Extracellular vesicles in infectious diseases caused by protozoan parasites in buffaloes.
ABSTRACT: Background:Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small membrane-bound vesicles of growing interest in vetetinary parasitology. The aim of the present report was to provide the first isolation, quantification and protein characterization of EVs from buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) sera infected with Theileria spp. Methods:Infected animals were identified through optical microscopy and PCR. EVs were isolated from buffalo sera by size-exclusion chromatography and characterized using western blotting analysis, nanoparticle tracking analysis and transmission electron microscopy. Subsequently, the proteins from isolated vesicles were characterized by mass spectrometry. Results:EVs from buffalo sera have shown sizes in the 124-140 nm range and 306 proteins were characterized. The protein-protein interaction analysis has evidenced biological processes and molecular function associated with signal transduction, binding, regulation of metabolic processes, transport, catalytic activity and response to acute stress. Five proteins have been shown to be differentially expressed between the control group and that infected with Theileria spp., all acting in the oxidative stress pathway. Conclusions:EVs from buffaloes infected with Theileria spp. were successfully isolated and characterized. This is an advance in the knowledge of host-parasite relationship that contributes to the understanding of host immune response and theileriosis evasion mechanisms. These findings may pave the way for searching new EVs candidate-markers for a better production of safe biological products derived from buffaloes.
Project description:Theileria parva (T. parva) causes East Coast fever (ECF), which is of huge economic importance to Eastern and Southern African countries. In a previous bovine model, inflammatory cytokines were closely associated with disease progression in animals experimentally infected with T. parva. The African Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer), the natural reservoir for T. parva, is completely resistant to ECF despite a persistently high parasitaemia following infection with T. parva. Characterizing basic immunological interactions in the host is critical to understanding the mechanism underlying disease resistance in the African Cape buffalo. In this study, the expression level of several cytokines was analyzed in T. parva-infected buffaloes. There were no significant differences in the expression profiles of inflammatory cytokines between the infected and uninfected animals despite a remarkably high parasitaemia in the former. However, the expression level of IL-10 was significantly upregulated in the infected animals. These results indicate a correlation between diminished inflammatory cytokines response and disease resistance in the buffalo.
Project description:A quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assay based on the cox III gene was evaluated for the simultaneous detection and discrimination of Theileria species in buffalo and cattle blood samples from South Africa and Mozambique using melting curve analysis. The results obtained were compared to those of the reverse line blot (RLB) hybridization assay for the simultaneous detection and differentiation of Theileria spp. in mixed infections, and to the 18S rRNA qPCR assay results for the specific detection of Theileria parva. Theileria parva, Theileria sp. (buffalo), Theileria taurotragi, Theileria buffeli and Theileria mutans were detected by the cox III assay. Theileria velifera was not detected from any of the samples analysed. Seventeen percent of the samples had non-species specific melting peaks and 4.5% of the samples were negative or below the detection limit of the assay. The cox III assay identified more T. parva and Theileria sp. (buffalo) positive samples than the RLB assay, and also detected more T. parva infections than the 18S assay. However, only a small number of samples were positive for the benign Theileria spp. To our knowledge T. taurotragi has never been identified from the African buffalo, its identification in some samples by the qPCR assay was unexpected. Because of these discrepancies in the results, cox III qPCR products were cloned and sequenced. Sequence analysis indicated extensive inter- and intra-species variations in the probe target regions of the cox III gene sequences of the benign Theileria spp. and therefore explains their low detection. The cox III assay is specific for the detection of T. parva infections in cattle and buffalo. Sequence data generated from this study can be used for the development of a more inclusive assay for detection and differentiation of all variants of the mildly pathogenic and benign Theileria spp. of buffalo and cattle.
