Molecular characterization and analysis of the ATPase ASNA1 homolog gene of Eimeria tenella in a drug sensitive strain and drug resistant strains

Int J Parasitol Drugs Drug Resist. 2021 Feb 20;15:115-125. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpddr.2021.02.005. Online ahead of print.


The widespread use of drugs has exacerbated the resistance of Eimeria tenalla to anti-coccidial drugs. Using RNA-seq, we previously found the ATPase ASNA1 homolog of E. tenella (EtASNA1) was differentially expressed in resistant strains and drug sensitive (DS) strain. In our study, we used western blotting and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) to analyze the translational and transcriptional levels of EtASNA1 in a diclazuril-resistant (DZR) strain, maduramicin-resistant (MRR) strain, salinomycin-resistant (SMR) strain, and DS strain and found EtASNA1 was highly expressed in three drug-resistant strains. The qRT-PCR and western blotting results also showed that the expression levels of EtASNA1 increased with increasing drug concentration, and the transcription levels of the DZR strains isolated from the field were higher than those of the DS strain. In addition, we used in vivo and in vitro tests to analyze the changes of EtASNA1 expression after DZR, MRR, and DS strain infections in chickens, and in vitro inoculation of DF-1 cells in the presence of drugs. The addition of drugs caused expression to be upregulated. The results of qRT-PCR and western blotting also showed that the expression levels of EtASNA1 in second-generation merozoites (SM) and unsporulated oocysts (UO) were significantly higher than those in the other two developmental stages. The immunofluorescence localization of EtASNA1 indicated that the protein was distributed throughout the sporozoites (SZ) and SM, except for the refractile bodies of SZ. In vitro inhibition experiments showed that anti-EtASNA1 antibody incubation significantly inhibited SZ invasion of DF-1 cells. The above results showed that EtASNA1 may be related to host cell invasion of E. tenella and may be involved in the development of E. tenella resistance to some drugs.

Keywords: Eimeria tenella; EtASNA1; Resistant strains.