Development of novel vaccine candidates to prevent the re-emergence of Bovine Babesiosis in the US Grant uri icon


  • Ticks and tick-borne diseases impact human and animal health. Cattle fever ticks and Babesia cattle fever parasites transmitted by these ticks are among major sources of economic loss to the global livestock industry. In the US, cattle fever ticks have been eradicated for more than 50 years. Prior to eradication, losses due to cattle fever ticks and Babesia parasites were estimated in billions of dollars at current inflationary rates. Babesia-infected cattle fever ticks are prevalent in Mexico. As the US imports on average more than a million head of cattle from Mexico annually, there is threat of cattle fever ticks and Babesia parasites being re-introduced into the US. The US government has kept out cattle fever ticks and BB parasites from mainland US through quarantine laws that mandate treatment of all cattle imports from Mexico with acaricides. However, reports of widespread occurrence of acaricide resistant cattle fever ticks in Mexico pose a vulnerability to the cattle fever-free status of the US. These efforts are further complicated by reports of White-tailed deer that are infested with acaricide resistant cattle fever ticks crossing from Mexico into the US. Recent estimates indicated that widespread cattle fever tick outbreaks could cost the US cattle industry up to $3 billion annually. The prospect of acaricide-dependent tick control programs failing has justified the need to develop alternative methods to manage tick infestations. The goal of this research is to innovate a reverse vaccinology strategy to identify and select candidate antigens, which can be used to make a vaccine that will block tick feeding and prevent transmission of Babesia parasites to cattle. Our research plans are to focus on eliciting a protective immune response in cattle using a vaccine that attacks both cattle fever ticks and Babesia parasites.

date/time interval

  • 2018 - 2022