A Vaccine for Canine Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: An Unmet One Health Need

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Outbreaks of life-threatening Rocky Mountain spotted fever in humans and dogs associated with a canine-tick maintenance cycle constitute an important One Health opportunity. The reality of the problem has been observed strikingly in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Native American tribal lands in Arizona. The brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato, acquires the rickettsia from bacteremic dogs and can maintain the bacterium transtadially to the next tick stage. The subsequent adult tick can then transmit infection to a new host, as shown by guinea pig models. These brown dog ticks maintain spotted fever group rickettsiae transovarially through many generations, thus serving as both vector and reservoir. Vaccine containing whole-killed R. rickettsii does not stimulate sufficient immunity. Studies of Rickettsia subunit antigens have demonstrated that conformationally preserved outer-membrane autotransporter proteins A and B are the leading vaccine candidates. The possibility of a potentially safe and effective live attenuated vaccine has only begun to be explored as gene knockout methods are applied to these obligately intracellular pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1626
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • One Health
  • Rhipicephalus sanguineus
  • Rickettsia rickettsii
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • canine vector-borne disease
  • live attenuated vaccine
  • subunit vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'A Vaccine for Canine Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: An Unmet One Health Need'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this