Mechanisms of resistance to babesiosis include protection by antibody, opsonization and phagocytosis of infected cells and possibly complement mediated lysis of infected cells. These immune mechanisms are controlled by elements in the major histocompatibility complex suggesting genetic resistance is a factor in modulating the disease caused by Babesia spp. The direct evidence that genetic resistance is important lies with the findings that Bos taurus and Bos indicus cattle differ in their response to B. bovis and perhaps bigemina. Since the disease can be controlled cheaply- and efficiently by vaccination, genetic resistance has not been exploited as a control measure. The potential danger of babesiosis occurring when cattle are selected for resistance to ticks is apparent and therefore it is of some interest that resistance to B^ bovis is weakly correlated to resistance to its vector Boophilus microplus.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XI. Genetics of reproduction, lactation, growth, adaptation, disease, and parasite resistance., , 563–570, 1986
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