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Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinária

Print version ISSN 0103-846XOn-line version ISSN 1984-2961

Rev. Bras. Parasitol. Vet. vol.26 no.1 Jaboticabal Jan./Mar. 2017 



Rosangela Zacarias Machado1 

1Departamento de Patologia Veterinária, Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias – FCAV, Universidade Estadual Paulista – UNESP, Via de acesso Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane, s/n, Zona Rural, CEP 14884-900, Jaboticabal, SP, Brasil. e-mail:

Tick-borne diseases continue to challenge science, both in veterinary and in human medicine. Every day, new hosts are described and the pathogens transmitted manage to avoid these hosts’ immune response, survive and, additionally, produce antigenic variations. Anaplasma marginale has worldwide importance as a disease of cattle that causes abortion, hemolytic anemia and loss of milk and meat production and death. Several studies have addressed its transmission, pathogenicity and genetic diversity, and the prospects of producing a multiple vaccine with different proteins expressed on the surface of the bacterium. Controlling bovine anaplasmosis is becoming increasingly difficult because of the mechanisms of genetic diversity and because of failures in diagnosing the disease. It is common to diagnose animals as serologically negative but with low parasite loads and as serologically positive but molecularly negative. It can be asked whether errors might be occurring in making serological and molecular diagnoses, when faced with this great diversity of strains between cattle in different geographical regions. It can also be asked whether, in unresponsive animals presenting high antibody titers for the different proteins envisaged in bioinformation analysis, these proteins might be considered protective, considering that no clinical manifestation is observed after the challenge. Furthermore, if these immunogens do not elicit high proliferation of CD4+ T lymphocytes and production of IgG2, could they be considered protective even if the animals do not present any clinical sign after the challenge? Do any other immune mechanisms exist for protecting these animals when the envisaged recombinant or peptide immunogens are used? It is important to address all these questions so that we do not fail to reflect on the results from many molecular and bioinformation studies, in designing antigens for controlling bovine anaplasmosis. The intriguing parasite transmitter-host relationship in anaplasmosis perhaps requires not only researchers and science but also the aid of an astute "Sherlock Holmes".

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