Acquired resistance to ixodid ticks induced by tick cement antigen
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Antisera from guinea pigs made resistant to infestation with an ixodid tick of east and central Africa,Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, were used to identify the tick antigens they recognized by immunoblotting. Most of the antigens were found in tick salivary glands and in tick attachment cement. Antisera fromR. appendiculatus-resistant guinea pigs also recognized some salivarygland antigens in ticks of other species (R. pulchellus, R. evertsi, Amblyomma variegatum andA. gemma). Antibodies against the most strongly recognizedR. appendiculatus antigen, a 20-kDa molecule, were only poorly reactive with similar-sized molecules in the other ticks. A 94-kDa antigen, which appeared to have broader cross-reactivity, was purified fromR. appendiculatus attachment cement, and a monospecific rabbit serum was raised against it. This antiserum clearly recognized a molecule of similar molecular weight inR. pulchellus andR. evertsi. Intravenous inoculation of rabbits with the purified molecule elicited delayed-type hypersensitivity to the antigen. The hypersensitive rabbits demonstrated resistance to feeding ofR. appendiculatus ticks but slight enhanced feeding ofR. pulchellus ticks. These results are discussed with respect to their relevance for artificial induction of tick-feeding resistance.
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