This online CPD course has been designed to provide easy access to up-to-date scientific information on equine piroplasmosis. The course has been developed by internationally recognized scientists, Prof Raksha Bhoora and Prof Nicola Collins from the Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

In this course, the differences in the epidemiology, clinical disease and control/therapy of equine piroplasmosis caused by Theileria equi and Babesia caballi are discussed. The pros and cons of different diagnostic techniques and therapeutics are pointed out

Who Should Enrol

Veterinary, para-veterinary and allied animal and human health professionals and students.

Course Design

Online CPD course

Course Content

Module 1. Introduction: Babesioses (read text)

Module 2. Equine piroplasmosis: Introduction, Aetiology, Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, Clinical signs, Pathology, Diagnosis, Differential Diagnosis and Control (2 CPD Points)

Course Highlights

Equine piroplasmosis is caused by the intra-erythrocytic, tick-transmitted protozoan parasites Theileria equi and Babesia caballii which generally affect horses, mules, donkeys and zebras. These parasites have also been detected in dogs and, more recently, in camels, Transmission of equine piroplasmosis can occur either biologically, by ticks of the family Ixodidae, or mechanically, through blood transfusions.

Both parasites cause disease in equids, which may be either acute or chronic, with mortalities ranging from 5 per cent among horses native to endemic regions, to more than 50 per cent in naïve horses introduced into endemic regions. Animals that recover often remain persistently infected carriers that act as reservoirs for the spread of these protozoal pathogens by competent tick vectors. Intrauterine infections of unborn foals may result in abortion or the birth of infected foals.

It is considered to be a disease of international importance that negatively affects the movement of horses for trade and participation in equestrian sporting events.

The learner will be able to study and complete the course material and online test at his/her own pace.

Learning Outcomes

After completion of the course the learner will have a sound knowledge of equine piroplasmosis and will be able to:

  • understand and discuss the most important features of the aetiology/life cycle, epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical signs, pathology, diagnosis, differential diagnosis and control of equine piroplasmosis.
  • point out the differences and similarities in the epidemiology, clinical disease including abortion and neonatal death, and control/therapy of equine piroplasmosis caused by Theileria equi and Babesia caballi.
  • understand the role of different ticks in the transmission of the two parasites.
  • discuss how best infections caused by Theileria equi and Babesia caballi. can be diagnosed and differentiated from each other.
  • understand the pros and cons of different diagnostic tests that are available to confirm a diagnosis of equine piroplasmosis.
  • understand the pros and cons of different available therapeutics.
  • understand the best strategies available to control equine piroplasmosis.
  • understand the international implications of infected horses.


Some of the modules will have a multiple-choice test, while others are read for information.


Module 2: Equine piroplasmosis
South African Veterinary Council (SAVC)
2 CPD Points



In order to qualify for CPD points, the learner will be required to complete the course and pass the multiple-choice test with 80%.

2.0 CPD Points