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The role of microbiota in shaping the tick midgut immunity and vector competence

Grant number: 21/03649-4
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: January 01, 2022 - December 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Entomology and Malacology of Parasites and Vectors
Cooperation agreement: Czech Science Foundation (GACR)
Principal researcher:Andréa Cristina Fogaça
Grantee:Andréa Cristina Fogaça
Principal researcher abroad: Ludek Zurek
Institution abroad: Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CZU), Czech Republic
Principal researcher abroad: Petr Kopacek
Institution abroad: Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS), Czech Republic
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Jose Marcos Chaves Ribeiro ; Marcelo Bahia Labruna ; Marisa Farber ; Pedro Lagerblad de Oliveira ; Sirlei Daffre


Rocky Mountain spotted fever caused by Rickettsia rickettsii and Lyme borreliosis caused by Borrelia sp. spirochetes are the most serious tick-borne diseases in Brazil and the Czech Republic, respectively. The midgut is the primary interface between the ingested pathogen and the tick. Tick-borne pathogens have to withstand the robust midgut immune reactions that maintain the midgut microbiota at very low levels in most tick species. This Brazilian-Czech project will join forces of three laboratories with the complimentary expertise to investigate how the midgut immunity and the microbiota shape the vector competence. Three investigated model vectors - Amblyomma sculptum, A. aureolatum, and Ixodes ricinus are clearly distinct in their microbiomes, susceptibility to transmitted pathogens, and presence of essential endosymbionts. Cutting-edge experimental platforms will be used to decipher the complex interactions among tick midgut immunity, microbiota, and pathogens, potentially leading to novel strategies for control of ticks and tick-borne diseases, fitting in 'One Health' concept. (AU)

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