Publications by authors named "Marisa Diana Farber"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Development of highly sensitive one step-PCR tests for improved detection of B. bigemina and B. bovis.

Vet Parasitol 2021 Aug 8;296:109493. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Instituto de Agrobiotecnología y Biología Molecular (IABIMO) INTA - CONICET, de Los Reseros y Dr. Nicolás Repetto s/n, P.O. Box 25 (B1712WAA), Castelar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Bovine babesiosis caused by Babesia bigemina and B. bovis is an economically relevant tick-borne disease distributed over tropical and subtropical world regions. Animals that recover from the clinical disease can remain persistently infected, and those carriers are epidemiologically relevant since they can act as a source of infection to other animals through the tick bite. According to the manual of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the recommended molecular diagnosis test for both parasites is a nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) based on an amplification of a fragment of the rap-1 gene. Since nPCRs are time consuming, have a higher cost and risk of contamination, we propose a single step PCR for B. bigemina (BbiVESA) and B. bovis (BboVESA) based on the amplification of the multi-copy ves-1α gene. We developed these methods and we achieved a detection limit of 1 × 10 % parasitemia for B. bigemina and of 1 × 10 % for B. bovis using reference strains, which compared to the reference OIE tests, results in an improvement in sensitivity of six orders for B. bigemina. Finally, we tested 48 field samples from a babesiosis enzootic region where we were able to detect a higher proportion of positive animals with both VESA methods than with the reference rap-1 nPCRs. This difference was statistically significant for each Babesia species. Concordance between both diagnostic schemes based on Cohen's kappa coefficient showed minimal to non-agreement (κ = 0.32) for B. bigemina and non-agreement (κ = 0.16) for B. bovis since BbiVESA and BboVESA PCR tests showed a significantly higher detection capacity. In conclusion, the high sensitivity of the assay, together with the lower demand of time and reagents make the VESA PCR methods developed here a valuable diagnostic tool for the molecular detection and epidemiological survey of both Babesia pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2021.109493DOI Listing
August 2021

The key to egress? Babesia bovis perforin-like protein 1 (PLP1) with hemolytic capacity is required for blood stage replication and is involved in the exit of the parasite from the host cell.

Int J Parasitol 2021 Jul 20;51(8):643-658. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Instituto de Agrobiotecnología y Biología Molecular (IABIMO) INTA - CONICET, De Los Reseros y Dr. Nicolás Repetto s/n, P.O. Box 25 (B1712WAA), Castelar, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address:

Bovine babesiosis is a tick-borne disease caused by apicomplexan parasites of the Babesia genus that represents a major constraint to livestock production worldwide. Currently available vaccines are based on live parasites which have archetypal limitations. Our goal is to identify candidate antigens so that new and effective vaccines against Babesia may be developed. The perforin-like protein (PLP) family has been identified as a key player in cell traversal and egress in related apicomplexans and it was also identified in Babesia, but its function in this parasite remains unknown. The aim of this work was to define the PLP family in Babesia and functionally characterize PLP1, a representative member of the family in Babesia bovis. Bioinformatic analyses demonstrate a variable number of plp genes (four to eight) in the genomes of six different Babesia spp. and conservation of the family members at the secondary and tertiary structure levels. We demonstrate here that Babesia PLPs contain the critical domains present in other apicomplexan PLPs to display the lytic capacity. We then focused on the functional characterization of PLP1 of B. bovis, both in vitro and in vivo. PLP1 is expressed and exposed to the host immune system during infection and has high hemolytic capacity under a wide range of conditions in vitro. A B. bovis plp1 knockout line displayed a decreased growth rate in vitro compared with the wild type strain and a peculiar phenotype consisting of multiple parasites within a single red blood cell, although at low frequency. This phenotype suggests that the lack of PLP1 has a negative impact on the mechanism of egression of the parasite and, therefore, on its capacity to proliferate. It is possible that PLP1 is associated with other proteins in the processes of invasion and egress, which were found to have redundant mechanisms in related apicomplexans. Future work will be focused on unravelling the network of proteins involved in these essential parasite functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2020.12.010DOI Listing
July 2021

Geography as non-genetic modulation factor of chicken cecal microbiota.

