Laboratory of Tick transmitted diseases

Laboratory of Tick transmitting diseases (founded in 2012) is focused on the molecular interaction between ticks (e.g., iron and heme metabolism pathway, tick immune molecules) and tick transmitting pathogens and testing of anti-tick vaccines (improvement of our recent vaccine based on the protein called Ferritin 2) and vaccines interfering with the pathogen transmission. We have set-up in our laboratory (BSL2) complete transmission model for Borelia infections, which we use for testing of the tick candidate genes implicated in the interaction of tick-parasite by the method of RNA interference (RNAi) and also vaccines blocking the pathogen transmission. Recently, we make an effort to set-up a system for testing infections of Babesia and Anaplasma.

Selected publications:
Hajdušek O., Šíma R., Perner J., Loosová G., Harcubová A., Kopáček P. (2016) Tick iron and heme metabolism - New target for an anti-tick intervention Ticks and tick-borne diseases 7: 565-572.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2016.01.006
Perner J., Sobotka R., Šíma R., Konvičková J., Sojka D., Lagerblad de Oliveira P., Hajdušek O., Kopáček P. (2016) Acquisition of exogenous haem is essential for tick reproduction eLife 5: e12318.
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.12318
Jalovecká M., Bonsergent C., Hajdušek O., Kopáček P., Malandrin L. (2016) Stimulation and quantification of Babesia divergens gametocytogenesis Parasites & Vectors 9: 439.
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-016-1731-y
Hajdušek O., Sojka D., Kopáček P., Burešová V., Franta Z., Šauman I., Winzerling J., Grubhoffer L. (2009) Knockdown of proteins involved in iron metabolism limits tick reproduction and development. PNAS USA 106: 1033-1038.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0807961106

Documents to download:
2009-PNAS (pdf)
Hajdušek O., Šíma R., Ayllón N., Jalovecká M., Perner J., de la Fuente J., Kopáček P. (2013) Interaction of the tick immune system with transmitted pathogens Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 3: 26.
DOI: 10.3389/fcimb.2013.00026

All publications (37)

Current research projects

Antigeny pro novou vakcínu proti klíšťatům a jimi přenášeným patogenům

GAČR 13-27630P (2013-2015)

Klíšťata jsou krevsající parazité a vektoři závažných virových, bakteriálních a protozoálních onemocnění lidí a zvířat. Ixodes ricinus je klíště běžné v České republice a Evropě, kde přenáší klíšťovou encefalitidu (TBE), Lymeskou boreliózu, anaplazmózu nebo babeziózu. Imunizace hostitelů rekombinantními klíštěcími proteiny postihuje sání klíšťat a brání přenosu patogenů z klíštěte na hostitele. Nicméně, dostupné klíštěcí antigeny stále nejsou dostatečně účinné. Zde navrhujeme pomocí metody RNA interference (RNAi) otestovat geny klíštěcí dráhy metabolismu železa a hemu za účelem nalezení vhodných vakcinačních kandidátů postihujících sání a vývoj klíšťat. Tito kandidáti budou rovněž testováni na svůj potenciál bránit přenosu borélií z klíštěte na hostitele. Věříme, že vakcinace hostitelů těmito proteiny má velký potenciál jako strategie vedoucí k redukci počtu klíšťat a přenosu patogenů.

Lyme disease transmission model

GACR 13-12816P (2013-2015)

Lyme borreliosis is an emerging vector-borne disease of temperate climates, with a current distribution spanning North America and Eurasia. It is caused by spirochetes belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato group that are transmitted through Ixodes ticks. Although Lyme borreliosis is one of the best studied tick-borne zoonoses, the annual incidence leads other vector-borne diseases and continues to increase. There is currently no vaccine available to prevent Lyme disease in humans. One of the promising strategies to break Borrelia transmission is to develop of a vaccine affecting basic physiological processes of the tick. Development of a promising vaccine against Lyme borreliosis would be greatly facilitated by a reproducible vector host transmission model. Main aim of this project is to implement such model and to find a molecule with proven anti-borrelial effect.

Babesiosis transmission model

Babesiosis is a tick-borne malaria-like disease of mammals. Because of global changes and expansion of the tick range, importance of babesiosis as an emerging zoonosis is increasing. Interplay between the parasite, the tick and the vertebrate host represent a complex system of multiple molecular interactions. To date, only a limited number of molecules have been identified to play a role in this system. Our research is focused on the identification and characterization of molecular mechanisms of Babesia persistence within the tick vector and its transmission to the vertebrate host.  We are currently working on the setting of Babesia transmission model in our laboratory and use of this model for testing of the tick immune genes in Babesia infection by RNA interference.

Anti-tick vaccines to prevent tick-borne diseases in Europe

7FP_EU_Antidote_team

7FP EU ANTIDotE (2014-2018)

ANTIDotE (ANti-tick vaccines to prevent TIck-borne Diseases in Europe) is an international research consortium that aims to identify and develop novel ways to prevent multiple human
tick-borne diseases in Europe. ANTIDotE consists of seven partners from leading academic, research, public health and industrial institutions resulting in a a well balanced and highly interdisciplinary consortium. All ANTIDotE partners have ample expertise delivering new knowledge and research tools towards understanding tick-host-pathogen interactions in multiple human tick-borne diseases. Rather than each expert working on their ‘own’ tick-borne diseases, the ANTIDotE experts collectively collaborate to bring excellence on research on ticks, tick-borne pathogens and anti-tick vaccines in Europe. Using state of the art proteomic and transcriptomic approaches we will identify and characterize novel tick salivary gland proteins, which will be subsequently assessed as anti-tick vaccines to protect against Lyme borreliosis, babesiosis and tick-borne encephalitis in animal models. In addition, through an integrated and multidisciplinary approach involving Central and Eastern European public health institutes, health organizations and industrial companies we will examine how to develop anti-tick vaccines and implement these in public health systems.
 

CONTACT

Biology Centre CAS
Institute of Parasitology
Branišovská 1160/31
370 05 České Budějovice

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