Anaplasma marginale Infection of Dermacentor andersoni Primary Midgut Cell Culture Is Dependent on Fucosylated Glycans

Rubikah Vimonish, Janaina Capelli-Peixoto, Wendell C. Johnson, Hala E. Hussein, Naomi S. Taus, Kelly A. Brayton, Ulrike G. Munderloh, Susan M. Noh, Massaro W. Ueti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Tick midgut is the primary infection site required by tick-borne pathogens to initiate their development for transmission. Despite the biological significance of this organ, cell cultures derived exclusively from tick midgut tissues are unavailable and protocols for generating primary midgut cell cultures have not been described. To study the mechanism of Anaplasma marginale-tick cell interactions, we successfully developed an in vitro Dermacentor andersoni primary midgut cell culture system. Midgut cells were maintained for up to 120 days. We demonstrated the infection of in vitro midgut cells by using an A. marginale omp10::himar1 mutant with continued replication for up to 10 days post-infection. Anaplasma marginale infection of midgut cells regulated the differential expression of tick α-(1,3)-fucosyltransferases A1 and A2. Silencing of α-(1,3)-fucosyltransferase A2 in uninfected midgut cells reduced the display of fucosylated glycans and significantly lowered the susceptibility of midgut cells to A. marginale infection, suggesting that the pathogen utilized core α-(1,3)-fucose of N-glycans to infect tick midgut cells. This is the first report using in vitro primary D. andersoni midgut cells to study A. marginale-tick cell interactions at the molecular level. The primary midgut cell culture system will further facilitate the investigation of tick-pathogen interactions, leading to the development of novel intervention strategies for tick-borne diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number877525
JournalFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
StatePublished - May 31 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Agricultural Research Service Project #2090-32000-041-00D.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Vimonish, Capelli-Peixoto, Johnson, Hussein, Taus, Brayton, Munderloh, Noh and Ueti.


  • Anaplasma marginale
  • Dermacentor andersoni
  • fucosyltransferase
  • glycans
  • midgut cells
  • primary cell culture
  • tick

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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