A small Babesia gibsoni-like parasite was identified and isolated as the cause of clinical babesiosis in a dog from Oklahoma. Because this was potentially the first documented case of B. gibsoni infection in Oklahoma, further characterization was warranted, and the 18S nuclear small subunit ribosomal RNA gene was sequenced. Sequence comparison with other piroplasms from dogs showed significant nucleotide sequence differences between this isolate and both B. canis and B. gibsoni. These findings demonstrate that in domestic dogs in North America there are at least 2 “small” B. gibsoni-like organisms with distinct nucleotide sequences and that the geographic distribution of the “small” canine Babesia species may be wider than previously recognized.
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