Humoral immune response of pigs, Sus scrofa domesticus, upon repeated exposure to blood-feeding by Ornithodoros turicata Duges (Ixodida: Argasidae).
Background: Ornithodoros turicata is an important vector of both human and veterinary pathogens. One primary concern is the global spread of African swine fever virus and the risk of its re-emergence in the Americas through potential transmission by O. turicata to domestic pigs and feral swine. Moreover, in Texas, African warthogs were introduced into the state for hunting purposes and evidence exists that they are reproducing and have spread to three counties in the state. Consequently, it is imperative to develop strategies to evaluate exposure of feral pigs and African warthogs to O. turicata. Results: We report the development of an animal model to evaluate serological responses of pigs to O. turicata salivary proteins after three exposures to tick feeding. Serological responses were assessed for ~120 days by enzymelinked immunosorbent assay and immunoblotting using salivary gland extracts from O. turicata. Conclusions: Our fndings indicate that domestic pigs seroconverted to O. turicata salivary antigens that is foundational toward the development of a diagnostic assay to improve soft tick surveillance eforts.