[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To use two diagnostic antigens belonging to the frequently associated in Theileria
domain, Theileria equi (T. equi) protein 82 (Te 82) and T. equi 104 kDa microneme-rhoptry
antigen precursor (Te 43), to diagnose T. equi infection in horses as compared with equi
merozoite antigen-2 (EMA-2).
Methods: In the current study, we applied a cocktail ELISA containing two antigens (EMA-2
+ Te 82) to diagnose T. equi infection either in experimentally infected horses or in field
Results: Our findings have revealed that a cocktail formula of EMA-2 + Te 82 provided a
more practical and sensitive diagnostic candidate for diagnosing T. equi infection in horses as
compared with Te 82 or Te 43 alone.
Conclusions: The ELISA technique using a cocktail formula of EMA-2 + Te 82 offers a
practical and sensitive diagnostic tool for diagnosing T. equi infection in horses and using of
this promising cocktail formula will be applicable for epidemiological surveys and will help
control the infection in horses.
Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine 10/2015; 5(12):930-933. DOI:10.1016/j.apjtb.2015.09.001
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic manipulation is an essential technique to analyze gene function; however, limited methods are available for Babesia bovis, a causative pathogen of the globally important cattle disease, bovine babesiosis. To date, two stable transfection systems have been developed for B. bovis, using selectable markers blasticidin-S deaminase (bsd) or human dihydrofolate reductase (hdhfr). In this work, we combine these two selectable markers in a sequential transfection system. Specifically, a parent transgenic B. bovis line which episomally expresses green fluorescent protein (GFP) and human dihydrofolate reductase (hDHFR), was transfected with a plasmid encoding a fusion protein consisting of red fluorescent protein (RFP) and blasticidin-S deaminase (BSD). Selection with WR99210 and blasticidin-S resulted in the emergence of parasites double positive for GFP and RFP. We then applied this method to complement gene function in a parasite line in which thioredoxin peroxidase-1 (Bbtpx-1) gene was knocked out using hDHFR as a selectable marker. A plasmid was constructed harboring both RFP-BSD and Bbtpx-1 expression cassettes, and transfected into a Bbtpx-1 knockout (KO) parasite. Transfectants were independently obtained by two transfection methods, episomal transfection and genome integration. Complementation of Bbtpx-1 resulted in full recovery of resistance to nitrosative stress, via the nitric oxide donor sodium nitroprusside, which was impaired in the Bbtpx-1 KO parasites. In conclusion, we developed a sequential transfection method in B. bovis and subsequently applied this technique in a gene complementation study. This method will enable broader genetic manipulation of Babesia toward enhancing our understanding of the biology of this parasite.
PLoS ONE 05/2015; 10(5):e0125993(5). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0125993. · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A rapid and accurate assay for evaluating antibabesial drugs on a large scale is required for the discovery of novel chemotherapeutic agents against Babesia parasites. In the current study, we evaluated the usefulness of a fluorescence-based assay for determining the effi-cacies of antibabesial compounds against bovine and equine hemoparasites in in vitro cultures. Three different hematocrits (HCTs; 2.5%, 5%, and 10%) were used without daily replacement of the medium. The results of a high-throughput screening assay revealed that the best HCT was 2.5% for bovine Babesia parasites and 5% for equine Babesia and Thei-leria parasites. The IC 50 values of diminazene aceturate obtained by fluorescence and mi-croscopy did not differ significantly. Likewise, the IC 50 values of luteolin, pyronaridine tetraphosphate, nimbolide, gedunin, and enoxacin did not differ between the two methods. In conclusion, our fluorescence-based assay uses low HCT and does not require daily replacement of culture medium, making it highly suitable for in vitro large-scale drug screening against Babesia and Theileria parasites that infect cattle and horses.
