1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The invasive one-host tick Rhipicephalus microplus transmits single-celled organisms causing babesiosis (cattle fever) that affect cattle. A federal and state collaborative effort, started in the early 1900s, culminated in the eradication of cattle fever tick from the U.S. in 1943, which eliminated the threat of cattle fever to the livestock industry. There has been spill-over of outbreaks beyond the permanent quarantine zone in south Texas along the Mexico border in recent years. The evolution of resistance to acaricides among outbreak populations of R. microplus is a constant threat to efforts by the USDA APHIS Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program. The goal of this work is to investigate alternative technologies for sustainable R. microplus eradication through the evaluation of tick molecules for use as protective antigens in the formulation of anti-tick vaccines.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Use mouse and bovine models for identification and selection of candidate antigens; evaluate candidate antigens through molecular evaluation of host immune response; determine immunoprotection of candidate antigens against tick infestation in vaccinated mice and/or cattle.
ARS scientists met with the cooperator through their participation in the USDA-FAS Scientific Cooperation Exchange Program with the People's Republic of China. Collaborative plans were formalized through presentations by the ARS scientists to investigators at the Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.