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Liu X.Y.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | de la Fuente J.,Sabio Institute Investigacion En Recursos Cinegeticos Irec Csic Uclm Jccm | de la Fuente J.,Oklahoma State University | Cote M.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 4 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2014

Ixodes ricinus is the most widespread and abundant tick in Europe, frequently bites humans, and is the vector of several pathogens including those responsible for Lyme disease, Tick-Borne Encephalitis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis and bartonellosis. These tick-borne pathogens are transmitted to vertebrate hosts via tick saliva during blood feeding, and tick salivary gland (SG) factors are likely implicated in transmission. In order to identify such tick factors, we characterized the transcriptome of female I. ricinus SGs using next generation sequencing techniques, and compared transcriptomes between Bartonella henselae-infected and non-infected ticks. High-throughput sequencing of I. ricinus SG transcriptomes led to the generation of 24,539 isotigs. Among them, 829 and 517 transcripts were either significantly up- or down-regulated respectively, in response to bacterial infection. Searches based on sequence identity showed that among the differentially expressed transcripts, 161 transcripts corresponded to nine groups of previously annotated tick SG gene families, while the others corresponded to genes of unknown function. Expression patterns of five selected genes belonging to the BPTI/Kunitz family of serine protease inhibitors, the tick salivary peptide group 1 protein, the salp15 super-family, and the arthropod defensin family, were validated by qRT-PCR. IrSPI, a member of the BPTI/Kunitz family of serine protease inhibitors, showed the highest up-regulation in SGs in response to Bartonella infection. IrSPI silencing impaired tick feeding, as well as resulted in reduced bacterial load in tick SGs. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of I. ricinus SG transcriptome and contributes significant genomic information about this important disease vector. This in-depth knowledge will enable a better understanding of the molecular interactions between ticks and tick-borne pathogens, and identifies IrSPI, a candidate to study now in detail to estimate its potentialities as vaccine against the ticks and the pathogens they transmit. © 2014 Liu et al.


Hajdusek O.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Sima R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Ayllon N.,Sabio Institute Investigacion En Recursos Cinegeticos Irec Csic Uclm Jccm | Jalovecka M.,University of South Bohemia | And 5 more authors.
Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology | Year: 2013

Ticks are hematophagous arachnids transmitting a wide variety of pathogens including viruses, bacteria, and protozoans to their vertebrate hosts. The tick vector competence has to be intimately linked to the ability of transmitted pathogens to evade tick defense mechanisms encountered on their route through the tick body comprising midgut, hemolymph, salivary glands or ovaries. Tick innate immunity is, like in other invertebrates, based on an orchestrated action of humoral and cellular immune responses. The direct antimicrobial defense in ticks is accomplished by a variety of small molecules such as defensins, lysozymes or by tick-specific antimicrobial compounds such as microplusin/hebraein or 5.3-kDa family proteins. Phagocytosis of the invading microbes by tick hemocytes is likely mediated by the primordial complement-like system composed of thioester-containing proteins, fibrinogen-related lectins and convertase-like factors. Moreover, an important role in survival of the ingested microbes seems to be played by host proteins and redox balance maintenance in the tick midgut. Here, we summarize recent knowledge about the major components of tick immune system and focus on their interaction with the relevant tick-transmitted pathogens, represented by spirochetes (Borrelia), rickettsiae (Anaplasma), and protozoans (Babesia). Availability of the tick genomic database and feasibility of functional genomics based on RNA interference greatly contribute to the understanding of molecular and cellular interplay at the tick-pathogen interface and may provide new targets for blocking the transmission of tick pathogens. © 2013 Hajdušek, Šíma, Ayllón, Jalovecká, Perner, de la Fuente and Kopácek.


