Location: Tick and Biting Fly Research
Project Number: 3094-32000-036-40-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Mar 1, 2013
End Date: Sep 30, 2015
There are over 65 million dogs in the US and Rhipicephalus sanguineus is one of the most important vectors of diseases in dogs worldwide. Viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections are among the greatest challenges affecting companion animals, and ticks are involved in the spread of a number of these problems. In the US, R. sanguineus vectors the canine diseases canine ehrlichiosis and canine babesiosis and can also transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever in humans. An anti-tick vaccine for companion animals is not currently available and the objective of this collaboration is to evaluate a tick protein for its utility as an antigen in an anti-tick vaccine formulated for use in canines against R. sanguineus.
Two study groups of six canines of similar age per group (randomly assigned) are to be vaccinated at the start of week 1, 4, and 7 of the study. Groups 1 and 2 are to be vaccinated with ARS Antigen 1 plus Adjuvant or Adjuvant alone, respectively. Blood samples are to be drawn from each animal prior to each vaccination and every four weeks following the third vaccination for 24 weeks. Each animal will be infested with R. sanguineus following the administration of the third vaccination. Adult female ticks will be collected from each animal and efficacy will be determined by comparison of adult tick counts from the two groups. Blood is to be collected (10 ml) from each canine into 12.5-ml sterile serum separator tubes (Corvac, Mansfield, MA) or other appropriate collection tubes compatible with serum fraction isolation. Serum is collected after centrifugation (3,400 RPM for 1 h at 25 deg C) and stored at -80 deg C. Serum antibody titers are to be determined using an antigen-specific ELISA to determine specific response to ARS Antigen 1.