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Recombinant protein Bd37 protected gerbils against heterologous challenges with isolates of Babesia divergens polymorphic for the bd37 gene

  • K. HADJ-KADDOUR (a1), B. CARCY (a1), A. VALLET (a1), S. RANDAZZO (a1), S. DELBECQ (a1), J. KLEUSKENS (a2), T. SCHETTERS (a1) (a2), A. GORENFLOT (a1) and E. PRECIGOUT (a1)...

The Bd37gene encoding for a glycosyl-phosphatidyl-inositol anchored protein of Babesia divergens displays genetic polymorphisms among isolates. Five major polymorphic groups (clades) were shown by PCR-RFLP among different B. divergens isolates. Each group has been characterized according to a reference Bd37 gene (Rouen87, W8843, Y5, 6303E and 1705B). Recombinant (GST fusion) protein (Bd37r) expressed from the Bd37 gene, was used as antigen in a saponin-based formulation and was able to protect gerbils, after 2 injections at low dose vaccine concentration (1 μg per dose), against a virulent challenge with the B. divergens Rouen87 isolate. In spite of polymorphism of Bd37 gene, Bd37r induced complete immunoprotection against challenges with each of the 5 reference isolate groups defined by PCR-RFLP.

Corresponding author
Laboratoire Biologie Cellulaire and Moléculaire, ERT 1038 ‘Vaccination anti-parasitaire’ UFR Pharmacie, Université Montpellier I, 15 Avenue Charles Flahault, B.P. 14491, 34093 Montpellier Cedex 5, France. Tel: +04 67 66 81 20. Fax: +04 67 66 81 29. E-mail:
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