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Parasites and Vectors

, 3:101

First Online: 03 November 2010Received: 09 August 2010Accepted: 03 November 2010


BackgroundCattle fever ticks, Rhipicephalus Boophilus microplus and R. B. annulatus, vector bovine and equine babesiosis, and have significantly expanded beyond the permanent quarantine zone established in South Texas. Currently, there are no vaccines approved for use within the United States for controlling these vectors. Vaccines developed in Australia and Cuba based on the midgut antigen Bm86 have variable efficacy against cattle fever ticks. A possible explanation for this variation in vaccine efficacy is amino acid sequence divergence between the recombinant Bm86 vaccine component and native Bm86 expressed in ticks from different geographical regions of the world.

ResultsThere was 91.8% amino acid sequence identity in Bm86 among R. microplus and R. annulatus sequenced from South Texas infestations. When South Texas isolates were compared to the Australian Yeerongpilly and Cuban Camcord vaccine strains, there was 89.8% and 90.0% identity, respectively. Most of the sequence divergence was focused in one region of the protein, amino acids 206-298. Hydrophilicity profiles revealed that two short regions of Bm86 amino acids 206-210 and 560-570 appear to be more hydrophilic in South Texas isolates compared to vaccine strains. Only one amino acid difference was found between South Texas and vaccine strains within two previously described B-cell epitopes. A total of 4 amino acid differences were observed within three peptides previously shown to induce protective immune responses in cattle.

ConclusionsSequence differences between South Texas isolates and Yeerongpilly and Camcord strains are spread throughout the entire Bm86 sequence, suggesting that geographic variation does exist. Differences within previously described B-cell epitopes between South Texas isolates and vaccine strains are minimal; however, short regions of hydrophilic amino acids found unique to South Texas isolates suggest that additional unique surface exposed peptides could be targeted.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1756-3305-3-101 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Jeanne M Freeman - Ronald B Davey - Lowell S Kappmeyer - Diane M Kammlah - Pia U Olafson


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