Seasonality and occurrence of canine babesiosis in Nairobi and its environs in changing climatic patterns
Canine babesiosis caused by different babesia species is a protozoal tick-borne disease with worldwide distribution and global significance. This study was carried out to establish the seasonality and occurrence of canine babesiosis in dogs as observed in Nairobi area using data from the Small Animal Clinic, University of Nairobi over a period of twenty years (1989 – 2009). Thespatio-temporal distribution of the disease is also presented in relationship to age, sex and breeds affected. The warm and humid season played a key role in the occurrence and spread of the disease.The rainy (wet) season recorded a high incidence 54.90%compared to the dry season 45.10%. In the rainy season the occurrence of the disease was in the long rains (April to June) and short rains (October to December) at 52% and 48% respectively.
This study concludes that high cases of babesiosis occur throughout all the seasons in the tropical and sub-tropical regions and therefore recommend good tick control strategies in all the seasons to reduce incidences.
Keywords: Epidemiology, Babesiosis, Rains, Tropics