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Conservation and immunogenicity of the mosquito ortholog of the tick-protective antigen, subolesin

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The control of arthropod vectors of pathogens that affect human and animal health is important for the eradication of vector-borne diseases. The ortholog of the tick-protective antigen, subolesin, was identified in Aedes albopictus and found to have conserved epitopes in ticks and mosquitoes. RNA interference with the tick and mosquito double-stranded RNA in three tick species resulted in significant gene knockdown and decreased tick weight and/or survival. Feeding Anopheles atroparvus, Aedes caspius, and Culex pipiens female mosquitoes on an A. albopictus subolesin hyperimmune serum resulted in 11 ± 5% to 29 ± 6% survival inhibition when compared to controls fed on preimmune serum. Feeding sand flies, Phlebotomus perniciosus, on antimosquito subolesin ortholog protein antibodies inhibited female survival and the number of larvae and adults obtained after hatching by 28 ± 22% and 16 ± 3%, respectively, when compared to controls. Vaccination with tick and mosquito subolesin ortholog proteins significantly reduced Ixodes scapularis tick infestation and weight in a similar way. However, vaccination with the recombinant mosquito subolesin ortholog antigen did not protect against Amblyomma americanum and Rhipicephalus sanguineus tick infestations. Collectively, these preliminary results provided the first evidence that development of vaccines may be possible for control of multiple arthropod vectors using subolesin orthologs but suggested that multiple antigens may be required to produce an effective vaccine.

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We thank Alessandra Torina (IZS, Palermo, Sicily, Italy) for providing A. albopictus larvae, Sarah Angèle Delacour Estrella (Facultad de Veterinaria, Zaragoza, Spain) for technical assistance with mosquito experiments and Carlos Roberto Prudêncio (UFU, Uberlândia, Brazil) for dog serum ELISA. This research was supported by INIA, Spain (project FAU2008-00014-00-00), the Grupo Santander—Fundación Marcelino Botín, the Consejería de Educación y Ciencia, JCCM, Spain (project PAI06-0046-5285), the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station (project 1669), and the Walter R. Sitlington Endowed Chair for Food Animal Research (K. M. Kocan, Oklahoma State University). M. Canales was funded by the Wellcome Trust under the “Animal Health in the Developing World” initiative (project 0757990). R. C. Galindo was funded by Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Spain. V. Naranjo was funded by the European Social Fund and the Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha (Program FSE 2007-2013), Spain.

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Correspondence to José de la Fuente.

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Canales, M., Naranjo, V., Almazán, C. et al. Conservation and immunogenicity of the mosquito ortholog of the tick-protective antigen, subolesin. Parasitol Res 105, 97–111 (2009).

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  • Tick Species
  • Leptospirosis
  • Protective Antigen
  • Tick Infestation
  • Protective Capacity