Vaccines containing the Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus BM86 and BM95 antigens protect cattle against tick infestations. Tick subolesin (SUB), elongation factor 1a (EF1a) and ubiquitin (UBQ) are new candidate protective antigens for the control of cattle tick infestations. Previous studies showed that R. microplus BM95 immunogenic peptides fused to the Anaplasma marginale major surface protein (MSP) 1a N-terminal region (BM95-MSP1a) for presentation on the Escherichia coli membrane were protective against R. microplus infestations in rabbits. In this study, we extended these results by expressing SUB-MSP1a, EF1a-MSP1a and UBQ-MSP1a fusion proteins on the E. coli membrane using this system and demonstrating that bacterial membranes containing the chimeric proteins BM95-MSP1a and SUB-MSP1a were protective (>60% vaccine efficacy) against experimental R. microplus and Rhipicephalus annulatus infestations in cattle. This system provides a novel, simple and cost-effective approach for the production of tick protective antigens by surface display of antigenic protein chimera on the E. coli membrane and demonstrates the possibility of using recombinant bacterial membrane fractions in vaccine preparations to protect cattle against tick infestations.
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