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Genet Anal. 1999 Nov;15(3-5):143-8.

Vaccination against ticks (Boophilus spp.): the experience with the Bm86-based vaccine Gavac.

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Division of Mammalian Cell Genetics, Centro de Ingeniería Genética y Biotecnologia, Havana, Cuba.


The control of tick infestations and the transmission of tick-borne diseases remain a challenge for the cattle industry in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Traditional control methods have been only partially successful and the parasites continue to result in significant losses for the cattle industry. Recently, vaccines containing the recombinant B. microplus gut antigen Bm86 have been developed. Our vaccine formulation (Gavac, Heber Biotec S.A., Havana, Cuba) has been registered and is commercially available in Cuba, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Brazil and Mexico. In controlled pen trials, Gavac has been effective for the control of artificial infestations of B. annulatus, B. decoloratus and chemical-sensitive and resistant B. microplus strains from Australia, Africa, America and Iran. In controlled field trials in Cuba, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, Gavac has shown a 55-100% efficacy in the control of B. microplus infestations in grazing cattle 12-36 weeks after the first vaccination. Field trials under production conditions have been conducted in Cuba, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico in pure and cross-bred cattle herds. The application of Gavac has increased the time between acaricide treatments by an average of 32 /-21 days (P = 0.0005) resulting in important savings for the cattle industry. In Cuba, a cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted in more than 260000 animals. The cost-effectiveness analysis showed a 60% reduction in the number of acaricide treatments, together with the control of tick infestations and transmission of babesiosis, which resulted in savings of 23.4 dollars animal(-1) year (-1). These results clearly demonstrate the advantage of vaccination and support the application of Gavac for the control of Boophilus spp. infestations.

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