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Trends Parasitol. 2019 May;35(5):356-368. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2019.01.007. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

Babesia Life Cycle - When Phylogeny Meets Biology.

Author information

1
Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, CZ-370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic; Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, CZ-370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. Electronic address: jalovecka@paru.cas.cz.
2
Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, CZ-370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic.
3
Instituto de Patobiología Veterinaria, Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias Veterinarias y Agronómicas (CICVyA), INTA-Castelar, Los Reseros y Nicolas Repetto s/n, Hurlingham 1686, Argentina; National Council of Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET), Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires C1033AAJ, Argentina.

Abstract

Although Babesia represents an important worldwide veterinary threat and an emerging risk to humans, this parasite has been poorly studied as compared to Plasmodium, its malaria-causing relative. In fact, Babesia employs highly specific survival strategies during its intraerythrocytic development and its intricate journey through the tick vector. This review introduces a substantially extended molecular phylogeny of the order Piroplasmida, challenging previous taxonomic classifications. The intriguing developmental proficiencies of Babesia are highlighted and compared with those of other haemoparasitic Apicomplexa. Molecular mechanisms associated with distinctive events in the Babesia life cycle are emphasized as potential targets for the development of Babesia-specific treatments.

KEYWORDS:

Babesia; hard ticks; life cycle; molecular phylogeny; transmission

PMID:
30733093
DOI:
10.1016/j.pt.2019.01.007

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