Babesia gibsoni

Biosecurity New Zealand is investigating after the exotic red blood cell parasite Babesia gibsoni was detected in two dogs in the Canterbury region. Babesia gibsoni is an unwanted and notifiable organism in New Zealand.

Babesia gibsoni is a protozoal parasite that causes the rupture of red blood cells in dogs. It is widespread around the rest of the world, including Australia. While most infections with Babesia gibsoni are mild or subclinical, some can be severe.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has developed an information sheet for veterinarians about Babesia gibsoni, which you can download below. We encourage you to undertake your own reading and research to develop a fuller understanding of the disease.

If you have any suspected cases of Babesia gibsoni, please call the exotic pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.

MPI is following up and testing dogs that have been in high risk contact with the known infected dogs (forward and back tracing), as well as ensuring that veterinary clinical pathologists who examine blood smears from dogs across New Zealand on a daily basis are on alert for the parasite. 

We know some of you will have clients who are planning for their dogs to travel abroad. MPI is working with countries that have requirements for Babesia gibsoni freedom on a case-by-case basis while we understand more about this finding in New Zealand.

MPI is urging dog owners to ensure their animals' flea and tick treatments are up-to-date.

For up-to-date information about Babesia gibsoni, please visit the MPI website.

Last edited Apr 5, 2024, 11:41 AM
392 KB