Recombinant Babesia Bovis Strain Expressing Glutathione S Transferase as a Vaccine Against Ticks

Increasing B. bovis immunity in cattle at a reduced cost


            Parisitic infection of cattle by Babesia bovis can cause cattle loss, and as well poses a risk of infection to humans. This infection causes destruction of red blood cells which ultimately leads to hemolytic anemia. Although this parasite was eradicated in the US in 1943, there is significant risk of a B. bovis outbreak in the regions bordering Mexico, and endemic regions of the world are constantly plagued or at risk of outbreak. Currently, methods of conferring immunity by using tick subunits requiring multiple inoculations per year are used in these regions. These innoculations are not 100% effective, and problems can arise in administering due to herds being difficult to gather in a small area. As well, these innoculations require purification of industrially produced recombinant proteins, and as such they are not cheap with an added risk of contamination or incomplete purification. Acaricides are also used in these regions, to manage the tick population, and with their use comes the added environmental toxicity as well as a chance for acaricide resistance patterns to emerge. What is needed in these endemic regions, and throughout the US, is a way to confer continued immunity to B. bovis in cattle at a reduced cost that is easier to apply to a whole herd. This would allow reduced use of acaricides as well, reducing associated costs and easing worries of environmental toxicity in these regions.

       Researchers at WSU have developed a live Babesia vaccine with dual action against both B. bovis and Babesia strains. This vaccine requires only one application, due to its live status, which elicits a continuous immune response during the infection and results in strengthened immunity compared to current vaccination methods. There is also significant cost reduction due to there being no need for industrial scale recombinant protein production and purification. Due to the fact that the vaccine is expressed in a eukaryotic cell we also gain the added benefit of improved immunogenicity when compared to current methods due to the native-like protein expression. The application of this live vaccine would allow reduced use of acaricides in endemic B. bovis regions as well, due to the improved resistance and easier application our vaccination provides.


Applications and Advantages

•       One application as opposed to current methods requiring multiple applications per year with a chance of missed immunity

•       Significantly reduced cost due to there being no need for industrial recombinant protein production and purification

•       Increased resistances with extended lives will reduce the amount of acaricides needed in endemic regions

•       Vaccine is delivered via a eukaryotic cell, providing improved immunogenicity due to live eukaryotic protein production from the source


Learn More

Karin Biggs
Technology Licensing Associate
Washington State University
(509) 335-3553
Reference No: 1766


Carlos Suarez
Donald Knowles
Daiane Oldiges
Itabajara da Silva Vaz Junior
Carlos Termignoni
Jacob Laughery

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