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CLONING OF THE BABESIA GIBSONI CYTOCHROME B GENE AND ISOLATION OF THREE SINGLE NUCLEOTIDE POLYMORPHISMS FROM PARASITES PRESENT AFTER ATOVAQUONE TREATMENT

AYA MATSUUDepartment of Small Animal Internal Medicine 1, Department of Veterinary Parasitology, and Department of Small Animal Surgery 3, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Aomori, Japan

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KAYOKO MIYAMOTODepartment of Small Animal Internal Medicine 1, Department of Veterinary Parasitology, and Department of Small Animal Surgery 3, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Aomori, Japan

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HIROMI IKADAIDepartment of Small Animal Internal Medicine 1, Department of Veterinary Parasitology, and Department of Small Animal Surgery 3, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Aomori, Japan

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SHOZO OKANODepartment of Small Animal Internal Medicine 1, Department of Veterinary Parasitology, and Department of Small Animal Surgery 3, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Aomori, Japan

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SEIICHI HIGUCHIDepartment of Small Animal Internal Medicine 1, Department of Veterinary Parasitology, and Department of Small Animal Surgery 3, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Aomori, Japan

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We determined the nucleotide sequence of the Babesia gibsoni cytochrome b (cytb) gene. DNA was extracted from B. gibsoni isolated from Aomori Prefecture, Japan, and 1,288 basepairs of the cytb gene, including 1,071 basepairs of the open reading frame, were sequenced. The cytb gene of B. gibsoni obtained from three dogs that had been experimentally infected with B. gibsoni and treated with atovaquone was also sequenced. The B. gibsoni cytb gene obtained from all three atovaquone-treated dogs contained a single polymorphism resulting in an amino acid change in one of the putative ubiquinone-binding sites of Plasmodium falciparum. This polymorphism was homologous to mutations in other apicomplexan protozoa that exhibit resistance to atovaquone. Two other single polymorphisms were identified in parasites isolated from two of the dogs. These results indicate that single nucleotide polymorphisms in the sequence for mitochondrial cytb gene may be associated with decreased susceptibility of Babesia species to atovaquone.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Aya Matsuu, Department of Small Animal Internal Medicine 1, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Towada, Aomori 034-8628, Japan, Telephone: 81-176-23-4371 ext 321, E-mail: matsuu@vmas.kitasato-u.ac.jp.
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