Author(s): Galay RL, Maeda H, Aung KM, UmemiyaShirafuji R, Xuan X,
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Abstract Babesiosis is one of the most important tick-borne diseases affecting livestock that can cause major economic losses worldwide particularly in the tropics. Control relies on controlling both the protozoan parasite and the tick vector. Antiprotozoal drugs are most commonly used for treatment, but problems on emergence of resistant strains and food residues are encountered. Longicin, a defensin-like peptide identified from the hard tick, Haemapysalis longicornis, as well as one of its synthetic partial analogs (P4), were previously reported to exert antimicrobial, fungicidal, and parasiticidal activity. Both longicin and P4 showed babesiacidal activity, in vitro and in vivo. Here, peptide fragments of P4 were studied for in vitro activity against bovine Babesia parasites. One of the peptide fragments, antimicrobial peptide 1 (AMP1), reduced the parasitemia of Babesia bigemina. No peptide had significant effect on Babesia bovis. The sequence of AMP1 corresponded to the longicin sequence which is associated with antiparasitic activity. Although AMP1 caused reduction in parasitemia of B. bigemina, the difference in morphology of the parasite compared with the control group was not statistically significant. However, the percentage occurrence of piroplasms decreased, whereas the abnormal pycnotic form increased. The results demonstrated that this shorter peptide retained the anti-babesial activity of the parent peptide, exerting an antiparasitic effect against a bovine Babesia species. Therefore, this short peptide can be considered for chemical synthesis as an alternative therapeutic agent for babesiosis.
This article was published in Trop Anim Health Prod
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology