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Inhibitory effect of cyclophilin A from the hard tick Haemaphysalis longicornis on the growth of Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina

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Haemaphysalis longicornis is known as one of the most important ticks transmitting Babesia parasites in East Asian countries, including Babesia ovata and Babesia gibsoni, as well as Theileria parasites. H. longicornis is not the natural vector of Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina. Vector ticks and transmitted parasites are thought to have established unique host–parasite interaction for their survival, meaning that vector ticks may have defensive molecules for the growth control of parasites in their bodies. However, the precise adaptation mechanism of tick-Babesia parasites is still unknown. Recently, cyclophilin A (CyPA) was reported to be important for the development of Babesia parasites in ticks. To reveal a part of their adaptation mechanism, the current study was conducted. An injection of B. bovis-infected RBCs into adult female H. longicornis ticks was found to upregulate the expression profiles of the gene and protein of CyPA in H. longicornis (HlCyPA). In addition, recombinant HlCyPA (rHlCyPA) purified from Escherichia coli exhibited significant inhibitory growth effects on B. bovis and B. bigemina cultivated in vitro, without any hemolytic effect on bovine RBCs at all concentrations used. In conclusion, our results suggest that HlCyPA might play an important role in the growth regulation of Babesia parasites in H. longicornis ticks, during natural acquisition from an infected host. Furthermore, rHlCyPA may be a potential alternative chemotherapeutic agent against babesiosis.

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We are grateful to Dr. C. Kubota, Laboratory of Veterinary Theriogenology, Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, Joint Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kagoshima University, and Dr. H. Yamaguchi, Iriki Livestock Farm, Joint Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kagoshima University, for the supply of bovine blood. This work was supported by the Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution (BRAIN) and Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) and (C) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

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Correspondence to Tetsuya Tanaka.

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Maeda, H., Boldbaatar, D., Kusakisako, K. et al. Inhibitory effect of cyclophilin A from the hard tick Haemaphysalis longicornis on the growth of Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina . Parasitol Res 112, 2207–2213 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-013-3390-7

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  • Hemolytic Activity
  • Triclosan
  • Cyclophilin
  • Artesunate
  • Babesia