Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Cross-protection between geographically distinct Anaplasma marginale isolates appears to be constrained by limited antibody responses.

Abstract

The rickettsia Anaplasma marginale causes the haemolytic disease bovine anaplasmosis, an economic problem in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. The closely related but less pathogenic Anaplasma centrale is commonly used as a live vaccine to prevent anaplasmosis, but it can only be produced from infected blood. UFMG1 is a low pathogenic Brazilian strain of A. marginale, which has been shown to protect cattle against a high pathogenic Brazilian isolate. As UFMG1 can be grown in tick cells, the strain was proposed as a possible cell culture-derived vaccine. We have evaluated whether UFMG1 could protect cattle against a geographically distant heterologous strain, using A. centrale vaccination as a standard for comparison. Trial calves were infected with UFMG1, A. centrale or PBS. UFMG1-infected animals were more symptomatic than those infected with A. centrale, but none required treatment. All calves were then challenged with the Israeli A. marginale Gonen strain (one of the most prevalent strain in Israel). The A. centrale group had the mildest symptoms, while UFMG1 and control groups both had a more severe response. Nevertheless, the challenge did not cause life-threatening disease in any group. Animals infected with A. centrale had a significantly higher IgG response than UFMG1, when measured in an ELISA against initial bodies from their homologous strain or Gonen. The level of cross-reactivity of the response to initial infection correlated significantly with reduced symptoms after challenge. In conclusion, UFMG1 had limited effect in preventing disease by the geographically distant heterologous Gonen strain. While the low pathogenicity of the Gonen strain in this trial makes it impossible to conclusively state that UFMG1 would have given no protective effect against more serious disease, the comparatively low IgG response to UFMG1 suggests it would not have been as effective as A. centrale.