A genetic and immunological comparison of tick-resistance in beef cattle following artificial infestation with Rhipicephalus ticks

Marima, J. K., Nel, C. L., Marufu, M. C., Jonsson, N. N. , Dube, B. and Dzama, K. (2020) A genetic and immunological comparison of tick-resistance in beef cattle following artificial infestation with Rhipicephalus ticks. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 80, pp. 569-590. (doi: 10.1007/s10493-020-00480-8) (PMID:32185559)

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Abstract

Host resistance to ticks can be explored as a possible approach of combating tick infestations to complement the existing unsustainable tick control methods. Thirty-six beef cattle animals were used, consisting of Angus, Brahman and Nguni breeds, with each breed contributing 12 animals. Half of the animals per breed were artificially challenged with Rhipicephalus microplus and the other half with R. decoloratus unfed larvae per animal. Skin biopsies and blood samples were collected pre-infestation and 12 h post-infestation from the feeding sites of visibly engorging ticks. The success rate of the ticks was high and had an influence even at the early time point. Increased lymphocytes and blood urea nitrogen levels as well as decreased levels of segmented neutrophils were observed in the Angus, which were the opposite of those in the Brahman and Nguni. The increase in cholesterol, which was highest in the Angus and lowest in the Nguni, may be due to altered protein metabolism. The expression profiles of genes TRAF6, TBP, LUM and B2M were significantly different among breeds. Five genes (CCR1, TLR5, TRAF6, TBP, BDA20) had increased or constant expression post-infestation, whereas the expression of CXCL8, IL-10 and TNF-α decreased or remained the same after tick challenge. Genes that showed variation are involved in discouraging long-term supply of blood meal to the tick and those associated with immune responses. The gene LUM is a potential biomarker for tick resistance in cattle. The response to infestation by the breeds was consistent across the tick species.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jonsson, Professor Nicholas
Authors: Marima, J. K., Nel, C. L., Marufu, M. C., Jonsson, N. N., Dube, B., and Dzama, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Experimental and Applied Acarology
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0168-8162
ISSN (Online):1572-9702
Published Online:17 March 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG
First Published:First published in Experimental and Applied Acarology 80:569–590
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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