Location: Animal Disease Research
Project Number: 2090-32000-040-022-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 1, 2021
End Date: Aug 31, 2026
1) Understand the genetic variation of pathogens that cause bovine babesiosis by comparing genome sequences. 2) Determine the infection rates of cattle using molecular and serological assays. 3) Provide risk assessment for the spread of bovine babesiosis.
Tick-borne Apicomplexan parasites remain a great concern and challenge for disease control. Due to inefficient and unsafe strategies to prevent Babesia infection, a new frontier needs to be explored to prevent outbreaks in the U.S. In this cooperative agreement with the Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro, we will evaluate the genetic variation of Babesia parasites isolated from naturally infected animals to develop accurate molecular and serology assays to detect animals infected with B. bovis and B. bigemina. We will identify animals infected with B. bovis or B. bigemina, and nine DNA samples will be extracted for whole-genome sequencing. We will compare the sequences with B. bovis or B. bigemina reference genome sequences to identify genes and proteins conserved between B. bovis and B. bigemina isolates. This information will allow us to develop a molecular and serological assay to determine infection rates. This information will help to assess the risk of bovine babesiosis entering the U.S.