Project description:Water buffaloes can be infected by tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) in endemic areas where cattle and buffalo coexist. Among TBPs affecting buffaloes is the Apicomplexan hemoparasites Babesia bovis and B. bigemina, transmitted by Rhipicephalus microplus ticks. However, little empirical evidence exists on whether buffalo can support TBPs' infection and transmission. A cohort study was designed to measure the infestation levels of R. microplus in buffaloes as well as the ability of buffalo-fed ticks to transmit B. bovis and B. bigemina to their offspring. Tick infestation of different life stages was quantified in cattle and buffalo kept in field conditions in western Cuba. Engorged adult female ticks were allowed to lay eggs in controlled conditions of humidity and temperature, and reproductive parameters were measured and analyzed. Hosts and tick larvae were tested for the presence of Babesia spp. using species-specific qPCR assays. Tick infestation was not observed in adult buffaloes. However, buffalo and cattle calves were equally infested, although the larval survival rate was higher in cattle calves than in buffalo calves. All larval pools (31) obtained from the adult female ticks were positive for B. bovis, whereas only 68% (21/31) was positive for B. bigemina. Among the 10 larval pools negative for B. bigemina, three proceeded from adult females fed on Babesia-negative buffaloes. The other seven pools were from Babesia-positive animals, three from cattle and four from buffalo calves. Babesia infection levels in tick larvae, quantified by qPCR, were similar in female ticks fed on buffalo and bovine calves. We conclude that water buffalo can sustain tick vector populations and support Babesia infection in levels high enough as to be infective for ticks. Our results also validated the hypothesis that adult female ticks fed on buffalo can transmit the pathogens B. bovis and B. bigemina to their offspring. Nevertheless, further laboratory studies are needed to address the question of whether the transovarial transmission of Babesia occurs in the following settings: (1) When adult females are infected previous to the feeding on the buffalo or/and (2) when the adult females acquire the infection while feeding on the buffalo.
Project description:Infections with Babesia bovis, Babesia bigemina, Theileria species and Anaplasma marginale are endemic in Kenya yet there is a lack of adequate information on their genotypes. This study established the genetic diversities of the above tick-borne hemoparasites infecting cattle in Kenya.Nested PCR and sequencing were used to determine the prevalence and genetic diversity of the above parasites in 192 cattle blood samples collected from Ngong and Machakos farms. B. bovis spherical body protein 4, B. bigemina rhoptry-associated protein 1a, A. marginale major surface protein 5, Theileria spp. 18S rRNA, T. parva p104 and T. orientalis major piroplasm surface protein were used as the marker genes.B. bovis, B. bigemina, T. parva, T. velifera, T. taurotragi, T. mutans and A. marginale were prevalent in both farms, whereas T. ovis, Theileria sp. (buffalo) and T. orientalis were found only in Ngong farm. Co-infections were observed in more than 50 % of positive samples in both farms. Babesia parasites and A. marginale sequences were highly conserved while T. parva and T. orientalis were polymorphic. Cattle-derived T. parva was detected in Machakos farm. However, cattle and buffalo-derived Theileria were detected in Ngong farm suggesting interactions between cattle and wild buffaloes. Generally, the pathogens detected in Kenya were genetically related to the other African isolates but different from the isolates in other continents.The current findings reaffirm the endemicity and co-infection of cattle with tick-borne hemoparasites, and the role of wildlife in pathogens transmission and population genetics in Kenya.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Theileria spp. are tick transmitted protozoa that can infect large and small ruminants causing disease and economic losses. Diagnosis of infections is often challenging, as parasites can be difficult to detect and identify microscopically and serology is unreliable. While there are PCR assays which can identify certain Theileria spp., there is no one PCR that has been designed to identify all recognized species that occur in ruminants and which will greatly simplify the laboratory diagnoses of infections. METHODS: Primers and probes for a genus-specific pan-Theileria FRET-qPCR were selected by comparing sequences of recognized Theileria spp. in GenBank and the test validated using reference organisms. The assay was also tested on whole blood samples from large and small ruminants from nine provinces in China. RESULTS: The pan-Theileria FRET-qPCR detected all recognized species but none of the closely related protozoa. In whole blood samples from animals in China, Theileria spp. DNA was detected in 53.2% of the sheep tested (59/111), 44.4% of the goats (120/270) and 30.8% of the cattle (380/1,235). Water buffaloes (n?=?29) were negative. Sequencing of some of the PCR products showed cattle in China were infected with T. orientalis/T. sergenti/T. buffeli group while T. ovis and T. luwenshuni were found in sheep and T. luwenshuni in goats. The prevalence of Theileria DNA was significantly higher in Bos p. indicus than in Bos p. taurus (77.7% vs. 18.3%) and copy numbers were also significantly higher (10(4.88) vs. 10(3.00) Theileria 18S rRNA gene copies/per ml whole blood). CONCLUSIONS: The pan-Theileria FRET-qPCR can detect all recognized Theileria spp. of ruminants in a single reaction. Large and small ruminants in China are commonly infected with a variety of Theileria spp.
