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Molecular characterization of the interactions among ticks, rickettsiae and vertebrate hosts

Grant number: 13/26450-2
Support type:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: February 01, 2015 - July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Entomology and Malacology of Parasites and Vectors
Principal researcher:Sirlei Daffre
Grantee:Sirlei Daffre
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Pesquisadores principais:
Andréa Cristina Fogaça
Assoc. researchers:Anderson de Sá Nunes ; Giuseppe Palmisano ; Marcelo Bahia Labruna
Associated grant(s):15/13623-1 - The applications of mass spectrometry in biomedical sciences, AV.EXT
Associated scholarship(s):19/26868-3 - Maintenance of tick colonies and cell lines, BP.TT
19/07122-0 - Functional study of cell signaling pathways involved in the tick Amblyomma aureolatum immune response against Rickettsia rickettsii, BP.PD
19/01442-3 - Maintenance of tick colonies and cell cultures, BP.TT
+ associated scholarships 18/00652-1 - Identification of the effectors of Rickettsia rickettsii type IV secretion system, BP.PD
18/08661-0 - Functional characterization of 8.9 kDa superfamily proteins during the feeding of Amblyomma ssp. ticks, BP.IC
18/07453-4 - Analysis of gene expression in the Itu strain of Amblyomma sculptum in response to Rickettsia rickettsii infection, BP.IC
17/23199-8 - Susceptibility evaluation of Anaplasma marginale to antimicrobials used in controlling Bovine Anaplasmosis, BP.IC
17/22565-0 - Optimization of Amblyomma sculptum infection by Rickettsia rickettsii, BP.IC
17/13776-8 - Identification and functional characterization of hemolymph proteins from Amblyomma aureolatum ticks differentially expressed in response to Rickettsia rickettsii infection, BP.DD
16/19452-7 - Functional study of the cell signaling pathways involved in the immune response of the Amblyomma aureolatum tick against Rickettsia rickettsii infection, BP.PD
16/00035-7 - A. marginale susceptibility assessment to antimicrobials used on Bovine Anaplasmosis control, BP.IC
15/18271-6 - Functional study of genes and / or their protein products related to energy metabolism and genes modulated in cell line BME26 upon infection with A. marginale, BP.PD
14/05855-7 - Determination of the proteome of Rickettsia rickettsii, the etiological agent of Brazilian Spotted Fever, BP.DR
14/06032-4 - Identification of the efectors of Rickettsia rickettsii type four secretion system, BP.PD - associated scholarships


Ticks have parasitic habit of life, feeding obligatory on blood and/or lymph of vertebrates. As a result of hematophagy, these arthropods transmit a wide variety of pathogens. Among the tick-borne rickettsial diseases, we highlight Bovine Anaplasmosis (BA) and Brazilian Spotted Fever (BSF). BA is a severe disease that affects cattle, being caused by Anaplasma marginale and transmitted by Rhipicephalus microplus in Brazil. Despite the veterinary and economic importance, there is no commercial vaccine for the control of either R. microplus or BA. Similarly, there is no vaccine for prevention of BSF, the most severe rickettsial disease that affects humans. In our country, the etiologic agent of BSF, Rickettsia rickettsii, is transmitted by ticks of the genus Amblyomma. This project aims to elucidate the molecular factors involved in the interaction among ticks and rickettsiae with the participation of a consistent network of researchers with complementary expertises. The generated data may reveal new targets for the development of vaccines for the control of both ticks and BA and BSF. In addition, we propose to investigate the susceptibility of A. marginale to antimicrobial components, enabling a more effective control of BA through chemoprophylaxis which is more frequently used in combination with vaccination. (AU)

