Equine piroplasmosis, caused by Babesia equi or Babesia caballi is tick-borne haemoprotozoan disease of equids (horses, donkeys, mules and zebras). Recombinant equine merozoite surface antigen-2 (rEMA-2), a 52 kDa recombinant protein based ELISA (r-ELISA) was developed for detection of specific antibodies for diagnosis of T. equi infection in equine serum. Different components of r-ELISA were stabilized and the assay was transformed in the form of a diagnostic kit. This kit was validated vis-à-vis OIE approved CI ELISA on 60 serum samples of known disease status (33 known positive and 27 known negative). Diagnostic specificity and sensitivity of these two assays was compared and a very high correlation was observed. The accuracy of the results obtained by r-ELISA was also compared with Western blot analysis on selected number of serum samples which confirmed the results.
During 2007 to 2009, 2571 serum samples were collected/received from different geographical areas of India. A total 971 serum samples were found positive for T. equi antibodies, indicating prevalence of specific antibodies in 37.76% Indian equine population. This technology is ready for release and transfer of tehcnology Recombinant antigen based ELISA (r-ELISA) for detection of Theileria equi antibodies SA