Babesiosis is a tick-transmitted disease, which affects cattle raised in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, causing severe losses to cattle ranchers. In Brazil, Babesia bovis and B. bigemina occur endemically, which makes it difficult to control the disease. Thus the selection of more resistant animals would have an essential role in improving the quality and productivity of the herds. This proposal aims to provide a basis for genetic studies of resistance to bovine babesiosis by identifying causes of variation in the level of B. bovis infection and the immune response in naturally infected cattle. Thus fluctuations in the expression of the enzyme induced nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), the levels of B. bovis infection and the number of natural killer (NK) cells present in blood samples from Canchim calves from birth to of 12 months of age. Expression of the gene encoding iNOS will be assessed by extracting the blood RNA, producing the cDNA "in vitro" and qPCR reactions. Blood samples will also be subjected to quantification of NK lymphocyte levels using the flow cytometer (Acuri C6-BD) and quantification of the amount of B. bovis DNA using BioRad CFX equipment. The data obtained will be analyzed statistically to verify variations in gene expression over time and the associations between these results and those of the NK lymphocyte counts and the level of B. bovis infection, as well as of the latter two among them.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: