A GHTM (Global Health and Tropical Medicine) of IHMT project, funded by FCT and coordinated by researcher Ana Domingos, aims to contribute to the development of vaccines against ticks and diseases they transmit, using proteomic analysis and functional genomics of two strains of ticks (R. sanguineus) – susceptible and resistant to the transmission of E. canis.
This pathogen agent causes monocytic ehrlichiosis (MS), an infectious disease of global distribution, with high prevalence and severity. The Tick-borne diseases are a public health problem in tropical regions and in developed countries. A R. sanguineus tick is the most prevalent in the world, infecting especially dogs, but also humans, through the transmission of pathogens such as E. canis. There´s no vaccine for MS and the control of ticks is the preventive measure used.
However, the control by vaccine presents many advantages, since the use of acaricides contaminates the environment and contributes to the emergence of resistance in ticks.
This research is directed to interactions tick-pathogenic agent, mediated by gene and proteins expression of ticks that facilitate the infection and transmission to the vertebrate and maintain the infection to a level that allows the vector survival. Arises as a hypothesis that the vector R. sanguineus capacity for E. canis is dependent on the molecular interactions mediated by tick in response to infection.
There are few studies of vaccination against ticks that aimed the tick-vector and the pathogen agent. The results of this project could have a significant impact on the control of ticks and associated diseases.