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The Babesia bovis Merozoite Surface Antigen 1 Hypervariable Region Induces Surface-Reactive Antibodies That Block Merozoite Invasion
- LeRoith, Tanya, Berens, Shawn J., Brayton, Kelly A., Hines, Stephen A., Brown, Wendy C., Norimine, Junzo, McElwain, Terry F.
- Infection and immunity 2006 v.74 no.6 pp. 3663-3667
- Babesia bovis, antigens, erythrocytes, merozoites, monoclonal antibodies, pathogenicity, proline
- A hypervariable region (HVR) previously identified in the carboxy-terminal one-third of the Babesia bovis variable merozoite surface antigen family was more extensively analyzed in merozoite surface antigen 1 (MSA-1) from 16 strains and isolates. The MSA-1 HVR is proline rich and contains three semiconserved motifs nearly identical to those described for the related family member MSA-2. Two MSA-1-specific monoclonal antibodies previously shown to be reactive with the merozoite surface bound to a recombinant construct encoding the HVR, indicating that the HVR is surface exposed and accessible to antibody binding. Importantly, these surface-reactive, HVR-specific monoclonal antibodies were capable of inhibiting merozoite infectivity of the host erythrocyte in vivo. The results indicate that the MSA-1 HVR is involved in erythrocyte invasion and suggest that selection of MSA-1 variants may be driven by invasion-blocking antibodies.