Blood samples collected from American black bears (Ursus americanus) in eastern and western North Carolina, US, were analyzed for piroplasms. Piroplasmids were detected in 17% (23/132) of the animals surveyed. We detected a Babesia spp. previously identified in North American raccoons (Procyon lotor) and a maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus); prevalence was 22% (14/64) and 13% (9/68) in the mountain and coastal black bear populations, respectively. The presence of the same Babesia species in black bears, raccoons, and a maned wolf suggests piroplasms may not be host specific.
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Vol. 55 • No. 3