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Functional characterization of proteins present in the saliva of the tick Amblyomma aureolatum

Grant number: 14/06087-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2014
Effective date (End): December 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Entomology and Malacology of Parasites and Vectors
Principal researcher:Eliane Virginia da Silva Esteves
Grantee:Bruna Izabel Silva
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


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.

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