Demonstration of the humoral immune response of horses to Babesia caballi by western blotting

Int J Parasitol. 1992 Aug;22(5):627-30. doi: 10.1016/0020-7519(92)90011-9.


Babesia caballi-infected or normal equine erythrocytes were solubilized in sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) buffer and analyzed by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and Western blotting. Antigens were allowed to react with sera from horses experimentally or field-infected with B. caballi and with sera from non-infected horses. Major babesial antigens recognized by immune sera had apparent mol. wts of 141, 112, 70, 50, 48, 34, and 30 kDa. The polypeptides at 50 and 48 kDa were recognized earliest and throughout infection, but also weakly by 3/100 equine sera tested negative and 1/33 sera tested false positive by the complement fixation test (CFT) and immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT). Thus, further characterization and purification of B. caballi antigens are required to identify target antigens for an improved enzyme immuno assay. Until such an assay is available, Western blotting can provide a specific tool for the diagnosis of B. caballi infections, particularly in cases of contradicting CFT and IFAT results.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology*
  • Babesia / immunology*
  • Babesiosis / immunology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Horse Diseases / immunology*
  • Horses


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Protozoan