RNA interference for the study and genetic manipulation of ticks

Trends Parasitol. 2007 Sep;23(9):427-33. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2007.07.002. Epub 2007 Jul 25.


Ticks are ectoparasites of wild and domestic animals, and humans. A more comprehensive understanding of tick function and the tick-pathogen interface is needed to formulate improved tick-control methods. RNA interference (RNAi) is the most widely used gene-silencing technique in ticks where the use of other methods of genetic manipulations has been limited. In the short time that RNAi has been available, it has proved to be a valuable tool for studying tick gene function, the characterization of the tick-pathogen interface, and the screening and characterization of tick protective antigens. This review considers the applications of RNAi to tick research and the potential of this technique for tick functional studies, and to elucidate the tick-pathogen and tick-host interface. It is probable that the knowledge gained from this experimental approach will contribute to development of vaccines to control tick infestations and the transmission of tick-borne pathogens.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Gene Silencing
  • Humans
  • RNA Interference*
  • Tick Control / methods*
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Ticks / genetics*
  • Vaccines*


  • Antigens
  • Vaccines