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Molecular cloning, characterization and antigenicity of Babesia sp. BQ1 (Lintan) (Babesia cf. motasi) apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1)

  • QINGLI NIU (a1), ZHIJIE LIU (a1), JIFEI YANG (a1), GUIQUAN GUAN (a1), YUPING PAN (a1), JIANXUN LUO (a1) and HONG YIN (a1) (a2)...


Apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) has been described as a potential vaccine candidate in apicomplexan parasites. Here we characterize the ama-1 gene. The full-length ama-1 gene of Babesia sp. BQ1 (Lintan) (BLTAMA-1) is 1785 bp, which contains an open reading frame (ORF) encoding a 65-kDa protein of 594 amino acid residues; by definition, the 5′ UTR precedes the first methionine of the ORF. Phylogenetic analysis based on AMA-1 amino acid sequences clearly separated Piroplasmida from other Apicomplexa parasites. The Babesia sp. BQ1 (Lintan) AMA-1 sequence is most closely associated with that of B. ovata and B. bigemina, with high bootstrap value. A recombinant protein encoding a conserved region and containing ectodomains I and II of BLTAMA-1 was constructed. BLTrAMA-1-DI/DII proteins were tested for reactivity with sera from sheep infected by Babesia sp. BQ1 (Lintan). In Western-blot analysis, native Babesia sp. BQ1 (Lintan) AMA-1 proteins were recognized by antibodies raised in rabbits against BLTrAMA-1 in vitro. The results of this study are discussed in terms of gene characterization, taxonomy and antigenicity.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding authors. State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Etiological Biology, Key Laboratory of Veterinary Parasitology of Gansu Province, Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Xujiaping 1, Lanzhou, Gansu 730046, People's Republic of China. E-mail:,;


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