Contreras M.,Sabio Institute Investigacion En Recursos Cinegeticos Irec Csic Uclm Jccm | de la Fuente J.,Sabio Institute Investigacion En Recursos Cinegeticos Irec Csic Uclm Jccm | de la Fuente J.,Oklahoma State University
Vaccine | Year: 2016

Diseases transmitted by ticks greatly impact human and animal health and their control is important for the eradication of tick-borne diseases. Vaccination is an environmentally friendly alternative for tick control. Recent results have suggested that Subolesin/Akirin (SUB/AKR) are good candidate antigens for the control of arthropod vector infestations. Here, we describe the effect of vaccination with the Q38 chimera containing SUB/AKR conserved protective epitopes on Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus tick larval mortality, feeding and molting. We demonstrated that Q38 vaccination had an efficacy of 99.9% and 46.4% on the control of I. ricinus and D. reticulatus larvae by considering the cumulative effect on reducing tick survival and molting. The effect of the Q38 vaccine on larval feeding and molting is essential to reduce tick infestations and supports that Q38 might be a candidate universal antigen for the control of multiple tick species that can infest the same host. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Villar M.,Sabio Institute Investigacion En Recursos Cinegeticos Irec Csic Uclm Jccm | Popara M.,Sabio Institute Investigacion En Recursos Cinegeticos Irec Csic Uclm Jccm | Mangold A.J.,Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria | de la Fuente J.,Sabio Institute Investigacion En Recursos Cinegeticos Irec Csic Uclm Jccm | de la Fuente J.,Oklahoma State University
Journal of Proteomics | Year: 2014

Ticks transmit zoonotic pathogens worldwide. Nevertheless, very little information is available on their genome, transcriptome and proteome. Herein, we characterized the proteome of Amblyomma americanum adults and nymphs because of their role in pathogen transmission and compared the proteome of A. americanum, A. cajennense and A. variegatum adult ticks. We also used de novo sequencing proteomics data for the analysis of the phylogenetic relationships between the three Amblyomma spp. in a proof of concept for phyloproteomics. The results showed that host and tick proteins involved in blood digestion, heme detoxification, development and innate immunity were differentially represented between adults and nymphs. Although these ticks were unfed, over-represented host proteins may supply nutrients during off-host periods. Tick proteins involved in tick attachment, feeding, heat shock response, protease inhibition and heme detoxification were differentially represented between Amblyomma spp., suggesting adaptation processes to biotic and abiotic factors. These results suggested that phyloproteomics might be a useful tool for the phylogenetic analysis of tick species in which sequence data is a limiting factor and demonstrate the possibilities of proteomics studies for the characterization of relevant tick vector species and provide new relevant information to understand the physiology, development and evolution of these tick species. Biological significance: This is the first report on the proteome of the most important Amblyomma tick species for their relevance as vectors of zoonotic pathogens worldwide. Nevertheless, very little information is available on the genome, transcriptome and proteome of these vector ectoparasites. The results reported herein provide new relevant information to understand the physiology, development and evolution of these tick species. Phyloproteomics using de novo protein sequencing was assayed as a new approach for the phylogenetic analysis of tick species in which sequence data is a limiting factor. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Proteomics of non-model organisms. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


De la Fuente J.,Sabio Institute Investigacion En Recursos Cinegeticos Irec Csic Uclm Jccm | De la Fuente J.,Oklahoma State University | Merino O.,Sabio Institute Investigacion En Recursos Cinegeticos Irec Csic Uclm Jccm
Vaccine | Year: 2013

Ticks are considered to be second worldwide to mosquitoes as vectors of human diseases, the most important vectors of diseases that affect cattle industry worldwide and important vectors of diseases affecting pets. Tick vaccines are a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to protect against tick-borne diseases through the control of vector infestations and reducing pathogen infection and transmission. These premises stress the need for developing improved tick vaccines in a more efficient way. In this context, development of improved vaccines for tick-borne diseases will be greatly enhanced by vaccinomics approaches starting from the study of tick-host-pathogen molecular interactions and ending in the characterization and validation of vaccine formulations. The discovery of new candidate vaccine antigens for the control of tick infestations and pathogen infection and transmission requires the development of effective screening platforms and algorithms that allow the analysis and validation of data produced by systems biology approaches to tick research. Tick vaccines that affect both tick infestations and pathogen transmission could be used to vaccinate human and animal populations at risk and reservoir species to reduce host exposure to ticks while reducing the number of infected ticks and their vectorial capacity for pathogens that affect human and animal health worldwide. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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