Rocky mountain spotted fever, known in Brazil as Brazilian Spotted Fever, is considered one of the most severe diseases of the world. This disease is caused by the Rickettsia rickettsii bacterium, whose vectors in Brazil are the ticks Amblyomma cajennense and Amblyomma aureolatum. In vector arthropods, the crucial components for interaction with the pathogens are concentrated in the digestive system and in the salivary glands. Thus, the identification and functional characterization of genes expressed by the vector can significantly contribute for detailing of the molecular events that occur in establishing the interaction with pathogens. Therefore, in this project we propose to evaluate the role of two proteins secreted in the saliva of Amblyomma aureolatum on the acquire Rickettsia rickettsii. For this purpose the genes encoding those proteins are silenced by RNA interference (RNAi).This proposal is part of the Research Network on Bioactive Molecules from Arthropod Vectors (NAP-MOBIARVE), approved by the Research Rectory of the University of São Paulo and whose activities have been recently initiated. We expect the findings of this project to contribute to the development of new targets for the control of vector ticks, as well as the pathogens transmitted by them.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: