Expressed sequence tag survey of gene expression in the scab mite Psoroptes ovis--allergens, proteases and free-radical scavengers

F Kenyon, M Welsh, J Parkinson, C Whitton, M L Blaxter, D P Knox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psoroptes ovis, the causative agent of sheep scab, is an important ectoparasitic mite infecting sheep, goats and cattle. Infection is characterized by an extensive dermatitis, scab formation and intense itching. Initial focal lesions spread outwards, coalesce and may extend over the whole body. The host response to infestation has all the characteristics of an immediate-type hypersensitivity reaction but the mite antigens and allergens which initiate this response are almost completely undefined. Here, 507 randomly selected cDNAs derived from a mixed population of P. ovis were sequenced and the resultant nucleotide sequences subjected to Cluster analysis and Blast searches. This analysis yielded 280 clusters of which 49 had > 1 sequence with 24 showing significant Blast X homology to another protein in the databases. There were 231 sequences which appeared on one occasion and 109 of these showed significant Blast X homology to other sequences in the databases. This analysis identified homologues of 9 different types of allergens which have been characterized in other allergic conditions such as responses to house dust mites. It also identified a number of cysteine proteases which may contribute to lesion development as well as several free-radical scavenging enzymes which may protect the mite from host immune effector responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-60
Number of pages10
Issue numberPt 5
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Allergens
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Endopeptidases
  • Expressed Sequence Tags
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Gene Expression
  • Mite Infestations
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Peroxidases
  • Peroxiredoxins
  • Phylogeny
  • Psoroptidae
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases


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