Ticks and tick-borne diseases

High efficacy of a 20 amino acid peptide of the acidic ribosomal protein P0 against the cattle tick, Rhipicephalus microplus.

PMID 25958782


Current strategies to control cattle ticks use integrated control programs (ICP) that include vaccination. Reduction in the use of chemicals and in the cost of tick control, the delay or elimination of acaricide resistance and the decreasing of environmental pollution are the advantages of using these programs. This integrated program is potentially applicable to all genotypes of chemical resistant ticks. However, the problem here is to improve the efficacy of anti-tick vaccines. The P0 protein is a structural component of the ribosome of all organisms. We have identified an immunogenic region of ribosomal protein P0 from Rhipicephalus spp. ticks that is not very conserved compared to the orthologous protein in their hosts. A synthetic 20 amino acid peptide from this sequence was effective as a vaccine against Rhipicephalus sanguineus infestations in an immunization and challenge experiment using rabbits. In this paper, the same peptide used as vaccine against the cattle tick Rhipicephalus Boophilus microplus shows a significant diminution in the number of engorged females recovered, in the weight of females and the weight of egg masses. The number of eggs hatched was also significantly reduced for the vaccinated group, with an overall effectivity for the antigen pP0 of 96%. These results, together with the conserved sequence of the P0 peptide among ticks, suggest that this antigen could be a good broad spectrum vaccine candidate. It would be expected to be active against many species of ticks and thus has promise in an ICP for effective control of ticks and thereby to improve the efficiency and productivity of the livestock industry.