Circumstances of application:
Bovine babesiosis is one of the most prevalent diseases in tropical and subtropical areas in Mexico, where it causes significant economic loses to the cattle industry. The measures used to control bovine babesiosis include vector control, a specific diagnosis, treatment of sick animals and vaccination. There are no commercial vaccines of any kind in Mexico.
The general objective of the proposed research plan was: to evaluate antibodies against conserved peptides from invasion-blocking antigens of Babesia bigemina and Babesia bovis. Previously, conserved epitopes of exposed antigens of Babesia bovis and B. bigemina were identified. Rabbit and bovine antisera have been generated for each of them. In this proposed plan, those antibodies were evaluated in the following specific objectives:
- To determine if the antibodies recognize the specific proteins in the Babesia bigemina and Babesia bovis strains kept in culture at the NRCPD.
- Investigate the neutralizing capacity of the antibodies in vitro.
Research activity in NRCPD:
We evaluated the capacity of each specific antiserum to recognize the specific proteins by western blot and immunofluorescence microscopy. For this, thin smears of B. bigemina, and B. ovata were made, fixed with acetone and used for immunofluorescence microscopy. The results showed that all the antibodies recognized the fixed parasites with a specific pattern. Western blot analysis showed similar results for each antiserum recognizing a band of the expected size in protein extracts from in vitro cultures.
With these results, we proceeded to evaluate the neutralizing activity of each antiserum. Smears were made and we determined the neutralization effectivity of each bovine antiserum compared with control medium and serum from bovines or rabbits immunized with adjuvant only. ANOVA analysis followed by Tukey test with 95% interval confidence was performed on each experiment.
An abstract was accepted as oral presentation at the congress for the Society of Tropical Veterinary Medicine (STVM) to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina September 24-28.
A bilateral proposal Japan-Mexico was submitted by Professor Rika Shirafuji to start a collaborative research.
A manuscript is being prepared to be submitted to the Parasitology Journal. And a second manuscript will be prepared in the following months.