This parasitic disease is usually first reported in May/June when its tick host first becomes active.
Babesiosis is an infection of the red blood cells by a single cell parasite of the genus Babesia. In the UK, babesiosis is usually caused by Babesia divergens. The disease is spread between cattle by ticks (Ixodes ricinus in the UK). The babesia is injected into the bloodstream by the tick and then invades the red blood cells and begins dividing, eventually rupturing the cell. Clinical signs begin around 2 weeks after infection.
Babesiois is rare except in known tick areas. However in these areas even though disease is often relatively mild there is a significant imact on productivity and fertility in affected cattle.
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