PLoS One 2021 6;16(1):e0244724. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Instituto de Agrobiotecnología y Biología Molecular, IABiMo, INTA-CONICET, Calle Las Cabañas y Los Reseros s/n, Castelar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The gastrointestinal tract of chickens harbors a highly diverse microbiota contributing not only to nutrition, but also to the physiological development of the gastrointestinal tract. Microbiota composition depends on many factors such as the portion of the intestine as well as the diet, age, genotype, or geographical origin of birds. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the influence of the geographical location over the cecal microbiota from broilers. We used metabarcoding sequencing datasets of the 16S rRNA gene publicly available to compare the composition of the Argentine microbiota against the microbiota of broilers from another seven countries (Germany, Australia, Croatia, Slovenia, United States of America, Hungary, and Malaysia). Geographical location played a dominant role in shaping chicken gut microbiota (Adonis R2 = 0.6325, P = 0.001; Mantel statistic r = 0.1524, P = 4e-04) over any other evaluated factor. The geographical origin particularly affected the relative abundance of the families Bacteroidaceae, Lactobacillaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcaceae, and Clostridiaceae. Because of the evident divergence of microbiota among countries we coined the term "local microbiota" as convergent feature that conflates non-genetic factors, in the perspective of human-environmental geography. Local microbiota should be taken into consideration as a native overall threshold value for further appraisals when testing the production performance and performing correlation analysis of gut microbiota modulation against different kind of diet and/or management approaches. In this regard, we described the Argentine poultry cecal microbiota by means of samples both from experimental trials and commercial farms. Likewise, we were able to identify a core microbiota composed of 65 operational taxonomic units assigned to seven phyla and 38 families, with the four most abundant taxa belonging to Bacteroides genus, Rikenellaceae family, Clostridiales order, and Ruminococcaceae family.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244724PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7787451PMC
May 2021

Closing the Gaps to Understand the Tick Transmission of among Giant Anteaters () in Argentina.

Pathogens 2020 Dec 9;9(12). Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Instituto de Agrobiotecnología y Biología Molecular (IABIMO, INTA-CONICET), Las Cabañas y Los Reseros s/n, Hurlingham, Buenos Aires B1686LQF, Argentina.

, a well-known cattle pathogen of tropical and subtropical world regions, has been previously molecularly characterized in a giant anteater () from Corrientes, Argentina. Ticks or other hematophagous arthropod involved in the wild transmission cycle remained unknown. The aim of the present study was to analyze the simultaneous occurrence of in blood samples and ticks from giant anteaters from Corrientes in order to investigate if ticks could be relevant in the transmission among these mammals. Blood samples from 50 giant anteaters collected in different years and 26 ticks and were studied through the molecular amplification of two unequivocal species-specific genes from and . Twenty five giant anteaters and tick organs (salivary glands, gut and oviduct) from 11 ticks tested positive to the DNA amplification. The further molecular characterization through MSP1a tandem repeats analysis revealed the presence of genotypes circulating among giant anteaters that had been previously identified in cattle blood samples from the same geographical region. These results confirm the presence of in giant anteaters in Corrientes and suggests that and ticks could be involved in the transmission among giant anteaters. Future studies will determine the role of these tick species in the wild transmission cycle in the study area and the eventual connection with the domestic cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9121033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7763026PMC
December 2020

Immunisation of cattle against Babesia bovis combining a multi-epitope modified vaccinia Ankara virus and a recombinant protein induce strong Th1 cell responses but fails to trigger neutralising antibodies required for protection.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2019 10 16;10(6):101270. Epub 2019 Aug 16.

Instituto de Agrobiotecnología y Biología Molecular (IABIMO) INTA - CONICET, De Los Reseros y Dr. Nicolás Repetto s/n, P.O. Box 25 (B1712WAA), Castelar, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address:

Protection against the intraerythrocytic protozoan parasite Babesia bovis depends on both strong innate and adaptive immune response, this latter involving the presentation of parasite antigens to CD4 T-lymphocytes by professional antigen-presenting cells. Secretion of Th1 cytokines by CD4 T cell is also very important for isotype switching to IgG, the best opsonising antibody isotype in cattle, to target extracellular parasites and parasite antigens displayed at the erythrocyte surface. In the field of vaccinology, heterologous prime-boost schemes combining protein-adjuvant formulations with a modified vaccinia Ankara vector expressing the same antigen have demonstrated the induction of both humoral and cellular immune responses. It has been previously demonstrated that MVA-infected dendritic cells can present antigens in the context of MHC II and activate CD4 T cell. These results support the use of the MVA viral vector for a pathogen like Babesia bovis, which only resides within erythrocytes. In this study, 13-15-months-old Holstein-Friesian steers were immunised with a subunit vaccine as a prime and a modified vaccinia Ankara vector as a boost, both expressing a chimeric multi-antigen (rMABbo - rMVA). This antigen includes the immunodominant B and T cell epitopes of three B. bovis proteins: merozoite surface antigen - 2c (MSA - 2c), rhoptry associated protein 1 (RAP - 1) and heat shock protein 20 (HSP20). Responses were compared with the Babesia bovis live attenuated vaccine used in Argentina (R1A). Eleven weeks after the first immunisation, all bovines were challenged by the inoculation of a virulent B. bovis strain. All groups were monitored daily for hyperthermia and reduction of packed cell volume. Both the rMABbo - rMVA and R1A vaccinated animals developed high titters of total IgG antibodies and an antigen-specific Th1 cellular response before and after challenge. However, all rMABbo - rMVA steers showed clinical signs of disease upon challenge. Only the R1A live vaccine group developed an immune response associated with in vitro neutralising antibodies at a level that significantly inhibited the parasite invasion. The lack of protection observed with this recombinant formulation indicates the need to perform further basic and clinical studies in the bovine model in order to achieve the desired effectiveness. This is the first report in which a novel vaccine candidate against Babesia bovis was constructed based on a recombinant and rationally designed viral vector and evaluated in the biological model of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2019.101270DOI Listing
October 2019

