Original Research

Systemic inflammatory response syndrome and multiple-organ damage / dysfunction in complicated canine babesiosis

C. Welzl, A.L. Leisewitz, L.S. Jacobson, T. Vaughan-Scott, E. Myburgh
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 72, No 3 | a640 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v72i3.640 | © 2001 C. Welzl, A.L. Leisewitz, L.S. Jacobson, T. Vaughan-Scott, E. Myburgh | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 July 2001 | Published: 09 July 2001

About the author(s)

C. Welzl,
A.L. Leisewitz,
L.S. Jacobson,
T. Vaughan-Scott,
E. Myburgh,

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This study was designed to document the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and multiple-organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) in dogs with complicated babesiosis, and to assess their impact on outcome. Ninety-one cases were evaluated retro-spectively for SIRS and 56 for MODS. The liver, kidneys, lungs, central nervous system and musculature were assessed. Eighty-seven percent of cases were SIRS-positive. Fifty-two percent of the cases assessed for organ damage had single-organ damage and 48 % had MODS. Outcome was not significantly affected by either SIRS or MODS, but involvement of specific organs had a profound effect. Central nervous system involvement resulted in a 57 times greater chance of death and renal involvement in a 5-fold increased risk compared to all other complications. Lung involvement could not be statistically evaluated owing to co-linearity with other organs, but was associated with high mortality. Liver and muscle damage were common, but did not significantly affect outcome. There are manysimilarities between the observations in this study and previous human and animal studies in related fields, lending additional support to the body of evidence for shared underlying pathophysiological mechanisms in systemic inflammatory states.


Babesia Canis; Babesiosis; Canine; MODS; Multiple-Organ Dysfunction Syndrome; Multiple-Organ Failure; SIRS; Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome


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