Tick-host interactions in spirochete transmission

Nuttall, P.A.; Paesen, G.C.; Lawrie, C.H.; Hajnicka, V.; Fuchsberger, N.; Wang, H.. 2001 Tick-host interactions in spirochete transmission. In: Saier Jr., Milton H.; Garcia-Lara, Jorge, (eds.) The Spirochetes: Molecular and Cellular Biology. Horizon Scientific Press, 53-60. (JMMB symposium series).

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Tick-borne spirochetes include borreliae that cause Lyme disease and relapsing fever in humans. They survive in a triangle of parasitic interactions between the spirochete and its vertebrate host, the spirochete and its tick vector, and the host and the tick. Until recently, the significance of vector-host interactions in the transmission of arthropod-borne disease agents has been overlooked. However, there is now compelling evidence that the pharmacological activity of tick saliva can have a profound effect on pathogen transmission both from infected tick to uninfected host, and from infected host to uninfected tick. The salivary glands of ticks provide a pharmacopoeia of anti-inflammatory, anti-haemostatic and anti-immune molecules. These include bioactive proteins that control histamine, bind immunoglobulins, modulate cytokines, and inhibit the alternative complement cascade. The effect of these molecules is to provide a privileged site at the tick-host interface in which borreliae and other tick-borne pathogens are sheltered from the normal innate and acquired host immune mechanisms that combat infections. Understanding the key events at the tick vector-host interface, that promote spirochete infection and transmission, will provide a better understanding of the epidemiology and ecology of these important human pathogens

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Pre-2000 sections
ISBN: 9781898486275
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
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Date made live: 02 Oct 2012 10:10 +0 (UTC)

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