PLoS ONE 04/2015; DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0125276 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genes that encode merozoite surface antigens (MSAs) in Babesia bovis are genetically diverse. In this study, we analyzed the genetic diversity of B. bovis MSA-1, MSA-2b, and MSA-2c genes in Vietnamese cattle and water buffaloes. Blood DNA samples from 265 cattle and 50 water buffaloes reared in the Thua Thien Hue province of Vietnam were screened with a B. bovis-specific diagnostic PCR assay. The B. bovis-positive DNA samples (23 cattle and 16 water buffaloes) were then subjected to PCR assays to amplify the MSA-1, MSA-2b, and MSA-2c genes. Sequencing analyses showed that the Vietnamese MSA-1 and MSA-2b sequences are genetically diverse, whereas MSA-2c is relatively conserved. The nucleotide identity values for these MSA gene sequences were similar in the cattle and water buffaloes. Consistent with the sequencing data, the Vietnamese MSA-1 and MSA-2b sequences were dispersed across several clades in the corresponding phylogenetic trees, whereas the MSA-2c sequences occurred in a single clade. Cattle- and water-buffalo-derived sequences also often clustered together on the phylogenetic trees. The Vietnamese MSA-1, MSA-2b, and MSA-2c sequences were then screened for recombination with automated methods. Of the seven recombination events detected, five and two were associated with the MSA-2b and MSA-2c recombinant sequences, respectively, whereas no MSA-1 recombinants were detected among the sequences analyzed. Recombination between the sequences derived from cattle and water buffaloes was very common, and the resultant recombinant sequences were found in both host animals. These data indicate that the genetic diversity of the MSA sequences does not differ between cattle and water buffaloes in Vietnam. They also suggest that recombination between the B. bovis MSA sequences in both cattle and water buffaloes might contribute to the genetic variation in these genes in Vietnam.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, we investigated the effect of systematic tick control programs for reducing Theileria orientalis (TO) infection in heifers and ticks. Grazing heifers in two selected public pastures in Kushiro, Hokkaido, which had been previously known for a high prevalence of TO, were treated with acaricides for a period of three years starting from 2011. Blood samples collected from heifers and ticks collected from grasses were analyzed as follows: morphological identification of ticks, TO infection in heifers and ticks, and anemia status in cattle. Several heifers in both pastures were PCR-positive for TO before the beginning of grazing, and only the TO-negative heifers were subsequently monitored to evaluate the impact of the tick control programs. Three tick species, including Ixodes persulcatus, I. ovatus and Haemaphysalis douglasi, were found to be active in both pastures during spring, and TO was detected by PCR in all three tick species. During the study period, a gradual decrease was observed in the parasite burden among the ticks and in the numbers of animals that developed TO infection. Additionally, a gradual reduction in anemia rates was also observed among these animals as the tick control programs progressed. These findings suggest that the implementation of systematic tick control strategies for several years, together with the continuous monitoring of TO infection in heifers and ticks, is effective in reducing the prevalence of this parasite among heifers in these pastures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, we examined the contributions of macrophages to the outcome of infection with Babesia microti, the etiological agent of human and rodent babesiosis, in BALB/c mice. Mice were treated with clodronate liposome at different
times during the course of B. microti infection in order to deplete the macrophages. Notably, a depletion of host macrophages at the early and acute phases of
infection caused a significant elevation of parasitemia associated with remarkable mortality in the mice. The depletion of
macrophages at the resolving and latent phases of infection resulted in an immediate and temporal exacerbation of parasitemia
coupled with mortality in mice. Reconstituting clodronate liposome-treated mice at the acute phase of infection with macrophages
from naive mice resulted in a slight reduction in parasitemia with improved survival compared to that of mice that received
the drug alone. These results indicate that macrophages play a crucial role in the control of and resistance to B. microti infection in mice. Moreover, analyses of host immune responses revealed that macrophage-depleted mice diminished their production
of Th1 cell cytokines, including gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). Furthermore, depletion
of macrophages at different times exaggerated the pathogenesis of the infection in deficient IFN-γ−/− and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Collectively, our data provide important clues about the role of macrophages
in the resistance and control of B. microti and imply that the severity of the infection in immunocompromised patients might be due to impairment of macrophage function.
