Serological survey of babesiosis in sheep in the province of Badajoz, Spain.
Between April 1991 and June 1993, 776 serum samples from sheep from throughout the province of Badajoz were tested for Babesia ovis using an immunofluorescence test developed using piroplasms of a B. ovis strain isolated in 1986 in Zafra, Badajoz. The mean prevalence of B. ovis was 20.87%. Areas with the greatest prevalences were Alburquerque (35.55%), Almendralejo (34.54%) and Herrera del Duque (33.33%). It is suggested that these were areas where most of the pastures favour the presence of vectors. Experimental transmission of B. ovis by Rhipicephalus bursa using larvae or nymphs failed in 2 sheep. However, adults of R. bursa did transmit the parasite and piroplasms were observed 11 and 12 days after infestation with ticks.