Volume 63 (2001) Issue 1 Pages 111-113
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was first applied to diagnosis of canine babesiosis in Japan. Blood samples from 13 dogs suffering from canine babesiosis were used for examination of specificity and sensitivity of the PCR diagnosis. Of the 13 dogs, three were experimentally infected, and ten were naturally infected with Babesia species in west part of Japan. We designed a nested PCR to amplify the babesial small subunit ribosomal RNA gene and found that only the nested PCR produced a visual band, which were not apparent by the first-round PCR to the positive samples. Specificity of the nested PCR was confirmed by amplification after the second-round PCR. Sensitivity of the nested PCR was examined by diluting the blood samples from infected and uninfected dogs. The nested PCR was found to show positive results on the most diluted blood at 0.0001% parasitemia. These results indicate that the nested PCR is highly sensitive and useful for diagnosis of canine babesiosis.