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Title: The Ovarian transcriptome of the cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, feeding upon a bovine host infected with Babesia bovis

item Heekin, Andrew
item Guerrero, Felicito
item Bendele, Kylie
item SALDIVAR, LEO - University Of Texas - El Paso
item Scoles, Glen
item DOWD, SCOT - Molecular Research Lp (MR DNA)
item GONDO, CEDRIC - University Of New England
item NENE, VISHVANATH - International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) - Kenya
item DJIKENG, APPOLINAIRE - International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) - Kenya
item BRAYTON, KELLY - Washington State University

Submitted to: Parasites & Vectors
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2013
Publication Date: 9/23/2013
Citation: Heekin, A.M., Guerrero, F., Bendele, K.G., Saldivar, L., Scoles, G.A., Dowd, S.E., Gondo, C., Nene, V., Djikeng, A., Brayton, K.A. 2013. The Ovarian transcriptome of the cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, feeding upon a bovine host infected with Babesia bovis. Parasites & Vectors. 6:276.

Interpretive Summary: The cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, is a vector of Babesia bovis, the protozoan causative agent of cattle fever, a disease which is responsible for significant production losses to cattle producers worldwide. We initiated a study of the expressed genes of dissected ovaries from ticks feeding upon a bovine host infected with Babesia bovis compared to those from ticks feeding upon an uninfected bovine host. Gene sequencing and bioinformatic analysis resulted in the identification of a set of genes that are responsive to Babesia bovis infection and these genes serve as a dataset for development of novel control technologies.

Technical Abstract: Background: Cattle babesiosis is a tick-borne disease of cattle with the most severe form of the disease caused by the apicomplexan, Babesia bovis. Babesiosis is transmitted to cattle through the bite of infected cattle ticks of the genus Rhipicephalus. The most prevalent species is Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus which is distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical countries of the world. Through various approaches, we studied the reaction of the R. microplus ovarian transcriptome in response to infection by B. bovis. Methods: We allowed one group of ticks to feed on a B. bovis-infected splenectomized calf and a second group to feed on an uninfected control calf. RNA was purified from dissected adult female ovaries of both infected and uninfected ticks and a subtracted B. bovis-infected cDNA library was synthesized, subtracting with the uninfected ovarian RNA. Four thousand ESTs were sequenced from the ovary subtracted library and annotated. Results: The subtracted library dataset assembled into 727 unique contigs and 2,161 singletons for a total of 2,888 unigenes, Microarray experiments designed to detect B. bovis-induced gene expression changes indicated at least 15 transcripts were expressed at a higher level in ovaries from ticks feeding upon the B. bovis-infected calf as compared with ovaries from ticks feeding on an uninfected calf. We did not detect any transcripts from these microarray experiments that were expressed at a lower level in the infected ovaries compared with the uninfected ovaries. Using the technique called serial analysis of gene expression, 41 ovarian transcripts from infected ticks were differentially expressed when compared with transcripts of controls. Collectively, our experimental approaches provide a dataset of specific differentially expressed genes associated with the ovarian infection of R. microplus by B. bovis.