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Vaccine. 2010 Apr 9;28(17):2993-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.02.008. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

Characterization of ferritin 2 for the control of tick infestations.

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Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Branisovska 31, 37005 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic.


Ixodes ricinus is one the most abundant tick species in Europe and these ticks transmit pathogens causing human and animal diseases. The cattle ticks, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) spp., affect cattle production in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Development of vaccines directed against tick proteins may reduce tick infestations and the transmission of tick-borne pathogens. However, a limiting step in tick vaccine development has been the identification of tick protective antigens. Herein, the tick iron metabolism pathway was targeted in an effort to identify new tick protective antigens. Recombinant I. ricinus (IrFER2) and Rhipicephalus microplus (RmFER2) ferritin 2 proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli and used to immunize rabbits and cattle, respectively. Vaccination with IrFER2 reduced I. ricinus tick numbers, weight and fertility in rabbits with an overall vaccine efficacy (E) of 98%. Control of cattle tick, R. microplus and Rhipicephalus annulatus infestations was obtained in vaccinated cattle with overall E of 64% and 72%, respectively. Notably, the efficacy of the RmFER2 vaccine was similar to that obtained with Bm86 against R. microplus. These collective results demonstrated the feasibility of using ferritin 2 to develop vaccines for the control of tick infestations.

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