This project aims to develop simple, robust, cheap, on-farm antibody assays specific to Babesia-bovis and B.-bigemina which can be used to determine the immun e status of cattle to these organisms in southern and east Africa and aid the determination of herd levels of enzootic stability. This objective will be achieved by collaboration between laboratories in Liverpool, paris, Lisbon, Maputo and Harare, with the Faculties of Veterinary Science in Maputo and Veterinary parasitology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine/university of Liverpool as the principal sites. By exploiting newly developed serum-free culture techniques pioneered by the French collaborators, B. bovis and B.bigemina exoantigens will be characterised to determine species specific, non-strain specific antigens suitable for diagnostic use. These will be utilised in a solid phase, dipstick assay using colloidal dye labelled anti-immunoglobulin conjugates. The assay will be applied in field studies in zimbabwe and Mozambique to determine the prevalence and incidence of these infections. At the same time, the collection of field isolates of B. bovis will afford the opportunity to perform a preliminary investigation of cytoadherence in B. bovis, and by comparisons with plasmodium falciparum, to help elucidate the pathophysiology of cerebral babesiosis.
A major aim of the project is to provide training in the form of two PhDs, (one Mozambiquan, one portuguese) and training for technical staff in Maputo and Harare. The results of the project will be disseminated by training technicians from Malawi, Zambia and Kenya to enable preliminary applications of the results in those countries. It is hoped that the network of centres involved can form the basis of a continuing and expanding collaboration.
The development of a cheap on-farm assay for antibodies to Babesia spp. will facilitate the determination of herd immune status and the exploitation of enzootic stability to improve the control of babesiosis, with a more cost-effective use of acaricides and the potential for a targetted application of vaccinition.
Topic(s)Data not available
Call for proposalData not available
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts