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A review of zoonotic babesiosis as an emerging public health threat in Asia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dave George, Dr Olivier Sparagano



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Zoonotic babesiosis poses a serious health risk in many parts of the world. Its emergence in Asia is thus a cause for significant concern, demanding that appropriate control measures are implemented to suppress its spread in this region. This study focuses on zoonotic Babesia species reported in Asia, offering an extensive review of those species reported in animals and humans. We reported 11 studies finding zoonotic Babesia species in animals and 16 in humans. In China, the most prevalent species was found to be Babesia microti, reported in both humans (n = 10) and wild and domesticated animals (n = 4). In Korea, only two studies reported human babesiosis, with a further two studies reporting Babesia microti in wild animals. Babesia microti was also reported in wild animal populations in Thailand and Japan, with evidence of human case reports also found in Singapore, Mongolia and India. This is the first review to report zoonotic babesiosis in humans and animals in Asia, highlighting concerns for future public health in this region. Further investigations of zoonotic species of Babesia in animal populations are required to confirm the actual zoonotic threat of babesiosis in Asia, as well as its possible transmission routes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hussain S, Hussain A, Aziz MU, Song B, Zeb J, George D, Li J, Sparagano O

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pathogens

Year: 2022

Volume: 11

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 24/12/2021

Acceptance date: 22/12/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2076-0817

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/pathogens11010023