Infection and Immunity 10/2014; 83(1). DOI:10.1128/IAI.02128-14 · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cattle, buffaloes, and sheep are the main sources of meat and milk in Egypt, but their productivity is thought be greatly reduced by hemoprotozoan parasitic diseases. In this study, we analyzed the infection rates of Babesia bovis, B. bigemina, Theileria annulata, and T. orientalis, using parasite-specific PCR assays in blood-DNA samples sourced from cattle (n=439), buffaloes (n=50), and sheep (n=105) reared in Menoufia, Behera, Giza, and Sohag provinces of Egypt. In cattle, the positive rates of B. bovis, B. bigemina, T. annulata, and T. orientalis were 3.18%, 7.97%, 9.56%, and 0.68%, respectively. On the other hand, B. bovis and T. orientalis were the only parasites detected in buffaloes and each of these parasites was only found in two individual DNA samples (both 2%), while one (0.95%) and two (1.90%) of the sheep samples were positive for B. bovis and B. bigemina, respectively. Sequence analysis showed that the B. bovis Rhoptry Associated Protein-1 and the B. bigemina Apical Membrane Antigen-1 genes were highly conserved among the samples, with 99.3-100% and 95.3-100% sequence identity values, respectively. In contrast, the Egyptian T. annulata Merozoite Surface Antigen-1 gene sequences were relatively diverse (87.8-100% identity values), dispersing themselves across several clades in the phylogenetic tree containing sequences from other countries. Additionally, the T. orientalis Major Piroplasm Surface Protein (MPSP) gene sequences were classified as types 1 and 2. This is the first report of T. orientalis in Egypt, and of type 2 MPSP in buffaloes. Detection of MPSP type 2, which is considered a relatively virulent genotype, suggests that T. orientalis infection may have veterinary and economic significance in Egypt. In conclusion, the present study, which analyzed multiple species of Babesia and Theileria parasites in different livestock animals, may shed an additional light on the epidemiology of hemoprotozoan parasites in Egypt.
Parasitology International 10/2014; 64(1). DOI:10.1016/j.parint.2014.10.002 · 1.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bovine babesiosis is a livestock disease known to cause economic losses in endemic areas. The apicomplexan parasite Babesia bovis is able to invade and destroy the host's erythrocytes leading to the serious pathologies of the disease, such as anemia and hemoglobinuria. Understanding the egress mechanisms of this parasite is therefore a key step to develop new therapeutic strategies. In this study, the possible involvement of Ca(2+) in the egress of B. bovis merozoites from infected erythrocytes was investigated. Egress was artificially induced in vitro using calcium ionophore A23187 and thapsigargin to increase Ca(2+) concentration in the cytosol of the parasite cells. The increased intracellular Ca(2+) concentration following these treatments was confirmed using live cell Ca(2+) imaging with confocal laser scanning microscopy. Based on our findings, we suggest a Ca(2+) signalling pathway in the egress of B. bovis merozoites.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 10/2014; 77(1). DOI:10.1292/jvms.14-0391 · 0.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Babesia bovis is an apicomplexan parasite that causes babesiosis in infected cattle. Genomes of pathogens contain promising information that can facilitate the development of methods for controlling infections. Although the genome of B. bovis is publically available, annotated gene models are not highly reliable prior to experimental validation. Therefore, we validated a preproposed gene model of B. bovis and extended the associated annotations on the basis of experimentally obtained full-length expressed sequence tags (ESTs).
From in vitro cultured merozoites, 12,286 clones harboring full-length cDNAs were sequenced from both ends using the Sanger method, and 6,787 full-length cDNAs were assembled. These were then clustered, and a nonredundant referential data set of 2,115 full-length cDNA sequences was constructed. The comparison of the preproposed gene model with our data set identified 310 identical genes, 342 almost identical genes, 1,054 genes with potential structural inconsistencies, and 409 novel genes. The median length of 5' untranslated regions (UTRs) was 152 nt. Subsequently, we identified 4,086 transcription start sites (TSSs) and 2,023 transcriptionally active regions (TARs) by examining 5' ESTs. We identified ATGGGG and CCCCAT sites as consensus motifs in TARs that were distributed around -50 bp from TSSs. In addition, we found ACACA, TGTGT, and TATAT sites, which were distributed periodically around TSSs in cycles of approximately 150 bp. Moreover, related periodical distributions were not observed in mammalian promoter regions.
