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Commercialisation of a recombinant vaccine against Boophilus microplus

Increasingly, there is need for methods to control cattle tick (Boophilus microplus) infestations by the use of non-chemical technology. This need is brought about by a mixture of market forces and the failure or inadequacy of existing technology. A recombinant vaccine has now been developed against the tick. This vaccine relies on the uptake with the blood meal of antibody directed against a critical protein in the tick gut. The isolation of the vaccine antigen, Bm86, and its production as a recombinant protein is briefly described. The vaccine has been tested in the field, has been taken through the full registration process and is now in commercial use in Australia. A related development has occurred in Cuba. The potential for improvement of the current vaccine and for the development of similar vaccines against other haematophagous parasites is discussed.

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