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Genome-wide diversity and gene expression profiling of Babesia microti isolates identify polymorphic genes that mediate host-pathogen interactions

Silva J.C., Cornillot E., McCracken C., Usmani-Brown S., Dwivedi A., Ifeonu O.O., Crabtree J., Gotia H.T., Virji A.Z., Reynes C., Colinge J., Kumar V., Lawres L., Pazzi J.E., Pablo J.V., Hung C., Brancato J., Kumari P., Orvis J., Tretina K., Chibucos M., Ott S., Sadzewicz L., Sengamalay N., Shetty A.C., Su Q., Tallon L., Fraser C.M., Frutos R., Molina D.M., Krause P.J., Ben Mamoun C.. 2016. Scientific Reports, 6 : 15 p..

Babesia microti, a tick-transmitted, intraerythrocytic protozoan parasite circulating mainly among small mammals, is the primary cause of human babesiosis. While most cases are transmitted by Ixodes ticks, the disease may also be transmitted through blood transfusion and perinatally. A comprehensive analysis of genome composition, genetic diversity, and gene expression profiling of seven B. microti isolates revealed that genetic variation in isolates from the Northeast United States is almost exclusively associated with genes encoding the surface proteome and secretome of the parasite. Furthermore, we found that polymorphism is restricted to a small number of genes, which are highly expressed during infection. In order to identify pathogen-encoded factors involved in host-parasite interactions, we screened a proteome array comprised of 174 B. microti proteins, including several predicted members of the parasite secretome. Using this immuno-proteomic approach we identified several novel antigens that trigger strong host immune responses during the onset of infection. The genomic and immunological data presented herein provide the first insights into the determinants of B. microti interaction with its mammalian hosts and their relevance for understanding the selective pressures acting on parasite evolution.

Mots-clés : sang; ixodes; relation hôte pathogène; variation génétique; expression des gènes; babesia microti; États-unis

Thématique : Maladies des animaux; Autres thèmes

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