Calves born during October 1999 were initially vaccinated against B. bigemina and Babesia bovis at the age of 4 months and were then bled at 10, 17 and 20 months of age. Calves born during 2000 were bled at 7 and 8 months of age. Sera were collected from all the cattle sampled and later tested for antibodies against B. bigemina and B. bovis using the indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) test. Although endemic stability to B. bigemina had not been achieved at Nooitgedacht 2 years after resumption of cattle ranching, the high seroprevalence in the unvaccinated 8- month-old calves suggested that the situation was approaching stability and that calf vaccination against bovine babesiosis was not required. Tick control should therefore be restricted to prevent excessive tick worry. Only vaccinated cattle were positive to B. bovis and it was concluded that the parasite was absent from the ranch.


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