Tannins and Bacitracin Differentially Modulate Gut Microbiota of Broiler Chickens.

Biomed Res Int 2018 21;2018:1879168. Epub 2018 Feb 21.

Instituto de Patobiología, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Calle Las Cabañas y Los Reseros s/n, Casilla de Correo 25, Castelar, 1712 Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Antibiotic growth promoters have been used for decades in poultry farming as a tool to maintain bird health and improve growth performance. Global concern about the recurrent emergence and spreading of antimicrobial resistance is challenging the livestock producers to search for alternatives to feed added antibiotics. The use of phytogenic compounds appears as a feasible option due to their ability to emulate the bioactive properties of antibiotics. However, detailed description about the effects of in-feed antibiotics and alternative natural products on chicken intestinal microbiota is lacking. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene was used to study composition of cecal microbiota in broiler chickens supplemented with either bacitracin or a blend of chestnut and quebracho tannins over a 30-day grow-out period. Both tannins and bacitracin had a significant impact on diversity of cecal microbiota. Bacitracin consistently decreased while other bacterial groups were affected only at certain times. Tannins-fed chickens showed a drastic decrease in genus while certain members of order Clostridiales mainly belonging to the families Ruminococcaceae and Lachnospiraceae were increased. Different members of these groups have been associated with an improvement of intestinal health and feed efficiency in poultry, suggesting that these bacteria could be associated with productive performance of birds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2018/1879168DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5841071PMC
September 2018

Impact of Chestnut and Quebracho Tannins on Rumen Microbiota of Bovines.

Biomed Res Int 2017 28;2017:9610810. Epub 2017 Dec 28.

Instituto de Patobiología, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Calle Las Cabañas y Los Reseros s/n, Casilla de Correo 25, Castelar, 1712 Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The use of phytogenic dietary additives is being evaluated as a means to improve animal productivity. The effect of tannins seems to be the influence not only directly on the digestive process through binding of dietary proteins but also indirectly over their effects on gastrointestinal microbiota. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene was used to analyze the impact of dietary supplementation with a blend of chestnut and quebracho tannins on the rumen microbiota of Holstein steers. Bacterial richness was lower in tannins treated animals, while the overall population structure of rumen microbiota was not significantly disturbed by tannins. The ratio of the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, a parameter associated with energy harvesting function, was increased in tannins supplemented animals, essentially due to the selective growth of Ruminococcaceae over members of genus . Fibrolytic, amylolytic, and ureolytic bacterial communities in the rumen were altered by tannins, while methanogenic archaea were reduced. Furthermore, ruminal pH was significantly higher in animals supplemented with tannins than in the control group, while urease activity exhibited the opposite pattern. Further work is necessary to assess the relation between tannins impact on rumen microbiota and alteration of rumen fermentation parameters associated with bovine performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2017/9610810DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5763072PMC
August 2018

Development of an Indirect ELISA Based on a Recombinant Chimeric Protein for the Detection of Antibodies against Bovine Babesiosis.

Vet Sci 2018 Jan 23;5(1). Epub 2018 Jan 23.

