Characterization of the rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus sialotranscriptome profile in response to theileria equi infection

Patrícia Paulino, Gabriela Vitari, Antonio Rezende, Joana Couto, Sandra Antunes, Ana Domingos, Maristela Peckle, Carlos Massard, Flávio Araújo, Huarrisson Santos

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This study intends to characterize the sialotranscriptome profile of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus in response to Theileria equi and identify genes of interest with differential genomic ex-pression, indicating relevant targets in the tick–protozoan interactions. The experimental design consisted of RNA sequencing from uninfected and T. equi-infected R. microplus salivary glands (SGs) to obtain transcriptomic profiles for characterization and comparison. A total of 288,952 transcripts were obtained from both tick profiles, 3456 transcripts (p < 0.05) differentially expressed in response to T. equi infection. The uninfected SGs’ registered 231,179 transcripts, of which 155,359 were annotated. The most transcribed sequences were female-specific histamine binding protein and lipocalins. Regarding the T. equi-infected SGs, from the 238,964 assembled transcripts, 163,564 were annotated. The most transcribed sequences were histone demethylase JARID1 and Y-box-binding protein. Five transcripts (cystatin, arginase, nuclear factor κB kinase inhibitor subunit β (IκB), IκB delta, lysosomal-trafficking regulator, and reeler protein) presented the gene ontology (GO) category “response to protozoan” and were exclusively displayed in the T. equi-infected profile. The tran-scriptome of T. equi was also analyzed, registering 4728 hits. The study’s genetic and molecular information would be of great value for future studies and biotechnological applications envisaging disease control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number167
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Equine piroplasmosis
  • RNA-seq
  • Tick defense
  • Tick-protozoan interactions


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