Anti-tick and pathogen transmission blocking vaccines

Parasite Immunol. 2021 May;43(5):e12831. doi: 10.1111/pim.12831. Epub 2021 Mar 18.


Ticks and tick-borne diseases are a challenge for medical and veterinary public health and often controlled through the use of repellents and acaricides. Research on vaccination strategies to protect humans, companion animals, and livestock from ticks and tick-transmitted pathogens has accelerated through the use of proteomic and transcriptomic analyses. Comparative analyses of unfed versus engorged and uninfected versus infected ticks have provided valuable insights into candidates for anti-tick and pathogen transmission blocking vaccines. An intricate interplay between tick saliva and the host's immune system has revealed potential antigens to be used in vaccination strategies. Immunization of hosts with targeted anti-tick vaccines would ideally lead to a reduction in tick numbers and prevent transmission of tick-borne pathogens. Comprehensive control of tick-borne diseases would come from successful anti-tick vaccination, vaccination preventing transmission of tick-borne diseases or a combination. Due to the close interaction with wildlife and ticks, with wildlife reservoirs enabling propagation of pathogens between ticks, the vaccination of these reservoirs is an attractive target to reduce human contact with ticks and tick-borne diseases through a one-health approach. Wildlife vaccination presents formulation and regulatory challenges which should be considered early in the development of reservoir-targeted vaccines.

Keywords: Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus; Ixodes spp; human; immunization; rodent; vaccination.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Reservoirs
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune System / immunology
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Proteomics
  • Tick Infestations / prevention & control*
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Ticks / immunology*
  • Vaccination / standards*
  • Vaccines* / classification
  • Vaccines* / immunology


  • Vaccines