Instituto de Biotecnología, Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias Veterinarias y Agronómicas, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, De Los Reseros y Dr. Nicolás Repetto s/no., Hurlingham 1686, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The current method for spp. serodiagnosis based on a crude merozoite antigen is a complex and time-consuming procedure. An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) based on a recombinant multi-antigen of (rMABbO) was developed for detection of antibodies in bovines suspected of infection with this parasite. The multi-antigen comprises gene fragments of three previously characterized antigens: MSA-2c, RAP-1 and the Heat Shock protein 20 that are well-conserved among geographically distant strains. The cutoff value for the new rMABbo-iELISA was determined using 75 known-positive and 300 known-negative bovine sera previously tested for antibodies to by the gold-standard ELISA which uses a merozoite lysate. A cutoff value of ≥35% was determined in these samples by receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, showing a sensitivity of 95.9% and a specificity of 94.3%. The rMABbo-iELISA was further tested in a blind trial using an additional set of 263 field bovine sera from enzootic and tick-free regions of Argentina. Results showed a good agreement with the gold standard test with a Cohen's kappa value of 0.76. Finally, the prevalence of bovine babesiosis in different tick enzootic regions of Argentina was analyzed where seropositivity values among 68-80% were obtained. A certain level of cross reaction was observed when samples from infected cattle were analyzed with the new test, which can be attributed to shared epitopes between 2 of the 3 antigens. This new rMABbo-iELISA could be considered a simpler alternative to detect anti spp. antibodies and appears to be well suited to perform epidemiological surveys at the herd level in regions where ticks are present.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5876563PMC
January 2018

Distribution of anisakid nematodes parasitizing rajiform skates under commercial exploitation in the Southwestern Atlantic.

Int J Food Microbiol 2018 Feb 19;267:20-28. Epub 2017 Dec 19.

Laboratorio de Ictioparasitología, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Funes 3350, 7600 Mar del Plata, Argentina. Electronic address:

In order to evaluate the infestation by anisakids present in elasmobranchs and their distribution in the Argentine Sea, this study was carried at a regional scale with the following aims: 1) to identify those anisakid species present in skates under exploitation; 2) to characterize quantitatively these infestations and 3) to determine those factors driving the variability in parasite burdens across skate species. A total of 351 skates, belonging to 3 species (218 Sympterygia bonapartii, 86 Zearaja chilensis and 47 Atlantoraja castelnaui) and from different localities of the Argentine Sea were examined for anisakids. Parasites were found in the stomach wall at high prevalence in some samples. Based on morphology and mtDNA cox2 sequences analyses (from 24 larval worms), specimens were identified as Anisakis berlandi, A. pegreffii and Pseudoterranova cattani; the last two known as potentially pathogenic for humans. Differential distribution patterns were observed across parasite and hosts species. In general, fish caught in southern and deeper waters exhibited higher loads of Anisakis spp., whereas infestation levels by P. cattani increase in larger skates. Taking into account that the mere presence of worms or their antigens in fish meat can provoke allergic responses, information on distribution of parasites and their variability is essential for the implementation of food safety practices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2017.12.009DOI Listing
February 2018

Epidemiology of Babesia, Anaplasma and Trypanosoma species using a new expanded reverse line blot hybridization assay.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2018 02 1;9(2):155-163. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

Instituto de Biotecnología, Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias Veterinarias y Agronómicas, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, De Los Reseros y Dr. Nicolás Repetto s/n, 1686, Hurlingham, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Vector-borne hemoparasitic infections are a major problem that affects livestock industries worldwide, particularly in tropical and subtropical regions. In this work, a reverse line blot (RLB) hybridization assay was developed for the simultaneous detection and identification of Anaplasma, Babesia and bovine trypanosomes, encompassing in this way the most relevant hemoparasites that affect cattle. A total of 186 bovine blood samples collected from two different ecoepidemiological regions of northeast Argentina, with and without tick control, were analyzed with this new RLB. High diversity of parasites, such as Babesia bovis, B. bigemina, Anaplasma marginale and three different Trypanosoma species, was found. High rates of coinfections were also detected, and significant differences were observed not only in the prevalence of parasites but also in the level of coinfections between the two analyzed areas. Regarding the Trypanosoma genus, we provide molecular evidence of the presence of T. vivax and T. theileri for the first time in Argentina. Besides, since the RLB is a prospective tool, it allowed the identification of a yet unknown bovine trypanosome which could not be assigned to any of the bovine species known so far. In the present study we provide new insights on the prevalence of several pathogens that directly impact on livestock production in Argentina. The RLB assay developed here allows to identify simultaneously numerous pathogenic species which can also be easily expanded to detect other blood borne pathogens. These characteristics make the RLB hybridization assay an essential tool for epidemiological survey of all vector-borne pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2017.08.011DOI Listing
February 2018

Draft Genome Sequences of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Strains Rafaela_II (Clade 8) and 7.1_Anguil (Clade 6) from Cattle in Argentina.

Genome Announc 2015 Jun 11;3(3). Epub 2015 Jun 11.

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a major etiologic agent of diseases in humans that cause diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic-uremic syndrome. Here, we report the draft genome sequences of two strains isolated from cattle that had high levels of Shiga toxin 2 and high lethality in mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.00617-15DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4463528PMC
June 2015
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