Babesia bigemina is a tick-borne haemoparasiteaffecting cattle in different parts of the world. One ofthe few antigens characterized in this species codifiesfor the Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (AMA-1), a transmembraneprotein recently identified.In this work, we characterized the ama-1 gene from fourItalian B.bigemina strains, two obtained from Ragusa,Sicily (ITA1 and ITA3), one obtained from Benevento,Campania (ITA2) and one coming from Perugia,Umbria (ITA4). Italian sequences were compared to theAustralian strain, whose sequence is available in theSanger Institute web site, and to some strains comingfrom different parts of the world.This study provides useful information on the featuresof B.bigemina AMA-1 gene from Italian strains of theparasite and some predictive information of the proteinobtained by bioinformatics. A comparison amongItalian strains of B.bigemina showed a very high degreeof both nucleotide and aminoacidic identity. The generesulted highly conserved among Italian and foreignstrains and the protein was included in the AMA-1family. By the means of bioinformatics it was possibleto compare some features of B.bigemina AMA-1 proteinwith the already characterized Plasmodium falciparumorthologue. Predictive results show that a structural andthus functional homology between B.bigemina andP.falciparum AMA-1 can be supposed. Moreoverseveral putative antigenic peptides were detected andthey could be used for investigations about therecognition by specific antibodies. These data put thebasis for a further study on B.bigemina AMA-1 antigen.
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|