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Bovine theileriosis: Molecular diagnosis and strain analyses
Bovine theileriosis is an emerging disease in Australasia caused by the red blood cell parasite, Theileria orientalis Ikeda. This disease and has caused substantial economic losses to beef and dairy industries in Australia since 2006, estimated at $20 million per annum. The development of sensitive, rapid and cost-effective methods for diagnosis of this disease have been considered paramount to assist producers in managing their herds. Furthermore, in the absence of chemotherapeutic options to treat bovine theileriosis in Australia, a vaccine for this parasite is considered the preferred option for disease control. In this project a multiplex molecular test for the detection of T. orientalis and differentiation of the clinically relevant genotypes was developed and validated. This assay provides veterinarians with quantitative data on parasite levels within samples and a clinical threshold for parasite levels, delineating subclinical from clinically relevant infection, has been established. This multiplex test is the most cost-effective, sensitive and specific assay currently available for diagnosis of bovine theileriosis in Australia. A serological test for this organism has also been developed which can be applied to herd-level screening. Genomic and global proteomic analyses of T. orientalis genotypes conducted in this study revealed that the T. orientalis genotypes are genetically divergent (at least different subspecies), potentially reducing the utility of a live vaccine approach to disease control. Nonetheless the genomic data derived from this project lays the groundwork for future vaccine development work aimed at using reverse vaccinology to develop a subunit vaccine for this organism.
This page was last updated on 24/07/2017
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