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A vaccination protocol against murine Babesia microti infection, using glucan, a beta-1,3-glucopyranose derivative of yeast cell walls, and glutaraldehyde-fixed infected erythrocytes was evaluated. BALB/c mice were immunized intravenously four times at 2-day intervals with 2 X 10(8) fixed infected erythrocytes with and without glucan (0.45 mg). The mice were challenged 2 weeks after the last immunization with 10(8) viable infected erythrocytes. Peak parasitemia was significantly reduced (8.9 +/- 1.0%; P less than 0.001) in glucan-immunized mice as compared with nonimmunized controls (41.2 +/- 1.4%), glucan-treated controls (31.7 +/- 2.5%; P less than 0.05), or mice which received fixed infected erythrocytes without glucan (21.0 +/- 1.2%; P less than 0.01). Humoral and cellular immunity to B. microti was evaluated before challenge by measuring antibody titers and splenocyte blastogenic responses to B. microti antigens. The in vitro cellular response was inversely correlated with mean peak parasitemia (P less than 0.05). These observations demonstrate that glucan is an effective adjuvant in enhancing immunity to murine babesiosis.