Journal of clinical microbiology

Identification and expression of Babesia ovis secreted antigen 1 and evaluation of its diagnostic potential in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

PMID 25694531


In order to identify immunoreactive proteins that are usable for the immunological diagnosis of Babesia ovis infections, a phage lambda cDNA expression library was constructed and screened using parasite-specific immune serum. Immunoscreening resulted in the identification of a full-length cDNA clone encoding a secreted protein designated Babesia ovis secreted antigen 1 (BoSA1). The full-length BoSA1 cDNA contained a 1,137-bp open reading frame that encoded a protein of 378 amino acids, with a signal peptide and 2 internal repeat domains. The theoretical molecular mass of the mature protein was 42.5 kDa. Recombinant BoSA1 (rBoSA1) protein was expressed in Escherichia coli strain DH5α cells as a glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein and was purified by affinity chromatography. Purified rBoSA1 was tested for reactivity with sera from animals experimentally or naturally infected with B. ovis, in an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results showed that specific antibodies against rBoSA1 were detectable on days 7 and 8 of the experimental infection and were maintained during the sampling period. Additionally, 38 field sera taken from sheep naturally infected with B. ovis gave strong positive reactions in the ELISA between day 20 and day 30 of treatment. As a result, the identified recombinant BoSA1 protein seems to be a promising diagnostic antigen that is usable for the development of serological assays for the diagnosis of ovine babesiosis. This is the first report on the molecular cloning, expression, and potential use of a recombinant antigen for the diagnosis of ovine babesiosis.