Mulenga, Albert individual record
Professor and associate head, Veterinary Pathobiology
overview

For generations ticks and tick borne diseases have had significant impact of animal health and livestock productivity around the world. In public health the effect of ticks and tick borne diseases is also tremendous. Since the 1980s when the causative agent of Lyme disease was described, numerous human tick borne diseases have been reported. In absence of effective vaccines against major tick borne diseases, prevention of animal and human tick borne disease infections relies on the use chemicals (acaricides) to kill ticks. Although acaricide based tick control methods are effective in the short-term, they do not offer a permanent solution because of serious limitations such as ticks developing resistance and contamination of the environment and the food chain. Immunization of animals against is a validated alternative tick control method. The attraction is that tick vaccines will be effective against both acaricide resistant and susceptible tick populations. The major limiting factor is the availability of effective tick vaccine targets. The tick cannot cause damage to host or transmit disease agents without successful feeding. Thus, our plan is to understand molecular mechanisms of how ticks accomplish feeding. In this way we will find targets that will be used for development of effective tick vaccines. We are currently studying the feeding physiology of the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and the Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum). According to the US Centers for Disease Control, these two medically important tick species transmit a combined nine of the 14 human tick borne disease agents in the United States. Major work is on discovery and characterization of proteins that the Lone Star and the Blacklegged tick into animals every 24h through out feeding. The area of particular emphasis is to understanding roles of serine protease inhibitors (serpins) the blacklegged tick and the Lone Star tick inject into animals during feeding. We have identified serpins

education and training
selected publications
Academic Articles66
  • Xavier, M. A., Tirloni, L., Pinto, A., Diedrich, J. K., Yates, J. R., Mulenga, A., ... Termignoni, C. (2018). A proteomic insight into vitellogenesis during tick ovary maturation.. Sci Rep. 8(1), 4698.
  • Bakshi, M., Kim, T. K., & Mulenga, A. (2018). Disruption of blood meal-responsive serpins prevents Ixodes scapularis from feeding to repletion.. Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 9(3), 506-518.
  • Hollmann, T., Kim, T. K., Tirloni, L., Radulovi, ., Pinto, A., Diedrich, J. K., ... Mulenga, A. (2018). Identification and characterization of proteins in the Amblyomma americanum tick cement cone.. Int J Parasitol. 48(3-4), 211-224.
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  • Tirloni, L., Kim, T. K., Pinto, A., Yates, J. R., da Silva Vaz, I., & Mulenga, A. (2017). Tick-Host Range Adaptation: Changes in Protein Profiles in Unfed Adult Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum Saliva Stimulated to Feed on Different Hosts.. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 7(DEC), 517.
  • Mihaljica, D., Markovi, D., Radulovi, . ., Mulenga, A., aki, S., Sukara, R., Milanovi, Z., & Tomanovi, S. (2017). Assessment of using recombinant Ixodes ricinus AV422 saliva protein for confirmation of tick bites in hunting dogs as naturally infested hosts.. Exp Appl Acarol. 72(4), 429-437.
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Conference Papers2
  • Bakshi, M., Kim, T., Radulovic, Z., Porter, L., Mwangi, W., & Mulenga, A. (2016). Bait and Switch: A strategy to avoid host defense by the ticks. JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY. 196,
  • Radulovic, Z., Lewis, L., Kim, T., Porter, L., & Mulenga, A. (2015). Identification of immunogenic tick saliva proteins secreted into the host during 24-48 hours after attachment. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY. 250,
chaired theses and dissertations
Email
amulenga@cvm.tamu.edu
First Name
Albert
Last Name
Mulenga
mailing address
Texas A&M University; Vet Med Pathobiology; 4467 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-2475
USA