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Genomic study and immunological characterization of cattle resistant to bovine babesiosis and analysis of the genetic diversity of Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina

Grant number: 16/07216-7
Support type:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: December 01, 2016 - November 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry
Principal Investigator:Henrique Nunes de Oliveira
Grantee:Henrique Nunes de Oliveira
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil
Co-Principal Investigators:Marcia Cristina de Sena Oliveira
Assoc. researchers:Cintia Hiromi Okino ; Cintia Righetti Marcondes ; Claudia Cristina Gulias Gomes ; Fernando Flores Cardoso ; Lucia Galvão de Albuquerque
Associated scholarship(s):19/06593-0 - Nitric Oxide Synthetase (iNOS) expression level, number of NK lymphocytes and Babesia bovis infection in blood samples from naturally infected Canchim calves, BP.IC
18/16582-2 - Immunological characterization of cattle resistant to bovine babesiosis and analysis of the genetic diversity of Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina, BP.PD
17/21000-0 - Genomics studies of resistance to bovine Anaplasmosis in Braford animals, BP.DR

Abstract

Cattle tick fever (CTF) is one of the main parasitic diseases afflicting cattle. In Brazil the most recent estimates are that this ailment causes yearly losses to breeders amounting to more than 500 million dollars, due to mortality, morbidity, reduced milk and meat production, stillbirths, reduced fertility and expenses for vaccines and treatment of sick animals. CTF is a complex formed by two ailments: babesiosis and anaplasmosis caused by different etiological agents, but with similar clinical signs and epidemiological patterns. Bovine babesiosis is due by the protozoa Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina which parasitizes erythrocytes and induces hemolytic anemia. The occurrence of babesiosis coincides with the dispersion of the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus considered the only biological vector of these parasites. The control of babesiosis in herds requires maintaining a minimum level of infestation by these ticks. The greater resistance of Bos taurus indicus (zebu) animals to this tick and agents of CTF has prompted Brazilian stockbreeders mainly in regions with hot climates to prefer animals of this breed in detriment to B. taurus taurus (taurine), even though the latter are considered more productive (quantitatively and qualitatively). Studies have investigated the genetic aspects of resistance to ticks by cattle of these two subspecies and crosses between them. The results show it is possible selectively breed animals for increased tick resistance but since the phenotypic evaluation is difficult, genetic improvement programs rarely involve this trait. Therefore, little has been done regarding breeding cattle for resistance to babesiosis. Taurine animals are considered less resistant in the sense of presenting more evident clinical symptoms and higher mortality. The emergence of molecular techniques based on PCR has allowed identifying the regions where babesiosis is endemic. The findings have shown that even among Zebu animals, virtually 100% are carriers of B. bovis and B. bigemina. The aim of this study is to evaluate the possible causes of variation in resistance of cattle to babesiosis, in two breeds resulting from crossing taurines and zebus. Immune response of calves of the Canchim breed will be studied in the first year. In the first three months, when the animals have innate immunity and the immunity conferred by the colostrum we will study the frequency of transplacental transmission and neonatal infection by the Babesia ssp. The next phase, until 180 days of age is more critical for the acquisition of adaptive immunity, and by 12 months of age it is believed that adaptive immunity typically reaches a point of stability. In animals of the Braford breed, the investigation will focus on the quantitative genetic components of the variation in the number of copies of B. bovis and B. bigemina in the blood of animals between 12 and 24 months old, when immunity is stabilized. This project is divided into four studies. In the first one, biological materials will be collected from 50 calves, to allow evaluation of the immunological process in the periods before and after weaning. Four measures indicating the immune response will be ascertained: rate of babesiosis infection, humoral and cellular immune responses and expression of genes associated with the immune process. In the second study, the samples collected will be used for molecular characterization of the strains of babesiosis agents from the genetic and virulence standpoints. These differences can influence the immune response and be the cause of variation, to controlled in assessing the host's response. The third study will investigate aspects of transplacental transmission, especially its role in the development of adaptive immunity. The fourth study will focus on quantification of the level of babesiosis infection in about 1,800 animals to estimate the genetic parameters and shed light on genomic selection and genomic association in general. (AU)

Scientific publications (5)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
OKINO, CINTIA HIROMI; GIGLIOTI, RODRIGO; BASSETTO, CESAR CRISTIANO; SILVA, PAMELLA CRISTINI; DE OLIVEIRA, HENRIQUE NUNES; DE SENA OLIVEIRA, MARCIA CRISTINA. Elimination of erroneous results related to bovine mononuclear cell immunophenotyping by antibodies binding to Fc receptors. VETERINARY IMMUNOLOGY AND IMMUNOPATHOLOGY, v. 213, JUL 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
GIGLIOTI, RODRIGO; BASSETTO, CESAR CRISTIANO; OKINO, CINTIA HIROMI; DE OLIVEIRA, HENRIQUE NUNES; DE SENA OLIVEIRA, MARCIA CRISTINA. Development of a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for the detection of Anaplasma marginale. Experimental and Applied Acarology, v. 77, n. 1, p. 65-72, JAN 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
OKINO, CINTIA HIROMI; GIGLIOTI, RODRIGO; SILVA, PAMELLA CRISTINI; DE OLIVEIRA, HENRIQUE NUNES; DE SENA OLIVEIRA, MARCIA CRISTINA. Comparative evaluation of DNA extraction kit, matrix sample and qPCR assays for bovine babesiosis monitoring. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY REPORTS, v. 45, n. 6, p. 2671-2680, DEC 2018. Web of Science Citations: 1.
GIGLIOTI, RODRIGO; DE OLIVEIRA, HENRIQUE NUNES; OKINO, CINTIA HIROMI; DE SENA OLIVEIRA, MARCIA CRISTINA. qPCR estimates of Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina infection levels in beef cattle and Rhipicephalus microplus larvae. Experimental and Applied Acarology, v. 75, n. 2, p. 235-240, JUN 2018. Web of Science Citations: 0.
GIGLIOTI, RODRIGO; DE OLIVEIRA, HENRIQUE NUNES; BILHASSI, TALITA BARBAN; PORTILHO, AMANDA IZELI; OKINO, CINTIA HIROMI; MARCONDES, CINTIA RIGHETTI; DE SENA OLIVEIRA, MARCIA CRISTINA. Estimates of repeatability and correlations of hemoparasites infection levels for cattle reared in endemic areas for Rhipicephalus microplus. Veterinary Parasitology, v. 250, p. 78-84, JAN 30 2018. Web of Science Citations: 3.

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