Canine babesiosis is a tick-borne disease that is caused by the haemoprotozoan parasites of the genus Babesia. There are limited data on serum proteomics in dogs, and none of the effect of babesiosis on the serum proteome. The aim of this study was to identify the potential serum biomarkers of babesiosis using proteomic techniques in order to increase our understanding about disease pathogenesis.
Serum samples were collected from 25 dogs of various breeds and sex with naturally occurring babesiosis caused by B. canis canis. Blood was collected on the day of admission (day 0), and subsequently on the 1st and 6th day of treatment.
Two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE) of pooled serum samples of dogs with naturally occurring babesiosis (day 0, day 1 and day 6) and healthy dogs were run in triplicate. 2DE image analysis showed 64 differentially expressed spots with p ≤ 0.05 and 49 spots with fold change ≥2. Six selected spots were excised manually and subjected to trypsin digest prior to identification by electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry on an Amazon ion trap tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Mass spectrometry data was processed using Data Analysis software and the automated Matrix Science Mascot Daemon server. Protein identifications were assigned using the Mascot search engine to interrogate protein sequences in the NCBI Genbank database.
A number of differentially expressed serum proteins involved in inflammation mediated acute phase response, complement and coagulation cascades, apolipoproteins and vitamin D metabolism pathway were identified in dogs with babesiosis.
Our findings confirmed two dominant pathogenic mechanisms of babesiosis, haemolysis and acute phase response. These results may provide possible serum biomarker candidates for clinical monitoring of babesiosis and this study could serve as the basis for further proteomic investigations in canine babesiosis.