Strategies for development of vaccines for control of ixodid tick species

Parasite Immunol. 2006 Jul;28(7):275-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3024.2006.00828.x.


Ticks are distributed worldwide and impact human and animal health, as well as food animal production. Control of ticks has been primarily by application of acaricides, which has resulted in selection of resistant ticks and environmental pollution. Vaccines have been shown to be a feasible tick control method that offers a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative to chemical control. However, identification of tick-protective antigens remains the limiting step in vaccine development. Tick antigens exposed naturally to the host during tick feeding and those concealed have both shown promise as candidate vaccine antigens. Development of vaccines against multiple tick species may be possible using highly conserved tick-protective antigens or by antigens showing immune cross-reaction to different tick species. Vaccines made from a combination of key protective antigens may greatly enhance vaccine efficacy. Preliminary studies have suggested the possibility of vaccine strategies directed toward both tick control and the blocking of pathogen transmission. Characterization of the tick genomes will have a great impact on the discovery of new protective antigens. The future of research directed toward tick vaccine development is exciting because of new and emerging technologies for gene discovery, and vaccine formulation and delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Ixodidae / immunology*
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / immunology
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Vaccines / immunology*


  • Antigens
  • Vaccines