Vaccination against canine babesiosis.
It has been known for several decades that the soluble parasite antigen (SPA) of several Babesia species can be used as a vaccine against the clinical manifestations of babesiosis. Originally observed in the plasma of infected animals, SPA can also be recovered from the supernatants of in vitro cultures of these parasites. Variable success has been reported for vaccines against the bovine and canine Babesia parasites, which seems to be related to antigenic diversity within Babesia species. In this article, an overview is presented of the development of such vaccines for dogs, and additional research that has led to improvement of an SPA-based vaccine against Babesia canis in dogs.