Development of the dsRNAs as an Anti-Tick Biological Agent
Jinlin Zhou of the Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute in China will develop anti-tick biological agents composed of double-stranded (ds) RNAs targeting two selected tick proteins to control the dominant tick species Rhiphicephalus haemaphysaloides, which causes human and animal diseases in south Asian countries. Previous control approaches using pesticides or vaccines have had limited success. Long dsRNAs, which silence target genes, have previously been used successfully to control a tick infestation in cattle. Zhou has selected two candidate proteins in R. haemaphysaloides, P0, which is required for viability, and Rhipilin-1, which is required for the tick to attach to the host. Zhou will synthesize dsRNAs against these proteins and test different liposome types and conditions for optimal delivery into the ticks, and evaluate the effect of the dsRNAs on tick survival and feeding.