UCR Veterinary Entomology

New Tick Vaccine Looks Promising for Cattle

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New Tick Vaccine Looks Promising for Cattle

By Alec Gerry | January 21, 2016

entomology today

The economic impact of cattle ticks was so severe in the late 1800s that the U.S. Department of Agriculture started an eradication program in the early 1900s to eliminate them. Although some species were declared eradicated in the United States in 1943, today they are still common in Mexico and can hitchhike on stray livestock, white-tailed deer, and other wildlife that cross the Rio Grande River into Texas.

Now scientists at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) may have found a vaccine that can help.

Insect physiologist Felix D. Guerrero and his colleagues made a significant discovery while sequencing the complicated and huge genome of the southern cattle tick — Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus — which contains about 2.5 times the DNA of the human genome. Sequencing the genome allowed them to determine the exact sequence of the entire set of tick proteins.

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