Canine red blood cell-substituted severe combined immune deficiency (Ca-RBC-SCID) mice were prepared for canine Babesia gibsoni infection. The Ca-RBC-SCID mice infected with B. gibsoni developed a high level of parasitemia, and showed clinical symptoms such as anemia and hemoglobinuria, which are similar to those observed in dogs infected with B. gibsoni. The B. gibsoni parasites grown in Ca-RBC-SCID mice showed marked morphological changes, including a significantly larger size of parasites than those in dogs and abundant RBCs containing 4, 8, 16, and 32 parasites. The multiple infection may have resulted from 1 parasite because the posterior end of each parasite in a multiply infected cell was connected. The parasites grown in SCID mice retained their infectivity and virulence to dogs and their morphology was dramatically restored to the original state when they were returned to dogs.
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