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      A repertoire of protease inhibitor families in Amblyomma americanum and other tick species: inter-species comparative analyses

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          Abstract

          Background

          Protease inhibitors (PIs) are important regulators of physiology and represent anti-parasitic druggable and vaccine targets. We conducted bioinformatic analyses of genome and transcriptome data to determine the protease inhibitor (PI) repertoire in Amblyomma americanum and in 25 other ixodid tick species. For A. americanum, we compared the PI repertoires in fed and unfed, male and female A. americanum ticks. We also analyzed PI repertoires of female 48, 96 and 120 h-fed midgut (MG) and salivary gland (SG) tissues.

          Results

          We found 1,595 putative non-redundant PI sequences across 26 ixodid tick species. Ticks express PIs from at least 18 different families: I1, I2, I4, I8, I21, I25, I29, I31, I32, I35, I39, I43, I51, I53, I63, I68, I72 and I74 (MEROPS) . The largest PI families were I2, I4 and I8 and lowest in I21, I31, I32, I35 and I68. The majority (75%) of tick PIs putatively inhibit serine proteases, with ~11 and 9% putatively regulating cysteine or metalloprotease-mediated pathways, respectively, and ~4% putatively regulating multiple/mixed protease types. In A. americanum, we found 370 PIs in female and 354 in male ticks. In A. americanum we found 231 and 442 in unfed and fed ticks, respectively. In females, we found 206 and 164 PIs in SG and MG, respectively. The majority of highly cross-tick species conserved PIs were in families I1, I2, I8, I21, I25, I29, I39 and I43.

          Conclusions

          Ticks appear to express large and diverse repertoires of PIs that primarily target serine protease-mediated pathways. We speculate that PI families with the highest repertoires may contain functionally redundant members while those with the lowest repertoires are functionally non-redundant PIs. We found some highly conserved PIs in the latter category, which we propose as potential candidates for broad-spectrum anti-tick vaccine candidates or druggable targets in tick control.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13071-017-2080-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 122

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          Ticks and tickborne bacterial diseases in humans: an emerging infectious threat.

           P. Parola,  D Raoult (2001)
          Ticks are currently considered to be second only to mosquitoes as vectors of human infectious diseases in the world. Each tick species has preferred environmental conditions and biotopes that determine the geographic distribution of the ticks and, consequently, the risk areas for tickborne diseases. This is particularly the case when ticks are vectors and reservoirs of the pathogens. Since the identification of Borrelia burgdorferi as the agent of Lyme disease in 1982, 15 ixodid-borne bacterial pathogens have been described throughout the world, including 8 rickettsiae, 3 ehrlichiae, and 4 species of the Borrelia burgdorferi complex. This article reviews and illustrate various aspects of the biology of ticks and the tickborne bacterial diseases (rickettsioses, ehrlichioses, Lyme disease, relapsing fever borrelioses, tularemia, Q fever), particularly those regarded as emerging diseases. Methods are described for the detection and isolation of bacteria from ticks and advice is given on how tick bites may be prevented and how clinicians should deal with patients who have been bitten by ticks.
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            Heat treatment prior to testing allows detection of antigen of Dirofilaria immitis in feline serum

            Background Diagnosis of Dirofilaria immitis infection in cats is complicated by the difficulty associated with reliable detection of antigen in feline blood and serum samples. Methods To determine if antigen-antibody complex formation may interfere with detection of antigen in feline samples, we evaluated the performance of four different commercially available heartworm tests using serum samples from six cats experimentally infected with D. immitis and confirmed to harbor a low number of adult worms (mean = 2.0). Sera collected 168 (n = 6), 196 (n = 6), and 224 (n = 6) days post infection were tested both directly and following heat treatment. Results Antigen was detected in serum samples from 0 or 1 of 6 infected cats using the assays according to manufacturer’s directions, but after heat treatment of serum samples, as many as 5 of 6 cats had detectable antigen 6–8 months post infection. Antibodies to D. immitis were detected in all six infected cats by commercial in-clinic assay and at a reference laboratory. Conclusions These results indicate that heat treatment of samples prior to testing can improve the sensitivity of antigen assays in feline patients, supporting more accurate diagnosis of this infection in cats. Surveys conducted by antigen testing without prior heat treatment of samples likely underestimate the true prevalence of infection in cats.
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              A ten-year review of commercial vaccine performance for control of tick infestations on cattle.

              Ticks are important ectoparasites of domestic and wild animals, and tick infestations economically impact cattle production worldwide. Control of cattle tick infestations has been primarily by application of acaricides which has resulted in selection of resistant ticks and environmental pollution. Herein we discuss data from tick vaccine application in Australia, Cuba, Mexico and other Latin American countries. Commercial tick vaccines for cattle based on the Boophilus microplus Bm86 gut antigen have proven to be a feasible tick control method that offers a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative to the use of acaricides. Commercial tick vaccines reduced tick infestations on cattle and the intensity of acaricide usage, as well as increasing animal production and reducing transmission of some tick-borne pathogens. Although commercialization of tick vaccines has been difficult owing to previous constraints of antigen discovery, the expense of testing vaccines in cattle, and company restructuring, the success of these vaccines over the past decade has clearly demonstrated their potential as an improved method of tick control for cattle. Development of improved vaccines in the future will be greatly enhanced by new and efficient molecular technologies for antigen discovery and the urgent need for a tick control method to reduce or replace the use of acaricides, especially in regions where extensive tick resistance has occurred.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                porterl@nsula.edu
                zradulovic@cvm.tamu.edu
                979-458-8300 , amulenga@cvm.tamu.edu
                Journal
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasites & Vectors
                BioMed Central (London )
                1756-3305
                22 March 2017
                22 March 2017
                2017
                : 10
                Affiliations
                ISNI 0000 0004 4687 2082, GRID grid.264756.4, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, , Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, ; 4647 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843 USA
                Article
                2080
                10.1186/s13071-017-2080-1
                5361777
                © The Author(s). 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000002, National Institutes of Health;
                Award ID: AI081093, AI093858, AI074789, AI074789-01A1S1
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Research
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Parasitology

                protease inhibitors in ticks, amblyomma americanum, hard ticks

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