Analysis Of Bm86 Conserved Epitopes: Is A Global Vaccine Against Cattle Tick Rhipicephalus Microplus Possible?
Abstract The cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus causes significant economic losses in agribusiness. Control of this tick is achieved mainly through the application of chemical acaricides, often resulting in contamination of animal food products and of the environment. Another major concern associated with acaricide use is the increasing reports of resistance of this tick vector against the active ingredients of many commercial products. An alternative control method is vaccination. However, the commercially available vaccine based on a protein homologous to Bm86 exhibits variations in efficacy relative to the different geographical locations. This study aimed to identify antigenic determinants of the sequences of proteins homologous to Bm86. Phylogenetic analyses were performed to determine the extent of divergence between different populations of R. microplus to identify the sequence that could be used as a universal vaccine against the multiple geographically distinct populations of R. microplus and related tick species. Considering the extensive sequence and functional polymorphism observed among strains of R. microplus from different geographical regions, we can conclude that it may be possible to achieve effective vaccination against these cattle ticks using a single universal Bm86-based antigen.