Immunologic and molecular identification of Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina in free-ranging white-tailed deer in northern Mexico.
ABSTRACT The suitability of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) as hosts for the cattle ticks Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus, has been well documented. These ticks have a wide host range, and both transmit Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina, the agents responsible for bovine babesiosis. Although this disease and its vectors have been eradicated from the United States and some states in northern Mexico, it still is a problem in other Mexican states. It is not known if wild cervids like white-tailed deer can act as reservoirs for bovine babesiosis. The purpose of this study was to determine if B. bovis and B. bigemina or antibodies against them occur in white-tailed deer in the states of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, Mexico. Twenty blood samples from white-tailed deer from two ranches were collected and tested with a nested polymerase chain reaction (nested PCR) and indirect immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) for B. bovis and B. bigemina. Eleven samples were positive for B. bigemina and four for B. bovis by nested PCR; amplicon sequences were identical to those reported in GenBank for B. bovis (Rap 1) and B. bigemina. Results of the IFA test showed the presence of specific antibodies in serum samples. This is the first report of the presence of B. bovis and B. bigemina in white-tailed deer using these techniques and underscores the importance of cervids as possible reservoirs for bovine babesiosis.
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ABSTRACT: Babesia are emerging health threats to humans and animals in the United States. A collaborative effort of multiple disciplines to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment, otherwise known as the One Health concept, was taken during a research workshop held in April 2009 to identify gaps in scientific knowledge regarding babesioses. The impetus for this analysis was the increased risk for outbreaks of bovine babesiosis, also known as Texas cattle fever, associated with the re-infestation of the U.S. by cattle fever ticks. The involvement of wildlife in the ecology of cattle fever ticks jeopardizes the ability of state and federal agencies to keep the national herd free of Texas cattle fever. Similarly, there has been a progressive increase in the number of cases of human babesiosis over the past 25 years due to an increase in the white-tailed deer population. Human babesiosis due to cattle-associated Babesia divergens and Babesia divergens-like organisms have begun to appear in residents of the United States. Research needs for human and bovine babesioses were identified and are presented herein. The translation of this research is expected to provide veterinary and public health systems with the tools to mitigate the impact of bovine and human babesioses. However, economic, political, and social commitments are urgently required, including increased national funding for animal and human Babesia research, to prevent the re-establishment of cattle fever ticks and the increasing problem of human babesiosis in the United States.Parasites & Vectors 04/2010; 3(1):36. · 3.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Babesiosis is a disease with a world-wide distribution affecting many species of mammals principally cattle and man. The major impact occurs in the cattle industry where bovine babesiosis has had a huge economic effect due to loss of meat and beef production of infected animals and death. Nowadays to those costs there must be added the high cost of tick control, disease detection, prevention and treatment. In almost a century and a quarter since the first report of the disease, the truth is: there is no a safe and efficient vaccine available, there are limited chemotherapeutic choices and few low-cost, reliable and fast detection methods. Detection and treatment of babesiosis are important tools to control babesiosis. Microscopy detection methods are still the cheapest and fastest methods used to identify Babesia parasites although their sensitivity and specificity are limited. Newer immunological methods are being developed and they offer faster, more sensitive and more specific options to conventional methods, although the direct immunological diagnoses of parasite antigens in host tissues are still missing. Detection methods based on nucleic acid identification and their amplification are the most sensitive and reliable techniques available today; importantly, most of those methodologies were developed before the genomics and bioinformatics era, which leaves ample room for optimization. For years, babesiosis treatment has been based on the use of very few drugs like imidocarb or diminazene aceturate. Recently, several pharmacological compounds were developed and evaluated, offering new options to control the disease. With the complete sequence of the Babesia bovis genome and the B. bigemina genome project in progress, the post-genomic era brings a new light on the development of diagnosis methods and new chemotherapy targets. In this review, we will present the current advances in detection and treatment of babesiosis in cattle and other animals, with additional reference to several apicomplexan parasites.Current Medicinal Chemistry 02/2012; 19(10):1504-18. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Red deer (Cervus elaphus) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are hosts for different tick species and tick-borne pathogens and play a role in tick dispersal and maintenance in some regions. These factors stress the importance of controlling tick infestations in deer and several methods such as culling and acaricide treatment have been used. Tick vaccines are a cost-effective alternative for tick control that reduced cattle tick infestations and tick-borne pathogens prevalence while reducing the use of acaricides. Our hypothesis is that vaccination with vector protective antigens can be used for the control of tick infestations in deer. Herein, three experiments were conducted to characterize (1) the antibody response in red deer immunized with recombinant BM86, the antigen included in commercial tick vaccines, (2) the antibody response and control of cattle tick infestations in white-tailed deer immunized with recombinant BM86 or tick subolesin (SUB) and experimentally infested with Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, and (3) the antibody response and control of Hyalomma spp. and Rhipicephalus spp. field tick infestations in red deer immunized with mosquito akirin (AKR), the SUB ortholog and candidate protective antigen against different tick species and other ectoparasites. The results showed that deer produced an antibody response that correlated with the reduction in tick infestations and was similar to other hosts vaccinated previously with these antigens. The overall vaccine efficacy was similar between BM86 (E=76%) and SUB (E=83%) for the control of R. microplus infestations in white-tailed deer. The field trial in red deer showed a 25-33% (18-40% when only infested deer were considered) reduction in tick infestations, 14-20 weeks after the first immunization. These results demonstrated that vaccination with vector protective antigens could be used as an alternative method for the control of tick infestations in deer to reduce tick populations and dispersal in regions where deer are relevant hosts for these ectoparasites.Vaccine 11/2011; 30(2):273-9. · 3.77 Impact Factor