The Rhicepicephalus microplus tick is the major bovine ectoparasite in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world and is responsible for several losses in the livestock production. Moreover the tick acts as vector for two bovine pathogens the protozoan Babesia and the bacteria Anaplasma, which can cause further cattle damage. Although the R. microplus-Babesia is considered one of the most relevant vector-parasite relations, little is known about the mechanisms underlying Babesia infection and survival in its hosts. In the recent year a great effort have been made in order to identify and characterize key molecules in protozoan life cycle, in special for the malaria etiological agent Plasmomdium falciparum, in which it was demonstrated the importance of proteases during parasite invasion and egress from host red blood cells. Likewise, in Babesia sp it was already demonstrated the relevance of surface molecules for erythrocyte adhesion, also cysteine and serine peptidases gene have been already found in B. bovis and B. bigemina genome and their role during parasite infection demonstrated. Taking all together the objective of this project is the functional characterization of two peptidases found in B. bovis genome, one cysteine and one subtilisin-like peptidase. This project will be carried in collaboration with Dra. Mônica Ofelia Jacobsen from the Instituto de Patologia - Centro de Investigacion en Ciencias Veterinarias y Agronomicas in the Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (INTA) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: