Expression of truncated Babesia gibsoni thrombospondin-related adhesive proteins in Escherichia coli and evaluation of their diagnostic potential by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
Terkawi, Mohamad Alaa
Aboge, Gabriel Oluga
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Among the previously established enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), an ELISA using the full length of a recombinant thrombospondin-related adhesive protein of Babesia gibsoni (rBgTRAPf) is considered as the most sensitive diagnostic method for the detection of an antibody to B. gibsoni in dogs. However, the expression of rBgTRAPf in high concentration is poor and, thus, limits its usefulness as a diagnostic antigen. To improve its expression level, we have truncated BgTRAPf into two fragments having either an N- or a C-terminus (BgTRAPn or BgTRAPc, respectively). The expression of BgTRAPc protein in Escherichia coli yielded adequate recombinant protein. The specificity and sensitivity of ELISAs with the truncated proteins were determined using dog sera experimentally infected with B. gibsoni and specific pathogen-free (SPF) dog sera. A total of 254 field dog sera were examined by the ELISA with rBgTRAPn, rBgTRAPc, and rBgTRAPf as well as by an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). The specificity of rBgTRAPc was the highest (97.15%), and its kappa value was more (0.8003) than rBgTRAPn (0.7083). With a sufficient level of expression as well as higher specificity and reliable sensitivity, rBgTRAPc appears to be a potential candidate antigen for the serodiagnosis of B. gibsoni infection in dogs.