[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT:
The saliva of ticks contains anti-haemostatic, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory molecules that allow these parasites to obtain a blood meal from the host and help tick-borne pathogens to infect the vertebrate host more efficiently. This makes the salivary molecules attractive targets to control ticks and tick-borne pathogens. Although Ornithodoros moubata and O. erraticus are important argasid ticks that transmit severe diseases, to date only a few of their salivary proteins have been identified. Here we report our initial studies using proteomic approaches to characterize the protein profiles of salivary gland extracts (SGE) from these two argasids. The present work describes the proteome of the SGEs of both tick species, their antigenic spots, and the identification of several of their proteins. The whole number of identifications was low despite the good general quality of the peptide mass maps obtained. In the O. moubata SGE, 18 isoforms of a protein similar to O. savignyi TSGP1 were identified. In the O. erraticus SGE we identified 6 novel proteins similar to unknown secreted protein DS-1 precursor, NADPH dehydrogenase subunit 5, proteasome alpha subunit, ATP synthase F0 subunit 6, lipocalin and alpha tubulin. Finally, the current drawbacks of proteomics when applied to the identification of acarine peptides and proteins are discussed.