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Scientific publications (13)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MARTINS, LARISSA A.; DE MELO GALLETTI, MARIA F. B.; RIBEIRO, JOSE M.; FUJITA, ANDRE; COSTA, FRANCISCO B.; LABRUNA, MARCELO B.; DAFFRE, SIRLEI; FOGACA, ANDREA C.. The Distinct Transcriptional Response of the Midgut of Amblyomma sculptum and Amblyomma aureolatum Ticks to Rickettsia rickettsii Correlates to Their Differences in Susceptibility to Infection. FRONTIERS IN CELLULAR AND INFECTION MICROBIOLOGY, v. 7, . (13/26450-2, 14/11513-1)
GALLETTI, MARIA FERNANDA B. M.; FUJITA, ANDRE; ROSA, RAFAEL D.; MARTINS, LARISSA A.; SOARES, HERBERT S.; LABRUNA, MARCELO B.; DAFFRE, SIRLEI; FOGACA, ANDREA C.. Virulence genes of Rickettsia rickettsii are differentially modulated by either temperature upshift or blood-feeding in tick midgut and salivary glands. PARASITES & VECTORS, v. 9, . (13/26450-2)
ROSA, RAFAEL D.; CAPELLI-PEIXOTO, JANAINA; MESQUITA, RAFAEL D.; KALIL, SANDRA P.; POHL, PAULA C.; BRAZ, GLORIA R.; FOGACA, ANDREA C.; DAFFRE, SIRLEI. Exploring the immune signalling pathway-related genes of the cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus: From molecular characterization to transcriptional profile upon microbial challenge. DEVELOPMENTAL AND COMPARATIVE IMMUNOLOGY, v. 59, p. 1-14, . (11/22124-8, 13/25213-7, 13/26450-2, 11/23549-2)
ESTEVES, E.; POHL, P. C.; KLAFKE, G. M.; RECK, J.; FOGACA, A. C.; MARTINS, J. R.; DAFFRE, S.. Low temperature affects cattle tick reproduction but does not lead to transovarial transmission of Anaplasma marginale. Veterinary Parasitology, v. 214, n. 3-4, p. 322-326, . (13/26450-2)
ESTEVES, ELIANE; MARUYAMA, SANDRA R.; KAWAHARA, REBECA; FUJITA, ANDRE; MARTINS, LARISSA A.; RIGHI, ADNE A.; COSTA, FRANCISCO B.; PALMISANO, GIUSEPPE; LABRUNA, MARCELO B.; SA-NUNES, ANDERSON; et al. Analysis of the Salivary Gland Transcriptome of Unfed and Partially Fed Amblyomma sculptum Ticks and Descriptive Proteome of the Saliva. FRONTIERS IN CELLULAR AND INFECTION MICROBIOLOGY, v. 7, . (13/26450-2, 14/11513-1)
FOGACA, ANDREA C.; SOUSA, GESSICA; PAVANELO, DANIEL B.; ESTEVES, ELIANE; MARTINS, LARISSA A.; URBANOVA, VERONIKA; KOPACEK, PETR; DAFFRE, SIRLEI. Tick Immune System: What Is Known, the Interconnections, the Gaps, and the Challenges. FRONTIERS IN IMMUNOLOGY, v. 12, . (13/26450-2, 18/00652-1, 19/07122-0)
MARTINS, LARISSA ALMEIDA; PALMISANO, GIUSEPPE; CORTEZ, MAURO; KAWAHARA, REBECA; DE FREITAS BALANCO, JOSE MARIO; FUJITA, ANDRE; ALONSO, BEATRIZ IGLESIAS; BARROS-BATTESTI, DARCI MORAES; BRAZ, GLORIA REGINA CARDOSO; TIRLONI, LUCAS; et al. The intracellular bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii exerts an inhibitory effect on the apoptosis of tick cells. PARASITES & VECTORS, v. 13, n. 1, . (12/24105-3, 18/15549-1, 18/18257-1, 14/11513-1, 14/06863-3, 14/05855-7, 13/26450-2)
SA-NUNES, ANDERSON; FREIRE OLIVEIRA, CARLO JOSE. Dendritic Cells as a Disputed Fortress on the Tick-Host Battlefield. Trends in Parasitology, v. 37, n. 4, p. 340-354, . (13/26450-2)
KALIL, SANDRA PATRICIA; DA ROSA, RAFAEL DIEGO; CAPELLI-PEIXOTO, JANAINA; POHL, PAULA CRISTIANE; DE OLIVEIRA, PEDRO LAGERBLAD; FOGACA, ANDREA CRISTINA; DAFFRE, SIRLEI. Immune-related redox metabolism of embryonic cells of the tick Rhipicephalus microplus (BME26) in response to infection with Anaplasma marginale. PARASITES & VECTORS, v. 10, . (13/26450-2, 11/23549-2)
MARTINS, LARISSA A.; MALOSSI, CAMILA D.; GALLETTI, MARIA F. B. DE M.; RIBEIRO, JOSE M.; FUJITA, ANDRE; ESTEVES, ELIANE; COSTA, FRANCISCO B.; LABRUNA, MARCELO B.; DAFFRE, SIRLEI; FOGACA, ANDREA C.. The Transcriptome of the Salivary Glands of Amblyomma aureolatum Reveals the Antimicrobial Peptide Microplusin as an Important Factor for the Tick Protection Against Rickettsia rickettsii Infection. FRONTIERS IN PHYSIOLOGY, v. 10, . (13/26450-2)
PAVANELO, DANIEL B.; SCHRODER, NICOLAS C. H.; PIN VISO, NATALIA D.; MARTINS, LARISSA A.; MALOSSI, CAMILA D.; GALLETTI, MARIA F. B. M.; LABRUNA, MARCELO B.; DAFFRE, SIRLEI; FARBER, MARISA; FOGACA, ANDREA C.. Comparative analysis of the midgut microbiota of two natural tick vectors of Rickettsia rickettsii. DEVELOPMENTAL AND COMPARATIVE IMMUNOLOGY, v. 106, . (13/26450-2)
ESTEVES, ELIANE; FONGSARAN, CHANIDA; LANGOHR, INGEBORG M.; RILEY, SEAN P.; LABRUNA, MARCELO B.; DAFFRE, SIRLEI; FOGACA, ANDREA C.; MACALUSO, KEVIN R.. Comparative Analysis of Infection by Rickettsia rickettsii Sheila Smith and Taiacu Strains in a Murine Model. PATHOGENS, v. 9, n. 9, . (13/26450-2)

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