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Assessment of magnitude and importance of vectorborne Babesiosis in Latvia: epidemiological and diagnostic approach

 

 

Project Title: „ Assessment of magnitude and importance of vectorborne Babesiosis in Latvia: epidemiological and diagnostic approach” 

Funding: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Project Nr.: 1.1.1.1/16/A/044

Period: 1st February 2017 – 31st January 2020

Project costs: 648 640,00 EUR

Principle Investigator: Dr.biol. R. Ranka

 

The aim of this project is to generate a comprehensive epidemiologic understanding of babesiosis in Latvia and to develop novel methods for epidemiological and diagnostic needs.

The project intends to compare prevalence and distribution of Babesia pathogens in Latvia that will be combined with phylogenetic and epidemiological studies to generate a comprehensive epidemiologic understanding of these infections, to identify disease risks and increase awareness about babesiosis. The pathogen typing data along with tick and clinical samples will serve as a basis for the development of novel systems of pathogen detection. Together with experienced researchers, the involvement of several PhD students is planned that will contribute to the development of human resources in science in Latvia. 

Information published: 01.02.2017.


Progress of the project

1 February 2017 - 30 April 2017

Protocols for tick collections have been revised and harmonized; tick sampling sites have been planned. Sample collection from biotopes and animals has been started. DNS isolation and Babesia detection in tick samples has been started. The analysis of molecular identity and relationships between different Babesia isolates in tick and animal samples has been started. DNA isolation and Babesia detection in first clinical samples was performed by 18S rRNA gene PCR amplification followed by sequencing. Topic-related scientific literature has been studied.

Information published: 28.04.2017.


Progress of the project:

1 May 2017 - 31 July 2017

Sample collection from different Latvian regions and biotopes by flagging method has been continued. During the tick activity period in spring more than 500 tick samples have been collected. Tick species, development stage and gender has been analysed. Available DNS samples have been analysed by PCR and sequencing methods. The data analysis of ticks` activity and distribution in different Latvian regions during the spring tick activity period has been started. The analysis of prevalence of Dermacentor ticks in different biotopes has been started. Sample collection from animals has been continued.

The analysis of molecular identity and relationships between different Babesia isolates in tick and animal samples has been continued. Clinical samples from companion animals have been collected followed by DNA isolation. Detection of tick-borne pathogens in these DNA samples was performed by PCR amplification followed by sequencing analysis. Babesia species have been identified by 18S rRNA gene amplification. Up to date available clinical information have been collected and microscopy of blood samples has been performed. Phylogenetic analysis of available Babesia canis 18S rRNA gene sequences has been continued. Topic-related scientific literature has been studied.

Information published: 31.07.2017.

 

Progress of the project:

1 August 2017 - 31 Oktober 2017

Sample collection from different Latvian regions and biotopes by flagging method has been performed during the tick activity period in autumn. More than 300 Ixodes and Dermacentor tick samples have been collected. Tick species, development stage and gender has been analysed. Available DNS samples have been analysed by PCR and sequencing methods to detect tick-borne pathogen species. Sample collection from animals has been continued. The data available to date have been analysed and presented during the international conference.

Information published: 31.10.2017.

 

Progress of the project:

1 November 2017 - 31 January 2018

DNA sample analysis for more than 700 Ixodes and Dermacentor ticks from different Latvian regions and biotopes has been performed by 18S rRNA PCR.  Sample analysis from animals has been continued. The data available to date revealed that not all clinical samples were Babesia DNA-positive. On the other hand, Babesia pathogens have been detected in clinically healthy animals suggesting a subclinical babesiosis carrier state in these animals. In some cases, a different pathogen (i.e. Anaplasma) has been detected in the symptomatic animal. Altogether, our data suggest that a Babesia coinfection could not be excluded, thus all samples have to be tested for all clinically important tick-borne pathogens.  

Information published: 31.01.2018.

 

Progress of the project:

1 February 2018 - 30 April 2018

Sample analysis from ticks and animals (collected in year 2017) has been continued. The results showed significant prevalence of Babesia pathogens in ticks removed from domestic dogs. Four different Babesia species were detected in these samples, including human- and animals-pathogenic species. B. canis canis was a sole genospecies detected in the clinical samples of dogs so far. The circulation of several clinically-relevant Babesia in Ixodes and Dermacentor ticks in Latvia indicates high risk of a possible exposure. The results were presented in an international conference.

 Information published: 27.04.2018.

 

Progress of the project:

1 May 2018 - 31 July 2018

DNA sample analysis of tick samples collected in year 2017 has been done aimed to detect Anaplasma and Borrelia pathogens in these samples. Morphological analysis of tick samples collected in 2018 has been performed. The DNA and RNA isolation from ticks collected in 2018 has been started. Despite of the unusual hot and dry weather, which affected tick activity and animals` behaviour, we have received clinical samples from veterinarians and molecular analysis has been performed. Anaplasma and Babesia pathogens were detected in several samples. Further, several additional genes have been selected for the Babesia phylogenetic analysis. The development of molecular analysis – based methods for simultaneous detection of Anaplasma, Babesia and Borrelia pathogens has been started.

 Information published: 31.07.2018.




Mājas lapas izstrādi finansēja ERAF 2.1.1.2. aktivitātes projekts Nr. 2010/0196/2DP/2.1.1.2.0/10/APIA/VIAA/004 "Latvijas biomedicīnas pētījumu integrācija Eiropas zinātnes telpā".