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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Vaccination with recombinant Boophilus annulatus Bm86 ortholog protein, Ba86, protects cattle against B. annulatus and B. microplus infestations

Mario Canales1, Consuelo Almazán2, Victoria Naranjo13, Frans Jongejan45 and José de la Fuente13*

Author Affiliations

1 Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain

2 Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, Km. 5 carretera Victoria-Mante, CP 87000 Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico

3 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA

4 Utrecht Centre for Tick-borne Diseases (UCTD), Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 1, 3584CL, Utrecht, The Netherlands

5 Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, 0110, Onderstepoort, South Africa

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BMC Biotechnology 2009, 9:29  doi:10.1186/1472-6750-9-29

Published: 31 March 2009



The cattle ticks, Boophilus spp., affect cattle production in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Tick vaccines constitute a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to tick control. The recombinant B. microplus Bm86 protective antigen has been shown to protect cattle against tick infestations. Recently, the gene coding for B. annulatus Bm86 ortholog, Ba86, was cloned and the recombinant protein was secreted and purified from the yeast Pichia pastoris.


Recombinant Ba86 (Israel strain) was used to immunize cattle to test its efficacy for the control of B. annulatus (Mercedes, Texas, USA strain) and B. microplus (Susceptible, Mexico strain) infestations. Bm86 (Gavac and Mozambique strain) and adjuvant/saline were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Vaccination with Ba86 reduced tick infestations (71% and 40%), weight (8% and 15%), oviposition (22% and 5%) and egg fertility (25% and 50%) for B. annulatus and B. microplus, respectively. The efficacy of both Ba86 and Bm86 was higher for B. annulatus than for B. microplus. The efficacy of Ba86 was higher for B. annulatus (83.0%) than for B. microplus (71.5%). The efficacy of Bm86 (Gavac; 85.2%) but not Bm86 (Mozambique strain; 70.4%) was higher than that of Ba86 (71.5%) on B. microplus. However, the efficacy of Bm86 (both Gavac and Mozambique strain; 99.6%) was higher than that of Ba86 (83.0%) on B. annulatus.


These experiments showed the efficacy of recombinant Ba86 for the control of B. annulatus and B. microplus infestations in cattle and suggested that physiological differences between B. microplus and B. annulatus and those encoded in the sequence of Bm86 orthologs may be responsible for the differences in susceptibility of these tick species to Bm86 vaccines.