2015 Volume 77 Issue 1 Pages 53-58
Bovine babesiosis is a livestock disease known to cause economic losses in endemic areas. The apicomplexan parasite Babesia bovis is able to invade and destroy the host’s erythrocytes leading to the serious pathologies of the disease, such as anemia and hemoglobinuria. Understanding the egress mechanisms of this parasite is therefore a key step to develop new therapeutic strategies. In this study, the possible involvement of Ca2+ in the egress of B. bovis merozoites from infected erythrocytes was investigated. Egress was artificially induced in vitro using calcium ionophore A23187 and thapsigargin to increase Ca2+ concentration in the cytosol of the parasite cells. The increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration following these treatments was confirmed using live cell Ca2+ imaging with confocal laser scanning microscopy. Based on our findings, we suggest a Ca2+ signalling pathway in the egress of B. bovis merozoites.