The development of a recombinant Babesia vaccine Academic Article uri icon


  • Crude extracts of Babesia bovis parasites were shown to induce levels of protection in susceptible cattle equivalent to that resulting from natural infection. The crude material was systematically fractionated and tested in numerous sequential vaccination/challenge experiments in adult cattle. Antigens in protective fractions were then purified by affinity chromatography with monoclonal antibodies. Three highly protective (more than 95% reduction in parasitaemias) antigens were thus identified. None of these antigens was immunodominant; a number of immunodominant antigens were identified and all were immunosuppressive and/or non-protective. The three protective antigens were cloned and expressed as either beta-galactosidase or glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusion proteins. Two of these, GST-12D3 and GST-11C5, when used in combination were almost as protective as has been previously shown for the commercially available live attenuated vaccine. A short fragment of a third antigen (21B4) has also been shown to be protective. In two of the antigens, repetitive segments have been shown to be non-protective while the third antigen (12D3) does not contain repetitive domains. Homologues of these antigens exist in other Babesia species and it is anticipated that these may be candidate antigens for protective vaccines against those species.


  • Wright, IG
  • Casu, R
  • Commins, MA
  • Dalrymple, BP
  • Gale, KR
  • Goodger, BV
  • Riddles, PW
  • Waltisbuhl, DJ
  • Abetz, I
  • Berrie, DA
  • Bowles, Y
  • Dimmock, C
  • Hayes, T
  • Kalnins, H
  • Leatch, G
  • McCrae, R
  • Montague, PE
  • Nisbet, IT
  • Parrodi, F
  • Peters, JM
  • Scheiwe, PC
  • Smith, W
  • Rode-Bramanis, K
  • White, MA

publication date

  • September 1992