A genus of the order Haemosporidia that consists of parasites - intra-cellular non-pigmented sporozoa - found in the blood of cattle, sheep, horses, dogs, and other vertebrate animals. They are transmitted by blood-sucking ticks. They infest red blood cells, bringing about their destruction with resulting haemoglobinuria. Babesia bigemina is the causative organism of Texas fever in cattle. Babesia bovis is the causative organism of haemoglobinuria and jaundice (red water fever) in cattle. They are non-pathogenic to man.
- Theobald Smith and Frederick Lucius Kilborne (1858-1936):
Investigations Into the Nature, Causation, and Prevention of Texas or Southern Cattle Fever.
Washington, Gvt. Printing Office, 1893. U. S. Bureau of Animal Industry, Bulletin No. 1.
Discovery of the parasite of Texas cattle fever, Pyrosoma bigeminum, and proof that its transmission is due to the cattle tick, Boôphilus bovis. This was the first demonstration of arthropod transmission of disease. Pyrosoma bigeminum is now known as Babesia bigemina, and Boôphilus bovis as Babesia annulatus.