Evaluation of inflammatory biomarkers in goats naturally infected with Babesia ovis

Parasitol Res. 2020 Dec;119(12):4151-4158. doi: 10.1007/s00436-020-06829-7. Epub 2020 Jul 27.


This study was designed to evaluate the effects of Babesia ovis infection on concentrations of some essential acute phase proteins (APPs) including albumin, fibrinogen, serum amyloid A, haptoglobin, and ceruloplasmin as well as total, protein-binding, and lipid-binding sialic acids (TSA, PBSA, and LBSA) and two crucial cytokines including interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). Some hematological parameters also were evaluated. Furthermore, any probable correlation among the APPs, SAs, IFN-γ, and TNF-α was calculated. A total of 420 Marghoz and Raeini goats with the ages of 1-3 years old from the north and northwest of Iran were examined, and 17 goats confirmed to be infected with B. ovis by both routine microscopic examination of blood films and molecular assays. As the control, 17 healthy goats were included. The results revealed a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in erythrocyte count, hemoglobin level, and pack cell volume as well as a nonsignificant increase in white blood cell count in the diseased animals compared with the control. Additionally, all the APPs, SAs, and cytokines were remarkably higher in the infected animals than the uninfected ones, except for albumin, which was significantly lower. Moreover, a strong and positive correlation was detected among the parameters mentioned above, except for albumin, which was inversely correlated with the other parameters. In conclusion, B. ovis infection is associated with the induction of severe inflammatory reactions in goats, and both SA and APP are significantly involved in the pathophysiology of the disease.

Keywords: Acute phase protein; Anemia; Cytokine; Sialic acid.

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Babesia
  • Babesiosis / blood*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Erythrocyte Count
  • Goat Diseases / blood*
  • Goat Diseases / parasitology*
  • Goats / parasitology
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Iran
  • Sheep
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interferon-gamma