NEW YORK, June 30 (GenomeWeb News) - The Institute for Genomic Research and the Kenya-based International Livestock Research Institute have sequenced the genome of the bacterium Theileria parva, a cattle parasite, the organizations said today.
The study shows the genome to comprise four chromosomes totaling approximately 9 Mb with no highly repetitive sequences detectable by reassociation kinetics. The paper appears in the current issue of the journal Science.
The research may lead to a vaccine to East Coast fever, a cattle disease endemic to several African countries, as well as shed light on the process through which cells become cancerous, the statement said.
"This parasite has an astonishing ability to induce cancer in its host [white blood cells] in a way that is reversible," Vish Nene, a former ILRI scientist who came to TIGR in 2001, said in the statement. "There are clear links to cancer biology in humans, and this study has given us some clues to pursue."