Antigenic and Genetic Diversities of Babesia ovata in Persistently Infected Cattle
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
Exploring the antigenic and genetic diversities of Babesia ovata, we obtained several field isolates from grazing cattle in the Okushiri island, Japan. Parasite isolation was greatly facilitated by using bovine red blood cell-substituted SCID mice (Bo-RBC-SCID mice), into which the blood samples of the cattle were inoculated. Isolates from different individuals within a herd of cattle were compared in immunoblot analysis with an anti-B. ovata serum and also in Southern blot analysis with a
... nalysis with a probe for the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene. In both analyses, the isolates exhibited banding patterns that were significantly different from each other. We were also able to obtain a series of parasite isolates from a single cow in different seasons of a nine months period, including winter when active vector ticks were not in the field environment. Different seasonal isolates showed different banding patterns in both immunoblot and Southern blot analyses. By contrast, these analyses detected little difference among the parasites that had been passed various times in Bo-RBC-SCID mice, where no specific immune responses should be generated. These results indicate that individual animals within a herd of cattle were infected with antigenically and genetically diversified populations of B. ovata, and that the parasites could persistently infect a single animal with dynamic change in their predominant subpopulations. -KEY WORDS: Babesia ovata, diversity, persistent infection.