Babesia bigemina: sporozoite isolation from Boophilus microplus nymphs and initial immunomolecular characterization.
ABSTRACT It has been hypothesized that babesial sporozoites express specific antigens that induce protective immunologic responses in cattle. However, they remain uncharacterized, partly for lack of research on the sporozoite stage of Babesia spp. This field suffers from complete knowledge of parasite development in the tick salivary gland; limited amounts of sporozoites from ticks, and a lack of protocols for induction and purification of sporozoites. In this work, Boophilus microplus larvae infected with B. bigemina were fed on susceptible cattle. Nymphs were collected and macerates were separated by a Percoll density gradient. Microscopic analysis of Giemsa-stained smears showed a larger number of sporozoites from nymphs fed for 9 days. Percoll-purified sporozoites were observed in large numbers in groups or individually and free of tick cells. RT-PCR analysis of total RNA extracted from purified sporozoites indicated transcription of the rhoptry associate protein 1 (rap-1) genes: rap-1a, rap-b, rap-1c, as well as the heat shock protein 20 (hsp-20) gene. Purified sporozoites were cultured in vitro analyzed for RAP-1a expression using an immunocytochemistry assay. Erythrocyte-attached sporozoites reacted with a specific RAP-1a monoclonal antibody. This is the first report of Babesia bigemina sporozoite antigens. Moreover, purified sporozoites will allow the characterization of stage-specific antigens involved in immunologic protection.
Article: Vaccination with BM86, subolesin and akirin protective antigens for the control of tick infestations in white tailed deer and red deer.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
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