The observations in this study indicate the utility of integrated bioinformatics and experimental data for improving genome annotations. In particular, full-length cDNAs with one-base resolution for TSSs enabled the identification of consensus motifs in promoter sequences and demonstrated clear distributions of identified motifs. These observations allowed the illustration of a model promoter composition, which supports the differences in transcriptional regulation frameworks between apicomplexan parasites and mammals.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-678) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Theileria parasites infect a wide range of domestic and wild ruminants worldwide, causing diseases with varying degrees of severity. A broad classification, based on the parasite’s ability to transform the leukocytes of host animals, divides Theileria into two groups, consisting of transforming and non-transforming species. The evolution of transforming Theileria has been accompanied by drastic changes in its genetic makeup, such as acquisition or expansion of gene families, which are thought to play critical roles in the transformation of host cells. Genetic variation among Theileria parasites is sometimes linked with host specificity and virulence in the parasites. Immunity against Theileria parasites primarily involves cell-mediated immune responses in the host. Immunodominance and major histocompatibility complex class I phenotype-specificity result in a host immunity that is tightly focused and strain-specific. Immune escape in Theileria is facilitated by genetic diversity in its antigenic determinants, which potentially results in a loss of T cell receptor recognition in its host. In the recent past, several reviews have focused on genetic diversity in the transforming species, Theileria parva and Theileria annulata. In contrast, genetic diversity in Theileria orientalis, a benign non-transforming parasite, which occasionally causes disease outbreaks in cattle, has not been extensively examined. In this review, therefore, we provide an outline of the evolution of Theileria, which includes T. orientalis, and discuss the possible mechanisms generating genetic diversity among parasite populations. Additionally, we discuss the potential implications of a genetically diverse parasite population in the context of Theileria vaccine development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In vitro evaluation of chemotherapeutic agents against Babesia and Theileria parasites has become routine, and the effectiveness of these chemicals is usually determined by comparing the parasitemia dynamics of untreated and treated parasites. Although microscopy is widely used to calculate parasitemia, several disadvantages are associated with this technique. The present study evaluates a fluorescent-based method using SYBR Green I stain (SG I) to screen antibabesial agents in in vitro cultures of Babesia bovis. The linearity between relative fluorescence units (RFU) and parasitemia was found to be well correlated with a 0.9944 goodness of fit (r(2)) value. Subsequently, 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) values were calculated for 3 antiprotozoan agents, diminazene aceturate, nimbolide, and gedunin, by this method. For diminazene aceturate and nimbolide, the IC50 values by fluorescence-based method (408 nM and 8.13 μM, respectively) and microscopy (400.3 nM and 9.4 μM, respectively) were in agreement. Furthermore, the IC50 value of gedunin by fluorescence-based method (19 μM) was similar to the recently described microscopy-based value (21.7 μM) for B. bovis. Additionally, the Z' factor (0.80-0.90), signal to noise (S/N) ratio (44.15-87.64), coefficient of variation at the maximum signal (%CVmax) (0.50-2.85), and coefficient of variation at the minimum signal (%CVmin) (1.23-2.21) calculated for the fluorescence method using diminazene aceturate were comparable to those previously determined in malaria research for this assay. These findings suggest that the fluorescence-based method might be useful for antibabesial drug screening and may have potential to be developed into a high-throughput screening (HTS) assay.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Miltefosine, a membrane-active synthetic ether-lipid analogue, has antiproliferative and antiparasitic effects. In this study, the inhibitory effects of miltefosine were evaluated against three Babesia species and Theileria equi in vitro and against Babesia microti in mice. The drug showed significant growth inhibition from an initial parasitemia of 1% for Babesia bovis, Babesia bigemina, Babesia caballi, and T. equi with IC50 values of 25, 10.2, 10.4, and 99μM, respectively. Complete inhibition was observed at 200μM of miltefosine on the third day of culture for the three Babesia species and 400μM on the fourth day for T. equi. Reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR) showed that miltefosine inhibited the transcription of choline-phosphate cytidylyltransferase in B. bovis. Miltefosine at a dose rate of 30mg/kg resulted in a 71.7% inhibition of B. microti growth in BALB/c mice. Miltefosine might be used for drug therapy in babesiosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 23-kDa piroplasm membrane protein of Theileria orientalis (p23) is an immunogenic protein expressed during the intraerythrocytic stage of the parasite; its function, however, remains unclear. To evaluate the host factor or factors that interact with p23, we examined the binding of p23 to components of the host cell surface. Recombinant p23 protein of the Ikeda genotype failed to bind to bovine red blood cells or to peripheral blood mononuclear cells, but did bind to Madin-Darby Bovine Kidney (MDBK) cells. A glycoarray assay showed that recombinant p23 proteins from the three genotypes bound to heparin, indicating that p23 is a heparin-binding Theileria surface molecule. Further analysis of heparin-binding molecules is useful for understanding attachment and invasion of T. orientalis merozoites.