Project description:<i>Theileria parva</i> is a protozoan parasite transmitted by the brown-eared ticks, <i>Rhipicephalus appendiculatus</i> and <i>Rhipicephalus zambeziensis</i>. Buffaloes are the parasite's ancestral host, with cattle being the most recent host. The parasite has two transmission modes namely, cattle-cattle and buffalo-cattle transmission. Cattle-cattle <i>T. parva</i> transmission causes East Coast fever (ECF) and January disease syndromes. Buffalo to cattle transmission causes Corridor disease. Knowledge on the genetic diversity of South African <i>T. parva</i> populations will assist in determining its origin, evolution and identify any cattle-cattle transmitted strains. To achieve this, genomic DNA of blood and <i>in vitro</i> culture material infected with South African isolates (8160, 8301, 8200, 9620, 9656, 9679, Johnston, KNP2, HL3, KNP102, 9574, and 9581) were extracted and paired-end whole genome sequencing using Illumina HiSeq 2500 was performed. East and southern African sample data (Chitongo Z2, Katete B2, Kiambu Z464/C12, Mandali Z22H10, Entebbe, Nyakizu, Katumba, Buffalo LAWR, and Buffalo Z5E5) was also added for comparative purposes. Data was analyzed using BWA and SAMtools variant calling with the <i>T. parva</i> Muguga genome sequence used as a reference. Buffalo-derived strains had higher genetic diversity, with twice the number of variants compared to cattle-derived strains, confirming that buffaloes are ancestral reservoir hosts of <i>T. parva</i>. Host specific SNPs, however, could not be identified among the selected 74 gene sequences. Phylogenetically, strains tended to cluster by host with South African buffalo-derived strains clustering with buffalo-derived strains. Among the buffalo-derived strains, South African strains were genetically divergent from other buffalo-derived strains indicating possible geographic sub-structuring. Geographic sub- structuring was also observed within South Africa strains. The knowledge generated from this study indicates that to date, ECF is not circulating in buffalo from South Africa. It also shows that <i>T. parva</i> has historically been present in buffalo from South Africa before the introduction of ECF and was not introduced into buffalo during the ECF epidemic.
Project description:Extracellular vesicles (EVs) shuttle microRNA (miRNA) throughout the circulation and are believed to represent a fingerprint of the releasing cell. We isolated and characterized serum EVs of breast tumour-bearing animals, breast cancer (BC) patients, and healthy controls. EVs were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), protein quantification, western blotting, and nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA). Absolute quantitative (AQ)-PCR was employed to analyse EV-miR-451a expression. Isolated EVs had the appropriate morphology and size. Patient sera contained significantly more EVs than did healthy controls. In tumour-bearing animals, a correlation between serum EV number and tumour burden was observed. There was no significant relationship between EV protein yield and EV quantity determined by NTA, highlighting the requirement for direct quantification. Using AQ-PCR to relate miRNA copy number to EV yield, a significant increase in miRNA-451a copies/EV was detected in BC patient sera, suggesting potential as a novel biomarker of breast cancer.
Project description:Data on the prevalence of piroplasms in buffaloes and large game animal species are lacking from several central European countries. Therefore, to investigate the presence of Babesia/Theileria DNA in these hosts, 239 blood and 270 spleen samples were taken from cervids (red, fallow, and roe deer), as well as from water buffaloes, mouflons, and wild boars in southwestern Hungary, followed by DNA extraction and molecular analysis for piroplasms. All samples from buffaloes and wild boars were PCR negative. Based on spleen samples, the prevalence of piroplasms was significantly higher in red deer (41.7%) than in fallow deer (23.5%). Two genotypes of Theileria capreoli were identified, which showed significant association with their host species (i.e. genotype "capreoli-CE1" was exclusively found in roe deer, whereas red and fallow deer harbored only genotype "elaphi-CE1"). Genotype "elaphi-CE1" of T. capreoli was also detected in one mouflon. No Babesia spp. were identified. In conclusion, in the evaluated region, genotypes of T. capreoli show host-associations among cervids, and at least one of these genotypes may infect mouflons.
