Bovine babesiosis: protection of cattle with culture-derived soluble Babesia bovis antigen

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Science  17 Apr 1981:
Vol. 212, Issue 4492, pp. 335-338
DOI: 10.1126/science.7209532


Adult Hereford (Bos taurus) cattle were protected from severe reactions and death caused by the tick-borne protozoan hemoparasite Babesia bovis, 3 months after vaccination with a cell culture--derived immunogen. The immunogen consisted of filtered, freeze-dried supernatant fluid collected from long-term cultures of Babesia bovis in vitro. It was reconstituted with saponin adjuvant and injected twice subcutaneously at 2-week intervals. Serum collected from vaccinated cattle caused thickening of the merozoite surface coat, aggregation, and lysis of merozoites in vitro. This reaction was identical to that caused by serum from immune carrier cattle suggesting that the protective antigen present in culture fluids is merozoite surface coat antigen. No mortality occurred among vaccinated cattle, whereas mortality among unvaccinated cattle and Babesia bigemina--immune cattle was 62.5 percent indicating that immunity to bovine babesiosis is species-specific.