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Gene expression in the skin of Bos taurus and Bos indicus cattle infested with the cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus

Piper, E.K., Jackson, L.A., Bagnall, N.H., Kongsuwan, K.K., Lew, A.E. and Jonsson, N.N. (2008) Gene expression in the skin of Bos taurus and Bos indicus cattle infested with the cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 126 (1-2). pp. 110-119.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2008.06.011
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Abstract

The cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus (formerly Boophilus microplus) is responsible for severe production losses to the cattle industry worldwide. It has long been known that different breeds of cattle can resist tick infestation to varying degrees; however, the mechanisms by which resistant cattle prevent heavy infestation are largely unknown. The aim of this study was to determine whether gene expression varied significantly between skin sampling sites (neck, chest and tail region), and whether changes in gene expression could be detected in samples taken at tick attachment sites (tick attached to skin sample) compared with samples taken from non-attachment sites (no tick attachment). We present here the results of an experiment examining the expression of a panel of forty-four genes in skin sections taken from Bos indicus (Brahman) cattle of known high resistance, and Bos taurus (Holstein-Friesian) cattle of known low resistance to the cattle tick. The forty-four genes chosen for this study included genes known to be involved in several immune processes, some structural genes, and some genes previously suggested to be of importance in tick resistance by other researchers. The expression of fifteen gene transcripts increased significantly in Holstein-Friesian skin samples at tick attachment sites. The higher expression of many genes involved in innate inflammatory processes in the Holstein-Friesian animals at tick attachment sites suggests this breed is exhibiting a non-directed pathological response to infestation. Of the forty-four genes analysed, no transcripts were detected in higher abundance at tick attachment sites in the Brahman cattle compared with similar samples from the Holstein-Friesian group, nor difference between attachment site and non-attachment site samples within the Brahman group. The results presented here suggest that the means by which these two cattle breeds respond to tick infestation differ and warrant further investigation.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Comparative Genomics
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2008 Elsevier B.V.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/8360
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