Unmet Need: Efficient Anti-Tick Vaccine
There are approximately 1,076 million head of cattle in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Australia and at least 80% of them are infested by ticks. In the Americas, around 326 million head of cattle in Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia are exposed to tick infestations. When ticks feed, they attach to the hide of an animal resulting in hide damage at the attachment site. Furthermore, ticks act as vectors for many diseases, such as babesiosis. These factors both play into the global financial impact that ticks have on cattle production. Conventional anti-tick vaccines based on a tick gut protein exist commercially (Gavac®), but their level of efficacy against cattle ticks is only around 50%. These conventional vaccines also require high doses of protein to induce an immune response protective against ticks.
The Technology: Novel Vaccine by silencing gene target
WSU researchers have identified a vaccine target for cattle tick (R. microplus) and have tested an initial vaccine, based on silencing this gene target. The vaccine showed a reduction in tick fitness and a 100% mortality in cattle tick larvae hatched from female ticks injected with the gene silencing sequence. In addition to protecting vaccinated animals against tick infestation, this invention also helps prevent the transmission of infectious agents carried by ticks.
This vaccine affects the feeding process of R. microplus which can help disrupt the tick life cycle and limit the ability to transmit infectious agents, which makes it a better vaccine than those currently available in the market.
• Cattle, Livestock producers
• Veterinary medicine
• Affects feeding process of R. microplus which disrupts tick life cycle thus limits the ability to transmit infectious agents.
• Effective and affordable
US patent application filed(US-2016-0361396-A1):