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Infect Immun. 2002 Mar;70(3):1599-603.

Babesia bovis merozoite surface antigen 1 and rhoptry-associated protein 1 are expressed in sporozoites, and specific antibodies inhibit sporozoite attachment to erythrocytes.

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  • 1Program in Vector-Borne Diseases, Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-7040, USA.


We examined Babesia bovis sporozoites for the expression of two molecules, merozoite surface antigen 1 (MSA-1) and rhoptry-associated protein 1 (RAP-1), that are postulated to be involved in the invasion of host erythrocytes. Both MSA-1 and RAP-1 were transcribed and expressed in infectious sporozoites. Importantly, monospecific MSA-1 and RAP-1 antisera each inhibited sporozoite invasion of erythrocytes in vitro. This is the first identification of antigens expressed in Babesia sp. sporozoites and establishes that, at least in part, sporozoites and merozoites share common targets of antibody mediated inhibition of erythrocyte invasion.

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