Assessment of using recombinant Ixodes ricinus AV422 saliva protein for confirmation of tick bites in hunting dogs as naturally infested hosts.
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Due to the recorded spreading of ticks in past years, a higher incidence of tick-borne diseases (TBDs) can be expected in the future in endemic areas, but can also pose an emerging public health concern in areas where they have not yet been recognized. Assessment of the exposure of vulnerable hosts to ticks would be a very helpful tool for TBD epidemiological studies, as well as for their proper managing. To confirm previous tick bites, the method of choice is detection of antibodies in host serum as markers developed against injected tick saliva proteins during feeding. We recently showed that the recombinant form of Ixodes ricinus AV422 saliva protein (rIrAV422) can serve for detection of markers in experimentally infested rats. Here we examine whether it can be used in the same manner in naturally exposed hosts. We chose hunting dogs as good sentinel animals. The study group consisted of 15 dogs that varied in breed, age, sex, previous tick infestation history and repellent treatment. Western blot analysis with rIrAV422 as an antigen confirmed the presence of tick bite markers in all analysed dogs. For some of the dogs, their previous tick infestation history was unclear, which emphasizes the usefulness of rIrAV422 for revealing it. Since hunting dogs are naturally infested with different ticks, the potential of rIrAV422 in assessment of general exposure to ticks is highlighted. Use of rIrAV422 can also be helpful in veterinary practice and research as a tool for validation of the efficiency of tick repellent products.
author list (cited authors)
Mihaljica, D., Markovi, D., Radulovi, . ., Mulenga, A., aki, S., Sukara, R., Milanovi, Z., & Tomanovi, S.
complete list of authors
Mihaljica, Darko||Marković, Dragana||Radulović, Željko||Mulenga, Albert||Ćakić, Sanja||Sukara, Ratko||Milanović, Zorana||Tomanović, Snežana