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Rhipicephalus microplus is the most widely distributed tick worldwide and causes significant economic losses in the livestock industry. It directly affects hosts (especially in large infestations) by feeding on blood and piercing the skin and indirectly affects hosts as a vector of pathogens that cause infectious diseases, such as bovine babesiosis. Current research on the control of ticks is focused on integrated tick control programmes, including vaccination treatment with acaricides and completely blocking pathogen transmission. Our previous studies showed that R. microplus VDAC (BmVDAC) expression is modulated by Babesia bigemina infection. VDAC is a mitochondrial protein with multiple functions in addition to its primary role as a central component of the apoptotic machinery. In this paper, we evaluated BmVDAC as an anti-tick vaccine and its capacity to block the infection of Babesia bigemina in ticks. Our results demonstrate that rBmVDAC is immunogenic and that antibodies specifically recognize the native protein from midguts of R. microplus. Immunization with rBmVDAC afforded an 82% efficacy against R. microplus infestation in the group of vaccinated cattle compared with the control group. In contrast, rBmVDAC showed a lower efficacy of 34% against tick infestation in cattle vaccinated with rBmVDAC, infested with R. microplus and infected with B. bigemina. The main effect on ticks fed in vaccinated and infected cattle was a 34% reduction in egg fertility (DF) compared to ticks fed on the control group. There was no reduction in the B. bigemina parasite levels of ticks fed on rBmVDAC-vaccinated cattle. These results suggest that the rBmVDAC protein could be tested as a vaccine for the control of tick infestation. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Reyna Ortega-Sánchez, Minerva Camacho-Nuez, Elizabeth Jacqueline Castañeda-Ortiz, Máximo Berto Martínez-Benítez, Diego Josimar Hernández-Silva, Gabriela Aguilar-Tipacamú, Juan Mosqueda. Vaccine efficacy of recombinant BmVDAC on Rhipicephalus microplus fed on Babesia bigemina-infected and uninfected cattle. Vaccine. 2020 Apr 23;38(19):3618-3625

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PMID: 31928853

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