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Targeted silencing of the Aquaporin 2 gene of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus reduces tick fitness

Hala E. Hussein, Glen A. Scoles, Massaro W. Ueti, Carlos E. Suarez, Fatma K. Adham, Felix D. Guerrero, Reginaldo G. Bastos
Parasites & vectors 2015 v.8 pp. 618
Babesia bovis, Rhipicephalus microplus, aquaporins, babesiosis, cattle, genes, osmoregulation, pathogens, ticks
Ticks are blood-feeding arthropods that can affect human and animal health both directly by blood-feeding and indirectly by transmitting pathogens. The cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is one of the most economically important ectoparasites of bovines worldwide and it is responsible for the transmission of the protozoan Babesia bovis, the etiological agent of bovine babesiosis. Aquaporins (AQPs) are water channel proteins implicated in physiological mechanisms of osmoregulation. Members of the AQP family are critical for blood-feeding arthropods considering the extreme osmoregulatory changes that occur during their feeding. We investigated the pattern of expression of a newly identified AQP2 gene of R. microplus (RmAQP2) in different tick tissues and stages. We also examined in vivo the biological implications of silencing expression of RmAQP2 silencing during tick feeding on either uninfected or B. bovis-infected cattle.