The Japanese journal of veterinary research 05/2014; 62(1-2):17-24. · 0.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A total of 658 cattle in 6 provinces in the Philippines were screened for Anaplasma marginale infection by using a diagnostic heat-shock operon (groEL) gene-PCR assay. The screening-positive samples were further tested using the major surface antigen protein 1a (Msp1a) gene-PCR assay. Screening PCR results showed 130 cattle (19.8%) were positive for the A. marginale infection. Subsequent amplification using the Msp1a gene only showed 93 samples (14.1%) to be positive. In addition, 37 tandem-repeat structures, including 20 novel structures, and 41 distinct genotypes were identified. Interestingly, multiple infections of 4 different genotypes were also observed in A. marginale-infected cattle. The present study demonstrated the prevalence and characterization of diverse genotypes of A. marginale in the Philippine cattle.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 04/2014; 76(7). DOI:10.1292/jvms.13-0405 · 0.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Babesia ovata is a tick-transmitted hemoprotozoan parasite of cattle. In the present study, we analyzed tick DNA samples (n = 1459) prepared from questing ticks collected from various cattle pastures in Hokkaido (Shibecha, Taiki, Otofuke, Memuro, and Shin-Hidaka districts) and Okinawa (Yonaguni Island) prefectures of Japan for B. ovata. When all the tick DNA samples were screened by a previously described B. ovata-specific apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) gene-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, none of the DNA samples was positive. Therefore, we developed a PCR assay based on the protozoan beta-tubulin (β-tubulin) gene to detect B. ovata from ticks in Japan. In the specificity test, the PCR assay amplified the expected 444-bp target gene fragment from B. ovata DNA. No PCR products were amplified from DNA samples from other blood pathogens, bovine blood, or ticks. In addition, the PCR assay detected 100 fg of B. ovata-genomic DNA extracted from an in vitro culture of the parasites. Subsequently, when all the tick DNA samples were screened by this new PCR assay, 18 were positive for B. ovata. Positive samples were found only in the Yonaguni and Memuro areas. In Okinawa, where all the ticks were identified as Haemaphysalis longicornis, 9.7% of the samples were PCR-positive, while a single tick (Ixodes ovatus) from Memuro was infected with B. ovata. When the nucleotide sequences of the PCR amplicons were phylogenetically analyzed, they formed a separate clade containing a previously described β-tubulin gene sequence from B. ovata (Miyake strain), confirming that the PCR assay had detected only B. ovata from the tick DNA samples. This is the first report that describes the PCR detection of B. ovata in ticks. The findings warrant transmission experiments to evaluate I. ovatus as a potential vector of B. ovata.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A gene encoding a Babesia bovis protein that shares significant degree of similarity to other apicomplexan thrombospondin-related anonymous proteins (TRAPs) was found in the genomic database and designated as BbTRAP2. Recombinant protein containing a conserved region of BbTRAP2 was produced in E. coli. A high antigenicity of recombinant BbTRAP2 (rBbTRAP2) was observed with field B. bovis-infected bovine sera collected from geographically different regions of the world. Moreover, antiserum against rBbTRAP2 specifically reacted with the authentic protein by Western blot analysis and an indirect fluorescent antibody test. Three bands corresponding to 104-, 76-, and 44-kDa proteins were identified in the parasite lysates and two bands of 76- and 44-kDa proteins were detected in the supernatant of cultivated parasites, indicating that BbTRAP2 was proteolytically processed and shed into the culture. Apical and surface localizations of BbTRAP2 were observed in the intracellular and extracellular parasites, respectively, by confocal laser microscopic examination. Moreover, native BbTRAP2 was precipitated by bovine erythrocytes, suggesting its role in the attachment to erythrocytes. Furthermore, the specific antibody to rBbTRAP2 inhibited the growth of B. bovis in a concentration-dependent manner. Consistently, pre-incubation of the free merozoites with the antibody to rBbTRAP2 resulted in an inhibition of the parasite invasion into host erythrocytes. Interestingly, the antibody to rBbTRAP2 was the most inhibitive for the parasite's growth as compared to those of a set of antisera produced against different recombinant proteins, including merozoite surface antigen 2c (BbMSA-2c), rhoptry-associated protein 1 C-terminal (BbRAP-1CT), and spherical body protein 1 (BbSBP-1). These results suggest that BbTRAP2 might be a potential candidate for development of a subunit vaccine against B. bovis infection.
PLoS ONE 12/2013; 8(12):e83305. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0083305 · 3.23 Impact Factor