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Albert Mulenga

Professor

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Phone: (979) 458-4300

Mailstop: 4467

Department: VTPB

Photo of Mulenga, Albert

Education

  • PhD Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University 99

Scholarly Interests

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 that the two tick species inject into animals during tick feeding.

Publications

The putative role of Rhipicephalus microplus salivary serpins in the tick-host relationship
Tirloni L, Kim TK, Coutinho ML, Ali A, Seixas A, Termignoni C, Mulenga A, da Silva Vaz I.
Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2016
Target validation of highly conserved Amblyomma americanum tick saliva serine protease inhibitor 19.
Kim TK, Radulovic Z, Mulenga A.
Ticks Tick Borne Dis. . 2016
Ixodes scapularis Tick Saliva Proteins Sequentially Secreted Every 24 h during Blood Feeding.
Kim TK, Tirloni L, Pinto AF, Moresco J, Yates JR 3rd, da Silva Vaz I Jr, Mulenga A.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis. . 2016 10(1):.
Amblyomma americanum tick saliva insulin-like growth factor binding protein-related protein 1 binds insulin but not insulin-like growth factors.
Radulović ŽM, Porter LM, Kim TK, Bakshi M, Mulenga A.
Insect Moelcular Biology. 2015
Conserved Amblyomma americanum tick Serpin19, an inhibitor of blood clotting factors Xa and XIa, trypsin and plasmin, has anti-haemostatic functions.
Kim TK, Tirloni L, Radulovic Z, Lewis L, Bakshi M, Hill C, da Silva Vaz I Jr, Logullo C, Termignoni C, Mulenga A.
Int J Parasitol.. 2015
Amblyomma americanum tick saliva insulin-like growth factor binding protein-related protein 1 binds insulin but not insulin-like growth factors.
Radulović ŽM, Porter LM, Kim TK, Bakshi M, Mulenga A.
Insect Mol Biol. . 2015
Saliva from nymph and adult females of Haemaphysalis longicornis: a proteomic study.
Tirloni L, Islam MS, Kim TK, Diedrich JK, Yates JR 3rd, Pinto AF, Mulenga A, You MJ, Da Silva Vaz I Jr.
Parasit Vectors. 2015
Non-Invasive Delivery of dsRNA into De-Waxed Tick Eggs by Electroporation.
Ruiz N, de Abreu LA, Parizi LF, Kim TK, Mulenga A, Braz GR, Vaz Ida S Jr, Logullo C.
PLoS One.. 2015
Identification of 24h Ixodes scapularis immunogenic tick saliva proteins.
Lewis LA, Radulović ŽM, Kim TK, Porter LM, Mulenga A.
Ticks Tick Borne Dis.. 2015
Amblyomma americanum tick calreticulin binds C1q but does not inhibit activation of the classical complement cascade.
Kim TK, Ibelli AM, Mulenga A.
Ticks Tick Borne Dis. . 2015
Bioinformatic analyses of male and female Amblyomma americanum tick expressed serine protease inhibitors (serpins).
Porter L, Radulović Ž, Kim T, Braz GR, Da Silva Vaz I Jr, Mulenga A.
Ticks Tick Borne Dis.. 2015
Dual silencing of long and short Amblyomma americanum acidic chitinase forms weakens the tick cement cone stability.
Kim TK, Curran J, Mulenga A.
J Exp Biol.. 2014


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