Project description:Protists of the genera <i>Babesia</i> and <i>Theileria</i> (piroplasms) cause some of the most prevalent and debilitating diseases for bovines worldwide. In this study, we established and used a next-generation sequencing-informatic approach to explore the composition of <i>Babesia</i> and <i>Theileria</i> populations in cattle and water buffalo in a country (Pakistan) endemic for these pathogens. We collected individual blood samples from cattle (<i>n</i> = 212) and water buffalo (<i>n</i> = 154), extracted genomic DNAs, PCR-amplified the V4 hypervariable region of 18S small subunit rRNA gene from piroplasms, sequenced amplicons using Illumina technology, and then analysed data using bioinformatic platforms. The results revealed piroplasms in 68.9% (252/366) samples, with overall occurrence being markedly higher in cattle (85.8%) than in water buffaloes (45.5%). <i>Babesia</i> (<i>B.</i>) <i>occultans</i> and <i>Theileria</i> (<i>T.</i>) <i>lestoquardi</i>-like species were recorded for the first time in Pakistan, and, overall, <i>T. annulata</i> was most commonly detected (65.8%) followed by <i>B. bovis</i> (7.1%), <i>B. bigemina</i> (4.4%), and <i>T. orientalis</i> (0.5%), with the genetic variability within <i>B. bovis</i> being pronounced. The occurrence and composition of piroplasm species varied markedly across different agro-ecological zones. The high detection of <i>T. annulata</i> in asymptomatic animals suggested a relatively high level of endemic stability of tropical theileriosis in the bovine population.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The spherical body, a membrane bound organelle localized in the apical organelle complex, is unique to Babesia and Theileria spp. The spherical body proteins (SBPs) secreted by spherical bodies include SBP1, SBP2, SBP3 and SBP4. Up to now, only SBP3 has been characterized in Babesia orientalis.<h4>Methods</h4>The BoSBP4 gene was amplified from cDNA and gDNA and cloned into the pGEX-6P-1 vector by homologous recombination, sequenced and analyzed by bioinformatics tools. The amino acid (aa) sequence of BoSBP4 was compared with that of Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina as well as SBP3 of B. orientalis. The immunoreactivity was evaluated by incubating recombinant BoSBP4 (rBoSBP4) with the serum of B. orientalis-infected water buffalo. The native form of BoSBP4 was identified by incubating lysate of B. orientalis-infected water buffalo erythrocytes with the anti-rBoSBP4 mouse serum. The cellular localization of BoSBP4 was determined by indirect immunofluorescence assay.<h4>Results</h4>The full length of the BoSBP4 gene was estimated to be 945 bp without introns, encoding a 314 aa polypeptide with a predicted molecular weight of 37 kDa. The truncated recombinant protein was expressed from 70 to 945 bp as a GST fusion protein with a practical molecular weight of 70 kDa. BoSBP4 shared a 40% and 30% identity with B. bovis and B. bigemina, respectively. Furthermore, it was 31% identical to SBP3 of B. orientalis. BoSBP4 was identified in the lysate of B. orientalis-infected water buffalo erythrocytes with a molecular weight of 37 kDa, corresponding to the expected molecular mass of BoSBP4. The result of rBoSBP4 with positive serum revealed that BoSBP4 can elicit an immune response to B. orientalis-infected water buffalo. The cellular localization of BoSBP4 was detected to be adjacent to the merozoite nucleus in the intracellular phase, followed by the diffusion of the fluorescence of BoSBP4 into the cytoplasm of B. orientalis-infected erythrocytes as puncta-like specks and a gradual increase of the fluorescence.<h4>Conclusions</h4>In this study, SBP4 in B. orientalis was characterized for the first time. It may play a key role in interaction with the host cell by being secreted into the cytoplasm of the B. orientalis-infected erythrocytes to facilitate parasite growth and reproduction.