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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 483854, 7 pages
Research Article

The Effect of Babesia divergens Infection on the Spleen of Mongolian Gerbils

1Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Zoology and Entomology, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, Cairo 11795, Egypt

Received 12 February 2014; Revised 4 July 2014; Accepted 5 July 2014; Published 17 July 2014

Academic Editor: Kazim Husain

Copyright © 2014 Mohamed A. Dkhil et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Babesiosis is caused by intraerythrocytic protozoan parasites transmitted by ticks and affects a wide range of domestic and wild animals and occasionally humans. The current study aimed to investigate the effect of B. divergens infected erythrocytes on spleen histopathology, cell cycle alteration, and the presence of oxidative stress. Mongolian gerbils were challenged with 5 × 106  Babesia divergens infected erythrocytes. Parasitemia reached approximately 77% at day 5 postinfection. Infection also induced injury of the spleen. This was evidenced with (i) increases in cellular damage of the spleen, (ii) decrease in antioxidant capacity as indicated by decreased glutathione, catalase, and superoxide dismutase levels, (iii) increased production of malondialdehyde and nitric oxide derived products (nitrite/nitrate), and (iv) increased lactic acid dehydrogenase activity and protein carbonyl content in the spleen. Infection interfered with normal cell cycle of the spleen cells at G0/G1, S, and G2/M phases. On the basis of the above results it can be hypothesized that B. divergens infected erythrocytes could alter the spleen histopathology and cause cell cycle alteration and induce oxidative stress in splenic tissue.