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Mapping of epitopes of r. microplus tick salivary antigens using in silico and phage display techniques for the development of a multicomponent anti-tick vaccine

Grant number: 17/26759-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2018
Effective date (End): July 29, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Beatriz Rossetti Ferreira
Grantee:Isabela Pazotti Daher
Host Institution: Escola de Enfermagem de Ribeirão Preto (EERP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/09683-9 - Development of a recombinant multicomponent chimeric vaccine based in protein epitopes from Rhipicephalus microplus ticks, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):18/18397-8 - Development of an artificial tick feeding system for Rhipicephalus sp. for in vitro screening of vaccine antigens, BE.EP.MS   18/18395-5 - Development of an artificial tick feeding system for Rhipicephalus sp. for in vitro screening of vaccine antigens, BE.EP.MS


Ticks are hematophagous arthropods that parasite vertebrate hosts and transmit diseases to animals. The main form of control of this parasite has been done with acaricides. However the use of acaricides has presented enormous disadvantages such contamination the environment and animal products, inducing the selection of acaricide-resistant ticks. The formulation of anti-tick vaccines emerges as a form of control safe and sustainable. The currently available anti-tick vaccines are composed of monovalent antigens and induce different protection profiles, limiting their use. Due to complexity of the tick-host interaction, studies have suggested that an efficient vaccine may need to be composed of more than one antigen (multicomponent). In this project, we propose to map immunogenic epitopes of proteins identified in the salivary glands of R. microplus ticks, by combining in vitro and in silico techniques, and to evaluate their protective anti-tick activity. We produced nine recombinant proteins and used to immunize dogs to obtain serum antigen-specific IgGs. In the current project, we will use this serum to identify immunogenic epitopes derived from recombinant proteins by Phage display and complementary way, we will perform the prediction of epitopes by in silico techniques to select the most immunogenic epitopes. Finally, the phages corresponding to the identified immunogenic epitopes will be used to individually immunize rabbits and test the efficacy of the peptide sequences against infestation by ticks Rhipicephalus sanguineus. (AU)

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