Publications (2)7.6 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: Anaplasma marginale, an ehrlichial pathogen of cattle and wild ruminants, is transmitted biologically by ticks. A developmental cycle of A. marginale occurs in a tick that begins in gut cells followed by infection of salivary glands, which are the site of transmission to cattle. Geographic isolates of A. marginale vary in their ability to be transmitted by ticks. In these experiments we studied transmission of two recent field isolates of A. marginale, an Oklahoma isolate from Wetumka, OK, and a Florida isolate from Okeechobee, FL, by two populations of Dermacentor variabilis males obtained from the same regions. The Florida and Oklahoma tick populations transmitted the Oklahoma isolate, while both tick populations failed to transmit the Florida isolate. Gut and salivary gland infections of A. marginale, as determined by quantitative PCR and microscopy, were detected in ticks exposed to the Oklahoma isolate, while these tissues were not infected in ticks exposed to the Florida isolate. An adhesion-recovery assay was used to study adhesion of the A. marginale major surface protein (MSP) 1a to gut cells from both tick populations and cultured tick cells. We demonstrated that recombinant Escherichia coli expressing Oklahoma MSP1a adhered to cultured and native D. variabilis gut cells, while recombinant E. coli expressing the Florida MSP1a were not adherent to either tick cell population. The MSP1a of the Florida isolate of A. marginale, therefore, was unable to mediate attachment to tick gut cells, thus inhibiting salivary gland infection and transmission to cattle. This is the first report of MSP1a being responsible for effecting infection and transmission of A. marginale by Dermacentor spp. ticks. The mechanism of tick infection and transmission of A. marginale is important in formulating control strategies and development of improved vaccines for anaplasmosis.
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ABSTRACT: The rickettsial pathogen Anaplasma marginale expresses a variable immunodominant outer membrane protein, major surface protein 2 (MSP2), involved in antigenic variation and long-term persistence of the organism in carrier animals. MSP2 contains a central hypervariable region of about 100 amino acids that encodes immunogenic B-cell epitopes that induce variant-specific antibodies during infection. Previously, we have shown that MSP2 is encoded on a polycistronic mRNA transcript in erythrocyte stages of A. marginale and defined the structure of the genomic expression site for this transcript. In this study, we show that the same expression site is utilized in stages of A. marginale infecting tick salivary glands. We also analyzed the variability of this genomic expression site in Oklahoma strain A. marginale transmitted from in vitro cultures to cattle and between cattle and ticks. The structure of the expression site and flanking regions was conserved except for sequence that encoded the MSP2 hypervariable region. At least three different MSP2 variants were encoded in each A. marginale population. The major sequence variants did not change on passage of A. marginale between culture, acute erythrocyte stage infections, and tick salivary glands but did change during persistent infections of cattle. The variant types found in tick salivary glands most closely resembled those present in bovine blood at the time of acquisition of infection, whether infection was acquired from an acute or from a persistent rickettsemia. These variations in structure of an expression site for a major, immunoprotective outer membrane protein have important implications for vaccine development and for obtaining an improved understanding of the mechanisms of persistence of ehrlichial infections in humans, domestic animals, and reservoir hosts.
Oklahoma State University - Stillwater
SWO, Oklahoma, United States
- Department of Veterinary Pathobiology