A novel 57-kDa merozoite protein of Babesia gibsoni is a prospective antigen for diagnosis and serosurvey of canine babesiosis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.
Veterinary Parasitology (Impact Factor: 2.55). 11/2007; 149(1-2):85-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2007.06.025
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We isolated a novel single copy gene encoding a 57-kDa merozoite protein of Babesia gibsoni (BgP57). The nucleotide sequence of the cDNA was 2387 bp with an open reading frame (ORF) of 1644 bp encoding a 57-kDa predicted polypeptide having 547 amino acid residues. The recombinant BgP57 (rBgP57) without a predicted signal peptide was expressed in Escherichia coli as a soluble glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein. Western blotting showed that the corresponding native protein was 57-kDa, consistent with molecular weight of predicted mature polypeptide. An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using the rBgP57 detected specific antibodies in the sequential sera from a dog experimentally infected with B. gibsoni. Moreover, the antigen did not cross-react with antibodies to B. canis sub-species and closely related apicomplexan parasites indicating that the rBgP57 was a specific antigen for B. gibsoni antibodies. The diagnostic performance of ELISA based on rBgP57 using 107 sera from B. gibsoni-naturally infected dogs was the same as the previously identified rBgP32 but performed better than the previously studied rBgP50. Although, seminested PCR detected higher proportions (82%) of positive samples than the ELISAs, the Mcnemar's chi-square test showed that there was no significant difference in relative effectiveness of rBgP57-ELISA and seminested PCR (chi(2)=2.70; P=0.1003) in identifying positive samples. The rBgP57-ELISA when used in combination with rBgP32-ELISA and rBgP50-ELISA appeared to improve sensitivity of the rBgP57-ELISA for detection of B. gibsoni antibodies. Overall, the rBgP57-ELISA and seminested PCR when used in combination, could improve epidemiological surveys and clinical diagnosis of B. gibsoni infection.



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