A serine protease inhibitor (serpin) from Haemaphysalis longicornis as an anti-tick vaccine

Vaccine. 2005 Jan 26;23(10):1301-11. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2004.08.041.


The application of anti-tick vaccine has been shown to be the most promising alternative tick control strategy compared to the current use of acaricides that suffer from a number of limitations. The success of this strategy is dependent on the cloning, and characterization of tick molecules involved in the mediation of tick central physiological roles. Rapid amplification of the cDNA ends (RACE) and primers designed based on a conserved serpin amino acid motif (NAVYFKG) were used to clone a cDNA with high similarity in the reactive center loop (RCL) to representative serpin, heparin cofactor II. We have named this novel gene as Haemaphysalis longicornis serpin-2 (HLS2). RT-PCR analysis showed that HLS2 mRNA transcripts are not expressed in salivary glands but in hemolymph by feeding ticks. HLS2 was not introduced into the bite site as measured by Western blot analysis. The activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) and the thrombin inhibitory assay using recombinant HLS2 (rHLS2) demonstrated prolonged coagulation time and inhibition of thrombin activity. These results suggested that HLS2 is present only in hemolymph of the feeding ticks and the function of HLS2 is homeostasis in tick physiological compartment. Vaccination of rabbits with rHLS2 conferred protective immunity against ticks, resulting in 44.6 and 43.0% mortality in nymphal and adult ticks, respectively. These results show that rHLS2 could be an important candidate as a component of a cocktail anti-tick vaccine.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology
  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / biosynthesis
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Immunization
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques
  • RNA / biosynthesis
  • RNA / immunology
  • Rabbits
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Saliva / immunology
  • Serpins / immunology*
  • Serpins / pharmacology
  • Thrombin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Ticks / immunology*
  • Vaccines / immunology*
  • Vaccines / pharmacology
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / pharmacology


  • Anticoagulants
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Serpins
  • Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • RNA
  • Thrombin