Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Kerrville, Texas » Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory » LAPRU » Research » Research Project #435014

Research Project: Development of Cattle Fever Tick Vaccine Based on the P0 Antigen

Location: Livestock Arthropod Pests Research

Project Number: 3094-32000-039-97-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2018
End Date: Jun 30, 2020

The objective of this agreement is to demonstrate the feasibility of using a 20 amino acid peptide derived from the acid ribosomal protein P0 against the cattle tick, Rhipicephalus microplus.

The proposed peptide is under patent (US 2013/0273095 A1, published on 10/17/2013). Therefore, agreements will need to be in place in order complete this project. We will obtain cDNA samples from R. microplus and R. annulatus strains collected in Texas and we will amplify the region of the ribosomal protein P0 that contains the 20-mer peptide used in the generation of the vaccine. DNA sequences will be evaluated, and protein sequence evaluated for potential changes in the P0 region used as vaccine. If the analysis reveals significant changes, we will generate a maximum of 3 peptides. Antigen will be synthetized by specialized companies at a purity of 95-98% to be adequate for animal use. A confirmatory experiment will use 3 cattle per treatment group with a maximum of 3 antigens and control group. Each antigen will be solubilized in PBS and prepared in combination with the Adjuvant. Animals will be housed at the Texas A&M University Veterinary Medical Research Park and will be immunized. Blood samples will be collected from each animal on days throughout the study. Serum will be separated to evaluate the generation of specific IgG antibodies using ELISA. Total IgG will be extracted from plasma using a commercial kit and sent to the CFTRL to evaluate with live cattle fever ticks using artificial capillary feeding technology. A stall test will be conducted at the Cattle Fever Tick Research Laboratory (CFTRL) to assess efficacy against the southern cattle fever tick infesting cattle immunized with the treatment providing the best ELISA and artificial bioassay results.